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97 Dakota running problems PLEASE HELP !!!!!

TdpkidTdpkid Posts: 2
I have a 97 Dakota that is having issues. When i drive down the road it acts like it isnt getting enoughgas. When i stop at a traffic light it will go dead and takes about 20 mins b4 it wll crank back up? Where do i start to try and figure this out. I am poor and cant afford to take it to a mechanic. Thanx Tommy
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Comments

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Tommy,

    You need to do some diagnostic work first, there are many things that could cause this symptom.

    First, how many miles on this vehicle, what engine and what transmission do you have?

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • Dusty The vehicle has about 180,000 miles on it. It has a 4 cylinder 2.5 engine and manual transmission.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Okay. This configuration is rare, but okay!

    First, you need to determine if you have spark and fuel.

    Remove a spark plug from the cylinder head. Reconnect the plug wire to the spark plug and place the spark plug on the engine at a location that allows you to view the electrode. Have someone crank the engine and observe if a spark jumps across the electrode. If it does, you have secondary ignition power. If not, we know where to start troubleshooting.

    If you've verified that you have spark, perform the following:

    1. Disconnect the air clearner housing from the top of the Throttle Body Assembly. You must be able to see the throttle plate.

    2. With an assistant holding the gas pedal to the floor, pour approximately one tablespoon full of gasoline into the throttle body.

    3. Crank the engine for approximately 15 seconds.

    If the engine attempted to start (then stalled) you likely have a fuel delivery problem.

    Let me know how this worked out. I will monitor for a response until 11:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • Have a 95 Dakota and when you left the driver door latch the door doesn't open. Put in the shop and they say the plastic clip that holds the rod in place has completely broke up. To fix this issue they will need to remove the driver side window first. To do this they will need to drill out the pop rivets that hold the window in place. Does this sound correct?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Off hand, no! Unless they can't get the window glass into the fully raised position.

    Dusty
  • My 97 Dodge Dakota just rolled past 200K miles and decided to stop idling. It seems to run good when I'm cruising but it will not idle especially when I restart it after its fully warmed up. This happened yesterday when my daughter borrowed my truck and I had to drive it back home by putting it in neutral when I stopped at lights to keep it revved up so it wouldn't die. This morning its idling? I'm not sure where to start? :confuse:
  • I posted a message earlier about my 97 Dakota not idling. I've driven my truck to work and back today making several stops with no idling problems at all. Go Figure? :confuse:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    There are a number of things that could cause this problem. I recommend performing some relatively simple checks:

    *PCV valve - A sticking PCV will cause this problem, and will be especially noticeable in colder weather. If the PCV valve plunger sticks in the closed position, the manifold air flow is effectively reduced. This has the same effect as closing the throttle plate, hence, the engine essentially stalls. In colder weather moisture build up in the motor oil will gravitate to the PCV. In freezing temperatures the moisture around the PCV valve plunger solidifies and cuts off air flow. Look for any signs of moisture in the oil and change it out if necessary.

    On a vehicle that old and mileage, I would also suggest checking the vacuum hose that goes to the PCV valve. I've seen these get gummed up to the point they no longer flow much vacuum.

    *Vacuum hoses - Vehicles of this age typically by now have dry, brittle, and cracked vacuum hoses and causing leaks. This may not show up much at higher RPMS or road speeds...although it usually causes slight hesitation or surging...but will definitely cause idling problems.

    *Sticking Idle Speed Motor - On Throttlebody equiped vehicles, the idle speed is regulated by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) based on various inputs (sensors) in the system. The PCM then modulates the Idle Speed Motor to open a plunger-type valve that allows more or less air into the manifold to adjust the idle speed. This area is prone to carbon and gum deposits, especially with cheaper fuels. The Idle Speed Motor should be checked and cleaned, especially if you've never done is on this truck before. The Idle Speed Motor is easily removed on Dodge truck motors.

    *Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) - This is essentially a non-linear potentiometer and can cause idling problems if the voltage is interupted across the terminals. This is caused by a corroded or dirty contact in the sensor. You can check this with a volt-ohm meter, preferably an analog type, by measuring DC resistance across the tap (slider) contact and rotating the TPS shaft. Erratic meter movement indicates a dirty or scratchy resistor. However, because of the miles, I would just change it.

    *General engine tune - Of course, things like worn spark plugs, old spark plug wires, carbon tracked distributor cap and rotor, clogged air filter, will have a deleterious effect on engine performance and idle quality that may not have been noticeable in the warmer weather.

    Good luck.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • :sick: :confuse: The above sounds a lot like my Dodge. I have a 1997 Dodge Dakota Sport, V6, 4X4. When the outside temp falls below 32 degrees I have a problem. Engine starts fine. After 10 or 15 minutes of driving I sometimes cannot go uphill over 15 miles an hour. Downhill is worse, I leave off the gas, the RPM's fluctuate by as much as 1000, it the backfires. I have replaced the cam sensor and the air temp. sensor. If the check engine light comes on, it signifies the cam sensor. HELP!! I'm at my witts end! Do you think it could be the crank sensor or possibly the temp. sensor?
  • lope5859lope5859 Posts: 1
    My parking brake seemed to stick. i was wondering if there could be a problem with the cable or if i would have to adjust it. any help would be great thanks.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    On a vehicle that old its probably time to replace the rear parking brake cables.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • dusty,I can tell by your posts that you are very knowledgable about dakotas i would like your input on my idling problem.I have an 1999 dakota with the 3.9 magnum v6.i live in nc where the climate very seldom gets real cold but i just recently purchased this truck from maryland with bad automatic overdrive trans.when i brought this truck home the truck idled rough and check engine light was on.After trans shop rebuilt trans they ran diagnostic check on truck and said that all codes were transmission codes.Since i have gotten the truck back i have had no problems with trans and check engine light has not came back on but I have only driven truck for three weeks.my problem is that truck idles at 1500 rpms at running temp and at 1000 to 1100 when I first crank it up(cold).It will also idle up and down as it sits in park.when it idles at 1500 rpms you can switch truck off and restart and it will go back to 1000 rpm untill you put truck in any gear.i have only had 2 incidents where truck just shut off but crunk right back up with no hesitation.the problems seems to get worse when gas gets below a half of a tank.as trucks go in overdrive at 50mph or above you can fell it surging or skiping.i also had one instance where it would not take gas so I pulled over for a second and truck took off with no problem.what is so wierd about this problem is that it seems to be nonexistant until it gets hot or you drive long distances.problems seems to be getting worse every day and more freqient every day.I would really like your input on this and have spent alot of money on truck with trans rebuild and purchase price and do not want waist any if unecesary.I have been reading other posts but no ones elses problem seems to be exactly like mine.thank alot
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    How many miles is on this engine?

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • factman1factman1 Posts: 4
    I have the same problem with my 1997 Dodge Dakota Truck. I've replaced the crank sensor, fuel pump, cam position sensor twice, plug wires, plugs, distributor,
    coolant temperature sensor etc. There is a 1999 van having the same symptoms and the dealership has not figured it out. When it is cold, it runs well for 10-12 minutes and then bucks and misfires so much it feels like it is ruining the truck. When it is warm, it runs like a top. I need help too Dusty! I have about 155,000 miles on my standard transmission Dakota. Chrysler wants to start throwing wiring harnesses at the van and if it was that would not the vehicle have ongoing problems in any weather? I did not mention my mechanic also put a new computer on the truck to test with all the same results!
  • factman1factman1 Posts: 4
    I posted to Maddux 8848 instead of listing my problem separately. I have the same problem with my 1997 Dodge Dakota Truck. I've replaced the crank sensor, fuel pump, cam position sensor twice, plug wires, plugs, distributor,
    coolant temperature sensor etc. There is a 1999 van having the same symptoms and the dealership has not figured it out. When it is cold, it runs well for 10-12 minutes and then bucks and misfires so much it feels like it is ruining the truck. When it is warm, it runs like a top. I need help too Dusty! I have about 155,000 miles on my standard transmission Dakota. Chrysler wants to start throwing wiring harnesses at the van and if it was that would not the vehicle have ongoing problems in any weather? I did not mention my mechanic also put a new computer on the truck to test with all the same results! I also have the 3.9 Magnum engine. Any help is greatly appreciated. It is nice to have all the new parts, but if it still runs lousy I'm just going broke and keeping my mechanic busy!
  • the truck has 140,000 miles and does not smoke or use any oil.engine has absolutely no blowback when you pull off oil cap as it runs.my biggest problem the idle.It doesn't run real bad at iddle just idles way to high and hits trans to hard when put in gear.if it wasn,t for that you would have no problems driving truck other than idle up and down in high gear(overdrive).one other thing i forgot you can hold throtle at 2000 rpm and it will go from 1500 to 2000 on its own while holding gas pedal in same spot.my mechanic says it is either the IAC or the valve body needs good cleaning.he says he just fixed one doing the same thing. what do you think dusty will i be wasting my money doing these two things.thanks alot
  • nenisinenisi Posts: 4
    All I have to say to "factman1" is ...DITTO!! I'm having exactly the same problem w/my 1997 Dodge Dakota....I've replace the crank sensor, cam position sensor, plugs, wires, new timing chain...etc............... Mine got so bad, (exactly like yours, when cold it runs great for the 10+ minutes, then bucks and misfires, when warm runs GREAT....) that with one big backfire, I blew out the "dougnut"...big deal, so I'm putting up with sounding like I have a "hemi", I'm not fixing it until someone can give me a solution to the problem. Summer is coming and it will operate fine, but then comes winter again. I had a friend suggest replacing the fuel pump sensor and such, but...crap I've already spent how much on stupid sensors that the "intelligent computer diagnostic crap" told me was wrong! :sick:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Well, just going by your description I'm not sure. A abnormally high idle can be caused by the Idle Air Control (IAC) Motor. A sticking IAC pintle could cause the same thing. At 140,000 miles a gummy throttlebody is a likely candidate for this problem, especially if you've used subpar fuels lacking a good detergent package.

    I'd also consider a sticking or weak PCV valve or a vacuum leak. They can cause idle problems, too. Around here '99s of any make or model start to suffer from brittle and split rubber hoses.

    Other possibilities include a defective Coolant Temperature Sensor (sending an intermittent signal to the PCM), or bad connections to the PCM or IAC motor, or a bad MAP sensor.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • I would check the distributor next. I was having the same problem in my 1992 dodge dakota and it led me to blown head gasket and i looked at the distributor. beneath the hall effect pickup there is a piece of metal that spins. if that comes loose or gets damaged it can act like your motor is out of time. Which causes it to loose power and stall out at times.
    good luck
    watch your wiring harness when in there!
  • thanks alot dustyk i hg\ave fixed idleing problem by replacing IAC sensor.truck now almost idles perfect.but since getting the truck idleing good i am noticing another problem with truck.the truck surges alot when you reach speeds over 60 mph.Its almost like trans is gearing up and down from overdrive to drive.my mechanic ran scan and found crank sensor problem and replaced it and it help the sluggish nature of truck but did not fix surging.I don't know what else to do i have replaced everything that a shadetree like myself can think of.all i know is i can't keep spending money in this truck, i love it but not that much.I would any input on this problem you may have it would be greatly appreciated.thanks
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