Have Transmission Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
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What engine do you have in your Dakota? Your transmission is electronically controlled so don't worry the vacuum you hear will not affect the shifting but if you have an engine performance issue then that will cause an erratic shift. Is the check engine light on? Can you tell where the vacuum leak is coming from? Have you tried spraying carb cleaner around the vacuum leak to help pinpoint the location?