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Truck shuts off
1998 Dodge Dakota

Truck Shuts Off

(1998 Dodge Dakota)
I have spent nearly $3k in repairs on my truck and just have had my PCM replaced for the third time. The truck ran fine for three days. After driving for about 5 miles yesterday at highway speed (50-55mph), the truck just shut off. I pulled over, cranked it back up and it ran fine. 5 hours later, cranked it up and it shut off about 10 seconds later. Did this three times before it would stay cranked and I could drive it. I have had this truck in three different shops having thousands of dollars worth of parts replaced (plus labor)...still the same problem. I am at my wits end. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
7 answers & 8 comments
Popular Answer
on January 08, 2010
My truck would randomly shut off at almost any time at any speed. It would usually restart after sitting for a while. No codes. Changed computer didnt work.Haynes service manual has very accurate electrical diagrams right down to the proper colors.Anyway, I determined it to be an electrical problem because only three of the four wires that supply power to the computer had 12 volts.One did not. Traced the harness and "that" wire all the way around the firewall(removing the jacket and tape on the whole thing) to find a FACTORY solder connection buried in the middle of the harness over near the battery that was green,corroded and barely making a connection. Sometimes it allowed 12volts sometimes it didnt. Restripped the wires and wirenutted the connection no more problem EVER!!!Cost of fix besides my time was zero. Took about 1 hour to trace out. Hope this helps.
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General Diagnosis
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on January 08, 2010
My truck would randomly shut off at almost any time at any speed. It would usually restart after sitting for a while. No codes. Changed computer didnt work.Haynes service manual has very accurate electrical diagrams right down to the proper colors.Anyway, I determined it to be an electrical problem because only three of the four wires that supply power to the computer had 12 volts.One did not. Traced the harness and "that" wire all the way around the firewall(removing the jacket and tape on the whole thing) to find a FACTORY solder connection buried in the middle of the harness over near the battery that was green,corroded and barely making a connection. Sometimes it allowed 12volts sometimes it didnt. Restripped the wires and wirenutted the connection no more problem EVER!!!Cost of fix besides my time was zero. Took about 1 hour to trace out. Hope this helps.
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on December 04, 2009
TRY A NEW THROTLE POSITION SENSOR.YOULL BE HAPPY.I DID THE SAME THING REPLACED ALL THE WRONG PARTS.I BOUGHT MINE FOR 40 BUCKS BRAND NEW AT AUTOZONE
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on February 02, 2010
i have a 97 dakota and in the past year over 1900 dollars in repairs pcm replaced twice and somewhat same problem i was pretty upset i had no problems with it till the day i paid off the 15000 dollar loan but my truck was doind what you say yours is and one day i pulled in the driveway it stalled and every bump id hit the check engine light would flicker. turn the swith in the on position and grab a handfull of wires and wiggle em around i did and turns out at least 500 bucks couldve been saved had i done this in the first place it was a loose connection on the crank position sensor i would hear clicking and dinging from the check engine light coming on when i hit that harness and i was able to trace it down to the one fault and i too had my truck to three different shops and none of them were able to find the problem i do love my dakota and probably would spend forty grand to keep it on the road 15 grand for the loan and so far 6 grand on repairs in five years
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on November 01, 2009
Hello , well without looking at the vehicle myself , it is hard to say ,, the best thing to do is find out what is missing when the situation occurs , spark, fuel, power , grounds , ect .. Is there any codes stored in the computer??? just a guess , but did you replace the crankshaft sensor??
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on November 01, 2009
OK, WELL IF THE TRUCK WAS RUNNING OK UP TO THE POINT WHEN YOU HAD IT AT THE SHOP FOR THE MANIFOLD ISSUES , THEN I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THERE MORE THAN LIKELY IS A LOOSE GROUND WIRE SOMEWHERE, OR SOMETHING WAS NOT TIGHTENED PROPERLY, LOOK FOR ANY LOOSE GROUND CONECTOINS , ON THE FIREWALL , ENGINE BLOCK, FRAME TO ENGINE , ECT ..
on November 01, 2009
ALSO I KNOW THAT YOU SAID THAT YOU HAD THE CRANK SENSOR REPLACED , HOWEVER IT HAS BEEN OVER A YEAR ,, WHILE THE TRUCK IS RUNNING TRY TAPPING ON THE CRANK SENSOR , SEE IF THERE IS ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THE TRUCK RUNS WHILE DOING SO.. ALSO INSPECT THE WIRING GOING TO THE SENSOR ITSELF , MAKE SURE NO WIRES ARE RUBBING ON ANY BRACKETS , ECT ..
on November 01, 2009
OK WELL GOOD LUCK , i HOPE MY INFORMATION WILL HELP SOMEONE DIAGNOSE THIS PROBLEM FOR YOU
on November 01, 2009
I had the crank sensor replaced back on 09/24/2008...along with new plugs, wires, distributor cap, and ignition coil replaced. When all else failed, another ECM was installed. Then the repair shop replaced my catalytic converter because the check engine light would come on every other day saying there was a misfire between the 5th and 6th cylinder.
Back in June 2006, I had a new pcm installed as well...and a new ignition coil and map sensor.
The truck was actually running fine until I put it in the shop back on 8/11/08 to have new manifold intake gaskets replaced. Replaced valve cover gaskets and transmission front and rear seals replaced. The truck has not run right since...and turns off when it wants to. Usually just cranks right back up and might run ok for a few days before it starts to die on me again.
on November 01, 2009
Thanks for your time and advice. I will relay this information to the shop where my truck is now first thing Monday morning. I also sent an email to Dodge today and will be talking to them next week. This truck is my main source of transportation and I have not cut any corners in trying to get this truck fixed...but I am running broke paying for repairs and parts that seem not to work. Again, thanks and I will let you know what happens next.

Thanks,

Neil
on June 20, 2010
I meant to come back a whole lot sooner to thank you for your help. I had the crank sensor replaced and the truck has been running without stalling, cutting off, or acting possessed since.

But...I do have a new problem:

My dash illumination lights went outlast week. Two days later my hazard flashers, turns signals, and rear lights went out...although my brake lights work. I replaced some of my fuses inside the truck, but getting no results. Any ideas on what to try next? Thanks for your help!! Neil
on October 25, 2012
Not sure if your still having the problem, but I have the same truck and very similar problems. I also spent unnecessary money to fix it. I have by trial and error determined on my own that it is a loose connection on one of the wiring harnesses on the computer. I'm almost sure your having the same problem. I've been dealing with this on and off for about 2 years. Good luck!!
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on June 03, 2018
Anyone with a Chrysler/Dodge/Ram/Jeep etc from 1996 1997 1998 1999 etc with the jtec style computer (the same ones in the '98 Dodge Dakota), there is a simple solution to the random rough idle and stalling issues. Remove the left torx screw on the PCM computer, add two washers and then replace the screw. Can do the same with the other side, but do them one at a time. The screw seems to be just long enough to eventually ground out a component inside the computer and cause the engine to stall out. Didn't believe it myself, but when I pressed on the screw there in the front the engine died and backing the screw out fixed the issue. On warm days or once the engine was warmed up, the thermal expansion must have been just enough to momentarily ground the component.
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on May 04, 2014
Its impossible to answer that without having the vechile before me, but from experience I've found out that dodge have a wiring problem, especial in florida where there is high quanities of salt in the air their wiring gets corroded. Had a Plymouth Voyageur,which kept stalling out one night it wouldn't start looked under the hood and notice some corrosion replaced the wires never had a problem since.They have great engines once you find one with electrical you got real problems.
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