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Dodge Speedometer Problems

Question: I recently changed the battery on my 2003 dodge dakota with the 3.9L engine. Upon starting the vehicle, the speedo and tach needles both jumped all the way up. the tach needle came back down and is working fine, but the speedo needle stayed stuck at the 120mph mark. Do i have to reset something? or did I do something wrong?

 

Answer: With the ignition turned off, simply press and hold the trip button at the bottom of the speedometer for 10 seconds. You will see some
numbers flash on the odometer as the system resets. The needle should
go back to normal after that. I have heard of some mechanics charging a lot of money to press a little button, since most people are clueless about this reset trick.

Posted: 3rd July 2009  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Electrical

Celebrity 2.5L Engine Won’t Start

Question:

I have a problem. – 86 Celebrity 2.5L

Car will crank but not start.  While swapping battery and connecting
positive cable first I heard a popping sound by the right firewall. I
finished hooking up the battery and tried to start the car:

1. Car would crank but won’t start
2.  Checked for spark wth timing light – no start
3. tried to pull codes (with paper clip) old fashion type – light would not
flash
4. radio fuse blew, all others ok
5. Could it be the computer? If not what could it be?
6. Is there a way out can check the computer – or just buy one from a junk
yard”

Answer:

It could be the computer, or a fusible link in the wiring harness.  A fusible link is basically an inline fuse, that is not replacable.  You would have to find the link in the harnas and replace it.  Sometimes there are fuses/relays in the engine compartment also, but that is more common on foreign cars.  To really diagnose the issue, you need a multi-meter, and a good repair manual with wiring schematics.  You need to see if the computer is getting power, and test some of the outputs to see if it’s working.

You can buy computers out of a junkyard, and this may be an easy way to diagnose your problem without spending too much time or money. (depending on the cost of the computer)  I would think you should be able to get the computer from a junkyard for less than $150.  Check out www.car-part.com to search junkyard inventories.

Kevin

Posted: 20th August 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Electrical, Engine

Power Mirror Problems

Question:
I have a mint condition F-150 (2001) SuperCrew. Hope you can help the the side
mirrors control no longer works. Can I fix this myself or do I need a dealer?

Thank You,
Tom

Answer:
Tom,

I would check the fuses first, there should be a diagram on the fuse panel
showing you which circuits are which. The side mirror controls are probably
grouped with the power window circuit or door locks.

If it’s not a bad fuse, then I would suspect the switch. Removing the door
panel and getting to the switch is not too hard, but you will have to be careful
when removing the inside door panel. I do not have specific instructions for
your truck, but typically you will need to remove some screws first around the
arm rest and possibly at the bottom of the door, then carefully pry the door
panel away from the door. The trick is to apply enough pressure to pop the clips
which hold the door panel on, but not break the plastic door panel.

You should be able to get the switch from the Ford dealer, a junkyard or possibly
a U-Pull-It Junkyard. Infact, if you have a U-Pull-It type junkyard in your
area, this may be a good way of practicing to remove that door panel ! You can
find a listing of junkyards at www.classicjunkyard.com/junkyards/

Good Luck,

Kevin

Posted: 18th April 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Electrical

My Car Won’t Start !

Boy, do I get a lot of questions about why my car won’t start. I just went through this problem with my 1969 Lincoln Continental a few days ago, and figured I would detail my process and hopefully help a few of you guys out working on your own cars.

My Lincoln sits a lot and has not been starting very well since I bought it a few months ago. I went to start it and heard the dreaded click-click of the solenoid going, but the starter not turning. I guess it’s time to start diagnosing.

My first suspect was the battery, so I disconnected it and put it on the charger. After a night of charging, I whipped out my battery tester, which is basically a volt meter with a resistor built it to put a load on the battery. I used a model from Harbor Freight.. cheap, but I don’t use it that often and it works.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90636

Well, the battery was marginal, so I replaced it just to be safe. The battery was in the car when I bought it, and was not marked as to when it was installed, so I could not determine the age. When in doubt, replace it !

The next step was to inspect the cables running from the battery to the solenoid, ground cable, and the cable from the solenoid to the starter. The battery cables were in good condition, but the cable from the solenoid to the starter had a huge rip in the insulation and the copper wires were corroded. This will prevent the stater from getting full power, and will make the starter crank slow, if at all. So off to the parts store to get a new cable. $4 later, I was under the car replacing the cable. While I was at the store, I picked up a new starter solenoid for $6 which is just cheap insurance. Since you can not open up the solenoid and inspect it, it’s easier just to replace if you don’t know the age.

After everything was replaced, I got in the car, and the old Lincoln fired right up. The start spun fast, and strong, just like new.

When you are done with all your repairs, it’s a good idea to protect your connectors with a battery terminal grease available at any auto parts store. The grease prevents corrosion and can be found in tube or spray form.

Kevin

Posted: 28th January 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Electrical

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