1995 Dodge Dakota

Engine Mechanical problem
1995 Dodge Dakota 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual

For the past week or so, my truck been randomly making that really high pitched screetching noise, which usually lasts for about 10-15 seconds and when I am slowing down or lower gears. Is this a sign of a bad water pump?

Also, just recently, the truck stalled when I was driving it. I thought it just may be low gas, but I put a couple gallons in and she still wouldn't start up again. When trying to start it, the starter works fine (i think), the engine just wont turn over and start. My buddy said he heard a weird clicking noise in the engine with the hood popped when trying to start it. I wish I could have heard it so I could describe it better. Could a bad water pump prohibit the engine from starting?
December 12, 2008.

Hi: No, the water pump won't cause the engine not to start. Is the serp belt tight? Could the noise be from a belt? The tensionier may be bad. Also, is the truck starting now? Finally, when your friend heard the click, did the starter crank the engine?


Hey Joe, thanks for the reply.

I dont know much about engines, but I checked the belts, and they all seemed to be in place and tight. I could be wrong though. When you say tight, do you mean extremely tight, because my guess is that they just have to be tight enough to make things move.

The truck is not starting anymore. The starter is cranking the engine when I try to start it by the way.

Dec 12, 2008.
Hi: The belt needs to be tight. In fact, when you pull up and down on it, there should be around an inch of travel. It need to be tight because of the drag from the ac compressor, alt and PS pump can be intense.

As far as the no start, if you know how, check to see if the engine is getting spark to the plugs and fuel. Can you hear the fuelpump kick on for a second or so when you first turn the key on?

If you are unsure about the spark, let me know and I'll try to explain how to do it. Make sure you have an old spark plug that still works. It could be from anything.


I am on my own until tomorrow, so I can't really check for the fuel pump. I could check to see if the engine is getting spark though, if you would maybe explain how to do it a bit more. Thanks so much for all your help so far.


Dec 15, 2008.
Joel, take an old spark plug that is still good, remove one or the sparkplug wires from a plug on the car, put the extra plug into the wire, and ground the steel part of the plug on something metal (exhaust manifold, block.) Next, have a helper crank the engine while you watch the bottom or the spark plug for spark. You'll see it if it's there.

Let me know what you find.