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Dodge Dakota Stalling and Dying Problems



  • Hi All,

    I was trying to help my daughter with her 98 V6 Dakota truck. When started it will not idle on its own, then dies. I restart the truck and keep a higher idle speed (foot on gas pedal) and it runs rough. When put in gear it will die unless the idle is high enough. Once on the road it will die at every stop unless I can keep the idle high. When driving over 40-50 mph there is no problem with the truck. On the road, when the truck dies, sometimes it starts right back up and sometimes I have to wait about 45 minutes before it will start again. To add another twist, sometimes the truck starts and runs fine with no problems at all. No error codes show up as the check engine light has never come on.

    My first thought was the fuel filter but it seems the filter and pump are 1 unit located inside the gas tank. I do not want to spend 250.00 for a new fuel pump when I am not sure that is the problem. I am an old timer and have overhauled many engines and transmissions but that was before they turned cars/trucks into computers.

    I have read many post here that point to the IAC (Idle Air Control) but I wanted to ask others for any other options.

    Thanks for any help,

  • I would go with the fuel pump which is in the tank or the fuel filter, that is under the door, on a 1992 v8 anyway. It really sounds like a fuel problem. Hope it helps , but I'm not a mechanic. Good luck.
  • I would first try the $50 IAC which is easy to replace.
  • Hi All,

    I just wanted to report back that the problem turned out to be a bad muffler. The muffler was replaced and state inspection done for $65.00 total.

    I would never have thought about the muffler.

    Thanks for all the help,

  • to theunter1001, i'm having the same issue and found a sourse on youtube.
    try turning the ignition on 3 times without starting the engine. when you do this look in your odomitter window and a P
    (P) CODE will come up with dashes after them. if there is another code number it will come up and if not it will say P DONE...

    I just did this with my 2004 dodge dakota with a 4.7 engine.
    Hope this helps you out
  • you may not even get this message but I need to know what you did to fix your 2002 Dakota. I have the same truck with the same problem... please help
  • Hi,,,we have a 1992 dodge dakota,,,and the problem was the EGR....and a couple of censors...I have more details if you interested..
  • I would recommend the electronic choke which is located near where the air box assembly meets the throttle body. Sometimes it may get stuck and cause the engine to stall out.
  • 1997 Dakota, 205K miles. I've had a problem with stalling and dying on me for the past three months (Fall of 2014). Here's a list of my "symptoms" and what I've had done in that time. I had a nice three week stretch where it didn't die on me, but it started up again this morning.

    On a cold start, truck will die going in reverse.
    At low idle (like a stop light) truck will dip below 750rpm and die.
    While driving, foot on the gas, engine will sputter, not die, but not getting gas either, then kick back in an accelerate.
    At stop signals, oil pressure reading will dip momentarily down to zero, check gauges will light up, then pressure will move back up to normal.
    Oh, and no obd codes for guidance.

    Initially there was an ignition coil code. Ignition coil replaced.
    Throttle Position Sensor replaced
    IAC Valve replaced
    Muffler, Cat Converter replaced. (Small rust hole in manifold still remains)
    Distributor and plugs and wires all replaced.
    Fuel Pump replaced (spring 2014)

    Today's temp was 8F on the drive in to work and I had less than a quarter tank and had it die on me 4 times. Could this be a gas line filter ( the one attaching to the frame?) or a fuel issue? Other stalling issues did not happen with an empty tank.

    I took it in to one shop and they said I needed my engine wiring harness completely redone along with a new pcm/ecm and the bill was going to be over $4k. Two other shops laughed when they heard the estimate.

    Anyone, Anyone? Bueller, please help.
  • Hello all !!
    I had a similar problem with my '97 V6 Dakota. My battery was over 7 years old. It really didn't seem to have a problem cranking the engine over. But over the last month it would start fine in the morning. I would run it around a little and shut it down. When I would go to restart it, it would crank over, run for a second and die. I would have to feather the gas pedal to keep it running. One cold morning the battery barely cranked the engine over. I got it going, ran it to the store and bought a battery. It's been fine ever since. I had read other forums from people with the same problem. Changing the battery cured their problem and mine as well
  • ryan999ryan999 Posts: 1
    Hi all,

    I'm having a similar problem to some of the others and was wondering if anyone could help. Here's my best description of the problem:

    When the engine is cold (usually notice on first startup), my temperature gauge doesn't seem to work until I get into fourth gear. Shifting (especially 2-3 and 3-4) is hard but that might just be the cold. If I get the engine into fourth gear before the engine is warm, the truck will die on first idle. At first I thought it was only upon stopping but it happened to me once now when I only took my foot off the gas. Each time, the truck will not start up for about 5-15 minutes. It will crank hard the whole time but won't turn over, and I have to feather the gas to get it to start when it does (never had the time to simply wait it out). Once it starts, it seems to run really rough and noisy, although I can't quite isolate the noise (almost seems to come from the rear but that wouldn't really make sense). It will die again if not given gas at idle until the engine is warm, but it starts up fine if it dies any of those times.

    If I run the car slowly (1st and 2nd gear) until it warms up, once I reach 4th gear the temperature gauge works again and it will not die. Obviously this isn't a long-term solution though. Also, it is possible the gauge is working, but it only shows heat once it gets into fourth, and it comes quickly from there.

    I tried replacing the TPS sensor as some of the other posters suggested. It seemed to make a small difference in idle, but didn't help the dying at all.

    This is coming on top of a longstanding problem of reverse not working, especially when cold. The truck seems not to grip into reverse and the problem is worse with the wheels turned. I have had it die on me in such a situation, but it always restarts immediately in that case. I do not think the two are related, but in case someone sees a connection I wanted to mention it.

    Oh, and of course, no codes, no check engine light. My mechanic is stumped and so am I. I'm trying to not replace everything under the sun and rather hope someone has a good answer as to what is causing this.
  • cmorocmoro Posts: 1
    Okay, so maybe someone's posted this already, but here it goes. Also, I apologize in advance, as I am typing this from my mobile cell.

    1999 Dodge Dakota, 3.9L 2WD, Standard Transmission, and a while back, I was having issues with idle and driving. When my battery would die (usually because I left the lights on or somesuch), the battery would die as expected .  As soon as I got it jumped, it would act funny. As soon as the thermostat clicked on, the idle would drop alot, and I would have to fight to shift. If I did not put the pedal to the floor, even shifting into, say, 4th gear, it would ahudder and lurch. The RPMs would go down, and so I had to back off of the accelerator, and put the hammer down, and could keep going. However, once I drove it 30 miles or so, everything went back to normal. After a trip to the mechanic, he said I had a bad battery, so everytime the battery was discharged, the ECM, in a sense, had to relearn how much pressure to put in the vacuum lines or in the fuel rail. Seemed like a good explanation to me, so I bought a new battery, and everything was good. 

    A few days ago, I stopped at the hardware store and when I came back out to the truck, it would not start. No lights, no radio, no interior lights, no nothing. So, I popped the hood, and discovered the the battery had shifted somehow, and so the positive cable running from the battery to the relay box had disconnected. So I reconnected it and everything was fine. 

    Yesterday, I stopped at a different hardware store and got back to the truck, started it up, and noticed the gas gauge read empty. Now, I knew I had at least one-eighth of a tank, and I parked on an incline, so I figured I should go fill up anyway. I filled up at a gas station that I usually don't go to, but the station is fairly new. Thats when the problems began. 

    Again, as soon as the thermostat opened up, the truck had trouble idling, it rattled, shook, gasped, and lurched. I had trouble shifting. Everything was almost like my previous issue, with a few more problems added on. Now, I can hear a whisle coming from the air intake area, almost like a vacuum line has a hole in it. Also, when I have trouble shifting and I DO NOT back off the gas and put the hammer down, I can hear knocking noises coming from the engine compartment. This subsides when I let off the gas and take off. 

    Guys, this is killing me. Of course, there is no engine light, so no codes can be read. My oil and the like looks good. The fuel filter was my first guess, but that part is non-servicable. I'm a broke college student, who it seems, needs to stop going to hardware stores. 
  • I finally have an answer!!!!!  5 months ago my 1996 Dakota started dying while idling at a stop light or driving down the road, totally at random.  I would drop it into neutral and it would start right back up.  I started having what seems to be the most popular things replaced.  (After reading many different blogs including this one) But nothing fixed the problem.  Last night I read a post by a man named Ed Hennessy (I must give him the credit). He said it was a Bad SPEED SENSOR and that the computer couldn't tell if the truck was moving or not and shut it down.  Today I bought one at ORielly's for 36 bucks and had it installed.  The old one had transmission fluid in it and had seeped into the sensor and even the wires.  PLEASE CHECK THIS FIRST!!!!!  She now runs like a dream.  I knew that it had to be something simple because she runs so good.  Hope this helps.

    if your Dakota starts dying only when you try to go in reverse believe it or not your battery needs to be replaced.  I learned that one years ago.  That was a "you have to be kidding me moment"  :)
  • P.s.  I also had NO check engine light or codes of any kind.
  • Hey guys I need some serious help I have a 1990 dodge Dakota 3.9 V6 auto 4x4. When I put the truck in reverse or sometimes in drive but definitely in reverse, the truck will bind up and shake and the motor will try increasing rpms until it abruptly dies . This is all while I'm just holding the brakes or some times when I put it in forward gears. Its like im holding the brakes and hitting the gas at the same time but with more binding going on. I just had the transmission rebuilt and its still doing it any ideas of what it could be?
  • laree60laree60 Posts: 1
    i have 87 dodge dokota after about ten miles it bogs down when accelerating keeps oing slower and slower at that point and can pull over and dones e same thing. Has new carb. New distributor roter spark plugs and wire and pick up coil fuel filter im at a loss any ideas
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