Dodge Dakota Starting Problems

juttjutt Posts: 3
I Just purchased a 2000 Dakota sport club cab.This truck has only 18,000 miles. When I go to start the truck it turns over for about six seconds before starting. I 've tried plugs, throttle body cleaning, sea-foam. It also is reading 10.9 mpg on the display. The last full tank went 181 miles. ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL.


  • juttjutt Posts: 3
    Does Anybody have any Ideas
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    A vehicle that old with only 18K on it could mean plugs, clogged air filter, a gummed-up idle air port, or bad fuel injectors.

    I'd start with a new air filter and fresh set of plugs and see how it responds. After that a liberal application of fuel injector cleaner and a new PCV valve.

  • I'm driving a '97 and sometimes it starts and sometimes it doesn't. No long drives down the interstate and stopping for gas and getting right back on the road. It has to sit for about 30 minutes and sometimes longer before it will start again. Someone mentioned that they heard the fuel pump motor in the gas tank sounding like it was going out and that might be my problem . . . haven't had a chance to have it checked out yet, but it makes perfect sense now. Don't know if you're having this same problem or not.
  • The truck cranks just fine but dies 5 minutes after but then sometimes keeps running but when driving it stalls really bad and has even shut off when coming to a stop I nave had it put on a diagnostic test but no codes ive replaced the fuel pump, fuel regulator,filter, iac valve tps sensor, plugs, even the o2 sensors. Does anyone have any clue to what it could be please help
  • Possibly far from the real problem..but is this the original factory battery - 2001? If it is, change it. Otherwise, keep us informed of any fix..good Luck. Ger
  • I had the same problem, it ended up being the crankshaft sensor. I still haven't figured out the junky gas mileage problem yet. I think it might be my fuel evap system not sure though.
  • 1992 Dodge Dakota will not start. Does anyone know where the inertia switch is?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Hmmm, I'm not familiar with a component like that on a Dakota.

    There is a Automatic Shutdown Relay that will cut off current to the fuel injectors, ignition coil, and oxygen sensor heater when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) senses certain conditions. This relay also has a fuse.

    Can you determine if you are getting ignition spark and fuel?
  • mike_1017mike_1017 Posts: 13
    Having some problems getting it started. It will idle for a bit and shut down. There are no warning lights that come on. It was running fine since I put in a new(used) tranny a couple of months ago. I recently installed a new heater core, had the dash completely out, all wires disconnected. That was about a week ago then this started happening 2 days ago. All wires and vent lines seem to be tight on the engine. Nothing loose or damaged. I'm not sure what the heck is up with this thing at this point. I do know that my wife is totally fed up with it. I don't blame her. It seems I'm always under this damn thing fixing somnething else. Any thoughts what to do?
  • I replaced the cam and crank sensor, put in new plugs and wires, and a new distributor cap. It no longer has a starting problem and long trips and quick stops are fine. Now it just runs really rough and misses when you first drive it . . . like it needs to warm up, but actual air temperature doesn't factor in where it did before. Don't know what needs to be fixed now. Going for the fuel and oil pumps next, along with the power steering pump which now needs to be filled daily. I hate this truck.
  • glenngglenng Posts: 4
    I've owned this truck since new. For the past couple of years the engine just cuts out in even a mild rain. I changed the coil,serpentine belt,tensioner,air conditioner bearings... thinking that it was putting a load on the belt and causing it to slip, with the defroster on. No help! The engine just goes dead and has to sit for about 15 minutes before it will restart. After it starts when I shift from park thru reverse you can hear the engine start to die and it does the same when shifted to drive. If I shift it to 2nd and run the motor at a higher rpm it seems to run ok, until what ever it is that gets wet dries out. Any ideas on where to start to look for repair? Thanks - glenn
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The symptom is typical of an intermittent Crankshaft Position Sensor.

  • glenngglenng Posts: 4
    Hello Dusty, Thanks for the help. I had the truck in the garage today just looking for anything that might be exposed. The only thing that I did notice was that the foam rubber at the corners of the windshield cowl cover were starting to come lose and water was getting underneath. So I removed them and the collaspible rubber seal that goes in between and resealed them with silicone. Perhaps water is dripping onto the Crankshaft Positioner Sensor? Sometimes when the engine is starting to cut out, the dash gauges go all eratic before stalling other times it will just go dead. Thanks Again for the Help and let me know if you think of anything else. Regards - glenn
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Hi Glenn,

    Since I've power washed a few Dakota's I find it hard to believe, but if true it would indicate a bad Crankshaft Position Sensor.

    However, your last post supplied some new and important information. If the gauges are going irratic I'm now suspicious that you're intermittently losing current to the ignition system causing the stalling. This could be a bad ignition switch (yet another part Chrysler buys from GM!) or a bad connection at a connector block somewhere.

    I would suggest that you get a '97 service manual or a set of wiring diagrams for that year Dak. I think now I'd be looking for bad connections or a short somewhere.

    Best regards,
  • glenngglenng Posts: 4
    Hi Dusty,
    When I noticed the water getting under the foam rubber especially on the drivers side, it drips down onto a triangler mounting bracket and right onto the main wire harness coming out of the Power distribution center. I figured that can't be a very good thing. Along with resealing the windshield seals I also dabbed some silicone on a few other connections that looked like they might be susceptible to moisture.
    I drove the truck home from work last night in a fairly good sleet and rain storm and it didn't miss a beat. I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope that it continues to run that way.
    I really appreciate the help and I'll keep you updated if this attempt fails. Best Regards - glenn
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    Doesn't your '97 have a cover over the top of the Power Distribution Center?

    Best regards,
  • glenngglenng Posts: 4
    Yes, there is a cover over the PDC, but the water was dripping onto the main wire harness coming out of the PDC that runs up the inner fender towards the windshield. That wire harness is also in a plastic tunnel, but I figure the less moisture getting to it the better. Their calling for more rain tomorrow, I'll drive it to work and see what happens. Best Regards - glenn
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    You mean water was collecting at the firewall connector?

  • pulpypulpy Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 dakota and if it is cool out (2degreescelceus) i have to plug the block heater in for at least an hour. I have been told coolant sensor and also choke sensor and i would like to know which one and where i can find it.
  • cguycguy Posts: 7
  • cguycguy Posts: 7
    I have an 02 Dakota V-8 and I think the starter went last night. Can anyone tell me where it is located on this truck? I'm probably going to have to change it.
  • jandavgjandavg Posts: 3
    I have a dodge dakota 1993 3.9 litre. I had a problem starting it so replaced the coil, distributor and rotor..I then put gas in the throttle body and it started. I drove it a few days and had no problem, but today it wouldn't start again even with adding fuel again. Please before I take it to a gargage can anyone suggest what I could try. Thanks in advance Janet
  • how do I replace my ignition cylinder on a 94' Dakota. Yesterday I turned the key and it went all the way to the Run position without making a noise or anything and just stayed there. It allows me to turn it all the way and back to start position. But its completely broken. What should I do
  • mechman3mechman3 Posts: 2
    First you need a set of torx drivers, standard & security. Disconnect battery, remove plastic collar under steering wheel, to remove top piece you must unscrew tilt lever if you have tilt. Remove the three screws that hold switch in place, one screw will run through a small bracket with another sticking out,remove this screw once you have pulled the assy out,insert key turn till cyl starts out. in the end you will have to remove the key to get it completely out. Mine did the same thing,I broke it down and rigged it myself,but still need to buy one. Good luck. :D
  • mechman3mechman3 Posts: 2
    Is you truck a standard trans? Will the engine turn over at all? If not on my 95 theres a switch on the clutch rod under the dash.
  • Won't start. Not getting fuel. Will start with starter fluid squirted in intake and runs until used up. Have broken the fuel line at a coupling just infront of the tank and cranked engine and no fuel AT ALL is pumped.
    I have skinned back the wires to the pump to check for power and can find it on only one wire and only when cranking . Shouln't I get power to the oump when the key is in the run pos. or will the power stay on if the engine catches. What other sensors would be involved and where might they be located.
    I want to be sure it is the pump befor I drop it.
    This was replaced in '99 and also the crank sensor was replaced in '03 but not by me.
    Any help would be appreciated. I don't want to drop the tank and replace the pump if it is a sensor.
    The truck ran fine up to this point then won't start!
  • campymancampyman Posts: 13
    I have a 2001 Dak Quad 4.7 4x4 Auto with 55k miles and it used to start when i first turned the key, now it will turn over but not start, I turn the key off and back on to crank and it takes at least one to three more tries. Any Ideas would be great.
  • My girlfriend's 2000 Dakota V-6 started the same thing a couple of weeks ago so I decided to change the spark plugs and check the wires for OHMS. During the process I found a bad wire and discovered that the truck had a distributor cap and rotor, which were in definite need of replacement. With new wires, cap, rotor and plugs it starts on the first try every time and runs great. Check those things out. Good luck.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The 4.7 motor is coil-on-plug. It does not have spark plug wires, distributor cap or rotor.

    This could be caused by a number of things, including no fuel delivery or no spark. Check to ensure the fuel pump is operating (this is fused, by the way) and check electrical connections. Suspect components could be a Crankshaft Position Sensor or Camshaft Position Sensor(s).

  • Thanks dusty, i will have the mechs at the Texeco service center, PS dusty the check engine came on and code p0155, I removed the skid plate, but could not reach the right upstream sensor and will have them replace.
  • First time post. I've owned a '98 Dakota (Club Cab, 5.1, 4x4, Sport) since 10/97. It's been a gem to me except for the last year and a half. It developed a starting problem where I had to let it crank 2-3 times, stop, then start cranking again and it would pop off. Over time, I noticed it took longer when it was moist/humid out (even in the winter). Sometimes it would crank up if I floored the gas. Not so much any more. So far, I've replaced the plugs, wires, the entire distributor and the pickup coil (the starter was replace four years ago) and it's getting progressively worse. It's got to the point where when I know ti's that way outside (sorry, no garage), I'll go out and try it before I get in the shower, then again when I get out of the shower (yes,I have clothers on) and when I'm ready for work, it'll start. Not this morning. It took me and hour and forty minutes to get this thing going, trying every 20 mintues. After an hour and half, my battery was pretty much shot. (I had my battery checked over my lunch break today and it's almost at full cranking capacity.) I've been told the problem is either my fuel filetr, fuel pump or my fule ignition module. Has anyone encountered this and do you have any solutions before I decide to spend the $500-$700 to drop my gas tanks and check the pump/filter thing out? Also, a friend told me last week that Dodge changed their distributors around 2000 so that the FIM was a part it and not a seperate module. I've been trying to Google this bit of info and have come up with nothing. Im just looking for a bit of help here as I really don't want to get rid of my baby. She's treated me great and is still in great condition.
  • 2000 dakota 3.9 liter . replaced engine and need to know how to set up distributor for proper fuel/spark syncronization.
  • It had some starting/idling issues.

    It was a 92 Dakota 3.9 v6 with 168k miles on it. Found out later that some wires under the throttle thing were shorting and thusly causing it to not idle/ stay running on cooler days.

    It was a good truck. I'm disappointed that Dodge shrunk the v6 engine for the newer models however. Because I don't think that improved the gas mileage any.
  • It worked great yesterday AM when a friend drove it away to use it to move some stuff. He filled up the gas tank when done. It was a cold night. Coincidentally, this afternoon when we started it, it acted a little like the battery was dead or something...gave it lots of gas and it started sluggishly. Then stalled...over and over. The exhaust is unusually dark, and possibly is leaking a little coolant now. Any ideas? This is very sudden.

    A little history: A couple weeks ago we had the injectors sonic cleaned, and replaced an arcing spark plug wire. Has worked wonderfully and smoothly ever since.
  • '93 Dakota 3.9L manual trans. Just replaced the intake manifold gasket and both head gaskets, was sucking antifreeze into cylinders. Got the engine back together and took it for a ride, no problems, went back out to go for a ride and it wouldnt start. Got fuel pressure at fuel regulator and just replaced cap and rotor. Runs for a sec on a shot of starting fluid and then dies, turns over, but just no fuel to the cylinders...any ideas?
  • I have the same problems with my 4.7L Quad Dakota. It would not start until about 3-4 cranks. Did you fix yours?? What was the problem. Please let me know at [email protected]
  • Hello, I bought a 1987 Dodge Dakota about 3 weeks ago. When I bought it I put new plugs, wires, cap, button, and battery on it. Went to start it the other day, turned the ignition to the start position and got nothing. Cyled the ignition 6 times and it fired right up. Next morning started fine, went to go to lunch and got nothing, just a clicking noise in a relay on the driver's side fender. So I bought a new one, installed it, still nothing not even trying to start. So I bought a new starter and put it on, 6 hours later after I got it installed, tried to start it and still nothing. When I would turn the key forward the headlights would come on even if the switch was off. All the lights in the dash work, even the interior light. ISo I put a new neutral saftey switch on it, got nothing, bought a block box thats about halway down the steereing colum that the rod for the ignition switch and has wires going into it on the other side, this still didnt fix it.
    Any ideas? Thanks!
  • Dusty,

    i just bought a 2001 automatic dakota from an older gentleman and it ran great for the first few days. it has almost 83k miles on it and about a week ago it started acting up. its hard to start and takes about 5 seconds to crank over if you hold it, but if you let off and try again it kicks over instantly. Sometimes it will start right off the bat and that was in the morning about 8am, but most of the time it takes a good 5 second crank to get it going. Also i was backing out of my driveway and going slow and it died, shut off, stalled or whatever you would like to call it. it started back up after a 5 second crank again. When im going up a driveway or hill going real slow it seems to want to die, but if i get on the gas it dosen't die. It seems to be at random times as im backing up when it decides to die. Do you have any suggestions. i have been told it may be the starter, but i don't want to spend an extra $100 if that is not the problem. I've read some other problems people have had here on the forum and im thinking of replacing the plugs, but not sure what else to do if that dosen't work. Much help would be very much appreciated. Thanks for your time

  • It started intermitant dying out and now ,nothing. I have checked for spark and there is none . Two Dodge dealers shops have given up on it but there must be an answer?
  • I've got a 02 Dakota with a 3.9 V6. I've owned it from about a year and a half now and it's been nothing but a headache. First the heater fan went when it was -35 out last year not happy about that. Then shortly after getting that fixed it quit running $1000 later and it's running, something about 5 or so sensers going at once and it still needs a $800 senser. It ran fine without it for a year now just the engine was on now it'll turn over but won't start do you think it's the same problem as last year? Or should i throw some gas into it with a match?
  • i have a 92 dakota 3.9 V6 and it will start and back fire and die, try again and it starts and back fires when you push the gas down...turn it off and it starts and runs ok...i replaced coil plugs wires cap rotor pick-up coil....and didnt fix my problem any ideas??????
  • I'm trying to change the starter on my 87 v-6 Dakota, and I cant seem to find where its attached to the motor. I removed one bolt at the bottom, and the two that attach the electrical wiring to it, but its still stuck on tight
  • llee2llee2 Posts: 1
    1994 Dodge Dakota - recently replaced engine and new engine (from 2000 Dodge Dakota) will not start. Fuel pump is working (can hear it start and have fuel pressure at engine). Engine will start for a short period when starting fluid is sprayed into throttle body. Any suggestions???????
  • i have a 93 dakota with 3.9 ihave no fuel and no spark. ecm is good , have checked some of the wire harness wires seen finewhat else can i check for thanks lost 11
  • Im having the same starting problem with my 2001 Dakota with the 5.9 liter..
  • Hi ,I have a 5.9 liter in my truck,,it takes at least 2 to 3 times of turning the key to start,,any ideas? Thanks
  • rapunze1rapunze1 Posts: 1
    Disclaimer: I don't speak "truck" or "mechanic".

    My truck won't start. When I turn the key the dash lights come up, but the starter isn't getting the message. It's similar to when the clutch isn't all the way to the floor so there's no reaction - but the clutch is definitely down. :mad:

    My brother in law thought it was a sensor on the clutch, and so by-passed the sensor - rewired it, put an in-line fuses, and it started right up. For a few days. Now it's doing the same thing again. The wire & fuse he put in are fine.

    I can't afford to pay a mechanic $80 a hour to try to track down what's wrong. Has anyone here had a similar problem and can maybe set me on the right track?
  • rmottarmotta Posts: 1
    Have a problem starting a 2006 Dakota - dealer has changed the level sending unit and cluster but still a problem - turns over just won't start.
  • 92 Dodge Dakota will not start. I replaced the computer and the fuel pump. I also had the sparkplugs and fuses looked at, but still nothing. Three mechanics have looked at it and no one has been able to figure out what's wrong. It's something electrical but what.
  • will37will37 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Dakota i just recently put in a new motor (used) (180k miles) after switchin out engines and putting on 300 miles i blew the T connector at the radiator cap while on the hightway. Since fixin that part my truck has not been running right.. anybody have any ideas?
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