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Electric Problem? 2003 Dodge Dakota

Posted by arleneb (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 8, 09 at 17:43

2003 Dodge Dakota 6cyl 3.9 liter
seems to occur after rain--lights won't work, brake lights work, but not tail lights. Head lights do not work, although once before, the lights stayed on and would not shut off.

Sometimes electric door lock keeps locking and unlocking by itself.

On dash indicator lights such as check oil, ABS etc all stay lit while running..
After it's started the miles indicator first shows the mileage, then it begins flashing and then shows the words no buS or no bu5.
Checked all fuses under the hood and in door jam and they are ok. Followed all the wiring the best I could see there isn't a bare spot or break or "pulled away" look. This happens occasionally after a rain. This last time, normal state has not returned with dry weather as it did before.

Any ideas for a fix?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Electric Problem? 2003 Dodge Dakota

No answer, because any answer will be guesses in circles. Sounds like a flood car. Your lights and cluster and door locks relays are shutting on and off for a fact, this i know, but the source issue is in the main harness connections and looks like a rewire job. You may get lucky and find heavy gauge connecors at the starter area are corroded.

RE: Electric Problem? 2003 Dodge Dakota

Thanks earl53, we know it's not a flood car, I will make sure to check those heavy guage connectors at the starter area.

RE: Electric Problem? 2003 Dodge Dakota

Until proven otherwise, approach each failure as if they are occurring on different cars. The biggest mistake people make when attempting diagnostics is assuming things are related, they can be, but certainly don't have to be. So pick one, and troubleshoot it, then move onto another. If you happen to solve more than one with a particular repair, simply smile and move on.

The headlights, tail-lights. They share a common power input to the headlight switch on most vehicles, but not all. Start with a schematic and check to see how the power distribution feeds power to the switch assembly. Question, do you have high beams when you pull the dimmer handle for "flash to pass"?

No Bus. That means the serial data bust has shut down on the car. Unfortunately, that will be a failure that is likely beyond your ability to diagnose. You need the Chrysler DRBIII scan tool and its strength as the factory tool, plus a digital storage oscilloscope to diagnose that problem efficiently.

The locks locking/unlocking by themselves could be a result of the failing data bus, or simply a bad door switch, with the previous being more likely at the moment. When the BCM sees serial data report that the vehicle is moving it locks the doors. Once it sees that the vehicle has been stopped and shifted to park, it unlocks the doors. The loss of serial data could cause this to occur incorrectly.

The fact that it occurs after its been raining could indeed be a clue. We often find modules damaged by water intrusion on many different vehicles. Sometimes things like a windshield seal are to blame. One vehicle I can think of off hand has a TSB where the technician has to install a set of shields to protect a new computer from rainwater when its replaced. (Not a Chrysler vehicle that comes to mind, this is just a reference)

You really do need a pro to sort this out. One that understands electronics, and has the correct equipment to communicate with your cars computers.

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