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Dodge Dakota Stalling and Dying Problems



  • 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?

  • Are you in a cold weather part of the country?

    Well that depends. I wouldnt consider it a consistent cold weather part of the country. I live in New Jersey. And lately it's been cold. We had less than 10 degrees F 2 months ago. Now were in the high teens to low 50's. F.

    Is your question related to my problem possibly being poor performance of the IAC during cold weather?

    FYI, I bought my Dakota in October 2008. It had 105,000 and now has 108,000. I believe I noticed the stalling way back in October, but assumed it needed a tune-up or something else.

    It wasnt until recently, I started looking into other causes. Of course I always find a wealth of information here ( especially from you ) , and thats why I did a little research here and found what I needed.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I was just wondering if the problem seems more severe with temperature.

  • It may have been more severe as it got closer to winter with the old IAC. However since I replaced it with a new one, everything is smooth as silk even though we are still experiencing cold temps. Truck runs like it's brand new regardless of the temp. My buddy who replaced his IAC ( with a new one ) on his 01' Dakota has the same positive results. It was his results that prompted me to replace mine after cleaning my old IAC didnt last. I guess if the IAC is several years old, it's probably worth replacing it rather than cleaning it.
  • More than likely the crankshaft position sensor as mine seems to have gone and the symptoms seem the same but really a hard part to remove without patience and proper tools. Not too much room to work between the firewall and engine and transmisssion. I've just recently obtained a used one from the wreckers and it worked for all of about a couple of hours the died on the highway again. So now I think I'll spend the bucks and get a new oem replacement and see how long that one lasts?
  • I've owned my 1992 dakota 4x4 5.2 since new and haven't experienced too many problems until recently. It has 192000kms on it and have replaced the transmission, radiator, & water pump. The tranmission hasn't operated as it should since the rebuild by Mr. Transmission, the water temperature hasn't been what it should (both from reading the gauge and inside heater temperature) since replacing oem rad with an aftermarket one, oil pressure switch was replaced as low or flucutating oil pressure was observed, and now the largest and most annoying problem of all has been determining the problem of stalling, rough running backfiring hard starting, intermittent starting, being more than likely due to a faulty crankshaft position sensor. Replaced with a used one from wreking yard didn't last more than a couple of hours and died. Guess it'll be worth spending a few extra dollars on a new oem replacement and see if it last a bit longer?
    Other than that it has been a good and enjoyable truck.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    You've provide three good examples of why I almost never deal in used parts.

    Crankshaft Position Sensors were of irratic quality in your vintage Mopar motor. Fortunately, after the initial replacements you don't hear of too many failing a second time.

    Still see a number of old Daks on the road. There are two of your vintage in my neighborhood, both have over 180,000 miles on them. A little rusty in spots, but looking a heck of a lot better than any eight-year-old S10!!

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The following list of symptoms associated with defective Throttle Position Sensors (TPS) on Dodge trucks are a compilation of actual field experiences, both observed and reported:

    off-idle hesitation
    hesitation at speed
    rough engine idle
    intermittent rough engine idle
    rough idle then stalls
    engine RPM fluctuates at idle
    engine RPM flairs after start, then stalls
    engine stalls when placed into any gear
    engine stalls after start unless throttle pedal used
    engine stalls when throttle opened
    engine surges at speed
    engine performance poor: engine misfires under load/acelleration

    irratic shifts
    irratic torque converter unlocking
    irratic or over sensitive 6-5 downshifts at speed (68RFE)
    irratic or over sensitive 5-4 downshifts at speed (545RFE)
    irratic or over sensitive 4-3 downshifts at speed (RE, RLE)
    3-4 driveline clunk
    delayed 1-2 shift
    delayed 3-4 upshift
    3-4 upshifts occurs abruptly after 2-3 shift
    no 3-4 upshift
    no 4-3 downshift
    no kickdown at speed
    no or irratic torque converter lock up
    no or irratic overdrive shift

  • ravenpravenp Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Dodge Dakota Sport with the V6 magnum, 3.9L and 4X4. The dealer replaced the engine just before I bought it. Both the vehicle and engine have about 89000 miles. Until recently I haven't had any problems with it. The issues that I'm starting to have are squealing belts and stalling. The belts, I replaced the tension pulley and the belt, but it still squeals. The stalling is the problem that worries me most. It only seems to happen, though, on slow left turns, whether the AC is running or not. It seems to idle right aroud 600-700 RPM. And after it stall, it's a pain to get restarted. Could these problems be linked?
  • Hi all, I have a 1990 Dodge Dakota 3.9 V6 Automatic. I have an issue where after starting the truck and letting it run for about 15 minutes it stalls and will not start for about another 30-45 minutes. Now I've replaced everything that I thought it might be and still havent solved the problem. I've replaced the ECM, distributor cap and rotor, auto shutdown relay, fuel pump, fuel filter, coolant temp sensor, and I dont know where to go from here. Please anyone or maybe a mechanic, if you have any info on this I would greatly appreciate it because I'm seconds away from driving it into a lake! Thanks, Mike
  • So, because I am dumb, I took my V8/auto tranny Dakota in to a dealer for it's first tune up and tranny service. The truck was running fine in all respects. I got back a mess. The tranny failed twice after getting the truck back, first the dealer blamed a bad new MOPAR tranny filter, the 2nd failure was a different bad tranny part (sorry can't find the paperwork). All this had the distinct feel of total BS coming from the dealer - as in I think the mechanic screwed up the tranny service royally, and they just wouldn't admit it.

    Anyway - after the 2nd tranny failure, I got the truck back and it immediately began stalling shortly after morning start up - well within the first mile or so of driving, but only after the truck had been sitting a long while - like overnight.

    Here are the exact symptoms.

    Starts normally in the morning (I do not let the engine warm up - start and go, but I tried letting the engine come to temp before go doesn't have an impact on this problem). Drive to the first stop (uphill less than 1/4 mile away) as the truck comes to a full stop, the RPM's drop out and the truck stalls. Truck restarts immediately and does not stall again for the rest of the day.

    Cold engine stalling is intermittent (roughly 50% of the time or less) in temps greater than 65 degrees, and almost always as temps dip below, with coldest winter temps causing multiple stalls, as opposed to just once in the morning, but again, will not continue to stall once warmed up). So the colder it gets, the more consistent and more frequent the cold engine stalling is until the engine warms up and then the engine will not stall for the rest of the day. I can prevent the stalling if I force the rpms to stay up by braking and tapping the gas simultaneously.

    If I take a different route in the morning so I don't hit stop/go traffic while the engine is cold, I don't have a stalling problem (but it's a much longer route, and that's no solution)

    Over the months, the dealer has had the truck back 5 times without success. They reset the computer on the first try, then replaced one of them (can't find the paperwork). Replaced the Oxygen sensor. Beat the engine with a hammer, had a Shaman do a pagan blessing, and then shrugged. I suggested the problem is tranny related because that's where all the troubles started, but the dealer says the tranny is fine.

    Lawyers are expensive, and I just want my truck fixed.

    Suggestions would be enormously appreciated.
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