2001 Dodge Ram Electric

Tiny
CAWOODS
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE RAM
  • 5.2L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
What causes the fuel and oil gauges to not move when the truck is trying to start
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No
Friday, April 17th, 2015 AT 8:32 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do you mean while you're cranking the engine? The ignition switch is made up of at least three different, independent switches, and one part turns off during cranking to reduce the drain on the battery. That part also turns off the heater fan and radio as well as the instrument cluster.
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Friday, April 17th, 2015 AT 10:03 PM
Tiny
CAWOODS
  • MEMBER
Yes I meant while the engine is cranking up.
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Friday, April 17th, 2015 AT 10:13 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That's normal operation. Gauges, and anything else that isn't needed during cranking is turned off to lower the amount of current the battery must supply. With a marginal battery or on a really cold day, that can make the difference between starting and needing a jump-start.
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Friday, April 17th, 2015 AT 10:18 PM
Tiny
CAWOODS
  • MEMBER
How do you know when the ignition switch is bad
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Friday, April 17th, 2015 AT 10:28 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You start by looking at the symptoms. Based on those, if the switch is a suspect, you examine the connector for signs of overheated terminals and a melted connector body. If you find those, I have a repair procedure.
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Friday, April 17th, 2015 AT 10:51 PM
Tiny
CAWOODS
  • MEMBER
Where is the ignition switch located? What does the ignition switch control?
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Friday, April 17th, 2015 AT 10:56 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The key slides into the lock cylinder, and the lock cylinder is inserted into the ignition switch assembly. To get to the switch and connector, the cover right below the steering wheel has to be removed. There's three or four torx screws, (T15 or 20 as I recall), that must be removed from the bottom. Two or three of them hold the top and bottom halves together, and one holds the bottom to the column.

Once the covers are removed, you'll see the 7-pin flat connector on the lower left side of the switch assembly. One section of the switch is for the starter circuit. A different section is for all the stuff that runs in the "run" and "accessory" positions, like the radio. The third section is for things that only turn on in the "run" position. That includes the heater fan, power windows and possibly the wipers. It's that section that commonly overheats, especially for people who run the heater fan on the highest settings a lot. That draws a real lot of current and that's what is hard on the switch contacts and connector terminals.
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Saturday, April 18th, 2015 AT 12:35 AM
Tiny
CAWOODS
  • MEMBER
What controls the oil pressure gauge and the fuel gauge
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Saturday, April 18th, 2015 AT 12:46 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The instrument cluster is a computer module. It gets turned on by the Body Computer, (Central Timer Module), which gets turned on by the ignition switch. The cluster gets data from the Engine Computer and Body Computer and uses that to know where to place the gauge pointers.
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Saturday, April 18th, 2015 AT 1:01 AM
Tiny
CAWOODS
  • MEMBER
How do you know if the starter solenoid is bad
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Saturday, April 18th, 2015 AT 4:01 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I'm getting whiplash from changing directions so much. Instead of rewriting a textbook, lets solve the problem the normal way, by starting with the symptoms. Testing or replacing random parts is the most expensive and least effective way to diagnose a problem. Exactly what kind of problem are you having? Are there any other clues or observations?
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Sunday, April 19th, 2015 AT 7:12 PM

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