1999 Dodge Dakota Cranks & tries to start but dies agai

Tiny
HEYUAARON
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 16,700 MILES
While driving, all of a sudden the truck looses power and acts like it just dies and came right back, in some cases, it dies all together while driving or even sitting at a light. This is a hit and miss issue as I had my garage guy check it out and after a complete tune-up and replacing of the sensors and battery, and it still, intermittently, still loses power and sometimes just dies while idling. And now, this morning while pulling out of my garage, it died again. It cranks and sometimes tries to catch but not long enough to put it into gear to go, I had to push the truck back into the garage. My garage guy tested the spark plugs. No problems there. Cleaned the computer connections & did a water test for shorts on the spark plug wires. No problems there. Battery and alternator are ok.
Friday, August 14th, 2009 AT 7:35 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • MECHANIC
  • 108,102 POSTS
Actually this sounds more fuel related. Will the truck start for a few seconds with starting fluid? Has your mechanic checked fuel pressure? Has the check engine light come on? Has he checked to make sure the catylatic converter isn't plugged?

When running, does the truck have normal power?
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
HEYUAARON
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  • 6 POSTS
Sorry, didn't read your entire responce. My guy has yet to try the starter fluid or fuel pressure because it of all the other items that seemed (at that time) to be the reason but I will mention it to him. NO, the Check Engine light never came on. I will mention about the catylactic Converter

My BIGGER question is at this point, I've spent over $1000 fixing the other stuff so far and now I must ask my self. Do I go trade it in under the CARS program or keep trying to fix this.

I read that the fuel pump and filter are in the fuel tank and that will get costly getting those fixed
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • MECHANIC
  • 108,102 POSTS
Good question. If the check engine light wasn't on, the first thing I would have checked was the fuel pressure. An electrical item or sensor would have set the light. As far as the fuel pump, it's about a 150 dollar part. Labor, shouldn't be more than 2 hours.

I hate the cash for clunkers deal because I have been seeing cars nicer than I can afford to buy ready to be blown up and crushed. Regardless, if it benefits you, then go for it. But, remember, your vehicle has a value. I would guess around 2000.00 if it is in good shape. Plus, you put 1000.00 into it. So if you trade it under the CFC you will only be getting between 500 and 1500 for it. For some reason, people are forgetting that part of it.
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
HEYUAARON
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  • 6 POSTS
Humm, i've read over the www. CARS. Gov website and didn't see anything about deducting from the total about with the scrap value of the car
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
HEYUAARON
  • MEMBER
  • 6 POSTS
They did a pressure test & couldn't get it to sputter or die. Pressure is a little low but not bad to cause failure
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • MECHANIC
  • 108,102 POSTS
First, you are correct. The don't deduct anything for the CFC. I just ment the car had a value.

AS far as the fuel pressure, what did you find? If it was a little low, it may change when you experience the problem.
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
HEYUAARON
  • MEMBER
  • 6 POSTS
Mechanic said my truck should be 48 and the readout for this test was 44. Now even when the truck died, it only dropped about a pound but he told me the specs say it's ok as long as it's between 40 & 50 lbs so he's about 90% sure it's not the fuel pump. He's conclusion was it's either the computer or the ignition system and wants to run a battery of tests that will cost me up to $300 to see which system is failing. Because this issue is so randem, it's still hard to say.

Now the Mechanic also suggested to me to get a can of starter fluid and the next time it dies and won't start, try spraying the starter fluid and see if it starts. Could help suggest if it is still fuel related.
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • MECHANIC
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The starting fluid will help him determine if the ignition system is getting spark. If it isn't getting spark, it won't start even with starting fluid. That way he will know if there is no fuel or no spark.
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
HEYUAARON
  • MEMBER
  • 6 POSTS
Well, my mechanic spend the day on the phone and finally got a call back from the Dodge Tech line and found (according to them) it's the computer overheating when the hood is closed. That explains why he had a hard time getting it to fail or die becuase he had the hood opened performing tests and such. Anyway.

Know where I can get a used ECM for a 99 dakota for a 3.9l 2wheel drive?
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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That makes sense. As far as getting one, if you go to a salvage yard, make sure the parts number is exactly the same.
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
JEFF71104
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
What was the final out come of this? My 98 Dakota is doing the same thing.W/ the addition of backfiring.
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Thursday, September 7th, 2017 AT 5:28 PM

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