Dodge Dakota Stalling and Dying Problems

pappycpappyc Posts: 3
edited July 2015 in Dodge
I have a 1999 Dodge Dakota V6 automatic, 4 x 4.
It stalls when engagning to reverse but only when the engine is cold. It is ok after driving 10 miles or so.

See also: Car stalling repair tips for all cars, especially Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth


  • ive recently put a differant pcm on my truck all the numbers matched from the old to the new one. when i tried to start it it did not want to start it seemed not to have spark i even made sure to reset the brain bye taken the battery off on the +side of the battery it still does the same thing ive checked the fuses under the dashboard and under the hood ive almost have lost enterrestin it can someone please give some addvise.
  • I ran out of gas . I filled the truck up now it won't stay running
  • snarlsnarl Posts: 1
    1999 dakota 318 stalls when put in reverse cant figure it out works fine in drive now that i replaced the rotor and cap !
  • sdelsdel Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Dakota 4x4, 3.9L automatic that stalls when put in reverse. It's ok when it's cold but if I drive about 5 miles and need to reverse it will stall. Works fine in drive. Also, when truck is warm it will not idle. Any comments would be appreciated.
  • 02 dakota starts with ease then sometimes idles down and stalls in park. starts again with ease. Any info on this one guys?
  • about 48,000 miles and when on the highway with the slightest incline the truck seems to have no power, loses speed, and gears down to 3rd gear. Anyone know what the problem could be?
  • 2000 318cid 4X4 158k miles. Not idling. Also when foot is removed form accelerator when in gear (or not) truck stalls. Accelerates smooth and strong. This does not occur all the time. Truck is driven daily in the Chicago suburban area. When gently pressing the accelerator the engine does idle, however, it vasilates from about 1000 rpm to 600rpm with pedal held steady. Fuel delivery problem? Fuel quality problem? Computer related issue? (God I hope not!) HELP??

    Thanks in Advance.
  • todaytoday Posts: 2
    Hi , I have a 90' dodge dakota 4 cyl. pickup. going 50 miles an hour and just stops running. No spark plug fire. No spark from coil center line. Distributor coupler disconnect - cross lines 2 an 3 and no spark from coil. Coil is good. check for open in lines 2 and 3, good to comp. Negative line from computer to coil is positive charge 12 volt when ignition is on, no charge on the positive line to the coil. When ignition is turned on a charge of voltage is measured in meter at distributor coupler line number 1 orange- then goes away.
    Why no spark?
    Why positive charge on negative line to Coil?
    Why does charge on line 1 go away?
    Coil good.
    Lines clear.
    Battery good 12 volt.
    Fuel pump good with fuel.
    Today Montgomery in the woods
  • will start right up in the mornings but dies several times takes afew minutesto start back then it runs great the rest of the day tried starting fluid when it dies so i dont believe it is a fuel problem.itonly does it when the motor is cold just cant figure it out.
  • dennis39dennis39 Posts: 1
    Hi everyone, I hope you can help me here.
    I have recently replaced the crank sensor in my 98 dakota (156,000km) and everything ran fine for a week or so. Then it began to misfire while approaching normal operating temp (around 3 minutes down the road). It misfires, lurches, and sputters while only allowing 30km/hr speed. This goes on for 10-15minutes and then rights itself.
    I've replaced all plugs, plug wires, and the distributer. If I park it and it cools down for 5 minutes, the same thing happens. A different mechanic has suggested spraying the ignition coil with water to find out if that's the weak link... Any other suggestions?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Did this problem start suddenly, or did it slowly progress to this point?

    May I assume that when the problem occurred you replaced ignition components and the problem still persists in the same way?

    Have you replaced the distributor cap and rotor?

  • chip16chip16 Posts: 1
    :confuse: Sometimes you can drive 2 miles sometimes 20 feet. cold hot doesn't matter it just seems to lose all ignition but indicator lights stay on. turn off the key for 10 seconds and it fires back up. I can leave the truck idling in the drive for an hour no problem in park or with the brake set in gear. I have replaced the coil, Oxygen sensor and tried puting a wedge in the auto shut off relay
  • paco161paco161 Posts: 5
    Hi all,
    I have a 2000 Dodge Dakota that lately has been randomly dying on me. I'm not entirely sure what the problem is and I currently don't have the money to have a shop fix it so I'm trying to figure this out myself. The problem is that completely at random the truck will just shut down. I was told originally that the issue is a computer problem and that when this happens the odometer should read "no bus", but it does not and never has. The truck also just quietly dies. It doesn't stall or jerk or anything. It just...dies. No fuss, no nothing. I try to crank it again and it doesn't crank back up immediately. However, when this happens, all the electronics work just fine. The radio, windows, gears shift, odometer works, and the starter turns over, but the engine doesn't start. The thing is that I've never had to have it towed because I can wait about 10-15 minutes and the thing starts right back up again. I apologize for the long post, but I really need this figured out. Thanks for all the help.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Two things come immediately to mind.

    I have recently seen a bad Ignition Switch on an older RAM that was causing the same symptoms.

    Another possibility is intermittent Automatic Shutdown Relay or a stalling fuel pump.

  • paco161paco161 Posts: 5
  • a while back my truck started to stall out when let foot of gas pedal but then it quit acting up and ran fine but until tuesday 08/12/08 the problem started back up again but now when it stalls out or getting ready to stall out radio dash lights and headlights dim out also check gages lite comes on then goes out but gages work fine have not been able to detect the problem so if any one has an idea for me please let me know thanks
  • wlblackwlblack Posts: 6
    I've got a 2001 Dakota 3.9L that's doing the exact same thing. Did you ever figure out what was causing that to happen?

  • Truck is tuned up, changed IAC motor, had decarbon done. Stalls always when cold in reverse sometimes it does stall in drive, but not as often. Aside from the stalling it runs great. Had solenoid that controls TCC changed and that did not help. This problem is driving me crazy. Had a mechanic freind change the O2 sensors to solve another problem (cat efficiency codes). When he brought the truck back he said there is a leak at tranny shifter seal and kick down band adjuster and it stalls in reverse. Before he did the work on the truck it would stall in reverse once in a while. Don't know if he disturbed something while working under there, but now it's all the time when engine is cold. HELP!!
  • To add to my post. The stalling in reverse stops doing it after the temperature gauge is pointing to the half way mark. In other words once it's up to running temperature it runs fine. I am really out of ideas. When I took the truck into the dealers to have the tranny leak fixed I asked them to address the stalling problem. They said it did not do it for them, but when I drove out of their parking lot it stalled in reverse on me and I don't live far away from them so it's not like the engine had time to cool down. They just did not know what the problem was.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Have you been able to pull a fault code out of the computer?

  • That's the strange thing. I not getting codes!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    How are the shifts: 1-2, 2-3, 3-4?

    Is there any indication of a harsh engagement from neutral to drive or reverse?

    At the moment I cannot think of an engine management component or common principal that could cause this symptom only in reverse. My initial thinking is this could be a transmission problem.

    A locked up converter would cause stalling in drive as well. However, at drive away one usually starts at launch and continues to some road speed. In reverse, one usually launches then quickly reduces speed. This type of scenario could be masking a problem that exists in forward motion, too.

    A hanging converter clutch or band might cause this symptom that only seems to manifest itself in reverse. I think a broken planetary gearset could also give you this problem. You have a 42RE transmission. Converter clutch and sticky shift solenoids are a couple of the more common component problems, broken bands and/or planetary gears very, very rarely.

    Just as an aside, what is the transmission history on this vehicle? Has it ever been repaired or rebuilt? Have you performed routine transmission maiontenance? How many miles on this truck?

  • I thought tranny also. Lately it's been stalling in drive more often. I took it into Meineke on Dundas St here in London. Steve that works there is a good touble shooter and he found a bad crankshaft sensor. So it does not stall anymore. Thanks for all the great ideas guys. This is a helpfull forum!
  • If the truck stalls in drive, even once in a while, it could be your crankshaft sensor. My truck stalled always in reverse, but sometimes in drive. Which made me focus only on the stalling in reverse. As time went on it stalled in drive more often and that's when we changed the focus and solved the problem.

    Good luck
    Dan C
  • Two nights ago my 93 Dakota 4X4 with a v6 started running roughly, then died and wouldn't start. I checked the fuel line test port and no gas came out. Also, I heard no sound from the fuel pump when turning the key to the on position. I dropped the tank and pulled the fuel pump out. Then, with the pump outside of the tank, I hooked the electrical plug back up to the pump and turned the key to "on". This time, the pump kicked on, and in fact the car started (just on what gas was left in the pump). Not certain what the exact problem was, I put everything back together and drove around town for a few hours, when the same problem occurred. Should I conclude that the pump is bad? I've had fuel pumps go on other cars in the past, but they did not die intermittently like this.

    Thanks for any advice.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My sister had a Buick Regal with an intermittent fuel pump. It took over a year for the dealer to solve the problem, too.

    My first suspicion is you have an intermittent electrical connection, especially on a vehicle that old. Another problem could be an intermittent ASD or fuel pump relay.

    Good luck,
  • Thanks for the advice. This morning it died and I tried switching relays around with no luck, then checked the wiring from the PDC to the firewall but found no breaks. I bit the bullet and spent $200 on a new fuel pump, put that in and the truck runs fine now -- knock on wood.

    Thanks again.
  • I drove home, about 25 miles, the truck killed and wouldn't start. After about an hour, it cranked and ran about 5 miles and killed again. I checked for codes but displays none. What can this be? Help!!
  • My 2000 Dodge Dakota, 120k miles, won't idle after starting up -- it just stalls completely. However, if I keep it revved and throw it into either reverse or drive before it stalls, it runs fine and will start again with the idle working properly. If I leave it overnight then it will do the same again. Any ideas on what's causing this?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    Weak or dirty Idle Speed Motor

    Dirty/sticking PCV valve

    Vacuum leak (Evaporative hoses are a common problem)

    Best regards,
  • jlaheyjlahey Posts: 4
    4 months ago: tune-up, 1 month ago: new alternator, 1 month ago: new battery, 8,000 miles ago a new fuel fitler installed.
    220,000 miles on the truck

    The truck is not a everyday vehicle, but I use it alot in the fall/winter months. When I come to stop signs I notice the rpm's drop and the truck stalls out. It starts right back up when I try. Is it a fuel senor maybe?
  • Hello, I am having trouble with my 93 dakota stalling at about 1200 rpm. It has the 3.9 engine in it and about 241,000 miles on it, so it's been around. It starts right up and idles fine and if your fast enough on the pedal it runs ok above 1200. It doesn't matter if your in neutral or if you are accelerating under load. It will start back up after it stalls, but you have to hold the accelerator pedal down. I replaced the throttle position sensor, the fuel pressure regulator, gave it a basic tune up (plugs, cap and rotor, fuel filter, air filter), fixed a vacuum leak, checked the fuel pressure (35 psi), changed the battery. The check engine light is not on. Thank you for any help.
  • I have a Dodge Dakota 1993 3.9l with the 42RE transmission. It stalls when it is put in either drive or reverse. If you push the car then put it in drive it drives ok until it stops, then same problem. Have changed the fluid and filter removed the carberator and cleaned it replaced all the sensors on carb. new pcv valve checked all vacuum hoses. pulled lower valve body out and checked for stuck valves. Nothing seems to help I was told to replace torque converter so does this seem right. thanks in advance
  • I've encountered this problem with a couple of cars. I think your torque converter is locking up. Like a stickshift won't idle without a clutch. It kills when you idle below a certian RPM unless you depress the clutch. In your case the clutch is internal and not engaging therefore when your RPM decreases to a certian point, idle, it kills. Have the trans checked. Most of the places give free inspections.
    Hope I helped
  • My truck died out on me twice before I was told it was the fuel pump, so it was replaced. It then died out again, the relays were fixed and I was told it was good to go. I had it running for a few days for it to die out yet again the truck won't turn over at all. My mechanic can't seem to figure out which bothers me so I have no idea what to do next to solve the issue. Is it possible the computer is going out on the truck? I need help this is my only vehicle and I need it back.
    Any help would be appreciated.
  • Ths problem is intermittent in that it runs OK and then intermittently will back fire and acts like its out of time or gas. Sometimes runs for days and then will act up right away. this PU have been tuned and I changed where I buy gas. Got a few engine checks and scan said bad oygen sensor. Changed sensor and no good. After much testing and checking I decided it must be the PCM module so I ordered one. These have to be programmed to your vehicle using the VIN number and the milage otherwise they won't work and of course the right one for the vehicle. I just hope I am right. I got one for half the price. I am told the engine computer {PCM} will cause many strange problems. 1996 Dodge Dakota Sport, 2.5, 2 wheel drive manual.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, let us know if a different PCM solves your problem.

    I have to be honest with you, PCM problems on Dakotas are very, very rare. If fact, I think I'd say that for most make trucks. The manufacturers go to great lengths in designing a robust and reliable computer. But, failures do sometimes occur.

    I would be more suspicious of a bad Crankshaft Position Sensor, especially on the age of the vehicle and the vintage. I'm surprised no one has already suggested this to you. A badly worn distributor can cause the same symptoms as well.

    Best of luck,
  • I am very sorry to say that I have wasted $250 for a PCM that did not fix the problem. Sometimes I think that I would like to buy a PU from the time before emisions controls came along. In my old days I could fix anything on my vehicles.
  • 93 dakota stalling at 1200 rpm. I have a 95 dakota that stalls at about 1200 rpm as well. Same 3.9 engine and about 85K miles. I haven't tried gasing is hard to get past 1200 rpm. My situation is sporadic and only happening twice several months apart. However, I have noticed if I let the truck sit a couple minutes it fires right back up and runs fine. I don't know if our cases are exactly the same since mine is sporadic and yours maybe consistently an issue. Did you ever find an answer to this issue? I have not had any luck so far.
  • I have changed a lot of things and I'm going nuts with this thing. I just did a new distributor and cap and rotor and plugs, hasn't helped. It threw a code of random misfire on 5 of the 6 cylinders and a 02 code. I just replaced the front, the back is about 6 months-4000 miles old. I noticed since this started acting up, I seem to get a little zap here and there. I checked all my grounds and seem to be in order. How much play should the distributor shaft have? When I have the cap off and try to turn the rotor button by hand it has a little back and fourth play.Could that be the problem? If it would make it, I'd drive it off a cliff right now,lol. It back firing through the intake.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Side play on the distributor should be .003 to .007 inch.

    Non factory ignition parts will cause this problem, as well as a serious vacuum leak.

  • Hello Mohawk. I too am experiencing stalling when I am in reverse, and sometimes in drive. I notice it more when I have the steering wheel turned all the way and I'm in reverse. It's like there is a strain on the engine and then it stalls. especially in reverse. Did you experience this too? Is the crankshaft sensor, the same thing as the crankshaft position sensor??? If so, it looks like it can be replaced very easily. Do you or anyone have any ideas??? :)
  • derek010derek010 Posts: 3
    They are one in the same. I already replaced mine and that didn't help. Mine was doing that and I took out my Idle Air Control Valve and sprayed it out with card cleaner and that fixed it. If yours starts stalling when you have it in park thats definatly it.
  • Thanks for the reply. Air control valve??? Okay I'll look at that. You meant "Carb" cleaner, right? Not "Card"???
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I believe you are going to be looking for the Idle Air Control Motor (IAC). This is a computer controlled motor that moves a pintle or plunger to regulate the amount of air that bypasses the throttle plate. As the computer senses increased engine load or a decreased idle speed, the computer sends a signal to the motor to move the plunger and permit more air to bypass the throttle, thereby raising the engine idle speed.

    The plungers are made of a highly fuel resistant silicon rubber material, and the plunger and the passage can and will get gummed up causing restricted movement of the plunger. This area can be cleaned with any common carburetor-type cleaner. On 3.9 motors, the IAC is mounted at the rear of the Throttlebody. It has a four wire connector attached to it and is secured by two torx screws and is easily removed.

    Use care reinstalling the plunger. When they're dry they can be damaged trying to reinsert the plunger back into the bore. I find that a quick spray of carb cleaner on the plunger provides enough lubricity for reinsertion.

  • Dustyk, thank you very much for that detailed response. I cant wait to get started. I'll try to be careful removing/installing that plunger so I dont damage it. I hope thats the problem? Because I'd hate to see such a beautiful looking truck continue to act like it's a :lemon:

    One more question. Can this gummy buildup have any effect on fuel economy? Like maybe less air in the throttle body causing a richer fuel/air mixture???
  • I believe I've found success. Since I've cleaned my IAC unit, I havent experienced any stalling. Thanks to all for their input and help. :)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    To answer your question about the effects of IAC operation affecting fuel consumption, possibly. I'm not sure how much it would affect gas mileage, however.

    When the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) senses that the vehicle is reducing speed, the PCM tells the IAC motor to retract the pintle and close the idle air passage, If the pintle sticks and does not close the idle air flow passage, it would be equivalent to having an excessively high idle or opening the throttle partially on a carbureted engine.

    If fuel consumption seems higher to you, there are a whole bunch of other things I'd check first.

    Glad to hear cleaning the throttlebody solved your problem.

    Best regards,
  • Just a brief update. I decided to buy a brand new IAC motor. Even though I cleaned my old one, I believe it's benefits were short lived. I started experiencing some stalling on occasion while in reverse. Considering my old IAC may have been an original part, ( my Dakota is a 2002 ) I decided to install a new one. So far, ( it's been a week ) no stalling and the idle appears to be much smoother than when I cleaned and reinstalled my old IAC motor.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Mrs Sincere,

    Thank you for the update.

    Are you in a cold weather part of the country?

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