Dodge Ram Idle and Stalling Problems

hodgepodge1hodgepodge1 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2018 in Dodge
I was driving my truck today and suddenly the engine died. It was as if I had turned off the key. There was no indication there was anything wrong prior to this.

I checked the fuel pump relays and fuses for the ECM. It just cranks without starting.

Does anyone have any ideas?

See also: (Video, 2:31) DIY Dodge Ram Stalling Fix


  • ucanfarmucanfarm Member Posts: 33
    Do you have a bleeder port for your fuel system? I would suggest checking to see if you have excess air in your fuel system.
  • gdog6gdog6 Member Posts: 17
    I'm suprised :surprise: cummins diesels last forever.
    How many miles does it have on it.

    considering what u said Id say it has something to due
    with fuel pump or line
  • dmab65dmab65 Member Posts: 5
    Hi, I have a 98 ram 1500 5.2 4x4 and it was running great and then it just died almost as if I ran out of gas which of course I did not. I tried to crank it over but it wouldn't start. It sounds like its getting spark. Any ideas???
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    First, try to determine if you are getting spark to all plugs, and/or fuel to the cylinders.

  • dmab65dmab65 Member Posts: 5
    I'm getting spark but no fuel. I can hear the fuel pump humming when I turn the key in the ignition. I'm thinking maybe its a clogged fuel filter??? However, I have no clue where that is located
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    I can't remember exactly what year, but I'm quite sure by '98 model year the fuel filter and pressure regulator (fuel pump module) was placed in the fuel tank. If you're absolutely sure the pump is trying to operate, the tank will have to come down.

    I would check for a failed Automatic Shut Down (ASD) relay or an ASD open fuse (either 20 or 30 ampere) in the Power Distribution Center (PDC), first. Check the PDC cover for location of the fuse and relay. If you cannot locate a problem there, I would recommend performing the fuel pressure test first.

    NOTE: If the engine has been shut down for some time, fuel pressure in the fuel rails may be diminshed and the test will be inconclusive. Then the fuel injectors should be checked using Noid lamps.

    1. With the engine off and the ignition key removed, disconnect a connector from any fuel injector.

    If DC current is maintained too long it will overheat and burn out the injector coil.

    2.Using two jumper wires and the vehicle battery, energize the fuel injector for no more than a few seconds.

    Fuel may be under extreme pressure. Wear safety glasses and be prepared to absorb fuel with a large rag.

    3. Locate the Fuel Quick-Connect on the fuel rail.

    NOTE: On Dodge trucks the quick-connect is usually found on the fuel rail on one bank of the engine. The other bank will have a fuel pressure test port that includes a small metal cap. Do not use the pressure test port to relief pressure.

    4.Disconnect the fuel line quick-connect. If fuel is discharged then the fuel rails are receiving pressure. If you've got fuel pressure then you've probably lost electrical power to the fuel injectors. Check for a failed Automatic Shut Down (ASD) relay or an open fuse (either 20 or 30 ampere) in the Power Distribution Center (PDC). Check the PDC cover for location of the fuse and relay.

    If that's okay you might have loose connection somewhere in the harness or a failed Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

    Good luck & Best regards,
  • ram_royram_roy Member Posts: 1
    check your carbon can, and make sure your gas tank vent is not clogged
  • dmab65dmab65 Member Posts: 5

    Well we lifted the bed up on the truck and replaced the fuel pump. My only question now is that the pump makes a constant humming noise which in my opinion is really annoying....I wasn't sure if this was normal or not?????

  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Hi Donna,

    In-tank fuel pumps are quite noisy and when you're very near the pump (especially if you still have the box lifted) it may sound unusually loud to you. The test is can you hear it inside the cab? You shouldn't.

    By the way, if you've lifted the box I'm assuming you removed the box mounting bolts. Please be aware that on Dodge trucks the box mounting bolts are a one-time tighten only. If you try to reuse the bolts they will loosen and the box will move around on you. New bolts are required when ever the torque has been reduced (loosed) on the bolt.

    Best regards,
  • dmab65dmab65 Member Posts: 5
  • togomenutogomenu Member Posts: 4
  • togomenutogomenu Member Posts: 4
    I am trying to fix a 2001 Dodge RAM quad cab 4x v8 5.9 that is killing when it idles. I think I need a piece for the accelerator or possible a cauberator piece. Does anyone here know what that part would be called? I looked up parts for the truck and couldn't come up with anything except an "idle control valve." Thanks!
  • jnunleyjnunley Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2002 Quadcab with 4.7 engine and about 106K miles. Lately, when I start the engine it surges, (i.e. revs to about 1500 RPM then idles back to about 700 RPM). It will fluctuate back and forth for a bit before idle finally smooths out. Is this a sensor problem? Or a dirty throttle body?

    I was finally able to get a Haynes manual. In the tune-up section, it states in several places not to clean throttle body with carburator cleaner.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions.
  • jnunleyjnunley Member Posts: 4
    Idle Air Controller was dirty. I removed it and cleaned it good.
  • mudrunner3mudrunner3 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 1996 dodge Ram with the 5.9 and it will fluctuate between like 450 RPMs and 700 RPMs and when im in reverse if i dont keep my foot on the gas every once in a while it dies. Im not sure how to fix it. another problem is when im sitting at an idle it feels like its missing horribly, and i changed the plugs wires cap and rotor but the truck has 187000 miles on it so i dont know if its the timing chain is stretched and thats causing it or what it is so if you have any ideas let me know. thanx
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    I don't believe a stretched timing chain could cause this problem.

    My first suggestion would be to thoroughly clean the throttlebody, check for a clogged PCV valve, and also check for brittle and cracked vacuum hoses.

  • luckyman1luckyman1 Member Posts: 29
    i have a 2003 3500 and some times it will not idle and i noticed that volt meter read low after driving a few miles it will start idling ok and volt meter reads ok
  • luckyman1luckyman1 Member Posts: 29
    when i start it up sometimes it will idle fine sometimes it will not ;; had battery check also had alternator checked
  • keith1947keith1947 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 Ram 1500 318 automatic. Will loose power and misfire really bad. Hooked up to hand scanner pending codes were multiple misfires on cylinder 1 and 3 and lean on bank one. Towed to shop and ran fine when got there. This has happened about four times. No vacumm leak at intake. All new plugs, wires, cap and button. ECM okay. Good fuel rail pressure. Dropped tank and check fuel filter and pump.
  • jon38jon38 Member Posts: 2
    The engine starts ok, but after about 2 minutes it misfires/no power for about 1 minute (occasionally stalls), then it settles down and runs ok. This happens with the engine either hot or cold, after every start unless it is off for only a few minutes. The scanner says it misfired on cylinders 4 and 8. Any advice appreciated - I was told to replace plugs/cables etc. but I'm not so sure. Thanks.

    ps. about a month ago, it would start real rough after a rain, but this seems to have disappeared? - not sure if this is related to the above problem.
  • surfer5274surfer5274 Member Posts: 3
    Between 98 and 02 the cummins lift pump located in the side of the block was a horrible design. They changed it from a mechanical pump that was run off the cam shaft to an electric pump mounted roughly in the same location (the drivers side of the block, behind the injection pump.) You can go to the dealer and get a retrofit kit that moves the pump into the tank. You can also get it from Cummins for a little less money. It's somewhat time consuming and there is an electrical harness that must be installed with the kit.
  • 2003ram15002003ram1500 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 (4.7) v-8 quad cab. The rpms idle erractically especiallly at stop lights. While driving, the truck is okay. At slow drives (2-10 M.P.H.) the truck may cut off. I been dealing with this problem for about 2 months before I finally decided to raise the hood as well as my sleeves. Now what I did was 1.Disconnect air filter and check the condition. 2. Disconnect Air Resonator box on top and remove( make sure to disconnect air charge sensor wire and hose on the other side) 3.Inside the AIR RESONATOR BOX is an air charge sensor(blue color tip)check it for dust, apply light pressure and clean it with a clean rag. 4. Get a can of injection cleaner and lightly spray inside of throttle body around the plate/below the throttle body is a smile-like opening, get a flat head screwdriver and wrap it with a clean cloth and stick it in there and wipe inside of that compartment. 5. Start engine and slightly idle up 30 seconds). 6. Turn engine off and reconnect every thing back (Don't forget to reconnect air charge wire and hose). 7. The check engine light may come on , but don't be alarmed. That's just your air charge sensor adjusting. It will go out soon. Voila! this worked for me and hopefully for you also. Now my Ram is steady idled at about 600 rpms at stop lights,and it doesn't stall anymore. To make a long story short, just clean your throttle body and check your air charge sensor to start with. Good Luck.
  • john198john198 Member Posts: 2
    I have 98 ram 1500 4x4 5.9L.
    it was running after a short stop,i got 300 feet then loss power it would idle fine but even in park could not get rpms over 2k & runs very rough when giving it gas.
    checked fuel pressure ok. any ideas what to do?
  • minardiminardi Member Posts: 30
    Had similar problem with '02 5.9L Durango. Problem was traced to a plugged fuel injector. I had used some contaminated gas. Dealer removed and cleaned injector and problem disappeared. I can't remember if it caused the check engine light to come on.
  • john198john198 Member Posts: 2
    The problem turn out to be the catalytic converter broke inside and blocked the exhaust.
  • prschmnprschmn Member Posts: 1
    I have an 00 5.9 with excatly the same problem--irritating. Would you let me know if you find the cure?
  • jon38jon38 Member Posts: 2
    hey - I replaced plugs/cables etc., didn't help. I'm taking it in to the shop next week - I'll let you know.
  • don_rdon_r Member Posts: 3
    OK, this just started. I went to my truck yesterday the battery was low, so it wouldn't turn over, just clicked. I put a charger on it for about an hour and then it started right up. The truck had been running great up until the dead battery. Now the truck starts right up and will idle for a while, drive it for about 3 miles, and stop and the engine just dies. It starts right up, but unless your foot is on the gas won't idle. Any ideas? Like I said this was all of the sudden, I wonder if the computer just needs to be reset so it can "learn" again. Thanks in advance!
  • qhutqhut Member Posts: 2
    My truck ran great w/ no issues til I parked and let it set for about 3 weeks. I drove about 4 miles and the motor cut off and lost all power as others have described, like turning off the key. The big difference is after letting the truck sit for 20min or so it will start right up clean and strong. Drive for another 3 or 4 miles and off it goes again. I can hear the fuel pump coming on and pressure up. The motor cranks strong but does not fire up. I thought the coil may have been the culprit but installed new coil and problem still exist. I filled the tank w/ fresh gas still no change. I live only 1.5 miles from work and can drive that far as if nothings wrong but if I go another 2 or 3 miles it will die this has been going on for about 3 weeks now and not excited about taking it to the dealer to diagnose. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  • dodgegaldodgegal Member Posts: 1
    Aug 16,2006 at 91,106 miles my dealer replaced the rear end in my 2002 Ram. Now at 106,685 miles and 13 months later, he is replacing it AGAIN. Anyone had this problem and any suggestions. This time it is to the tune of $992. The last one was covered under extended warranty. This one comes out of my pocket. Chrysler Service was extremely rude when we called to inquire about it. I asked for someone to contact over and above to inquire about my problems, the girl told such person. They say no, out of warranty, end of discussion. We have been Mopar FOREVER. This gives me a bad feeling. It makes me wonder how long the new rear end will last???? Help.....any suggestions would be appreciated!
    Dodge gal
  • qhutqhut Member Posts: 2
    I replaced the rearend in my 98 Ram at 75000. mi, it began howling like an old school bus. Cost me $1300.00 out of pocket. I now have 132000 mi. and noise is returning.
    I think Ill just live w/ it this time around.
  • wizzlewizzle Member Posts: 3
    iam having the same problem that you had,but with a 03. did you ever come with fixable answer.if so,do you think you can help me. its driving me nuts. thanks
  • don_rdon_r Member Posts: 3
    Well, not sure, I bought a new battery because it wouldn't hold a charge. I haven't driven it much since June because of gas prices, but it was running great up until about 3 days before it started dying, my son used it for a couple of days.

    So, for now it seems to be fixed I have been driving it this weekend and no problems, so the battery seemed to be the answer for me.
  • carjunk1carjunk1 Member Posts: 2
    every time truck sits in rain for a couple hours & you start it, it runs rough for about 2-5 miles with engine light on but normally clears up & light goes out But the last time it happen the light would not go out why is it doing it & how can i get the light out
  • wizzlewizzle Member Posts: 3
    first off all thankyou for getting back to me. i tried a new even does it in great for about five minuts,then stalls.its also been setting for some time.i can keep it running when moving.maybe i need to take it on the highway and open it up. if you here anything let me know,and i'll do the same thanks again.
  • bigjerbigjer Member Posts: 5
    all you need to do is give it a good tune up new cap,rotor, wires, plugs. this should take care of this problem for you
  • carjunk1carjunk1 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks i will try that, but i did spray water directly on the cap & wires with a spray bottle at night to see if i had any sparks from the wires or cap & it apeared to be okay
  • 99dodgelifted99dodgelifted Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Dodge 1500, mine is a 5 speed and every time i go to press in the clutch the RPMs will range from 400-600. sometimes even die, i had taken it to Autozone and they ran the test on the engine light and it returned that my system is running to lean, on Bank one. which is an injector. so this may be your problem as well. it runs fine when you are driving it down the road.
  • wizzlewizzle Member Posts: 3
    whats up don. i had the same problem with my truck. i did everything plugs.did'nt work. then i pulled the ignition coils.noticed one of thos was might wanna cheack thos if you have them.but while i was doing all that.i also map censer was completily broke of. i dont know if yours is the same as an 03,mine is located inbetweenthe altanater,and air condision compressor. after i fixed all that my truck runs like a champ.i hope that helps you let me know.
  • don_rdon_r Member Posts: 3
    actually, I replaced the battery, it wouldn't hold a charge, and the problem seemed to disappear! I hope that was it, the truck doesn't get driven very often, maybe 2-3 times a month since gas prices are so high, and it's not the best in fuel consumption. :) Thanks for the reply!
  • chip11chip11 Member Posts: 3
    My 1998 Dodge Dully Diesel cumming with 159K mikes has an occasional stalling problem.
    It only happens 5% of the time on exceleration - just as up pull into a busy street.
    The Dodge dealership though it was the fuel filter needing changed. They fixed every other thing on the truck except the stalling. Before I spend another $720 including
    $60 and hour for labor - I want the check some easy things myself.
    Would someone give me a few other easy parts to check.
  • chip11chip11 Member Posts: 3
    My 98 Dodge 3500 desiel keeps a normal temperature of 195 however the radiator cap is always cold . It never gets warm even right after a long trip. I can open the cap and very little pressure will come out. The water is always cold !!!
    Is this normal ??????????????????
  • psadowskipsadowski Member Posts: 1
    I have a 02 ram with a 5.9 and as soon as i let off the brake there is a bad shaking. It goes away if i hit the gas or brakes, but the dealer or myself con not figure out where it's coming from.Does anyone else have this problem and how do I fix it?
  • moelibmoelib Member Posts: 1
    Yesterday, we drove home from work in the ram, showered, then went to get back in the ram to go for dinner and it started with absolutely no problem but died immediately with the small red light coming on. since then, we can get it to start but it dies immediately...does anyone know why this is???
  • chris1500ramchris1500ram Member Posts: 2
    My 1999 Ram 1500 SLT laramie did the same thing randomly. It started, sputtered, and stalled. i was able to start it and it would run just a second and stall, this was until all the existing fuel in the lines was used up, then it would not run at all. It was the fuel pump on mine. Before just going for the fuel pump, its good to check all possible malfunctions with the electronics and the fuel system, thats what i did and nothing was wrong, so i unbloted the bed and replaced the pump. You might need to buy a massive pair of channel locks for the pump... ;D
  • xzuesxxzuesx Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Ram 1500 and every time you put your foot into the gas at about 3000 rpm it starts to buck kinda like a misfire it also stalls out at times at stops i have had it scanned no codes i have gave it a full tune up (cap,plugs,plug wires,rotor) crank sensor replace did nothing, coil replaced did nothing, pickup coil replaced made it worse (defected) new one did nothing. im lost idk wats wrong with it could it be TPS but it would throw code so idk could it be throttle body itself? maybe a head gasket leak if you have had a problem like this write back if u have hunches or hints maybe tips im interested but i really need help my only means of transportation.
  • corkscrewcorkscrew Member Posts: 254
    My Haynes manual says to look for a restriction in the fuel system (dirty filter or bad pump) or a restriction in the exhaust system (cat or bent pipe). It also says to check compression. Hope this helps.

  • corkscrewcorkscrew Member Posts: 254
    Also check the pcv valve and look for vacuum leaks at hoses, throttle body and intake manifold.

  • bellrobbellrob Member Posts: 1
    i have a 3.7L engin and when i start my truck it runs but stalls.. if i put it into gear it will stay running... could this be a starter problem... i just put a new battery in and it still does this.....
  • 99strat99strat Member Posts: 5
    I have a 96 1500, v6, 188k miles. It has intermittent problem with idling and stalling. Mechanic says everything checks out except that when he runs an electronic diagnostic, his device gets to a certain point then reads nothing (while engine is running). He suggested I take it to a dealership for a more thorough analysis. Any ideas?
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