Dodge Dakota Starting Problems



  • bmrjoycebmrjoyce Member Posts: 8
    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!
  • bustedmynutsbustedmynuts Member Posts: 1
    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
  • bladerunnerxxbladerunnerxx Member Posts: 1
    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
  • dakota94dakota94 Member Posts: 7
    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
  • bmrjoycebmrjoyce Member Posts: 8
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 1,394
    Are you sure it's a lack of spark problem and not lack of fuel?
  • bmrjoycebmrjoyce Member 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 Member Posts: 8
    The message was intended for #112. thanks
  • wcoker2wcoker2 Member Posts: 3
    have checked for spark at wires. No spark.
  • wcoker2wcoker2 Member 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 .
  • jay01scottjay01scott Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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
  • troy72365troy72365 Member Posts: 2
  • pawpaw4pawpaw4 Member 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?
  • srg03dak4x4qcsrg03dak4x4qc Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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.

  • skrapper69skrapper69 Member Posts: 9
    OK the thing is it will not start it cranks over good but it wont start and the gas gauge will not work then the millage gauge will flash and say NO BUS and the box around the P R N D 1 2 will not appear...... I have tried putting new battery terminals on and the headlights work everything comes on except for what I said someone please help me out so I can have my truck for work please help me out
  • bobgerschwinbobgerschwin Member Posts: 1
    I have a '87 dakota 2wd 3.9 v6 with about 106000 on it.

    About 3 months ago, I overheated my battery on a 12 hour road trip and replaced it with a new maxx from the wal. 3 days ago i go to start it after a quick trip to a friends house and it won't turn over. Jump started fine. A short drive to wal-mart with my reciept and I left with a new replacement. About 10 hours later...Same problem...Won't turn over. Thought mayyybe I just got a bad battery. 1 year free replacement in hand I leave with another new battery. In an attempt to diagnose my problem, I started up with the new battery and completely disconnected it while running, rode home smoother than it has in a while( had it about 9 months now)

    I am currently disconnecting my battery after I start up and leave it disconnected til the next time i need to start it but this is not something I can live with. Ideas on where to go next would be appreciated.

    I have reason to believe something is either:

    a) prematurely draining the amperage from my battery
    b) overcharging the battery to failure
  • 04dodgedakota04dodgedakota Member Posts: 2
    Bought a 2004 Automatic Dodge Dakota V8. It was working fine and then 4 days later was driving to work and came to a stop light and it died out. It started after work about 8 hours later and now it will not start at all. Any ideas. Was trying to find the fuse relay panel for it online, but can't find it.
  • 04dodgedakota04dodgedakota Member Posts: 2
  • ostinnettostinnett Member Posts: 3
    Ihave a 02 dakota with no spark ihave tried a coil cap rotor button crank sensor dist. pickup and still no spark it is a v6 and the odometer flashes 4 times and no bus appears can you please help. ostinnett
  • val16val16 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Folks- any advice would be appreciated-

    I've installed:new crank sensor-
    ignition coil-
    tested all the Relays/fuses-
    new distributer cap- checked the wires-
    brand new full charged battery-

    I've had 3 Pro mechanics look at this with no luck~! & I've installed 3-
    (count 'em 1,2,3 ! ECM's) from Auto Computer Exchange- they can't all be bad!

    still- the same situation- turns over- no spark/no start

    any help would be so welcome- I hate to have the Salvager tow it away- only 127k - all new brakes- etc-
  • dtomsichdtomsich Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1991 Dakota 3.9L I have replace the computer,coil,plugs,plug wires,fuel filter,auto shut off relay on it since saturday 8/21/10 i know the fuel pump works because i flooded it out and was able to smell fuel, when i changed the computer ,plugs and wires on saturday the 8/21/10 the truck ran for about a week but this morning on the 8/29/10 all it would do is turn over came home from work and it started twice about an half hour later it just turned over, after about 10 min. i unplugged the shutdown relay plugged it in and it started so i replaced it and it started about 5 times it sat for about 3 hours started for about 20 seconds shut off and it just turns over the only thing i did not replace is the fuel pump and before i changed the coil it was a orange color spark and after i changed the coil it still was more of an orange color spark so if anyone has maybe a slight solution to look at or for i would appreciate it thank you.
  • geoge9215geoge9215 Member Posts: 3
    Hi ,I had the same problem I believe you have.I HAD Change everything that you did.So what I did is I went on craigslist and found a mechanic that made house called.He had told me it would cost me $100.00 to get it started and nothing if he could not.At this point I had nothing to lose.What he did was he had taking the top off where the shut off relay and fuelpump relays are plug in.There are clips on the sides that will sperate and you will be able to see the wires under the relays.There was coroded wires under the relay box.He was useing a mulitmeter on the oms setting to check for the bad wire.He had disconnected the battery and unplug the plug from the computer.All the wires on the relays go to compuer plug,When you do the test with meter it should beep if it is good.This mechanic had it going in about a half hour.It was well worth it.The wire that was rotted was just under the relay box,I also had sold the computer I did not need on ebay.Good luck
  • geoge9215geoge9215 Member Posts: 3
  • dtomsichdtomsich Member Posts: 2
  • dantandantan Member Posts: 1
    i would replace the ignition module (some people call it the pick-up module) in the distributor.....
  • skrapper69skrapper69 Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota it will not start every now and then But when it wont start everything works except the gauges and the box around the P R D N 1 2 will not appear please help I even hooked up a code reader and it say their are no codes found? So I did this There is a test of the instrumentation that you can perform

    Turn the ignition off. Press and hold the odometer/trip button while turning igntion to "on" without turning it to the "start" position. Continue to hold the button for 10 seconds...when you will see the odometer window display "CHEC". If there is a problem, a three digit code will appear.

    And these 3 different codes came up 920, 921, 999 does anyone know what these codes mean?? And its a crank no start condition thats what I have also
  • ltg1180ltg1180 Member Posts: 4
    I had a truck do that to me also try the voltage regulator it fixed my truck it stopped it from overcharging the battery
  • ltg1180ltg1180 Member Posts: 4
    hey that sounds like most of the dakotas i get in what it is you got a pinched wire in the steering collumn try turning the key to the start position and hitting the collumn hard below the steering wheel what i do is take some heavy guage wire and run it from the solonoid into the truck through the dash to a push button then run it back to the starter. then when you turn your key on you hit the button and bang your truck starts you can call me if you need more help 309 232 5870 Lee
  • jwonderlyjwonderly Member Posts: 1
    last fall i started the truck, went inside to let it warm up, went back out and it wasn't running. replaced the coil. it started and i was happy. went inside to let it warm up, went out and it wasn't running. =[. waited until spring after a lot of research, changed the crank position sensor and tada! it worked. until yesterday. i fired it up and was waiting for my wife about 5 min. and it stalled and will not start. could it be the same problem after only 6 months?
  • a38racefana38racefan Member Posts: 2
    check your neutral safety switch
  • a38racefana38racefan Member Posts: 2
    have no spark at coil. changed coil changed crank sensor and computer still no spark...
  • denp3denp3 Member Posts: 99
    My 1998 Dodge Dakota will start fine, let it sit a few days and the battery is drained.
    It can be jump started. It has a new battery and alternator.
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    This may sound trivial, but you have to track down the cause of the battery drain. You will need an ammeter to measure the drain on various circuits when the truck is off. You can probably remove one fuse at a time in the fuse box, put the ammeter across the two fuse terminals, and see how much current is being drawn.

    IMO, you are looking for a current draw of an amp or more if the battery is really discharging in a couple of days or less.
  • the_cokekiddthe_cokekidd Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with mine, twice. each with a different solution.

    1. Did you check your fusable links? there is one that goes to the starting circuit, and if that goes then you have to get a new one or replace it with a new inline fuse or just bypass it.

    2. Do you hear a click on that dual relay on the drivers side still when you try to crank it? If so get a little spool of wire - about 14-16 gauge 20 ft long (8 bucks at autozone) run it from where the smallest wire on your starter is into the cab to a momentary contact switch (starter button) and then to the battery. turn the key to run so everything comes on and hit the button, it should start right up.

    if you want to do it the right way trace the small wire on the starter, and replace the entire wire with a new one, that takes a long time to do trying to make sure that you don't get wires mixed up.

    I see now you posted this in dec of 07, but if you still have your dakota sittilg around, try it.

  • russellc5russellc5 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2011
    i have a 99 dakota that i replaced cap rotor and fuel pump i have fuel spark and the crankshaft positioning sensor tested good but still no start what could it be
  • rislandrisland Member Posts: 2
    Hello, I have A 2000 dakota RT this morning i went to start and it cranked but did not start i tried again and got nothing, no crank no power. My dash indicators went out and nothing worked. i tried starting again and nothing. i put the car in gear and back to park and indicator lights came on again but went out upon start attempt. I disconnected the battery ond it seemed to be fully charged. reconnected with the same result. i will occaionally get a fast clicking sound but no hint of cranking. when i turn the key to the on position i lose all power no lights horn etc. with the key in the off position i get dome lights. horn or flashers get a fast clicking but do not work. i am at a lose and hope you can help. the truck has not had any trouble starting and has run great.
  • cateyeskc66cateyeskc66 Member Posts: 2
    I am having the same problem. I replaced the computer now I bought the crank sensor but absolutely cannot locate it on the %&#@ truck! Can anyone help me. I have looked and looked.
  • cateyeskc66cateyeskc66 Member Posts: 2
    Can anyone help me find the crank sensor on my pickup?? I have looked and looked and cannot find it. :cry:
  • ltg1180ltg1180 Member Posts: 4
    if you go to put in your truck info then go to repair info at top of page then select component location at right it says its located under hood,center-rear of engine,mounted in distibutor if that helps you out
  • _solrac_solrac Member Posts: 1
    :( ok well my truck just started acting up out of nowhere. I have a 98 v6 dakota and it has been working fine i just broke 100 k. my issue is this morning i went to turn it on to go get a haircut and it wouldnt start. i tried again and this time gave it some gas and it started, but when i took my foot off the gas the truck turned off... i really dont know whats wrong im not sure if i should just change the spark plugs idk i wanna know if anyone has encountered anything like this.
  • ted71ted71 Member Posts: 2
    My 2000 Dakota 3.9 V6 w/ 5 speed manual transmission intermittently won't start. Turn the key and gauges light up but starter does not crank. Sometimes it will start on the next try, sometimes it won't start for 24 hours. Sometimes goes 2 or 3 months without a problem, or problem might happen 3 or 4 times in one day. Not throwing any codes. Replaced starter, clutch safety switch, ignition switch and battery. Any other ideas?
  • carvermancarverman Member Posts: 101
    Don't know if you found your problem yet, but it sounds like the battery can't
    deliver the power to the starter. The dash lights going out and the clicking
    sound (starter solenoid) indicates that a cell inside the battery is bad and
    the battery should be replaced or at least substituted with another battery
    for a retest.
  • ted71ted71 Member Posts: 2
    I replaced the battery early on, no luck. The dash lights come on normally, and all other electrical systems are operable, but the starter does not crank, or even click. The starting circuit is not completing, maybe a bad ground?
  • carvermancarverman Member Posts: 101
    edited July 2011
    The ground is accomplished through the starter mounting bolts and the ground
    cable from the battery to the engine block. On mine there are 3 wires going to
    this ground (around the front of the intake manifold /A/C compressor unit.

    However..the starter will not turn if the starter solenoid, (which connects
    the battery to the actual starter motor armature brushes) is not functioning. The solenoid, when activated pulls in the battery-to starter motor contactor and the starter drive pinion that meshes with the ring gear on the "flywheel" in side the bell housing.

    The solenoid gets it's its battery power from the contacts of the STARTER
    MOTOR RELAY in the PDC (power distribution center) on the fender next
    to the battery. If you see take the cover off, you should see a few relays and
    some fuses. Look for the position of the starter motor relay (diagram on
    inside of PDC cover.)
    If you have a standard transmission the +12v flowpath logic is:
    1. 10a fuse (PDC)
    2. Ignition switch (start contacts)
    3. Clutch safety switch (if standard transmission only) jumper on automatics
    4. Engine starter motor relay (PDC)
    5. Engine start solenoid (located on starter)

    A blown 10a fuse, bad ignition switch contacts, clutch saftey switch (not on automatic), starter relay contacts, or the starter solenoid itself could be
    the reason it is not starting.

    Quickie troubleshooting:
    You can bypass all this with a automotive 12-14guage jumper wire from the
    battery + terminal to the starter solenoid terminal itself, but you need to crawl under the truck to try this. Make sure it is in NEUTRAL and real wheels jacked up so it cannot move on you and jack stands on the area underneath where you are working.

    Using this method, if the starter starts to engage and sound like it's going
    to crank the engine, it's the logic path ahead of the solenoid you need to
    However..if the starter still appears dead..with this method..then it's either
    the starter solenoid, the solenoid starter contactor or the starter brushes
    themselves..In that case replace the starter.
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