Question about 1997 Dodge Dakota

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I was driving to work and the truck stopped running. When I came to a stop I tried to restart it and it turned over but would not start. I had all panel lights on and it still would not start. I turned the ignition on and off several times, thinking maybe it was something in the ignition switch. After about 20 minutes of this and trying to start it, it finally started. I was able to drive it about 3 miles back home and I have not drove it since. When it did finally start it was kind of flooded, and it took it little while to start.

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  • davidnichold Jan 30, 2010

    This sounds like it could be it. I just wanted to get an opinion before i start buying electrical parts. I do not know if this other problem is related. about 2 moths ago It happend and started right away so I just figured it was a fluke. Also at the same time I noticed that when driving at night if i move my tilt wheel all the way down my bright lights would turn off. If i left my dims on they would stay on when tilting the wheel. When I got home i took the cover off of the steering wheel and inspected the wiring and tried to make the lights dim and see if the motor stopped running as i gently tugged on the wires. I could repeat the failure of lights but i could not tell which wire it was.. I could not howver make the motor stop running. I put it all back together and gave the wiring a little more room and have not seen any problem till now. However i stopped using the tilt steering.

  • davidnichold Jan 30, 2010

    It confirms my suspicions and gives me a place to start. Finding something like this is never easy. It will take a while to fix this problem. I am going to have to rule out several items first.


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This appears to be an ignition problem and will require testing with a volt meter at the least. It could be the ignition coil due to the fact that the vehicle was most likely @ running temperature when you experienced the engine shut down. When coils are defective, they will leak voltage when hot, therefor they will not supply spark the the plugs. Since the vehicle flooded...I'm assuming you smelled fuel, which is an indication that fuel pressure is not an issue. Make a visual inspection or have someone check the ignition coil, having a vehicle shut down while driving cause's you to loose power steering and power brakes and is not something that should be taken lightly.

Posted on Jan 30, 2010

  • GetMeOttaHere Jan 30, 2010

    I can't be sure at this point, now that there is another problem that may or may not be related to the vehicle shut down. perhaps the positive lead in the steering column to the ign switch connector is pulling away and causing power loss. I would re-inspect the the connection at the wheel, and with the cover off, move the column up and down and see if you notice anything pulling away. At this point, I have no other solutions, but we do know where to start.


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