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Dodge Dakota Electrical Problems



  • My 98 Dakota 3.9 V6, no power anything is having electrical problems. Headlights and instrument panel lights go off intermittently. Where do I start?
    I have accessed the wiring harness under the steering column and if I move wires I can make the inst. lights go on and off sometimes but not the headlights. Ive read about the CTM but not sure my 98 without power windows or locks has one? I plan on checking grounds any suggestions on where most likely grounds affecting this are located? I will also check individual wires and connectors. Any suggestions on which connectors to focus on?
    Any general suggestions appreciated!
  • I have just started having this same problem (1999 Dakota 5.2). Replace the starter relay with the fog light relay (same part number) and it started working..thought that was it but the problem started acting up again.. so must have been a coincidence. When it is not starting, and the ignition switch in the run position, nothing is powered i.e instrument cluster is dead, of course move to the start position and nothing happens. Regardless of problems that the start circuit could have , i.e. bad neutral switch or start relay or starter solenoid etc, when the ignition switch is in run, the instrument cluster should be operating... I'm beginning to think the ign switch is the problem...
  • Thanks for responding, acoaxet. I read your story and mine differs in that I DID have power to the instrument cluster during the times when the truck wasn't starting. I also tried the relay swap deal too. Now since I initially posted this blog, I have had NO trouble starting whatsoever! Now this is after I replaced that Neutral Start Switch and had the one episode where it didn't start. But since then I have used it several times a week, had it out yesterday and it started flawlessly. Gremlins? Maybe. I would think a bad ignition switch would not magically heal itself just by replacing another switch, and that such a condition would eventually get worse. And if it turns out to be your ingition switch, check out Auto Zone or some comparable place. The one I would have needed, Part # LS922 was only $63 compared to the Dealer at $120.00. Your's might be different because I see you have the V-8. Anyway, I wish you luck in your future repair endeavours.
  • About once a week I go to start my Dakota and I get nothing. Like the battery has been removed. If I open the driverside door and close it will a little force the truck comes back to life. Except the radio needs to be reset. 2000 V6 3.9L. I looked for the dome light switch in the door but can not find it. I have not torn the door apart yet. would like some information before I do. I know the problem is going to hit before I every stick the keys in the ignition. The dome light does not come on.
  • I have a 2001 Dakota and while driving the radio and fan motor will stop working if you wiggle the ignition switch you can get it to come back on for a little while. I read a post on here about the same problem suggesting that it is a switch mounted on the left side of the steering collum near the turn signal that was causing the problem. But there was not a follow up posting to let everyone know if replacing the switch solved the problem. Anyone out there replaced this switch for the reason lmentioned above.
  • I just wanted to write a follow-up on the starting issues I was having with my '98 Dakota. Turned out that it was the STARTER after all! Even though I had pulled it out and had it checked at a local AutoZone, where it DID pass the test it was given, there was something going on inside that would eventually render it useless. Don't forget, when you take a starter or alternator into a place to be checked, its done under a no-load condition, not like when it's mounted in your vehicle and under a load. Anyway, I couldn't afford a new or rebuilt one( 120 to 145$) and at least 4 local salvage yards couldn't help me. But we have a local business here that has been around forever(don't know why I didn't think of doing this before) and they specialize in rebuilding starters and alternators of all type. So I yanked the starter out last week, took it to him and he called me the next day and said he found the problem and ASKED me if 65 bucks was OK to charge me!!! Can you believe that? Who does business that way anymore?? Well, folks, all I can say is problem solved now!!! Have a wonderful holiday!!!
  • ayakayak Posts: 7
    Did you replace the ignition switch module? Was the the problem? I am having the same issue now, turn signal and radio only in my 2001. Do you have a part number and is this the correct name for the part?
  • Going to Autozone today to order the ignition switch which is about 26 dollars per there website. Don't have a part # but its a plastic assembly that a connector plugs into, your local parts store will be able to look it up. Its a non-stock item for my local stores. Looks like you or i will be the first to post a fix for this problem. I WILL let you know if this fixes the problem.
  • ayakayak Posts: 7
    Thanks. I will order today after work and let you know if it works.
  • ayakayak Posts: 7
    Autozone had part in stock for my 2001 dakota. Duralast ignition switch, #LS1144. Replaced last night and solved the problem.
    Thanks for everyone's help and for this web site.
  • Ok I forgot to turn off the head lights and they were on for long enough to drain the battery completly dead. I hooked up the charger and (the under the hood light) lit up I tried to start it it just turned over but it wont run turns over well and none of these work: dome light, under the hood light, and the radio but the fuses that go to them are all tested ok. Funny thing is instrument pannel works (gadges only no backlight),and power locks/windows work as well. Also the battery is fully charged now. I never ran into a problem like this any help would be great. 1996 4x4 Dodge Dakota v8 5.2
  • When I turn on the heater fan it does not run. The parking brake and ABS light under the tach comes on tho. Also, when in reverse the same light comes on, but no back up lights.
  • Blown fan fuse caused this, hmmmm.
  • kv4alkv4al Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where the 3rd brake light wire that goes to the back end of the truck is located and the color code of that wire. Right now the cap dealer connect the light to the left brake light and the HP is not happy with this arrangement.

    Any Ideas in Dakota Land?
  • clb86clb86 Posts: 2
    :confuse: If I leave my truck sitting for an extended period of time i.e 10+ hours i have to jump it when i want to go somewhere. But, if i come back after a short time it will start right up. I went to Autozone had them check the battery, alternator, and starter everything came out to be fine..
  • Check the light under the hood, Mine was staying on, draining the battery. Solution was easy, remove the bulb.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Certainly worth looking at, but I wouldn't think that would drain a battery in 10 hours or so. Maybe over a week, but not 10 hours.
  • clb86clb86 Posts: 2
    i looked for the light under the hood... dont see one.. so theres got to be something else causing this problem... solenoid? spark plugs? fuses? i' have had the starter, alternator and battery tested and they all came out to be just in great working condition..
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