Why Is My 2000 Dodge Dakota Losing Power At Takeoff

Posted in Ignition Systems
  • 2000 Dodge Dakota
    3.9L V6 – 108,000 miles
    Automatic transmission

    Parts already replaced:
    Spark plugs
    Ignition wires
    Distributor cap and rotor
    Throttle position sensor
    Transmission fluid and filter (dropped pan, NOT a flush)
    *This problem occurred BEFORE the parts above were replaced.*

    The truck will lose power when pulling out of a driveway or parking lot. Everything will be normal – the idle, starting, etc. It has never had an idiot light on. Highway and normal street driving is fine, this problem only occurs from an ignition off – starting position.

    When it happens, I start the truck and put it in drive. When pulling out I don’t feel any resistance, just a loss of power (about half) and opening the throttle more doesn’t help. The only thing I can do is let it get over the problem (which takes about 10-30 seconds) and it is fine.

    The most recent time it happened, instead of letting off the gas like usual, I kept a constant throttle pressure. There were two clunks under the hood that I suspect would have kept clunking had I not pulled off the gas entirely. After letting the problem resolve itself, I was able to drive normally.

    The transmission did not have any metal shavings in it, but the fluid was very well oxidized. I replaced the fluid with O’ Reilly’s ATF +4. The magnet was coated with a greyish-black goo – I’m guessing wear particles from friction surfaces.
    This problem occurs sporadically. I would estimate that 1 in 10 takeoffs have this problem. It can happen when the truck is warm or cold, but always from a resting, ignition off position.

    There are One Answer for "Why Is My 2000 Dodge Dakota Losing Power At Takeoff"

    1. Stangman says:

      sounds to me like a fuel pump issue. almost like every once in a while, the fuel pump lets gas drain back into the tank, away from the motor, and the engine loses power until the fuel pump gets the pressure back up.