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Dodge Dakota Stalling and Dying Problems



  • 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.
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