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2001 Dakota randomly won't start


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dmcoburn308
New User

Aug 20, 2009, 12:26 PM

Post #1 of 4 (2462 views)
2001 Dakota randomly won't start Sign In

Trouble starting 2001 Dodge Dakota.
3.9L V6
manual
87,000 miles


My truck normally starts just fine, however at least a few times a month seemingly at random, it will not start. This occurs after it has been driven sometime that day, typically within the previous few hours. When the ignition is turned, all the dash lights illuminate, but nothing else happens. No sound of cranking, clicking or anything. When it won’t start, I’ve always been able to push-start it. Also, it used to work after waiting 2-3 hours, but not any more, however it has always (so far) started first thing in the morning. The battery is good, the starter was recently replaced with a new one, all the fuses have been checked and are good. Its been suggested that the problem might be some kind of safety switch and that double clutching with it in neutral would negate the problem, but it doesn’t. I’ve taken it to 2 mechanics that I trust who were not able to duplicate the problem and didn’t have any ideas what to. This began occurring about 7 months ago. I’ve stopped turning off the ignition at gas stations, and I’m getting tired of asking my co-workers to help me push start it. Any help would be appreciated.


Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Aug 20, 2009, 2:42 PM

Post #2 of 4 (2453 views)
Re: 2001 Dakota randomly won't start Sign In

Maybe always park on a hill????? Ok...bad idea

Intermittents can be tough to track down, this one seem to have the pattern of having to be warm. What you really need to determine is if the trigger wire to the starter (small wire) has power when the switch is turned to the start position, I know tough when you're on the road.

One thing you can try is to rap on the starter with a hammer when the problem is occurring. If the starter then cranks over you should see if you can get it warrantied...


dmcoburn308
New User

Aug 22, 2009, 2:47 AM

Post #3 of 4 (2446 views)
Re: 2001 Dakota randomly won't start Sign In

Thanks for the reply. Believe me, I'd only park on hills if that was an option.

So the truck didn't start yesterday, and I followed your advise and gave the starter a few good taps. Lo and behold, it worked and started right off the bat. Is this indicative of the starter having dead spots? Should it be cleaned out or replaced?


Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Aug 22, 2009, 9:05 AM

Post #4 of 4 (2439 views)
Re: 2001 Dakota randomly won't start Sign In

Yes that is exactly the problem, it has a dead spot. I guess I misread your 1st post, I thought I saw where you had changed it so I figured there might be a warranty on it. If not just take it by your normal mechanics and if you tell them what you did to have to get it to start, I'm sure they will have no problem changing the starter for you, that is if this is something you don't what to do yourself.........






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