Mechanics

BATTERY DIED AND TRUCK WILL NOT IDLE

2002 Dodge Dakota

Electrical problem
2002 Dodge Dakota V8 Four Wheel Drive Automatic 30,000 miles

I went to start my truck and the battery was dead. I jump started it and even with the jumper cables on it, the truck will not stay idling. I was able to disconnect the cables as long as I kept pushing the throttle, the truck would stay running. Once it got below 1000 rpms, it just completely dies. The alternator is charging so something else appears to be draining the battery. Possibly the same thing causing the truck not to idle. I also noticed that the ABS light is now staying on. All of this happened at exactly the same time.
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Mbrault
October 13, 2008.




If you charge up the battery, will it hold a charge? A battery that will not take a charge will do what you describe.

Tiny
James W.
Oct 13, 2008.
Yes, the battery holds a charge. Something is draining it and may be related to it not being able to idle and the ABS light staying on. When it gets below 1000 rpm or so, it dies. It doesn't at all sound like a fuel problem. When it dies it sounds as if I had turned off the key. It just immediately dies. This may not be worth anything but just so you can know this, I used to be ASE certified about 20 years ago. Lot's has changed but I at least have somewhat of an idea on today's vehicles. I look forward to your next reply.

Tiny
Mbrault
Oct 13, 2008.
Your ASE certification means a lot. Now we have one old wrench talking to another. I sold my shop about 20 years ago. With the new cars I was looking at about $50K in upgrades and improvements and decided against it. Besides, I was tired of dirty fingernails and skun nuckels. Anyway, onward. When you disconnect and reconnect the neg. Battery cable do you get a healthy arc or just a little tick? Let's try an " old indian trick". If you have a timimg light, hook it to one of the plug wires and either tie the trigger back or hold it so the light flashes and raise the rpms until it dies, watching to see if the light quits before the motor stops turning. Let me know what you find out.

Tiny
James W.
Oct 13, 2008.
Hi James. My 2002 Dakota has the 4.7 v8 engine which does not have the traditional distributor, coil and secondary spark plug wires. I have 8 individual coils which sit right on top of the sparkplugs. There is no timing adjustment to make and no cable to hook a timing light to. The power to the coils comes from the ASD relay. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) opens and closes each ignition coil ground circuit at a determined time for ignition coil operation. So, though your test is a very good one, it has been obsoleted by this ignition system. I have the factory service manual for this truck so I can look things up as we discuss them. Any other suggestions? And again, in case you misunderstood, the engine stalls if the rpm's go below 1000. Thanks, Michael

Tiny
Mbrault
Oct 14, 2008.
Michael, Forgive me please. After a day of answering questions, I have a tendancy to get them all jumbled together if don't read the past dialogue first. Last night (late) I sent a guy a wiring diagram for his '02 Chev Impala. Turns out his question was on a '63 Peugeot 404 that I had been working on.
Have you tried disconnecting the ABS system to see if it makes a difference in running and battery drain?
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Tiny
James W.
Oct 14, 2008.
Alright heres your problem, when your battery goes dead it messes with the computer settings etc etc etc, so pretty much you need to loosen the NEGATIVE bolt on your battery or take it all the way off to reset the computer, tighten it back up and try starting it, it might not idle again the first time you turn the key over but try it again and it should work.

Tiny
Dakota99s
Oct 23, 2008.

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