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Dodge Dakota Electrical Problems



  • I've got a 96 Dakota on which the A/C compressor wasn't working. In messing around with it, I discovered I could cause it to briefly come on by wiggling the relay switch. I figured the relay was bad so I switched it out with another that was working but still had the same problem. I unhooked the wires going to the relay and by connecting them directly and bypassing the switch can get the compressor to run. Anyone have any ideas on what the problem is and how to fix it?

  • 66gt66gt Posts: 5
    Either you have another bad switch or you are low on freon
  • :confuse: my wipers started acting up a few months ago. going down the road with the wipers off, they would swipe across the windshield once on their own. would happen very rarely. now it happens several times during a half hour drive. now i've noticed that when truck is off and the lights are on that instead of a steady beam, there is a click/dim action going on. click/dim happens in a steady rhythm. headlights/interior lights all do the click/ dodge is a '02 dakota 4x4 v8 sport club cab. i've heard much about the "body control module" and the "central timer module". could this be the problem and how much is a new one. is it very tough to install. i'm getting kinda scared to drive my truck for fear that what is causing my wipers/lights problem may activate my airbag as i'm driving down the road. PLEASE help! Thanks for all reads and replies! :confuse:
  • cavercaver Posts: 3
    1995 Dakota. Fuse good. Wire from batt to relay socket - ok, wire from relay socket to horn - ok, wire from relay socket to horn buttons - ok (when horn buttons depressed), horn button wiring in steering wheel - ok - ok to grnd, relay socket to grnd - ok, horn sounds when jumpered.
    Relay replaced. Horn still doesn't work.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Sounds like you lost the return (ground side) circuit to the horn.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The item that could likely (actually, very likely) be causing your problem is refered to as the Central Timer Module. "Body Control Module" is a GM term and one does not exist on a Chrysler product.

    Central Timer Module failures where a very common problem on that vintage Dakota. I'm surprised you went this long.

    Check with your dealer on this. I believe there was a recall or possible warranty solution for this problem. I think they're around $80 at a Dodge dealer. They are not hard to replace, just one connector.

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    My factory-orderd 2000 Dak has had "goofy" intermittent wipers since it was about 6 months old. The problem gets worse when I am using a lot of electrical devices (Such as fan, headlights, A/C...etc).

    I own the factory shop manual and traced the problem to the CTM (Central Timer Module). I never botherd to take it to dealership for this because it is not a big deal.

    I understand that the CTM also manages the cruze-control system... but I did not order cruze-control from the factory so that is not a concern for me. If I had cruze-control, I would have been much more concerned about the safety-issues this may pose. (Imagine cruze-control which has a mind of its own :surprise: )
  • cavercaver Posts: 3
    Thanks Dusty, that was the problem.
    Larry, in Nanaimo, BC, Canada
  • dynacpldynacpl Posts: 1
    I read through all the issue is about the same as post # 20. I bought a 1999 Dodge Dakota Sport ( V8 ). After 3 weeks of owning the truck, driving down the road the engine quits,all warnings lights illuminate and mileage indicator illuminates " NO BUS ". I looked at the fuses and checked then in the distribution box next to the battery. It is a intermittent issue.
    Would the ant - theft device figure into this ?
    I can turn it off and wait a few minutes and it will start up. Any ideas ?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The "NO BUSS" error is a SERIOUS error thrown by the onboard computer. It is telling you that it has detected that the databuss is offline. I beleive that the databuss runs between the onboard computer/dashboard and perhaps even the xmission computer.(if you have an automatic)

    Do not construe this to mean that the onboard computer is the problem. This could be caused by many possible things.

    It is too bad it is intermittent... this would be FARRRR easier to troubleshoot if it was consistant.
  • My power windows won't roll up or down. In addition the power outlet on the dashboard won't work. I suspect it is a blown fuse as everything else works. The manual is vague as to which fuse needs to be replaced. Can anyone translate the fuse diagram in the manual???
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Chrysler has a long tradition of not using a fuse to protect the power window circuits.

    Look for a circuit breaker in the power distribution box.

  • Where can I find this distribution box?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Not completely sure of an '07 at the moment, but on Dakotas there's an electrical panel the left side of the dash and a power distribution center under the hood adjacent to the battery. Your owner's manual should provide the necessary instruction on where to find them.

    As I was reviewing your problem, I suspect that you have a short somewhere in the power window circuit. The circuit breakers used in automotive service are self-resetting, meaning once the short has been removed they reset automatically.

  • Went to the dealer and the problem was in fuse #31 which controls the power windows and the dashboard power outlet.

    20 seconds later and a new fuse - everything works.

    Word of caution - the dashboard power outlet is always on so if you leave your cell charger in it all the time (like I did) you will at some point overload the fuse and burn it out (like I did).
  • 95 dekota sport 3.9 auto headlights,brake lights dashlights all failed at same time.also abs and park brake light came on I checked all the ez stuff and i guess its time to pay the price :cry: any ideas what it might be? and what it costs to replace the body computer if thats what it is? :shades:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Could be a Central Timer Module or a defective headlight switch. Both were common failure items on that vintage Dakota.

    Best regards,
  • I have the same problem occuring with my 2001 Dakota. Only after the radio shuts down I have about two days till the battery is dead. Im pretty sure there is an internal short in the radio that draws power when the ignition is off. Was wondering how you remedied this problem.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    That may not be a problem.

    Various computers...the Prowertrain Control Module (PCM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), Transfer Case Control Module (TCCM), the Anti-lock Brake Controller, and the radio just to name a few...draw memory keep-alive current when the ignition switch is in the off position.

    The current draw is between 25 and 200 milliamperes depending 0n model and optional equipment. I recommend measuring the actual current before assuming an exceptional current draw.

    If you have a factory original battery on a 2002, I would suspect that the real cause is the battery is beginning to die. A simple load test (Auto Zone or other auto parts store) can determine the battery condition.

    Best regards,
  • what can i do to find out what is killing my battery.have 88 dakota zone says alt. is good but this is second battery.i have pulled all fuses ex. horn,wipers,radio etc.truck runs for a couple of days and the battery is dead.i have just started working on this truck. it was thrusted upon me because it belongs to my nephew so i don't know what the other mech. have done to it.thanks in advance :D
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    "what can i do to find out what is killing my battery"

    1st - make certian that the charging system is working.
    If that is OK - Use an ammeter to isolate which circuit is drawing current when engine is not running. Once you know which main circuit is the culprit... then troubleshoot to isolate the problem using successive approximation and isolation techniques.
  • quick check for charging system? i'm not electriclly inclined.
  • I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota SLT 2 wheel drive pick up. The following lights are not working as of a day ago. Head Lights, Marker Lights, Instrument Panel Lights, Interior Lights, and License plate lights, the power door locks stopped working as well. Directionals, brake lights and back up lights still work. I've checked all the fuses and they all looked good. There was a post a while ago about an earlier model with a similar problem, (post # 41 I believe, titled "Lack of Lights". Any ideas on how to fix this? All help would be much appreciated!


  • This seems to be related to the problem described in message 103, but with some differences. Number one difference, mine is consistent. It started this morning, and does it every time as follows: Turn on the key (not necessary to start engine, but same sequence of events if you do start the engine). None of the guages move off the peg at sero. After about 5 seconds, the "Check Guages" light comes on, followed by check engine light, abs light, low fuel, and one or two other lights. At this time the Odometer display begins to blink. After another few seconds of blinking, the odometer display changes to "no bus". The engine runs normally ( I guess ), the lights, turn signals, and radio work normally. The A/C quits blowing cold (BIG issue in Tampa Florida). I checked under the hood for any obvious corrosion but have found nothing alarming. Any suggestions what to check next?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I purchased a simple gizmo from Wallmart that plugs into the ciggerete-lighter socket. It has a digital display of voltage. It allows one to monitor system voltage while under normal driving conditions.

    Basically, if you do not see at least 14.8 volts at all times while engine it running, then charging system is suspect.
  • i thank you for your help
  • did you find a solution? how bad was the sticker shock on the bill?
  • I have a '95 Dakota 2WD 3.9L V6 that has developed some weird issues in the past 2 weeks when I try and start it. I left town so I didn't drive the truck for about 5 days, and when I came back the only way I could get the truck to start was by turning the headlights on. When it finally started up, the radio was reset as if the battery had been disconnected. This happened maybe 2 or 3 times during the next week.

    About a week after the initial problem the headlights would not turn on, however when I held back the turn signal switch the high beams came on. The next day I looked at the headlight switch and there were black marks on the terminal connecting the wire for the low beams, so I cleaned up the terminal and replaced the headlight switch and the low beams worked again. About an hour later I tried to start the truck and nothing happened, I turned on the headlights and it cranked right up, so I'm guessing the headlight switch isn't what was causing my problem.

    Yesterday I turned the key to the on position and there were no dash lights, no buzzer, and the headlights wouldn't come on. I turned the key back to the accessory position and the radio and a/c turned on, so the battery seemed fine. I turned the key back to the on position, left it there for about 5 or 10 minutes, and the dash lights and buzzer slowly faded up, and once they turned on I turned the key and it started up fine. It's done the same thing twice since then, each time taking a little longer for the dash lights and buzzer to turn on.

    All of the issues seem to be related to the truck starting, because I haven't had any problems with electrical equipment with the key in the accessory position or while the truck is running, but I'm completely stumped at this point, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Brian,

    Have you gotten a answer to your question? I am now having the same problem. Let me know what the out come was for your truck.

    Thank you in advance!
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