Dodge Dakota Power Steering Fluid

If you own a Dodge Dakota, you should know how to change its power steering fluid. Here’s how.
Written by Katherine Duffy
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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If your Dodge Dakota has a hydraulic power steering system, it requires power steering fluid that needs to be flushed and replaced every 2-3 years or every 50,000 to 60,000 miles. These fluid flushes and replacements can cost up to $100, but doing this job at home only costs around $10! 
Your Dodge Dakota’s power steering system uses fluid to perform its job correctly, keeping your steering smooth and your wheel easy to turn. But, if your power steering fluid starts leaking, goes bad, or it’s been a while since it’s been changed, your system can be compromised and you’ll have a tough time guiding your car around curves in the road. 
If you think you need to replace your Dodge Dakota’s power steering fluid, you’re in luck—
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We’ll cover everything you need to know about changing your Dakota’s power steering fluid, from which fluid you should use to how often you should replace it, plus we will even throw in some tips on how to find affordable
Dodge Dakota car insurance costs
.
Let’s get started! 
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What type of power steering fluid does a Dodge Dakota use?

If you own a Dodge Dakota, your owner’s manual most likely recommends replacing your power steering fluid with ATF +4 synthetic fluid for American cars, which is actually an automatic transmission fluid. Sticking to the owner's manual recommendations is important especially when it comes to fluid changes. Here’s a list of our favorite ATF +4 options: 

How to change your Dodge Dakota power steering fluid

Replacing your Dodge Dakota’s power steering fluid is a great way to save money on car expenses and maintenance, especially because Dodge Dakotas have been out of production since 2011, meaning that all Dakotas are out of warranty. 
Thankfully, this is an easy task to do from the comfort of your driveway. You just need to gather these tools and materials before you start: 
  • A vacuum pump, syringe, turkey baster, or another suction device
  • ATF +4 (double check your owner’s manual to ensure this is the recommendation for your Dakota) 
  • Pliers
  • Paper towels
Step 1: Find your Dakota’s power steering reservoir by popping the hood. Depending on the manufacturing year, the reservoir will either be black with a red cap or beige with a black cap. Pump out the old fluid from the reservoir with your suction device. 
Step 2: Replace the fluid with new ATF +4 fluid. Fill the reservoir to the halfway mark and put the cap back on tightly to avoid any leaks.
Step 3: Now, detach your power steering return line. Do this by finding a set of clamps attached to the line that can be loosened with pliers. After you disconnect the clamps from the line, allow any fluid that’s still in your reservoir to drain out completely.  Step 4: Now it’s time to cycle the power steering. To do this step correctly, you’ll have to start your Dakota and turn your wheel all the way to the left and then to the right multiple times. Turning your wheel from “lock to lock” allows your new power steering fluid to flow through the power steering system. Continue this process until you see your new fluid coming out of the hose. 
Step 5: Refasten your power steering return line. Then, fill the reservoir with new ATF +4 fluid to the fill line, and let your engine run for around 10 seconds. Then, shut your engine off and add a bit more fluid to your reservoir for the last time. 
And that’s it! Check underneath your car for any signs of leaking power steering fluid and drive your car around the block to make sure your steering feels smooth once again. 

What is the power steering fluid change interval for a Dodge Dakota?

Aim to change your Dodge Dakota’s power steering fluid every two to three years or every 50,000 to 60,000 miles—whichever comes first. 
While this is a great benchmark, keep an eye out for these telltale signs that your power steering fluid needs to be replaced, has gone bad, or is even leaking:  
  • You’re having a tough time turning the wheel
  • Abnormally wobbly steering
  • A scraping or screeching sound when you make a turn
  • Power steering fluid that’s turned black or brown
MORE: How to check and add power steering fluid

How to save on Dodge Dakota insurance

Regular maintenance like power steering fluid replacements add up quickly—but
Dodge car insurance costs
are an even bigger expense. 
Thankfully,
Jerry
can help Dakota owners slash those costs. In just 45 seconds, Jerry searches for competitive rates on the coverage you need for your car. And because those rates are real-time quotes from a pool of over 55 top insurance companies, you can trust the coverage options you find with Jerry. 
The best news? On average, Jerry users save over $800 a year on car insurance. 
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