Question about Dodge Ram 3500

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Van is intermittent in starting. Appears to be an electrical issue. The instrumentation does not come on though there is power. If you leave it energized like this eventually the odometer numbers will begin to flash (about three times) and then it displays a message. It is something like "loss of bus."

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I am assuming that the first thing you checked is if the battery and cables are good. A reminder, normally there would be two (2) cables connected to the + terminal, 1 big for the starter and 1 smaller for the systems supply. This 2nd wire is actually a fusible link and may run about 8~10 inches and end with a connector before going to the harness. Being a fusible link, they are designed to open in the event of a major short/fault in the electrical. However, often the problem is not blowing open, it is the connector/spade terminal that gets cooked. There would still e connection but due to corrosion the actual connection is only partial. Technically it has developed a high resistance. Corrective procedure calls for check/clean/replace whichever is applicable. In some instances, removing the connector and directly splicing the fusible link and the actual wire to the harness would be better. Soldering the said splice would make sure that the connection would last longer.

Should this be not the case, you may want to check the main fuse box. Since this would contain the branching of the +12 supply to the major circuitry. This is then called the "+12 bus" and perhaps what your onboard diagnostics is referring to as loss. Again corrective procedure would call for check/clean/rep-lace where warranted.

Next inline to be check/cleaned would be the wires going to the ignition key and the dashboard instrumentation. Sometimes it helps to wiggle the connectors a bit to determine the loose connection and/or re-establish power connection.

It is suggested to give preference to the bigger wires than the multi colored smaller gauge wires.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Jul 22, 2008

    sorry, that should be "ignition switch"


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When this happens is usually either a faulty computer or a faulty instrument panel,
try disconnecting battery for five minutes and connect it back.
If the problem persists you will have to go to a mechanic and either replace instrument panel or set up computer.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008


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