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Nate
Dodge Dakota
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9/22/2003
09:11:24

Subject: wet weather, won't start
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I have a 99 Dodge Dakota V8 5.9L 4x4. About four weeks ago, when the average daily temperature here dropped pretty abruptly from 90-95 to 80-85 degrees, the belts started squealing on my engine. A mechanic looked but found no problem, so he sprayed some belt dressing on and let me go. Now my truck doesn't want to start in wet weather, and it even stalls out at idle in wet weather. The engine turns over, but doesn't want to catch. Also, the squealing goes away when I'm accelerating.

Now I'm not so sure the squealing is from the belts. I've been reading, and I might think that the not-starting problem could be due to moisture in the ignition system except that it tries to stall even after I get it going. Is it the fuel injection system or the oxygen sensors? Or something else?

Nate




QwikKota
Dodge Dakota
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9/22/2003
15:47:20

RE: wet weather, won't start
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Most likely its water or condensation in your cap and rotor. Its cheap to replace. About $12 I believe. This is the setup on top of the distributor. Pull plugs wires and unscrew the bolts holding the cap down. You can see if the points are corroded or wet. They will have lots of carbon on them or scoring. You can spray the points with WD-40 to keep it from happening again.



01Motorsport
Dodge Dakota
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9/23/2003
11:49:29

RE: wet weather, won't start
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An old trick on a water-soaked engine without taking anything apart is women's hair spray on the cap and plug wires as a quick evaporator.



Nate
Dodge Dakota
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9/24/2003
12:53:52

RE: wet weather, won't start
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Thanks for the input. I squirted some stuff on the drive belt and the squeak went away for a while. Then I read that mopar belts are meant to run dry! So I'll be replacing the belt this weekend. While I'm at it, I'll check the distributor, and I'll check the hood and compartment seals to make sure no extra moisture is getting in there.
Nate




Rob 1
Dodge Dakota
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9/24/2003
23:26:19

RE: wet weather, won't start
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If you have never replaced the distibutor cap and plug wires I would recommend you do so and be sure to use the little pack of silicone that comes with the wires in each boot. Some come with it already in them but check and make sure.Make sure you replace the wires one at a time unless you know the firing order and how that works.



Nate
Dodge Dakota
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9/28/2003
17:47:42

RE: wet weather, won't start
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Hello! I fixed the problem and I thought I'd share what was wrong.

First, I replaced the drive belt with a Goodyear Gatorback. Squeak fixed!

Then, I replaced the spark plugs and wires with Autolites. (The Autolite wires came pre-siliconed.) Two problems found here: First, the plug on cylinder 8 was broken/cracked. The corrosion on the tip clearly showed that the plug had either been misfiring or NOT firing for who-knows-how-long. Second, at least one of the plug boots was severely dry-rotted, so bad that I'm not even sure an electrical connection was being made. I think both these problems contributed to my starting issues. When it was wet outside, the moisture got into my plug cables. Then, once the truck did get going, it would still try to stall due to the moisture being in the spark plug cables (and not in the ignition wires).

Total cost: $34 (belt) + $45 (plugs and wires) + about two hours of my time (I'm new at this).

I'd like to say THANKS to the forums and especially to QwikKota, 01Motorsport and Rob1 for responding! Total cost: $34 (belt) + $45 (plugs and wires) + about two hours of my time.

Nate




jdllizard
Dodge Dakota
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9/28/2003
18:39:18

RE: wet weather, won't start
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Way to go Nate, now just think, you will never have to take your truck in for a tuneup again. You can do it yourself cause you learned how and the feeling of working on your own vehicle is much better than having to have someone else do it. Plus the $ you save. Glad you were able to get in there and take on the task yourself. Congrats.



Rob 1
Dodge Dakota
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9/28/2003
23:25:37

RE: wet weather, won't start
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Glad to hear it Nate! Just remember when you are having problems, start with the simplest thing first. It will usually save you alot of time and money. Also check your owners manual for the recommended maintenance schedule and along with your common sense will help you to avoid some problems before they occur. Glad I could help.



01Motorsport
Dodge Dakota
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9/29/2003
09:34:21

RE: wet weather, won't start
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Good job, Nate. Satisfaction and saved money, too. One benefit is the confidence level you have in your truck when you are out on the road, and you can potentially troubleshoot a situation.



Jordan Maresc
Dodge Dakota
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10/26/2016
17:38:52

RE: wet weather, won't start
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I replaced cap and rotor. New plugs and
wires still won't fire when wet. Please
help.



Buffalo
Dodge Dakota
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2/08/2017
06:00:38

RE: wet weather, won't start
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I bought my dakota new in 03. Since the day I
owned it, I have had this issue. The dealer told
me they can't find anything wrong with it.
Currently, it is sitting at my work parking lot
overnight because it rained all day and it won't
start. I tried everything mentioned up here over
the years. Behaves same way.



   P 1


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