2007 Dodge Dakota hesitation jerking

Tiny
JOHNPOOLBOWL
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 DODGE DAKOTA
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 35,000 MILES
My 2007 dodge Dakota hesitates and jerks when I make a sharp turn.
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Saturday, February 8th, 2014 AT 1:36 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Don't make sharp turns!

First of all, you need to add more detail. Jerking can be due to an engine misfire which should be detected by the Engine Computer. If it's bad enough, it will set a diagnostic fault code indicating which cylinder is responsible. The cause is likely to be related to a wiring problem. A failed component would not be affected by turning. The engine shifts and the suspension height changes on each side when turning, and that can tug on wiring harnesses. There can be a corroded terminal in a connector that makes intermittent contact when it's being tugged on. If the problem is with a wire going to a sensor, the Engine Computer will detect that.

Not all fault codes turn on the Check Engine light. There's over a thousand potential fault codes and only about half of them turn the light on. The place to start with a misfire is to have the fault codes read. Many auto parts stores will do that for you for free.

If there are no codes, you'll need a scanner to view live data while the problem is occurring. Most scanners have a record feature that allows a few seconds of data to be recorded during the event. Later it can be played back slowly to see what was changing.

Jerking when turning can also be caused by a binding universal joint or cv joint on the front axle. That is a mechanical issue and will not be detected by any computer. The clue is twice per wheel rotation the steering wheel will push back toward center. Even with a good cv joint, this can happen if the truck has been raised. This happens mostly in four-wheel-drive when there's torque on the joints, but it will happen also when not in four-wheel-drive because even though there's no load on the joint to cause it to bind, it is still turning since it's tied right to the wheel bearing. By the time it gets that bad you should have been hearing noises from the joint for quite a while.
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Saturday, February 8th, 2014 AT 2:56 PM
Tiny
JOHNPOOLBOWL
  • MEMBER
It mostly happens when I go in reverse and have the steering wheel turned all the way over
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 1:46 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Can you provide any other details or observations? Is the truck in four-wheel-drive when this happens? If so, what you're feeling is probably normal since the two front tires are trying to turn at different speeds but can't.

The next step would be to have the steering and suspension systems inspected at a tire and alignment shop. They will check for anything that's binding or shifting position. Some of the things they look for can have serious consequences if a part breaks or is loose. Some parts cause symptoms that are irritating but not necessarily serious. They may also find the front axle is sticking in four-wheel-drive when it shouldn't be. They'll "read" the tire wear patterns too for clues.
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 3:55 PM
Tiny
JOHN HILLARD
  • MEMBER
Hi, sorry about responding to old post but my Dakota has been doing the same for about a month now, I changed every component, every, still bucks and he states after making a turn or hitting bumps, did u ever find the issues, thank. John
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Monday, July 18th, 2016 AT 4:13 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The next step is to connect a scanner to view live data during a test drive. Record a snapshot of sensor data to analyze later to see if it is indeed an engine running issue. In particular, the oxygen sensor(s) may indicate a spark-related misfire vs. A fuel-related misfire vs. No misfire.
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Monday, July 18th, 2016 AT 12:55 PM

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