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Dodge Dakota Electrical Problems



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Are you working with a Dodge dealer or an independent garage?

  • ok well i have a 01 dodge dakota standard cab. When i was driving this morning i went to put the truck in drive and on the D the box didnt go around it to tell you that your in drive or any gear when u put it in. i just ignored it no big deal. and now when i went an tried to start it i put the key in and turned the key once to bring on the gauges and that did nothing but only turn the radio on then i went to turn it over and it didnt do anything but the lights and radio still work properly i'm lost on what to do... help!!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    There is a safety-interlock that will prevent the starter from enguaging unless in "P" or "N"... I am suspecting that your problem is related to that.

    BTW: The "O" aound the "D" does not mean "it is in Drive"... it means OverDrive.
  • but i cant even turn it over to see what gear its in i know its in park but the lights dont show up and its the the O around the D is like a square box which indicates what gear your in i cant get it to turn over or even start the guages
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The absence of the little square box that surrounds a gear position indicator (P R N D 2 1) on the vacuum fluorescent display indicates that there is no signal received from the Transmission Control Module within 3 seconds. It generally indicates that the transmission range selector circuit has a problem or the IOD fuse is open. If the IOD fuse is open you will find that the transmission will eventually go into LIMP MODE.

    Check all of the fuses in the Instrument Panel (to the left of the steering wheel.

  • Ok now i know what was the problem the fuse that controls all the electronics on the front dash blew... so i replaced it an the truck turned on back to normal an all the guages turned on and it showed the miles which i didnt when the fuse was blown in the fuse box by the engine... as i was driving it back to my house the fuse blew again so my whole truck shut down and all the power steering and brakes locked up so i replaced it one more time and it blew instantly do u have any clue whats making this fuse blow its a 20 amp fuse it's blew twice now and idk whats the reason for it to keep blowing let me know... thanks... (Matt)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    A fuse blows when too much current is drawn thru it. It is there to protect from more extensive damage. (like a fire!)

    20Amps at 12Volts is 240 watts... that is a LOT of power you are drawing. (more than enough to make wires red-hot)

    The only way to properly troubleshoot is with a schematic diagram and DVM. (DigitalVoltMeter) One common way to troubleshoot is to put an ammeter in series with the fuse and then reconnect devices in the circuit one at a time whilst monitoring the current draw.

    (You better know what you are doing... or DO NOT TRY IT... you could fry the entire electrical system)

    One possibility: if you have added ANY aftermarket electronic devices (Stereo, Foglights, cellphone charger, CB radio....etc) Try disconnecting them first.
  • tjfitztjfitz Posts: 41
    I've posted four times on this topic (#4288, 4298, 4299 and 4356---and another topic #4227) since June 2006 and it's still happening.

    My daughter finds that the battery goes dead overnight. She has had the truck checked-over by two local mechanics. The first, said to be an electricals specialist, said he found many misconnections and corrected them. He also found the dome light wire was a continuous 1 ampere drain and couldn't find the cause so he disconnected it.

    The next mechanic, in a different town, and one who himself owns a '91 Dodge Dakota, found a bad O2 sensor and replaced it and also said the battery was bad and replaced it. My daughter went to get the pickup and when the mechanic's partner tried to start it, the battery was dead. He was puzzled because the pickup had started fine twice before while in the garage. He jump-started it and my daughter paid $$$ and drove off, somewhat disturbed and worried. The mechanic who had done the actual work was recovering from surgery in a distant hospital and could not be contacted for an opinion. The next morning, the battery was dead-again. Remember this is a new heavy-duty battery.

    The work done had included "disconnecting" the maintenance-needed light that comes on after a certain number of miles. Either that, or the light had been reset. My daughter wonders if the dome light, with its 1 ampere drain, had been reconnected as part of the overall more recent work.

    I am thousands of miles away and can't be there to help my daughter beyond recommending she buy a trickle charger and keep the battery on-charge whenever the engine is off, or to disconnect the negative terminal when the engine is off. We would be very grateful for any insights!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085

    The first person who worked on the vehicle sounds MUCH more like a electronics person. The items which you describe he took care of are likely candidates for a problem like this.

    The SECOND one you describe replaced NOTHING that would help the problem besides line their wallet. (obviously when it would not start..they were eager to see your daughter leave)

    With that said, I am trained in electronics myself (clik on my bio to see!) and I know that a problem like this can be VERY dificult to isolate. It takes knowledge of electronics, an accurate schematic diagram and critical measurements with sensitive measuring devices.

    The first thing to do to locate a current drain is isolating the various circuits. This is most easilly done by pulling fuses one at a time and putting an ammeter in series with the fuse-sockets. It should take no more than about 20 minutes to isolate which circuit is the culprit.

    After that, it becomes more difficult but an accurate schematic diagram will point to the possible devices in the circuit which are suspect.
  • tjfitztjfitz Posts: 41
    Thanks for the reply, Bruce. My daughter will be returning soon to the town where the first mechanic (the man who found the 1 ampere drain is located) and she will probably ask him to have another look. Meanwhile, I've subscribed to the AllData file for this vehicle and am looking at the diagrams, and can share them with my daughter or her mechanic.
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    where is she located.. if near me i would be able to help her out.. the reason i became a mechanic is so i wouldn't get screwed around, if you know what i mean.. it's fun to play stupid when you talk to a so called mechanic... ;) Another thing... if you have to supply the mechanic if a diagram book then i wouldn't be taking my truck there... would you take your own drill with you when you go to the dentist... HELL NO>>>RIGHT
  • gordnormangordnorman Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem for 1 week with 95 Dakota. Getting good at driving 2 feet. Did you try the harness? Any other suggestions. All else is good just wont idle - stalls and restarts great.
  • rubbermanrubberman Posts: 14
    The wipers on my '94 Dakota quit working. There is no motor noise. I checked the wiper fuse under the dash for continuity and it's OK. I bought a new used motor assembly thinking it must be the motor but it doesn't function either. Is the only other possibility the switch on the steering column? There must be a relay somewhere for the delay wipers. If it failed would it prevent the wipers from working also at the continuous settings? I also tried to get a 10V meter reading from various combinations of the four connections on the wiring harness that plugs into the motor assembly. I got some low readings but no 10V readings. Thanks for the help.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I am missing somthing.... why would you expect 10 volts?

    Count the caps on your battery...each cell is 2 volts. Most automotive batteries have 6 caps (12 volts)
  • rubbermanrubberman Posts: 14
    Sorry, that was just a typing error. I would expect 12 volts. However, I was only get readings of 2 - 3 volts.
  • kjkluxkjklux Posts: 1
    for the past 2 years my 98 Sport has had some kind of a problem with the fuel gauge. When the tank is between 3/4 and 1/4 the fuel gauge will drop to empty and the alert light and bell will go off. The gauge shows empty for about 10 seconds and then goes back to its original location. This continues until the tank is under 1/4. It seems to do this in a pulsating pattern but I've never timed it to know that for sure. Is this a Gremlin or is there actually a repairable problem here.
  • mwsmittymwsmitty Posts: 7
    Has anyone responded to you on this problem? I have a 2002 Dakota with a stereo problem. It started with the presets not holding and subsequently and intermittenly not allowing me to preset the stations. Finally the power for the stereo is out all together. If I disconnect the battery and re-connect it the stereo will begin to work for a couple weeks, but the preset buttons cause some kind of short when I press them. I am afraid to replace it in case this is a computer problem and not a stereo problem. Anyone?
  • mwsmittymwsmitty Posts: 7
    I have a 2002 Dakota with a stereo problem. It started with the presets not holding. I was then unable to preset the stations. Finally the power for the stereo went out all together. If I disconnect the battery and re-connect it the stereo will begin to work,but only for a couple weeks. the preset buttons still cause some kind of short when I press them. I am afraid to replace the stereo with an aftermarket unit in case this is a computer problem and not a stereo problem. Anyone?
  • cmart1cmart1 Posts: 1
    Our 2002 does the same thing. Lights blink off and on intermittent. Did the light switch replacement work?
  • pcsharkpcshark Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 Dodge Dakota SLT auto, 3.9L V6. It will not start. The fuel isn't getting any fire in the combustion chambers. First of all, I want to explain what started this problem, because I am at fault in causing this.

    When this happened was exactly one year ago. I had a blown fuse in the Under-hood Power distribution center fuse box. It was the "40amp" Ignition system fuse. The engine was running when the fuse blew & instantly shut off. Well I was preparing to back up to my boat to hitch it up & go to the lake. Being that I was lazy & didn't want to go all the way to the store, I grabbed a "60amp" fuse from the glove box & put it in place on the blown 40amp fuse. The engine instantly started up. I backed up to my boat & as I was pulling the boat onto the hitch, The engine shut down once again. So I threw out that 60amp fuse and put a 40 back in it's place but the truck wouldn't start & it hasn't started since then & has been in my back yard since may, 2006. :sick:

    I know I fried one of the various electrical components. My first suspicion was that I fried the Engine Management Computer(ECM). Please, any help is greatly appreciated.

    The truck was such a good running dependable vehicle. I have had it for three years & only had to replace the radiator & water pump. It has 218996 miles on it & still runs great.

    Since the 94 dakota was broke, I went & bought another one, a 1995 Dodge Dakota SLT 3.9L 5 Speed :D & I just need to know one thing for the 95 dakota, the engine is idling to low. :confuse: How do I adjust the idle setting?

    Again any help is greatly appreciated!!!

  • typhoontyphoon Posts: 4
    The following just started after towing a horse trailer w/ac on( coincidence or not?)

    The low beams will not turn on, highs work fine, highs and fog lights work at same time, (Not supposed to).

    Remote entry stopped working, will not lock or unlock or operate panic mode. The timed interior lights do not work.

    When vehicle starts to move one of the warning buzzer/bells goes on and stays on.

    Truck drives and runs fine.
    the only after market device is a electric brake box for trailer brakes ( installed by dealer.. for what that is worth).
    All fuses good, have been pulled and reseated.
    Any help or insight into this will be helpful
    Thanks in advance
  • OK guys ... here is one. I come out of the store and behold.. Sentry key does not unlock the doors. Maybe battery in Sentry key, NO. I then found (once I got home) that transfer case switch indicator no light, no head lights, no dome lights and rear window wipers don't work either. BUT ... when I disconnect the battery for 5 minutes and then reconnect ... everything works great. So needless to say all fuses are good. after driving a couple times, I am right back with the problem. So at this time .. I am only aware of the temporary fix. ANY IDEAS
  • I have the same problem, where you ever able to figure it out?
  • I just began to have the same problems...Have you had any success in getting it fixed?
  • harry21harry21 Posts: 1
    Same issue! No lights (flashes highbeam sometimes) no electronic locks. Lots of warning indicators flashing. Then drains battery.

    Computer problem?
    Demonic possession?

    Any solution?
  • typhoontyphoon Posts: 4
    I have just used the short term solution of disconnecting the battery for about ten minutes.? I haven't brought it to a dealership yet.. I am afraid .. very afraid.. of the cost
  • Did this work? any success?
  • shorty313shorty313 Posts: 3
    We have a 2001 Dakota. We recently changed the factory radio with a JVC aftermarket. When the A/C and CD player are run at the same time, the CD stops playing and refuses to eject. WIth the A/C off, no problems. Anyone seen this before?
  • Hey did you ever get this fixed? I am having similar problems. I have searched on the internet and it seems to point to the Central Timer Module or Alarm Timer Module. It is located under the kickplate on the drivers side door... Have not changed mine price is $220, saw somebody got one from makeitmopar for $135....let me know if you get it fixed and I will do the same. Thanks.
  • ok.....found this out...when i get to the point where everything works, I just quit using the keyfob and all is fine. Now my AC just bringing it to a dealer...hopefully a low cost fix....
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