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Dodge Dakota Electrical Problems

KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
Here's the discussion to talk about any issue you have with electricity or an electrically-powered component.


  • jwyattjwyatt Member Posts: 10
    My turn signals on my 2000 Dodge Dakota stopped flashing. Bulbs are ok. Both left and right are affected. Sometimes they will flash once, twice, or a few times. They will not continue to flash until turned off.

    I went to the parts department of the dealer to get a flasher. They sold me a 'relay' for $47. Owner's manual does not show a location.

    Anyone have any advice as to the problem. If the 'relay', where can I find it in the truck?

    As yet I cannot locate it in the truck.
  • dodgetrukndodgetrukn Member Posts: 116
    On my 2001 quad, that relay is underside of the dash to the left of the steering column. If you never pulled the lower steering dash cover to see exactly where that relay is, it's probably best to remove that lower cover attached with the 3 screws. You can then see that ~ 1" wide by about 2" long relay housing. There are 3 relays inside that black box I pulled mine apart the other day with another problem I had to look. Once you know where that relay housing is, you can reach underneath to the right of the support column and feel it without pulling off that lower dash section, and you would need to lift the housing upwards to remove it from the connector socket..My radio and blinkers stopped working along with my heater fan at any speeds. Reseating all the fuses and relays in the engine compartments electrical box corrected my radio and blinkers..unless just a coincidence, but who cares, its all working.
    Good Luck Ger.
  • jwyattjwyatt Member Posts: 10
    Thanks, Ger, I will see if mine is the same. It seems to be correcting itself as today it worked most of the time normally, but at times would blink only a couple of times before it would shut off. Moving the lever to off and turning it back on would sometimes cause it to work, so I am beginning to suspect the switch in the column. A couple of weeks ago I had a problem with the light dimmer switch shutting off the headlights when switching to dim from bright. That went away after two days. Weird grimlin!

  • dodgetrukndodgetrukn Member Posts: 116
    Just a general note also. When was last time your battery was replaced? Only noting cuz I had engine idling problems and others had intermittent strange sporatic problems when the battery was 4-6 yrs old..Replaced lately? I swapped and turned around some fuses and also swapped same type relays anywhere I could to also see if intermittent problems could be resolved. Let us know your "Fix". Ger.
  • jwyattjwyatt Member Posts: 10
  • crudmudgecrudmudge Member Posts: 1
    My 1997 Dakota started turn signal problems about 1999, just after warranty ran out. Dodge mechanic replaced turn signal assembly, then turn signal flasher (relay). Next year I replaced the same relay. About 2003 the same symptoms appeared and the Dodge mechanic replaced the whole fuse panel. It seems ok right now. Good luck on yours. CRUDMUDGE
  • bdret101bdret101 Member Posts: 1
    how to replace the rear turn signal bulb.
  • jake37jake37 Member Posts: 2
    Hi- I have a '99 Dakota and I have a blockage in either the tubing or nozzles behind the firewall that I can't clear by blowing into the line from the pump to the firewall or by inserting a pin into the nozzle holes to clean them out. I have tried blowing out the tubing by cutting the short piece of tubing coming from the pump to the firewall and inserting the nozzle of the air compressor into the tubing. It appears that I will have to remove the cowel and disconnect the feed tubes from the nozzles and blow back toward the pump to clear the blockage. Prior postings on this forum indicate that some members of this forum have had the same problem and had to blow the lines out but how is this accomplished?
  • jake37jake37 Member Posts: 2
    Hi- I was able to finally clear the blockage in the windshield washer tubing by making an adapter to fit the ID of the tube entering through the firewall. I made an adapter out of an unused tapered plastic nozzle with steps to trim that comes with a lot of tubes of sealant and etc. I then used the small piece of the tubing that I originally cut out of the line from the pump to the firewall to use as a seal between the tip of the air gun nozzle and the ID of the plastic adapter.. (The ID of the tubing fit perfectly over the end of the air gun nozzle.) I then inserted the tip of the plastic adapter into the end of the hose that enters the firewall and got a nice tight fit. I then inserted the air gun tip and pressurized the hose to the nozzles and the passengers side nozzle started spitting wiper fluid. After pressurizing the line several times the drivers side nozzle cleared and I was home free. Previously I had a lot of compressed air leakage when I first tried to blow out the lines due to the mismatch between the air gun nozzle and the ID of the tubing. I refilled the fluid reservoir by using a funnel with a fine mesh paint filter and I did find some granular material that probably caused the original blockage. When I add fluid from now on I will strain the fluid and of course I will try the Prestone fluid in place of the cheap stuff I had been using. I am glad I joined the forum as it will be useful to me in the future.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    Thanks for posting that solution. Maybe that will help someone else in the same boat.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • rudakorudako Member Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Dakota and the fuel gauge will just drop to zero and the low fuel alarm will turn on for about 5 seconds and then everything goes back to normal. This happens every ten minutes or so…any ideas?
  • cottoneyejoe94cottoneyejoe94 Member Posts: 4
    the other day i got into my 1994 dakota and the headlights were working then i shut them off and then went to turn them back on and they didnt turn on only the parking lamps and the taillight lit up and i replaced the head lamp switch and still nothing but i do get headlights when u hold back on the dimmer switch but as soon as u let it go they go out if sumone has ne answer i would be more than glad to liten thanks CoTToNeYeJoE94
  • cottoneyejoe94cottoneyejoe94 Member Posts: 4
    hi i finally figured out what was wrong it was the headlight switch itself not the dimmer but if anyone has this problem check your switch first. thanks
  • canadaedcanadaed Member Posts: 1
    Heater fan was only working on high, and found out that the resistor board was defective. I replaced the board ($15) and it lasted about 1 month. I replaced the part again and it lasted 1 day. I am thinking I may have other electrical problems causing the resistor board to blow. Does anybody have any thoughts as to what may be the problem? I am not experiencing any other electrical problems.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Here are some other items that may cause burnout.

    *)Fan motor drawing too much current.
    *)Blocked airflow. (the resistor is mounted in the airflow to keep it from burning out!!)
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Sorry. I know this is a late reply.

    Inspect the connector and the five wires that connect to the resistor board. Using a strong light, look closely at the terminals as well as the wires from the top of the connector. Are there any signs of corrosion (green residue) or melted plastic? Pay close attention to the two strped wires in pins 1 & 2. Do they looked burned or show signs of the insulation melting?

    If so, the contact resistance is high or the conductivity has been reduced at the terminals and is causing conductor overheating.

    Order Chrysler part 5017124-AA to repair. This kit contains new wires with crimped on terminals and a connector body with a new moisture sealing membrane.

  • bassetgirlbassetgirl Member Posts: 2
    We have been experiencing electrical problems with our 1999 Dodge Dakota RT and need some help. First, all of the warning lights lit up on the dash. Mileage indicator read NO BUS. Then, we disconnected the battery and all the warining lights reset. Now all of the interior lights stay lit up when the truck is running and also when the ignition is off. Any ideas on what needs to be replaced or what we need to do? Thanks.
  • kjcdr1kjcdr1 Member Posts: 26
    for the '01 Dakota Quad cab. The owners manual says the IOD (ignition-off draw) fuse should be pulled if the vehicle will be dormant for 21 days or more. It also says the fuse is located in the fuse block on the left end of the instrument panel--specifically in cavity #12. Further instructions say there is a snap-in retainer for this fuse that allows it to be disconnected without removing it from the fuse block.

    The listing inside the panel cover lists #12 as the Starter fuse and there is no listing for an IOD fuse. I tried pulling #12 fuse and there was no snap-in retainer. If anyone can tell me how to identify the IOD fuse and where it is located, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance. Ken
  • mike_1017mike_1017 Member Posts: 13
    I replaced some gaskets recently and now I can not remember where the little black box that is connected to the long plug wire is mounted. It is a 95 V-6. Thanks.
  • dpafrogdpafrog Member Posts: 2
    I had my right headlight assembly replaced and began noticing that all my lights (headlights, running lights, and dash lights) would blink off. They return immediately but it is very disconcerting to have it happen. It can happen up to 10 times in my 40 minute drive to work. I have checked for a pinched wire on the new headlight assembly and have attempted to determine which relay might be at fault. I am stumped; can anyone help?
  • mike_1017mike_1017 Member Posts: 13
    I figured it out.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    There are a number of things that could cause this, including bad connections in various wiring harness connectors.

    A somewhat common problem of intermittently blinking lights for that year Dakota is the Light Switch mounted on the instrument panel.

  • dpafrogdpafrog Member Posts: 2
    Thanks Dusty.........I suspected it could be the light switch because I couldn't find a relay or any other electrical device that controlled all the lights. I will replace the switch and see what happens.
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    I have a new alternator(the old one was still good).The battery tests good with a load. but the check engine light comes on when the battery gauge goes over 15 amps and almost hits 18. I have a mechanic getting me a used computer from a junk yard. If none is available I can get a reman for under $200. Anyone have this problem? Another dodge mechanic I know and 2 service managers all think its the computer because there is a module in there that controls the voltage.
  • neesie858neesie858 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, just bought my teen age son a 2000 Dakota 4x4 SLT a month ago. Left turn signal blinks rapidly almost everytime he uses it to signal. The right turn signal works normally. Checked to make sure turn signal bulbs are working in front an back and they are just fine except for the fact that they also blink rapidly like the interior blinker signal does. Anyone else have this problem or have any idea what might be causing it? Thank!!
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    First, on your Dakota the electrical system gauge is calibrated in volts, not amperes. So the "15" and "18" you referred to is indicated voltage.

    Eighteen volt output is about the max for a regulated system. The check engine indicator lamp is illuminating because the Electronic Voltage Regulator (EVR) electronics in the PCM is seeing an abnormal charging rate.

    The normal maximum charging rate varies according to temperature of the battery, from about 12.6 volts at 100 degrees F, to 16.0 volts at 0 degrees F.

    The fact that the alternator is charging at 18 volts indicates that the battery is taking an excessive amount of charge current. It could be caused by a battery that is not holding a charge or is starting to develop a low internal resistance.

    Electronic Voltage Regulator failures in the PCM have been amazingly rare in Chrysler vehicles in my experience. I'd more believe you have a wiring problem or a flaky alternator at the moment.

    How old is this battery and have you just started to have this problem since its turned quite cold? (I'm assuming you are living in a North American winter climate area.) I've seen batteries play tricks on good auto technicians and I have experienced a similar scenario myself on a '93 Nissan Sentra. The battery could be the problem here.

    My recommendation is to install a new or known good battery from another vehicle and see if the charging situation remains the same. If it does then you probably have a wiring problem (to the alternator), a bad alternator, and lastly, a bad PCM.

    Good luck,
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    I think I found the answer. Its the alternator that my mechanic bought from advance auto in harisburg pa. I had another shop test it and it was over 16 .it fluctuated from 13 to over 16. I could not convince my mechanic that bought it to replace it. He was afraid he would pay if advance said it was good. So I took it to advance it was charging at 16.34. That made the check engine light come on. It was the voltage regulator. It was a new alternator. Momroe was no help because although they installed the original reman alt(at a high cost) they were mad I got a new one at less than the cost of a reman. So no more monroe. They mark up 100% of all parts. Now I have to get my mech to install the 2nd new one Monday whivch he said he would. Thanks for answering. Advance is notorious for bad mechanis said he had to buy 4 to get 1 good one.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    I have mentiond this in the past.... the reason that the alternators from "Adavance Auto" have a lifetime warantee is because they are CHEEEPPP. The roumer is that their rebuilt units are assembled by trained monkeys on mars and there is no quality control nor testing of the units.

    Kidding aside, The cheep rebuilding process allows the prices to be VERY low and attractive. But BEWARE! -- you are the tester of the alternator. If it fails, you have to remove it and take it back so you can have the privlidge to get another untested alternator.

    For me, the labor to replace an alternator several times just to find a good one is FAR more expensive than just installing a KNOWN GOOD alternator once.
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    i agree. i have a new one on order that ill get monday. the dealer put it in so i can get the labor paid. you see the monroe alternator only lasted two years and its out of warrenty. so i was faced with getting one at their inflated 100% mark up price. so i figured that id try advance. hope thid works. It was monroe who wanted to sell me one when i originally saw the check engine light on. Then when I got the new one, and it acted up,they said it could be the computer or a wiring problem They didn't mention it could be a bad voltage regulator. So I went to advance and they said it was a voltage regulator. But you are correct...get quality and put it in your car. Too make matters worse today, my new hyundai was hit by a ford explorer 1984. Only thing was there was no driver in the car. He left the engine running and went into a store in a shopping center. He had it in drive. It came at me . I could stop quick enough to throw it in reverse. got hit.
  • ranwagsranwags Member Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a dakota for my wife and the factory radio did not work properly. It would turn on and the volume would turn up or down with sound coming out of the speakers. But nothing else would happen. I couldn't change the station. So I went to walmart bout a Pioneer 6700 cd player with all the right adaptors. But after I installed it, no sound comes out of the speakers but the head unit works. I first thought it was the radio so i returned it but the new does the same thing. If anyone has any suggestions please reply. Thank You. Randall Wagler
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    Dusty you seem to know what you are talking about. Yes I live in harrisburg pa. It started when it got cold. I took the truck up to dodge yesterday. They are all confused on their original testing. They have two more tests that they will do today .Then they will tell me what they THINK is wrong. It never seemed to go up to 18 volts only 16.2. Maybe I should just run it. Or put a new battery in and a mopar alternator. I can get my money back from the new advance alternator. I never had an overcharging problem. Is it the fuel injectors? air flow sesor? map sensor. the computer is newer from a 56000 mile truck. but it did it before all these things were put in. at one time i had to replace a headlight switch. even if the lights are not on(assuming the headlights draw the most voltage) could a bad light switch be drawing current? before i put the new alternator in,the old monroe alt would make the head lights flicker as the speed of the engine would rev up. maybe the idle sensor? is there an idle sensor?
  • hatchetkpohatchetkpo Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have just got a 94 Dakota and the wipers will not work. I was wondering if anyone knows what fuse the wipers are or if anyone knows anything about this.
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    Im answering my own email. The dealer still cant find the problem because even though the new cimputer is sending a signal to charge at 13.8 the alt seems to be stuck in the full throttle position and sending almost 16 volts to the battery. they think the alt was so used to going full throttle that it is stuck in that position. so i got advance to send another alt to the dealer on monday so now we will have a new computer and a new alternator working together. advance has delco making their alt now. ill let everyone know how to solve this one. ant other opinions?
  • 66gt66gt Member Posts: 5
    1999 Dakota V6 Automatic
    This truck will run fine for a while then the "Check Gauges" light will come on. Shortly after that the oil and fuel gauge will go to their maximum limit (H and F). Sometimes, but not always, the volt meter will drop to below 8 volts while at the same the alternator starts charging at about 17 volts. The truck will sometimes start running rough caused by a rich fuel mixture (based on the black smoke it pukes out). Once the ABS/Brake lights have come on when all this happens and once the airbag lamp has come on.
    The "check guages" lamp will then turn off and the truck returns to normal.
    This has been going on for about a year and I have found no weather condition (hot/cold) or sequence of events that causes this to happen. The problem may occur right at startup or take several days to happen.
    The dealer says bad PCM. I sent the PCM to be check and repaired if need be. The PCM was determined to be operating correctly.
    Please help me before I drive this thing into a lake and give up
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    In this cold weather my '03 Dakota with the 136 ampere alternator is pretty much charging at 15-16 volts most of the time at the temperatures that Rochester, New York has had in the past month or better. Now my battery is about five years old and probably explains for some of that, but at these temperatures you're going to be over 13 volts because of the battery temperature.

    Speaking battery temperature, I don't know if they had a battery temperature sensor in the battery tray that year, but if they did and that sensor was bad or the wiring defective, you could get over or under charging.

    At the moment I would be trying a Mopar new or rebuilt alternator. I know they're more expensive. But I've had so many bad experiences with aftermarket rebuilts over the years that I just don't go that route any more.

    Best of luck,
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    Mine was similar. Its the wiring harness. Dakota are noted for that. I believe its the wiring on the computer side of the engine. Passenger side. There is a short in one of the wires. I heard about it so often it should be classified as a factory defect i believe. Dont replace anything. Have the DEALER look for the short first. Try to get a mechanic that worked on dodges and know about the wiring problem. The guy who told me is a resident in a halfway house. He found it after one of his instructors in a dodge dealersgip who had 30 years of experience could not find it. Thank god for ex offenders who read and study dodge wiring diagrams.Write me back...I bet thats wat it is.
  • 66gt66gt Member Posts: 5
    Thanks a lot. I'm taking it to the dealer on Monday. I will mention the short.
    I 'll post the the solution so others with he same issue can have a ray of hope.
  • sgtpsychosissgtpsychosis Member Posts: 5
    PROBLEM: No marker lights, license plates lights, back-up lights, or console lights.
    I know that this sounds like an issue with the fuses or the switch, but I have already replaced the switch and the fuses are good.
    The next step in the trouble-shooting process reads "take to a professional, put out lots of dough."
    Any takers?
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    try taking it to the dealer. i suspect there is a short in the wiring harness near the computer. dakota are known for shorts that cause weid responses on the dash etc.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    What year, engine, transmission, two-wheel or four-wheel drive?

  • jwcoxjwcox Member Posts: 3
    Im trying to find out how to buy a replacement part for my dakota sport. I dont know what it is called but it is an extra light on the tailgate, used as a brake light. Mines broken and I can seem to even find one online, unless I just dont know where to look. Can somone help me out?
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Member Posts: 364
    What year and body style is your Dakota?

    (side note: it's weird that I see message "1 of 3" and this message is "3 of 3", but there appears to be no "2 of 3")
  • jwcoxjwcox Member Posts: 3
    Its a dodge dakota sport v6 95
  • sgtpsychosissgtpsychosis Member Posts: 5
    It is a '92 2 wheel drive with a V8 and an automatic 4 speed transmission, not exactly sure specifically which model transmission that is.
    When I get the opportunity, I will be checking the fusible links...then try to find myself some more hair, as I am pulling all of mine out trying to fix this.
  • jwcoxjwcox Member Posts: 3
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Member Posts: 364
    You might be able to find it through a dealership's online Factory Catalog System like this one. Check in the "Body Parts" (as opposed to Replacement Parts) section, category "Tail lamps", subcategory "Rear lamps", item "Tail lamp assy."
  • slayerdudeslayerdude Member Posts: 1
    SENSOR, AND A MOPAR PCM. It is still sitting in the shop.

    1995 Dakota C.C. 4x4 318 auto. 178,000 mi. Ran 16.44 sec. 1/4 mi. last year just for fun.
    Today I had a problem.
    Starts, stalls, worked the throttle,almost to and to the W.O.T.,
    Pedaled it to keep running, Always runs like a raped date. Still did today after warming up. drove to work with two feet,(one on gas at stoplight.)
    I'm ASE CERT. in Susp. and Brakes and have been doing this for awhile. But I'm stumped.
    Sometimes crank/no start, sometime fires up runs fine,dies in about 1 min.Dies like I turned off the key.Sometimes cranks and I have no spark or fuel pressure or injector pulse.Sometimes I have all three.
    Fuel pressure is constant 38 psi.-on start/stall/dead/restart.
    Also always cranks over strong.All the time
    After it dies I hear a click from a relay under the hood and fuel press. jumpsto 40 and back to 38.
    Still has spark after dies.I put a spare plug in #2 wire that I disconnected. Started and watched spark plug until engine died,
    the spare plug was still firing as engine spun but not running.
    Got gas and spark but it don't run. Who told the injectors to quit!!?
    I ruled out the cam sensor(pickup coil) but two local gurus said put one in. So, $30 later same problem. Charging system is good too.
    I'm leaning towards PCM. But don't want to waste $250 on a non-returnable part.
    Any other suggestions?
  • oneflyguyoneflyguy Member Posts: 1
    My problem sounds similar to some others I'm reading about so appreciate you sharing the solution of you find it. This is a 98 Dakota 2 wheel drive automatic with 6cyl. engine. My instrument cluster intermittently goes wac ko, loosing some or all of the gauges in a seemingly random manner. The airbag light may come on and all or some of the other idiot lights. My ABS and Brake lights are on and I believe the module is being blown by whatever initiates the cluster problem. This is the second brake module it has ruined. I have checked all ground connections and the wiring harness and connectors as best I can without opening the harness sleeves up. I can usually clear all the symptoms by shutting the truck off and re starting it (except the ABS-Brake lights). Driving it into a lake is starting to sound like a good idea!
    Any ideas or similar experience resolved would be greatly appreciated.
  • counselor3counselor3 Member Posts: 8
    try the wiring harness on the pcm side. there may be a short. dakota's are known for their wiring problems
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Member Posts: 43
    you probably didn't hook up the wire to the factory amp. you need to conect it to the power ant. (blue) wire on the radio... it is probably the wire on the truck that you didn't know where it when..... i've done quite a few of them.
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