Some 2002-03 3.9L Dodge Dakota pickups with 42RE automatic transmissions manufactured before Nov. 22, 2002 may not shift out of second gear when climbing hills or steep grades.
According to Chrysler, if there are no trouble codes stored when the problem occurs it's likely due to software anomalies in the PCM. Reprogramming the module with updated software is the only reliable fix. Check with a dealer for the specifics of the flash.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].