Last post on Nov 13, 2013 at 2:30 PM
You are in the Dodge Dakota-2010 and older
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Dodge Dakota, Electrical, Truck
#248 of 509 Re: 1995 Dodge Dakota 2wd 5sp Manual, electrical gremlin [bpeebles]
Sep 30, 2008 (3:35 pm)
Update: I did as you suggested, and took every ground wire and not only cleaned the wire connecter off, but I also cleaned where it WOULD connect to the chassis, and...
TA DA. The problem of the draining battery went away! I still, once in a great while, get the check engine light, but it's only on for a few seconds or maybe a minute or so, then goes out.
Oh, and it doesn't like it when it's damp, either. Rain I can deal with, but when it rains for days and days, it gets... cranky. Stutters, probably need to replace the distributor and wires/plugs.
That'll go on the list, for when I have $$ to do it.
Thanks for all the help though!!! My main problem fixed!
#249 of 509 Re: 1995 Dodge Dakota 2wd 5sp Manual, electrical gremlin [twizted]
Sep 30, 2008 (4:32 pm)
You are very welcome twizted.
The ignition wires on a 1995 vehicle have outlived their usfulness and "dont owe you nothin". I am not surprised that you are experiencing rough running in damp weathther.
Here is a tip to help isolate that problem. WIth engine idling, use a spritzer-bottle (old windex bottle) to lightly spray water on the ignition wires and dist. cap... when the engine starts to falter, you have found the problem.
With a healthy ignition, you should be able to hose down the wires and the engine never misses a beat. (dont try this because cold water on a hot engine/exhaust can crack the metal!)
Somtimes, when one is on a budget... you can remove the cap/wires and wash them in a tub of hot, soapy water. Use a toothbrush in the nooks-n-crannies. Rince well. After drying thoroughly, reinstall using some silicone grease on the rubber seals on the cap. (on wire ends) You may find it runs better in damp weather.
This sometimes works because a layer of crud on the cap/wires acts to attract moisture and can bleed-off the high-tension voltage.
#250 of 509 2001 Dakota 2w horn/remote glitch
Oct 11, 2008 (2:16 pm)
Out of the blue my horn starting "beeping" intermittently when engine on. Then remote key fob quit. Then when raining I turned on the lights and the relay in the fuse box began to chatter and the instrument lights flickered. I noticed my trailer connection was wet and dried it, and the light and horn problem stopped for awhile.
Now, going out in wet weather, the problem started again. The fob is still dead (new batts). Any clues?? Thanks rdognc
#251 of 509 Re: 1995 Dodge Dakota 2wd 5sp Manual, electrical gremlin [twizted]
Oct 11, 2008 (9:34 pm)
I correct, I think I have further isolated the problem, and will work on it. SPecifically, I've taken to having two fully charged batteries with me, one for the trip TO someplace, and if I can't find a hill to park on, the trip BACK. I did notice, however, that the problem of the battery draining occurs now when I use the lights, and with nothing else drawing power. I have to NOW check every line leading to the lights, to isolate the problem, because I feel that it is indicative of a short in the lighting system.
Any specific thoughts on where I should look?
I will also consider the budget fix for the plugs and distributor, but I can actually replace those on Wednesday. Any other problems I might want to be concerned about for the upcoming winter? Things old Dodges are known to do in the winter?
I was going to invest in a plug-in style oilpan warmer, just for shits and giggles. Can't hurt, and a buddy has one for $10. Cheap, in my book.
Any thoughts? By the way, you have been a wealth of knowledge, and I want to express my gratitude and thanks for all you have suggested. it's been immensely helpful.
#252 of 509 Re: 1995 Dodge Dakota 2wd 5sp Manual, electrical gremlin [twizted]
Oct 12, 2008 (4:03 pm)
my suggestion in append #235 still applies here. The digital meter from WallyMart which plugs into the cigarette-lighter socket runs about $12. With it, you should be able to make some determinations about your charging system. (both with lights "off" and "on")
In reguards to your question about an oil-pan warmer... I would not mess with it. It may warm up the oil a bit, but the oil instantly gets cold again once you start the engine and it is pumped into the stone-cold steel of the engine-block.
If you really NEED an engine-heater, consider a frost-plug heater which actually heats up the antifreeze within the engine. (I have one on my Dak)
Also, unless you can afford significant jump in your electric-bill, any engine-heater needs to be controled with a timer. (dont just leave it plugged in all night)
#253 of 509 Re: 1995 Dodge Dakota 2wd 5sp Manual, electrical gremlin [bpeebles]
Oct 14, 2008 (9:27 am)
Noted! Yes, I have a timer, I use it for plants during the day with their growth light. (I like palms, not anything more... exotic)
I will pick up the plug from wallymart tomorrow to check the running gauge, lights/accessories on/off. If I can isolate it to one accessory, I'll then have to figure out where in the line the short is, correct? It's been my experience that this is usually at a connection, or at a harness location, or someplace where the line does a turn or a rub on something. Anything else I should look for? Anything specific I should avoid?
Like I said, tested with a voltmeter, all the fuse runs work FINE, it's just a very intermittent problem and that's the frustrating thing. I'm half-tempted to just sell the damn thing, I got an offer for $500 more than I paid for it. Maybe I should just cut and run, if I can find a replacement vehicle?
I took another chance on Dodges because I wanted a manual, and it was the right size. Maybe now's the time to take a step back and try something else.
#254 of 509 Re: Radio and Turn Signal cuts off while driving [brake4me1]
Oct 18, 2008 (12:19 pm)
Hey... I have the same problem but after 2.5 hours of trouble shooting, I traced it to the culprit. If you take the steering column apart, look for a module that is mounted to the left side of the steering column, next to the signal lever/switch. The module will most likely have the name Valeo stamped into the side of it. This, I believe, is called the ignition switch module. Inside the switch module, there is a nylon or plastic dial that pushes contacts together inside when the key is turned in the ignition. You can actually pull this module off and simulate the key turning through all it's ranges. The purpose of the module is to provide electrical contact connections to the radio or dash or what have you when the key is turned. What I found is happening is that when there is ANY kind of pressure put on the assembly between the portion that slides into the rest of the ignition assembly and the body, the 2 contacts that are responsible for the radio/signal power are pulled apart enough to cut the power to the radio/signal lights. The wires associated to that connection are the red (16 AWG) wire which supplies +12VDC and the BLK/WHT (20 AWG) wire. I have not been able to resolve this yet as it appears to be a wear & tear problem. When plastic/nylon rubs against metallic parts over a period of almost 8 years, this is bound to happen. I have a feeling that I will need to replace the component. I have no idea what this is going to cost. Other than that, I figure I saved myself about 3 or 4 hours of mechanical labor. Next step is to price out the new component. If I could post pics, I would. Cheers!
#255 of 509 Re: All my lights in my 2001 Dakota blink off [dpafrog]
Nov 10, 2008 (3:02 pm)
I have the same problem with my '05. Where is the switch ?
#256 of 509 Re: All my lights in my 2001 Dakota blink off [cm2381]
Nov 13, 2008 (6:59 am)
Just to let you know I have the same problem and I am not bad at these type problems but I let you know what I've done. I have replaced headlight switch then a guy told me he had the same problem and it was the dimmer so I replaced it. Then I cleaned all the grounds under the hood and the frame to body and added a ground directly to the head light switch and a ground from the dash to the firewall and still have the same problem. Right know I am going to disconect my altenator to see if it has a short if it does not I am going to the rear of the truck and start their. I will let you know what happens I have been fighting this for two months and no one at dodge has been able to find it either. Wes
#257 of 509 Headlight problems after rental trailer
Nov 19, 2008 (7:27 pm)
I have a 1997 Dodge Dakota Sport. I rented a trailer this past weekend. When I tested the lights at the rental lot, the side lights on the trailer that are supposed to come on with headlights, didn't come on. At the time, I thought it was just a connection problem with the trailer (I didn't look to see if my headlights were on at the time). Since then, my headlights aren't working. My initial assumption was that there was a short in the trailer that blew a fuse, but the headlight fuse is fine. I even replaced it to be sure. Any thoughts? I read a previous post about something similar (post #200), but I didn't see any responses to that. Nor are my problems that odd and intermittent. I'd appreciate any thoughts you have for me. Thanks!