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Dodge Dakota Starting Problems



  • bmrjoycebmrjoyce Posts: 8
    Check your battery cable (pos) for corrosion or a break. Also check your GROUND!!!
    I'm not sure on this year but my Dakota has a starter relay in the small electrical box drivers side.
    You might also try the DODGE Forem, this sight specically for dodges only.
    Good Luck! Rick J
  • did you have the injectors removed and cleaned or did they do it with them in the fuel rail? if they did you'r catalytic converter is proboubly plugged up. the chemicals used to clean the injectors is hell on the materials in newer converters. hence the lack of power and black exhaust discharge. hope it helps.

    ps. you should never have to get you'r injectors cleaned the injector cleaner that you poure in with you'r gas once in a while is more than enough to keep them clean. and if you don't like to use cleaners than just fill up with higher grade gas once in a while because the have more detergents and cleaners than regular gas.
  • dleechdleech Posts: 2
    I have the exact same problem with my 2002 quad cab auto, i recently replaced fuel pump, and a year ago got a full tune up. The problem still exists! did you ever find out what the problem was?
  • dleechdleech Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 quad cab dakota, 4x4, auto, 4.7. A few months back my truck began having hard starts in the morning, i would have to crank the engine for about 6-8 seconds before it starts. after running it, it will start no problem. if i leave it for an hour or two, it will have a hard start again, also i have a strong gas smell from the exhaust once started. i recently replaced fuel pump and the problem still exists!
    please help had a complete tune up 1 year ago
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Those are symptoms of a weakening electrical system. Have the battery, alternator, and starter tested.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    If the battery is original, that's the first thing I would look at or replace.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 160
    Here's what I've been experiencing on my '98 Dakota 4X4 with the 3.9 V-6. It happened to me before and I didn't pay very much attention to it at the time. But last month I went to start it in the morning, and all I got was a click. I decided to pull the starter and have it tested. Did this and the starter was fine. Then I wondered if the battery cables were bad(the battery itself is fine, about 4 years old.) Now I didn't have a meter to check resistance at the time, but I cleaned up both the positive lugs where they attach to the starter as well as battery posts. Did the same for the neg. wire. I had no issue till the other day when I went to leave for school. A "click"was all I got! Finally it started. Did the same thing when I came out of school to come home, and this time I moved the shift lever from Park to Neutral and it still wouldn't start. I played with the lever moving it up and down and it fired right up! I thought it might be the Neutral/Back up light switch that's screwed into the trans, but I read in my service manual that that's only bad if you can start in anything else but park and neutral. Now that's not happening, so I think it's OK. But the manual also says that the Shift Cable might be out of adjustment, and that would make sense if the truck starts after I get done moving the lever up and down. And I used the truck today, and it was fine, started right up at home and at the store with no issues. I'm gonna take a look at the cable soon, but any help you can provide will be deeply appreciated. BTW, I tried to get a new Positive battery cable at Auto Zone with no luck. It's a Dealer item at a cost of 87 dollars if you ever need one. Probably best to go to an electrical supplier and get what you need to make one for a lot less!
  • doc44doc44 Posts: 2
    My 97 D.D.acted the exact same way, drove me nuts... it was the starter the whole

    time. Replaced and has been fine since.
  • 1996 Dakota SLuT 3.9 V6 Automatic.

    2nd time this has happened:

    Backing up (with a load in the bed) into my driveway (slight grade) and the truck dies. Try to start it and it only turns over. Went through all the fuses and also under the hood wiring. Bought a used computer and it started right up. Drove 70 miles that same day, got home and it did the exact same thing... backing in to my driveway...
    >>>Weird thing is (both times) the Cruise Control button light (green light on the on/off button) on the steering wheel stays ON... even when the key is off and out of the ignition.<<< Now I have 2 bad computers... or can they be cleared/flashed or what? cons/emotorcons/emo_confused.gif

    Might consider rolling it over if I can just get it running again... bxicons/emotorcons/emo_wink.gif

    Thanks in advance for any help...
  • My truck has been doing the exact same thing for months and no mechanic can give me a reason for it. Everything checked out fine with diagnostics, yet the problem persists. Have you had any luck with finding a solution?
  • Hey! I have a dakota that used to die out. Like others I started replacing all parts known to cause this problem. After doing all that I found, (in the wiring harness), 3 groups of wires over l/f wheel well that were coroded , cut splice on4 red& white wires,a group of blue wires & a group of 2 yellow & 1 blk wire.
    You must cut into harness to find them. according to my sources these wires are arcing w/ each other & can cause ECM to go bad as mine did twice before I actually found the problem. Good luck!
  • Hi have a 99 3.9 has spark at coil ,but not at plug wires .has new cap,wires,plugs .How do i check cam sensor or dist p.u. i know there the same part just called different names .T hanks
  • drove my 94 dakota to a friends, ran fine...would not crank when I got ready to go. There is no spark at the spark plug when I turn it over. I have replaced the coil, rotor button, crank shaft sensor, and main computer on the firewall. coil wire checks fine, dist. cap checks fine. Dist. is turning. What else could it be??? no fire to plugs. I used a multi meter to read the voltage on the coil power wire and I am getting 5+ volts. I don't know what else to do to it. Any help would be appreciated
  • I have a 1994 Dodge Dakota SLT with the 3.9 V-6. The truck started fine during the spring, summer and fall. Ever since the weather has turned relly cold, it only wants to start about every two to three days. You can start it up, and drive it to hell and back, and it runs just fine... As long as you don't cut it off... But when you get home, and cut the truck off, it will not start at all for about 3 days. I don't know if the cold weather had anything to do with this, or if something has just gone bad. A friend of mine keeps saying he thinks it's the computer, but if it was that, wouldn't it just not start at all? I am on a fixed income, and can't afford to buy a computer, just to find out it isn't that. And I'm told once you hook it up, there is no returning it. I need a true mechanic to tell me what the problem is. Thanks
  • I haven't had this exact prob. but something close.first after the drive check your
    fuel pressure should be 45 psi if no or lowpressure fuel pump relay 1st ,then check
    crank sensor/ Check spark next if no spark check crank sensor then coil.
    This is the best way to start your quest.Let me know how it goes & please don't just replace these parts really check them. Rick
  • ltg1180ltg1180 Posts: 4
    that is a normal issue the best way to fix it is to run 2 heavy gage wires from inside cab to engine compartment get a flush mount push button and hook 2 wires inside cab to it then hook 1 wire to solenoid on starter and 1 wire to starter possitive post then u just turn key on hold button in till truck starts shut it off with key this is how min is set up if u have ?s call me at 13092325870 or [email protected] my name is lee
  • dakota94dakota94 Posts: 7
    FIXED... Hey Rick, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to help me. It turned out not to be either of those things, coil and crank sensor checked out to be fine. But it was your "Check Spark" comment that lead me to the problem... There was no spark after I drove the truck and turned it off and it would not start of course. So I told the guy at Advance what you had said to check, and he said if it wasn't either of those, then probably the "Distributor Pickup"... Cost me 34.99... Sure bets the price of a computer, that wouldn't have fixed it anyway. I put one in, and so far its started everytime I hit the key... Thats been 2 days ago, so I'm sure its fixed... Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to help, and pointing me in the right direction... Take care, David
  • wcoker2wcoker2 Posts: 3
    I have 93 dakota with 5.2. I have replaced the coil, hall effect modul, cap, rotor & pcm, It still won't start. CAN SOME ONE HELP ME PLEASE .
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Are you sure it's a lack of spark problem and not lack of fuel?
  • bmrjoycebmrjoyce Posts: 8
    I also have a 93 w/ same problem as yours. I did a parts swap also , get under the hood on drivers side go under fuse box. you will have to open up about a foot of harness going back towards pass. side. you will find 3 splices w/ wires of verring colors. they will be corroded. cut one splice at a time,clean & resplice & soilder

    Next check your crank sensor for continuity if no readings, replace.
    You ssaid you replaced pcm. After you start it if it dies again it means the bad
    splices shorted your new pcm. You can get another under parts warrenty.

    I think thats about it for now. bmrjoyce
  • bmrjoycebmrjoyce Posts: 8
    The message was intended for #112. thanks
  • wcoker2wcoker2 Posts: 3
    have checked for spark at wires. No spark.
  • wcoker2wcoker2 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info. I will check that first thing in the am. You said to check crank sensor for continuity. Should that be checked at the harness plug and should it be connected or disconnected ? Thanks for your help .
  • I have a "94 Dakota with a 3.9 that will not start. The truck will not crank over at all. I took the starter off and had it checked at the local automotive store and it worked fine. I've changed out the ignition key-switch and still no luck. When I turn the key, I get all of the buzzers and lights as normal and when I turn the key on over to crank, the clock on the radio dims just like it's trying to start but I get nothing else. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    I can cross the terminals on the starter with a screwdriver and get it to start but nothing by using the key.
  • troy72365troy72365 Posts: 2
    edited April 2010
    truck has been sitting for six months. would not pass smog because codes where showing. i got the truck back and now it will not fire. took the wires off the coil and ran a ground to the gray wire and put a tester on the green and orange wires with a tester. when i turn over the truck my tester lights up. i put the tester on the injector wires and it lights up when i cranck the truck. put a new coil on and i can't get any sprak from it. i can't see anywhere that maybe rats eat any wires. thanks for the help troy
  • pawpaw4pawpaw4 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 dodge dakota 3.9 with 100009 miles on it. The truck ran good I installed new plugs gapped @ 040 installed new wires ,distributor cap,& rotor now the truck will not start. any ideas?
  • A few months ago my 03 Dakota 4.7L wouldn't start. A couple times it would start and die 2 seconds later; but then it wouldn't crank at all. All the gage lights would stay lit. Eventually "no bus" appeared in the odometer.

    Had it towed to shop two days later. When it got off the tow truck it started up and ran fine, with no engine diagnostic codes stored; so I drove it home.

    It ran fine around a month and the problem occurred again. This time it won't crank or start. With key in ignition turned to "off" the gear indicator lights will cycle through "P" "R" N" "D" "2" "1" continuously. With the key turned to "on" the gear indicator lights continue to cycle sequentially on and off, the gage/indicator lights with light and stay lit, the odometer with flash several times and then "no bus" will appear in the odometer.

    Replaced the change. Saw prior posts about replacing the crankshaft position sensor and/or PCM, but don't want to proceed with those without a stronger indication they are actually a problem.....

    Any suggestions?
  • bmrjoycebmrjoyce Posts: 8
    Make sure your rotor is tight & in correct one. A lot of mistakes are made by the parts dept.!
    did you replace the wires one at a time? Does it backfire? then your wires can be in the wrong place.
    Check your coil. A coil can go bad at any time.
    Hope this helps. please write back & let me know.
  • seleneselene Posts: 10
    I have a 93 3.9 Dakota, automatic with 110K miles. It abruptly quit. It has no spark at the plugs. I installed a new distributor cap, rotor and coil, but still has no spark. Anyone know what I can do to get spark back in my life? Thanks for any help at all.

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