Question about 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Truck

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2006 Dodge Ram SLT Megacab, 5.9L Cummins

I have an intermittant problem with my head lights. My lights will go off and on while driving. I commute 55 miles to work and it may happen once, twice, or a dozen times before I get to work. Sometimes it don't happen at all. One time they wouldn't turn on in the morning. When I pushed my foglight switch the lights came on but went back off. Eventually they stayed on.

I took it to a Dodge dealer and they could not duplicate the problem. It is a very stressful situation when the lights go out and it is dark outside.

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  • gibson5 Oct 04, 2008

    The fog lights are OEM. The light switch is OEM and is configured to turn the fog lights on when you push in on the light switch. When I pushed the fog light switch the fog and headlights did not stay on. The issue with the light/fog switch has only happened once. The lights going off and on while driving (in the dark) has happened several times. The Dodge dealership I took it to could not duplicate the problem but their best guess is that the power distribution module needs to be replaced.



    I could not find a fuse or relay at the fuse panel for the lights. My first reaction was that a relay was going bad. I am not sure where the circuit is protected from.



    The Dodge dealer said the power distribution module has had several updates since 2006. The part number they told me I needed is 56049891AQ which costs $670 wholesale plus $150 for the install. The dealer said this may or may not fix the problem. Pretty expensive gamble to say the least.



    I am familiar with and feel comfortable using a multimeter.



    Thanks for your interest and assistance.

    Larry

  • gibson5 Oct 06, 2008

    My headlights are halogen (bulb 9006LL). I don't have daytime running lights.



    I can't find another another fuse block. The owners manual doesn't mention one either. It is my understanding the power distribution for my vehicle consists of a totally integrated power module (TIPM) which incorporates circuit controls such as fuses, resetting circuit breakers and relays. All I see when I take the cover off is fuses though. Could it be that some of the other components are incorporated in a printed circuit board?



    I am not sure if the problem exists when the engine is not running. I have never tried that. What could it mean If the problem wasn't there with the engine off?



    The problem is not easy to duplicate. I wish I knew the right button to push or the right knob to pull to duplicate it so the problem could be found.



    Does any of this help you?



  • billcar Nov 13, 2008

    I just started to have same problem with my 2006 Dodge Mega cab Diesel 2500. Did the module you replaced fix it? Or maybe a relay. I still have 4,000 miles on my warantee. Sometimes there is no problem for a few days.

    Bill

  • sumwone Dec 22, 2008

    Same thing happening to my 2001 Dodge 1500 4x4. Lights only go out when on low beam so far. Toggling the dimmer switch has brought them back on.

    Wished I knew what was the trouble.

  • cools2 Jan 08, 2009

    Steven here Just wanted to ask about the battery circuit. I have a problem. I was watching the battery gage and it peg out to 18v then put in neutral and rev up engine it seem to go down to the middle where it should be this was at night. woke up the next morning and it didn't turn over so I thought that it was the battery but took the wires off and check the voltage on battery it was 12v. My door light seem to be trying to turn on but just hered noise like a clicking. When I was driving the dash board light seem to be flickering. Is this the same problem. 2001 1500 dodge 5.9l

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case May 11, 2010

    Hey there Gibson5,

    A couple questions:


    • Are the fog lights you mentioned Aftermarket or OEM?.

    • Are the fog lights rigged to only come on if the head lights are on?

    • When you pushed the fog light switch, after the headlights went out, did the fog lights remain on?

    • Any other events coincide with this problem?

    • Do you have a multimeter? Are you comfortable testing voltages under the hood?
    Comment me back when you get the chance.
    Mike






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I stumbled across this thread while seeking a solution for a lighting problem on my 1998 RAM - totally unrelated to this one, as it turns out. But, having read through the posts on this topic, I have a theory which seems plausible, although it seems unlikely that a competent main dealer technician would have overlooked this possibility ....

Many automotive headlamp circuits are protected by thermal breakers rather than fuses - this is intended to prevent sudden total loss of main lighting when the circuit is overloaded - the breaker will normally reconnect as it cools down and the lighting will be restored - and will continue to work if the overload sitiuation no longer exists.

The failing component in this case could be the thermal breaker itself or something in the charging circuit. The reason why this happens only when the engine is running may be because the system voltage will be higher when the alternator is charging the battery and the current flow through the headlamp circuit will be proportionately higher. This additional current could be sufficient to trip a faulty thermal breaker. Alternatively, a fault in the charging circuit may allow the supply voltage to rise over the acceptable limit (around 14v) to a sufficient level where the current draw through the headlamp circuit exceeds the safety limit built into the thermal breaker.

It may be significant that both vehicles mentioned are diesels - presumably with twin batteries. There may be a clue here ..... one faulty battery could cause excessive charging voltage.

Look out for abnormally high voltage indications (if your truck is equipped with a voltmeter) or check the voltage across each battery with a multimeter with the motor running. Check under normal conditions and then with everything you can think of switched on - especially heated seats, mirrors etc - run the heater blower at full speed ... the voltage should never exceed 14.5V. Do the headlamps get brighter as you increase engine revs ? This could indicate a voltage control problem.

Hope this is helpful.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008

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Hello again Larry,

Thanks for the excellent response. That makes it so much easier for us to provide assistance.

Even though you went to the dealership, I checked for any recalls related to this problem and there were none. I've been doing some research to find similar problems (and hopefully the inexpensive fix that goes with them). I'm still searching, but I did find a combination of features that causes this type of problem.

Do you have an HID headlight system? Daytime Running Lights?

The two together on Dodge RAMs have had problems where they blink out for no apparent reason.

One other symptom they exhibit is that they work fine with the engine off. It only happens while the vehicle is running. This made me wonder if the dealership tested your vehicle with the engine running or not.

This doesn't 'feel' right, just letting you know what I found.

To check:
I agree with you about checking the relays. Under your hood there is another fusebox that houses larger system fuses, relays and breakers. There should be a legend on the cover for which one is which.

Find and replace the headlight relay.

If it was an easy problem to duplicate, I'd have you feel the relay after it happened to check it for heat. The reasoning is that while the relay may be faulty and the cause of the lights going off (like if it was getting too hot), it may also be the most visible symptom of the problem (like something else turning the relay off).

Replacing it is an easy and inexpensive way to either solve or rule out one of the possible causes.

Let me know how it goes, In the meantime, I'll keep looking for other possibilities.
Mike

Posted on Oct 05, 2008

I purchased a new TIPM (totally integrated power module) and installed it yesterday. It was not cheap. Ouch! Hopefully it will solve the problem. Driving your vehicle at 70 MPH at night and having your headlights go out, even for just a few seconds at a time, is not FUN.

Larry Gibson

Posted on Oct 12, 2008

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