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Dodge Repair/2000 Dodge Ram 1500: ignition switch?


QUESTION: My Ram will only let me turn the key to start it in neutral not in park.  Ignition switch feels sloppy. Multiple dash warning lights always on, ABS, check engine, brake and airbag. Power  windows won't go down, heater/fan blower doesn't work and the speedometer doesn't work. Other than that it runs starts and runs great!  I heard it could be a bad ignition switch module (the electronic part).  Any help where to look would be appreciated.

ANSWER: Hi Jeff,
I have the '04 manual which probably applies to your '00. On the ignition switch issue I would propose to send you about 4 pages from the manual that show the switch and how to remove it. There is also a coupling to the gear shifter that is involved. Also the switch wiring is shown on a single page that I can copy. I need to know your email address to do that but don't use the @ symbol, instead use "at". or the address will be erased.
On all the other issues, after you check out whether the electrical functioning of the six individual sections of the ignition switch are verified, then see what changes/needs fixing (such as a new ignition switch. There are so many issues I would believe that the switch might be involved in a number of them. Those that remain can be addressed individually.
You could also try to get a fault code readout in re the 'check engine' light. Try turning the key on-off-on-off-on and leave on, doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the odometer window to see if the mileage reading is replaced by a 4-digit number preceded by a P. Let me know what you find that way. If nothing, then go to an nationwide auto parts store, such as Autozone, where they will do a free code readout. Get the numbers and let me know what they are.
Please read the PS below and respond to it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Roland, thanks for the reply. I have an OBD tester.  The readout from that and from your "key" method both yielded P0500.  I'll probably order the ignition module to see if it corrects the warning light gremlins and the nonfunctioning fan/odo/window problem.  Do I need to replace the key switch?  Are the key and electronic module one part or two separate parts?  Thanks so much, I will leave very positive feedback for your timely response and effort on my behalf.  I tried sending my email with "at" but it would not take it.  How can I get it to you without posting it here?

Hi Jeff,
The P0500 is reporting that there is no output speed sensor signal (so that explains the speedo). Which type of transmission do you have, and I'll tell you where to find the sensor?
When you get the wiring diagram do verify that you are getting voltage out of all 6 sections of the switch and that the 6 fuses are also good if you don't. Let me know if that looks alright before buying a new one unnecessarily. We can deal with each of the issues, one at a time. The key and lock cylinder are separate from the ignition switch as you will see in the manual pages.  
To tell me your email, start a new question and check the box to make it private.
Thanks for the rating and nomination.

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Roland Finston


Free fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question or asleep overnight so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2011 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top expert" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles.

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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