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Dodge Dakota Electrical Problems



  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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,
  • 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 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.
  • 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?
  • 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 Posts: 2,926
    What year, engine, transmission, two-wheel or four-wheel drive?

  • jwcoxjwcox 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?
  • 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 Posts: 3
    Its a dodge dakota sport v6 95
  • 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.
  • 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."
    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?
  • 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.
  • try the wiring harness on the pcm side. there may be a short. dakota's are known for their wiring problems
  • blk4x4blk4x4 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.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I suspect you've got a bad connection in the Power Distribution Center (PDC).

    Check all PDC fuses.

    Check 20 amp Fuse #4 and Park Lamp Relay.

    If okay, Ignition Switch pin 7 (Black/Orange) for 12 volts.

  • I will check that as soon as my wife gets home.
    And by Power Distribution Center, do you mean "Fuse Box?" I know where I can find the Fuse Box, but not the PDC.

    And just out of idle curiosty, how is the Ignition Switch tied into this possible issue? The parking lights and all should be operational even with the ignition in the off position. Or am I just that mechanically disinclined?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Hi Tim,

    Don't be embarrassed for asking about the ignition switch. I would never have guessed either, but it appears that there are three "run" circuits off of the the switch. One appears to supply current to the lights in question.

    The Power Distribution Center (PDC) is that black electrical box located adjacent to the battery on a Dakota. The fuse panel located inside the cab on the very left end of the dash board is called (in Chrysler parlance) the Junction Block.

    Best regards,
  • Misprint.
    That is what the problem was.
    In all the manuals, the wire running from the fuse (#5) to the pink with a red tracer. Trace the pink and red wire from the light switch to the fuse box, and it ends up at fuse 8, which controls the power door locks... which the truck does not have. I do not even have a fuse in that position.
    Take the fuse from slot 5, put it slot 8...and now there are lights.
    As close as I can figure it:
    Took out battery. When I did this, a shoddy splice on the main power wire for all the lights which were affected came loose. I checked the fuses, pulled the fuses, put them back WHERE THE STUPID MISPRINT TOLD ME TO PUT THEM (did I mention the stupid misprint?).
    Located and fixed shoddy splice, decided that said splice had nothing to with problem.
    Got someone else to review wiring diagram..."Hey, isn't there supposed to be a wire here?"
    And that is when we traced the wire from the ignition down to the block, and discovered the STUPID MISPRINT.
  • polski1polski1 Posts: 3
    Just got a 02 Dakota, DC out seems not to get any power to it and since i don't have a manual wondering if someone can let me know what fuse to check or anything other then that

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    That fuse is located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) that's mounted adajcent to the battery under the hood. It should be Fuse "D", 20 ampere.

  • polski1polski1 Posts: 3
    Thank you for the reply,

    Last night i spent a bit of time looking under the hood. How do I know which one is fuse "D"? On the diagram it only shows the location of "A" an "B" and those are sections of the fuse box. Anyway it seems that all fuses are fine anyway and I'm thinking its something ales. Maybe when I have sometime I will take the lower console apart and see if everything is connected underneath.
  • 66gt66gt Posts: 5
    Here's an update on the gauge cluster issue. Dealer says there is a connector behind the cluster that is shorted. So, one connector, $642, and 5 hours later it's back at the dealer for the same issue.
    Maybe they need to hire some ex-offenders.
  • Hi, we have a 2001 Dodge Dakota Sport. We purchased it pre-owned and now I know why. We have replaced the resistor 3x's, and then once that was working ok it went to the ignition and then the wiring harness. Trucks been in the shop 9x's since we bought it, all electrical! Keep being told that they can't duplicate the problem! Its in the shop again, going on 4 days now, lets see what happens next.
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