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bump
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8/07/2003
14:59:37

Subject: Electrical problems with '02
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My 9 month old '02 recently demonstrated
these problems:
* upon start up, the clutch does not seem to
fully engage 1st gear - it just revs loudly and
gives little power (sporadically.)
* the 'neutral safety' switch and headlights
seem to have shorts in them as they click on
and off at will (again - sporadically.)
the speakers have developed a short in the
last week.

Is this systematic type of errors a common
thing? Does this sound like water damage
(the truck was new.) Any ideas? The
dealership just says, "cannot duplicate" and
hands back the keys...
-sbump@websterdg.com



JES
Dodge Dakota
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8/07/2003
16:09:35

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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Along the same lines, my CD player intermittently shuts off. Turns back on fine, but is annoying. Also, my electric windows sometimes don't work. If I turn the truck off, then back on, they're fine. Each happens about once a week. Dealership says they checked everything - all is well, couldn't duplicate problem. Great. I hate dealerships. Is there any recourse to non-action by dealerships? And don't say call corporate!!!! I did -- they suggested I take it to another dealership ... which I did ... got the same runaround. Just wonderful!!!!! Oh well ... guess that's what I should expect when I buy a $30,000 truck these days.



bump
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8/07/2003
16:45:29

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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There has got to be better recourse with
dealerships & 'intermitten' problems like this!!
I am NOT making payments for the next 3
years on a defective truck.

I know NC has a lemon law - I wonder if these
types of "he said/she said" defects are
covered under that law...



Mykr
Dodge Dakota
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8/07/2003
22:24:56

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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Hey guys,
It sucks to have intermittant problems like these. However, these may be out of the norm for the average mechanic. Intermittants are impossible to find until you finally have a hard failure.(of course then they're no longer intermittant) But that day may never come, but until it does the mechanic can't fix what he can't confirm as broke. Not without investing a lot of time into it. These mechanics get paid for flat rate hours, I believe, and typically aren't motivated to spend all day trying to find something that may or may not show up. That would only add up to 8 hours for one day. When they could flag as much as 15-20 or more flat rate hours for a days work. That's no excuse, but I believe it's fairly close to the truth. I could be wrong.

I know it doesn't help now though so I have a couple questions for bump:
1) When you say the "neutral safety" switch clicks on and off at will. Could you give more details as to what you mean by that statement?
2) The headlights, are they acting up at exactly the same time as problem #1.
3)More details on the speaker problem. Out completely? Intermittant? Loud and soft??? You say "short", but what exactly do you mean by that?



FL 4WD
Dodge Dakota
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8/08/2003
00:04:15

Amen..... Mykr
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Flat rate pay is not good for intermittent problems.
It would be a stretch to try to collect any more than 2 hours pay chasing down a short. Even if you spend all day on it.
Average mechanics probably won't be able to put all the clues together and reference it to a schematic.
Good mechanics know better than to spend time on something that won't even pay a 1:1 time ratio.

Warranty times suck. Flat rate pay forces me to put that ghost problem in the back lot and move on to the 30,000 mile service.



Mykr
Dodge Dakota
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8/08/2003
01:37:17

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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I figured there was some sort of loss of motivation in the process. That explains alot.



bump
Dodge Dakota
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8/08/2003
08:55:09

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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Mykr Thank you for your response - it
does help to understand the lack of diagnosis
which I admit must be hard to narrow down -
but frustrating for the vehicle owner
nonetheless...
1.)The Neutral safety switch is what I was told
by a nieghbor was the source of the problem.
Upon trying to start up, there is no reaction
from the starter - no clicking, humming -
nothing. I have to wiggle it around in 'park' and
into 'neutral' for 10+ minutes before it will start
up - kind of like a 'short in the transmission'
thing.
2.)The headlights do not corrispond with any
other issue. I simply have had them start
clicking on and off (only 3 times- but still...)
while driving. There is an audiable clicking
noise by the switch. Kinda scary driving at
night in the rain when the lights kick off.
3.) The radio speaker thing just started this
week. The radio will be on for a minute or two,
then the sound is simply gone. The station
selection or disk track is still displayed and
running - but you have to click it off & on again
for the speakers to work again. And this goes
on and on till I just switch the damn thing off
and sing to myself (- not a good thing.)

Sorry if I was unable to clearly describe these
issues. I appreciate your response and help.
Thanks!
-sbump@websterdg.com



Mykr
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2003
22:33:39

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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Bump,
Sent you an e-mail. Did you get it?




bump
Dodge Dakota
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8/12/2003
08:52:18

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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Hello Mykr - yes I got it, I've just been
swamped on this end (trucks in the shop, 1
kid sick, roofing guys don't show.... etc...)

My '02 is an automatic, 2wd and an SLT
model (V8.) I dropped the truck off Sunday
night, the dealership worked on it yesterday
and told me that they were replacing a faulty
ignition switch & their replacement part failed
as well, so they had to go get one in Mnt. Airy
(I'm in NC) - so I'm hopeful they'll get a good
one and all will be fine. He said he believed
that THAT electrical issue was 'at the root of
all the other issues.'

I readily admit I am not as mechanically
inclined as I should be, but I'm not sure how
an ignition switch would effect my
transmission issue or headlight problem - I'm
cautiously optimistic (?) and already getting
tired of bumming rides.



Mykr
Dodge Dakota
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8/12/2003
22:28:40

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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Well Bump, Good luck. Let us know how it goes.




jam0o0
Dodge Dakota
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10/07/2003
10:59:18

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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hey bump don'[t feel bad yet. i have an 02 4.7 auto
trany and i have had many many electrical problem too.
i got the truck now with 15 miles on it. two weeks after
that the truck died in the middle of the night at a busy
intersection. i got out of that and the dealer said the
man engline computer had fried. so they took two
weeks fixing that. the computer was on nation wide
backorder. no it's been a year and the truck started
acting up. the pasenger side window doesn't role up or
down when i press the button on the driver's door, i
con't move the side veiw mirrors, the airbag and door
open light are always on, the dome light and map
lights are always on(i think because the truck thinks
one of the doors is open). so i took it to the dealer. they
said they would have to replace the entire main wiring
harness. they said 5 working days. i got it back three
weeks later. but it all works now. just thought i'd share.

thank god for worranties



bump
Dodge Dakota
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10/08/2003
08:48:25

RE: Electrical problems with '02
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I may have already mentioned this, but my
wifes uncle (in Pittsburgh) works in the
service dept for a Dodge dealership and he's
run into this sort of electrical problem with
Dakotas. He's replaced 5 factory defective
fuse boxes, but from the sound of you
problems, I doubt that is in and of itself the
main problem.
I was taking the truck into the dealership for
the 5th time for this same problem but had
contacted Dodge Corp regarding the problem
and quoted the lemon law here in NC - they
made a phone call and apparently put my
problem on the fast track so as to not have to
replace my '02 with a new '03 or '04.



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