1994 Dodge Dakota

Electrical problem
1994 Dodge Dakota 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic

When the key is turned over, the only thing that happens is a click from the engine compartment fuse box. Checked all fuses and all seem to be ok. The battery is good and reading 12.6 volts. The starter was tested and is good as well. What else can I try?
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Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 AT 1:06 PM

1 Reply

If you're hearing a single light relay click in the fuse box, then another click about two seconds later, that's the Automatic Shutdown relay doing what it's supposed to do. Either remove that relay temporarily so you can listen if the starter relay is clicking, or put your finger on the starter relay to feel if it's clicking.

If it is not clicking, suspect a defective neutral safety switch on the left side of the transmission, (not very common), or a broken cam on the end of the ignition switch cylinder. The dealer has a repair kit for that.

If the starter relay is clicking, measure for battery voltage on the smaller of the two wires on the starter while someone holds the key in the "crank" position. You can get to them by reaching into the engine compartment over the left front tire.

Another way to check it without finding the starter wires is to bypass the starter relay. You can remove the relay's cover and squeeze the contact, or you can use a paper clip to jump between the two terminals in the relay socket. Disregard the two parallel terminals in adjacent corners and the terminal in the center. The last two terminals are the ones to jump. If you have the larger 1" square relay, those two terminals will form the letter "T". If it cranks when you jump those terminals, you know the starter and solenoid wiring, and the battery and cables are ok.

When the cam on the end of the ignition switch cracks, everything else works normally, but it won't go quite far enough to get to the "Crank" position.

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Thursday, April 30th, 2009 AT 2:18 AM

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