No electrical power - everything is dead?

Tiny
MIKEMUKA
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 DODGE RAM
  • 113,000 MILES
Fuses check ok. Battery and alternator check ok. Still large voltage drop problem under load. With ac. Fan high. Lights on. Etc. What is this fusible link. How do I test.I am getting 12 volts to alternator with truck off. My research on the link shows that it will burn out during spike in voltage. Wouldn't that mean I would not get 12 volts at alternator with truck off? Thanks
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Thursday, May 9th, 2013 AT 5:07 PM

21 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
This guide can help us fix it

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/everything-goes-dead-when-engine-is-cranked

Roy
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Thursday, May 9th, 2013 AT 5:47 PM
Tiny
MIKEMUKA
  • MEMBER
Advance autoparts. And I also tried myself with meter 12v at off.13.8-14 v running drops when apply full load ac. Lights etc 11.8-12. Dash dims voltage below halfat stop then drive volts go back up lights brighten etc. This has been a problem ever since I gave my buddies truck a jump. Been through 2 alternators and batteries sice to try and correct problem. So I replace the battery cables that fixed it, thank you.
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Friday, May 10th, 2013 AT 2:50 AM
Tiny
CATM007
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 DODGE RAM
  • 186,000 MILES
I have a 2003 Dodge Truck RAM 1500 1/2 ton 4WD 4.7L SFI 8cyl we were driving down the road and everything shut off no electrical and engine I towed it home replace IOD fuse and un hooked battery for 10 min hoked it back up it strarted fine ran for 3 dayys in town no issues we deciced to go for a drive today about 3 miles from town it did it again I have spent the last 3 hours checking everything I could from fuses to ground cables what could it be?
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:06 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
This guide can help you fix it it sounds like a bad battery cable or connection.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/everything-goes-dead-when-engine-is-cranked

Please run down this guide and report back.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:06 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CATM007
  • MEMBER
Would either one cause no electrical power to anything (cab lights 4 ways radio ect) I got a new battery that fixed it thanks.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:06 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MICHAEL MUELLER
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 DODGE RAM
  • TURBO
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 196 MILES
I have the truck listed above Cummins 24 valve and on the way home the voltage meter went all the way high like extremely high and now I have no power. I have replaced the terminals, clean the wires, followed all the wires all the grounds and I can t figure out what the real problem is. When I went to turn my key I have nothing.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good morning,

The first thing I would check is the battery. Make sure they have 12.6 volts in each battery. If not, then charge them up.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-charge-your-car-battery

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-battery-load-test

Check the charging system as well. It should be 14 to 14.5 volts running. If you do not have that, the alternator may be the issue.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-alternator

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-an-alternator

I also attached a wiring diagram of the alternator as well for you to view.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-wiring

Roy

REMOVAL

Warning: disconnect both negative cables from both battery before removing battery output wire (b+ wire) from generator. Failure to do so can result in injury or damage to electrical system.

1. Disconnect both negative battery cables at both batteries.
2. Remove generator drive belt.
3. Unsnap plastic insulator cap from B+ output terminal.

Fig. 7 Diesel Generator Connectors
imageOpen In New TabZoom/Print

4. Remove B+ terminal mounting nut at rear of generator. Disconnect terminal from generator.
5. Disconnect field wire connector at rear of generator by pushing on connector tab.

Fig. 6 5.9L Diesel Generator
imageOpen In New TabZoom/Print

6. Remove upper mounting bracket bolt.
7. Remove lower mounting bracket bolt and nut.
8. Remove generator from vehicle.

INSTALLATION
1. Position generator to upper and lower mounting brackets and install upper bolt and lower bolt / nut.
2. Tighten all bolts / nut to 41 Nm (30 ft. lbs.).
3. Snap field wire connector into rear of generator.
4. Install B+ terminal eyelet to generator output stud. Tighten mounting nut to 12 Nm (108 in. lbs.) torque.

CAUTION: Never force a belt over a pulley rim using a screwdriver. The synthetic fiber of the belt can be damaged.

CAUTION: When installing a serpentine accessory drive belt, the belt MUST be routed correctly. The water pump will be rotating in the wrong direction if the belt is installed incorrectly, causing the engine to overheat.

5. Install generator drive belt.
6. Install both negative battery cables to both batteries.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MICHAEL MUELLER
  • MEMBER
Okay, thank you very much, I ll let you know soon.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
You are welcome.

Always glad to help.

Roy
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JUSTIN SPELLMEYER
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE RAM
  • 5.9L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 280,000 MILES
I have the truck listed above 2500. When I went to put in an aftermarket radio it was very simple just a plug in and go. But about three weeks ago my truck wouldn t start and there was no power to the cab even after I charged the batteries. I know this is going to sound crazy but the moment I took out the aftermarket radio there was power to the cab and the truck would start. I eventually realized the radio was drawing more than what it was supposed to. My point is every aftermarket component I ve done on my truck blows fuses or causes problems. So I m trying to see if I wire everything to a separate fuse box and don t use fuse taps or use anything in the original fuse box if this might eliminate my problems so I can do aftermarket parts.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
Hi Justin,

To answer your question, yes. There is a way that you can use your own fuse panel and just give it it's own power source and this should limit any issues that you experience in the OEM part of the truck. Unfortunately, these vehicles have modules and other components that are very sensitive to voltage swings. So when you use fuse taps or splice into communication or power wires, it really makes the truck not happy.

These modules communicate over what is called a BUS network. It uses voltage signals to send and receive messages and each module needs these messages to operate properly. When a "foreign" module is introduced or you tap into a modules power source, it interrupts this messaging and causes the modules to not operate properly. So it does not sound odd that when you unplugged the radio that it started operating again.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JUSTIN SPELLMEYER
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your help. Everything you said makes sense and I will keep it in mind. I will also go ahead and try to connect the aftermarket parts to a second fuse box.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
Sounds good. Thanks Justin. Come back and post other questions if you run into other issues. We are happy to help.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RUSTY0080
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 72,000 MILES
Went to start my truck the other day and everything seemed normal for about a second or two then everything cut off. I turned the key again and got nothing. Battery is reading fine, the starter and solenoid tested fine, and the ignition switch is fine (replaced with new). I checked all fuses and they are fine. When I turn the key to any position, there is no power to windows, locks, radio, and no readings on any gauges. There are also no warning chimes(door ajar, headlights, etc.) When I turn the key back to off and pull the key out, there is a clicking sound at the CTM under the steering column. Could this be the culprit? Is there any chance it could be something simpler like a relay? Im suspecting either CTM or PCM but I really don't have a clue except for what I have read. Is this a dealership only fix?
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
The wiring is the same on both engines. I'm including a picture as it could be a fuse or relay in the power distribution center on the lh fender well. The diagram will show what I mean. Check out the diagrams (Below). Please let us know what happens.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MANDMTIPTON
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE RAM
  • 5.9L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
Battery is good (12.51Volts), and truck will not start or jump start. When I turn the key, no power turns on. No dash lights, no headlights, no buzzer. No power. I guess there is a main fuse? But cant find one on the motor side fuse panel. Where is the main fuse? Or what other part may have died?
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
First, make sure the battery terminals are both clean and tight. Make sure there is a good ground to the engine block. Make sure the power supply to the power distribution box isn't damaged. Here is are two guides to help us find the problem with diagrams below on the fuses that need to be checked.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/everything-goes-dead-when-engine-is-cranked

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

Test through the ignition switch as well

Check out the diagrams (Below). Please let us know what you find. We are interested to see what it is.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TURBOJAY
  • MEMBER
Thank you for this post I had this problem and had to get a new positive battery cable.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:
A spark isn't uncommon because it isn't a good connection. If you ran power to the solenoid wire and the starter didn't engage, confirm 12 volts to the larger wire on the starter from the battery. If it has 12 volts and the starter did nothing when you ran 12 volts to the smaller wire, then the starter is bad.

Here is a link that shows how to check a starter:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/starter-not-working-repair

Let me know the results.

Joe
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MELISSA HELM
  • MEMBER
  • 1986 DODGE RAM
  • 2.3L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 500,000 MILES
While driving down road, it acts as if ignition key was turned off. Usually starts right back up, but sometimes has to sit awhile before it will start. Will not even light up dash lights when it quits running, acts as if no battery. Will not even click when key is turned until it sits awhile.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:07 PM (Merged)

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