2000 Dodge Dakota Random Stalls

Tiny
MARCUSWOLFHEART
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 108,000 MILES
While there are many other problems with my Dakota that need to get taken care of, this is the most problematic. Either while stopped or while moving, the engine will randomly stall on me with no warning whatsoever. To be more accurate, the truck just stops responding to any attempts to use the accelerator. As long as the vehicle is coasting at about 25mph, power steering will continue to work, and the engine will still be idling. Once the engine stops idling, power steering goes out. During this time, the instrument panel appears to lock up. Speedometer, and Tachometer, Oil Pressure and Temp are not changing for about 10-15 seconds. After this time, all instrument panel displays except for battery and temp drop to zero, check engine and ABS light pop on, and the Odometer changes from milage to "No bus."

Have tried to pull error codes after this occurs, and get a "No Link" error. When vehicle is running, no error codes are detected, and check engine light is off. Shutting the truck off and disconnecting the battery for several minutes does not clear the issue. Truck will start again after random amount of time, but ignition has to be turned off. After the "No Bus" Error appears, starter will spin up, everything moves like it's supposed to, but engine will not fire up.

Have read several threads with similar issues, and most of them point to a bad ECM (read expensive problem), or a bad ground in the system causing the ECM to freak out. (Read hard to find problem).

My question is, how do I go about determining which of the two sources it is? I'm not the most mechanically inclined person, so talk to me like I don't know anything, you'd probably be right.

I know how to use a multimeter, I just have no clue where to start looking on a vehicle.

Help? Please? :D
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 9:01 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
This will either be really easy to fix or really hard. The no bus signal indicates that the signal between the electronic control module (ECM) and accessories has been lost. THe most common problem is a loose connection, loose wiring harness, or corrosion.

Open the hood and locate the ECM. It will be on the inner fender (driver's side I believe) and will have a large wiring harness plugged into it. THe module is rectangular (about 10" long). Check to see if the harness is loose or corroded. Wiggle it around to see if the no bus signal goes away.

Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

Joe
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 9:22 PM
Tiny
MARCUSWOLFHEART
  • MEMBER
There was a little corrosion on pin 10 of the leftmost connector and on the ECM itself (rightmost if you are looking down at it standing just off the passenger's side). Used electronic cleaner to try and remove it, but no luck there. Any other suggestions as to what I can use to clean it and not damage it?

Also, wiggling the connector did not clear the "No bus" error with the vehicle on, and wiggling it while off and turning it back on doesn't clear the issue either.
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 12:48 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
At this point is where it gets difficult because you need to start tracing wiring. I hate to say it, but I recommend taking it to an auto electric tech. Otherwise you are going to go crazy trying to find it. I wish I had a better and easier answer for you.
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 6:31 AM
Tiny
MARCUSWOLFHEART
  • MEMBER
I'm fairly certain at this point it's either a wiring issue or a ECM issue, or some combination of the two. While driving, the various interior lights will occasionally dim, both when accelerating and at at random. Also, the ECM is getting VERY hot.

As far as someone to take a look at it goes, should I take it to a dealership, or to a garage? I've never really heard of an auto electric tech. Should I just ask if the location I am calling has a tech on staff? Also, the local jeep/dodge/chrysler dealership is a 5 star service location. Would I be better off taking the truck there, or to a garage?

Additionally, I took apart one of the ECM connectors to check one of the wires because it had corrosion on it, and now I am having trouble putting the connector back together! I can't get the female ends of the wires to line up and go back into the connector. Any sugguestions?
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If the ECM is getting hot, have that checked first. As far as the auto electric tech, we have people here that specialize just in that area. That is why I recommended it. If you call, make sure they have someone that can handle such a job. Explaine what is happening. Again if ECM is getting hot, I have a feeling it is the problem.
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 1:53 PM

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