Question: I have a 2006 Dodge Dakota four-wheel drive. I’ve had it for only about six months, and the previous owner didn’t know. So how can I tell if I have a limited slip rearend?

Answer: There are three ways to find out: You can call a Dodge dealer parts department and give them the your Dodge Dakota VIN, look for a tag on the differential cover indicating the use of limited-slip additive, or jack up the rear axle and get both wheels off the ground. With the wheels off the ground and the transmission in park, rotate one wheel forward by hand for several revolutions. If the opposite wheel counter-rotates freely in the opposite direction, you have a standard differential. If the wheel you’re turning begins to bind and stops, you have a Trac LOK limited-slip differential. If you’re Trac LOK-equipped and have never serviced the rear axle, be sure and use the Mopar Limited Slip Additive. Then drive the truck in tight figure eights about a dozen times. This works the additive into the limited-slip clutches, and prevents the inevitable noise on turns.


How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at trucktrend@sorc.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage -- visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com.