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Dodge Repair/03' dakota wont crank or start/"no buss"


The dakota has some electrical problem that when it has rained or is damp the truck wont start or crank. All the  dash check lights pop up, gauges dont move and there is no box around the park Drive ect for shifter. Code reader doesnt read anything and the msg on the dash just says no buss. In the summer after a day or so of some the truck will start ( seems like once the moisture is out.) Fuses have been checked, camsensor as well..ideas?

Hi Jessica,
The symptoms you describe suggest to me that there is a failure of the digital communication system when this happens. It involves many different parts of the system (including even the starter) which are connected by a single wire that carries digital information around. The center of that system is the engine control module and I would look into whether that buss section in the module is not getting the 12 volt power that it needs to operate either due to a faulty fuse, or a fuse connection to its socket, or a faulty ignition switch section which is not reliably passing the voltage to the engine control module's buss section, or finally the module itself could be faulty, though the dependence on moisture may make that possibility unlikely.
I have the '04 manual, not the '03 so I can't be sure of the wiring of your truck and this is an issue because around that time the engine control module was revised significantly so I would need to know for sure if you have the earlier of the later version of the module. The module is located at the right (passenger side) rear of the engine compartment, on the fire wall just below the cowl where the air intake grill is located. It is rectangular and would have a vertical row of multiple-wire plugs. If there are four such plugs then I have the wiring diagrams. If not then I am not certain I can tell you how to trouble-shoot for a problem related to fuses or the ignition switch. So begin by locating the engine control module and counting the number of plugs and let me know. But that would be the first issue I would check out.
About the only other thing to do without a voltmeter and wiring diagrams would be to buy a spray can of electrical contact cleaner at an electronics store and spray the interior of ignition switch proper through any small opening or cracks so as to possibly improve the electrical contacts inside the switch, if those were the problem. You would remove the covers on the steering column in the area of the key lock (screws for the those covers are on the underside cover of the column. The switch would be on the left side of the column in line with the lock cylinder on the right side of the column. So give that a try as well.
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Roland Finston


Get a 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.

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