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2005 Dodge Dakota 4wd engages by itself

pj56pj56 Posts: 3
edited November 2014 in Dodge
My 2005 dodge dakata 4wd, with the ignition switch off, I can sometimes walk by and hear my 4wd trying to engage. it trys to engage, then stops, and repeats it's self. I took the 25 amp fuse out for now, until the problem can be resolve. Any Ideas?


  • You didn't mention the model and I assume you have the automatic transmission with your which case you will hav either the NV233HD or
    NV244HD transfer case, both are electronically shifted by the TCCM (Transfer Case Control Module) you may have a selector switch (dash) or mode sensor issue, that needs replacing on the encoder motor in the transfer case.

    Read this article for a better description on how it works:
  • pj56pj56 Posts: 3
    the truck is an automatic and has 99,000 miles on the unit. The article just mentioned is very informitive. Thank you for that, but mentions it is for 2004 and older. I am wondering about the mode sensor or what I call the ECM (module that the fuses are mounted on) is shorted out in there causing power to the mode sensor. It is just strange, the vehicle could be sitting for hours with ignition off, then you can walk by and hear the transfer case trying to engage over and over. Thanks
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited December 2011
    It's hard to diagnose what the situation is with your 4WD transfer case.
    From your description, there has to be an anomaly where the power available
    to the transfer case is controlling the electric motor that engages the
    4WD unit. Something is obvious not in a proper state (engage/disengage)
    and if that is the case..the PCM which is still energized even with the
    ignition switch off, can be receiving a incorrect signal and trying to set
    the correct state for the Transfer can't accomplish that it
    starts to "Hunt" between states and the encoder/sensor is not telling
    it which state it's supposed to be in. In the electronics industry..that
    is referred to as "fuzzy logic"

    1. On (engaged)
    2. OFF (disengaged)
    3. "Maybe" ( try to assume the correct state, or keep trying until correct state is reached)

    The "black box " that you are calling the "ECM" is in actuality the
    PDC (power distribution center) located on the driver's side fender.
    It has most of the fuses and relays used to control engine, fuel pump and
    transmission /lighting, horn relay etc. The +side of the battery and the
    alternator charging o/p meet there. so does the -side of the battery,
    the frame ground and the engine (ground strap) ground.
    Pretty much all of the power and ground distribution is sourced from the PDC.
  • pj56pj56 Posts: 3
    It is odd. I did try turning the engage knob off several times, but a few days later, it will start doing it again. I pulled the 25 amp fuse out for serveral months, and the engagement noise went away. I put the fuse back in and it is back, but this time, I am sometimes getting a 4wd fail light while driving with the fuse in.
  • If you pull the 4WD unit's fuse, it will not engage, so no matter what state it is
    in (or what the 4WD encoder in the unit thinks it's in) nothing happens until
    you put the +12 volt fuse back in which starts the process all over again.

    If the 4WD fail indicator is coming on...the PCM is posting a P-xxxx code
    and you need an ODBII code reader to read the code. If you don't
    own one (and I highly recommend with computerized vehicle controls that
    you get an inexpensive one ($60 or so), you will need to take it to
    an Auto Zone or some such place that will pull the code from the computer
    and you will (hopefully have a better indication where the problem lies).
    Without doing are just guessing.
  • i have the same problem with my 2005 dakota were you able to fix your problkem and if so could you shed some light on this for me thanks andy
  • I have a 2005 Dakota and I have the exact same problem, does anybody know what is causing it, if you can help it will be awesome. Thanks
  • I am having the same problem and have had this issue for the last year. It is intermittent, and like the description in the original post, it occurs whether the ignition is on or not.

    Any additional information would be greatly appreciated as I took it to the dealership today and they can't get the problem to occur, therefore they are unable to diagnose and repair the issue.
  • Check fault codes in all vehicle modules including the front control module (fcm). Factory scanner may be needed for this. (star mobile)And test for any codes you find. Or you can try this quick trick!

    The 4x4 system can enguage on it's own, if the 5 volts to the transfer case shift motor gets shorted. The a/c pressure sensor can short out and cause this to happen. Since your problem is intermittent, just unplug the a/c pressure sensor (located in the high side line, next to the coolant over flow jug) and see if problem goes away. If so replace a/c pressure sensor. If not further testing will be needed. Hope this helps.
  • pik1pik1 Posts: 1
    I too am having this issue on my 2005 Dakota after 100k miles. I read that it mostly is caused by the front input seal leaking from tranny into the t-case and due to the high level of oil in t--case pushing into the selector motor and it does not like oil. I plan to replace the seal, motor and selector swtich too to remove any further potential.
  • trapperstrappers TN Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 dakota automatic 4x4 when I try to put it in 4wheel drive the switch on the dashboard just blinks then the light goes back to 2 hi can anybody tell me what the problem could be sometimes it may go in and have no problem for a day or two I sometimes have to have my son work the switch while I tap the bottom with a wrench 
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,468
    edited January 2016
    Here's a VIDEO that a Dakota owner made about this very problem, on YouTube. The quality of the video isn't so good but you get the idea of what he's talking about. He has some good ideas. Basically the three main culprits are XFR case control module, the transfer case "encoder motor", or some faulty wiring. In this owner's case, a ground wire off the plug for the encoder motor was grounding against the transfer case. Good luck!

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  • Anyone ever find a solution to this problem, engaging By itself? Also took dash apart drivers and center, still can't find tccm
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,468
    Maybe this exchange of ideas will help you, if you have a similar generation Dakota.

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