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Some lights work, some don't always work... I'm fairly certain my truck is haunted.

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Some lights work, some don't always work... I'm fairly certain my truck is haunted.

  #1  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:27 PM
AllisonNicole
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Default Some lights work, some don't always work... I'm fairly certain my truck is haunted.

So, I just bought this truck. It's a 2002 Dakota 3.9L.
Anyway, while we were at the dealership we checked the lights and such. I could've sworn we checked them all, but my husband says we obviously missed a couple.
It's raining here, and is supposed to rain for the next 4 days. This is significant because I drove my new truck home in the rain. Apparently, the tail running lights that are supposed to be illuminated during dark and twilight hours, and during inclement weather don't work. The blinkers and the brake lights are fine.
Then, the led lights in the cluster all light up, and switch off as their supposed to when I start the truck, but the speedometer and the gauges won't light up. The dome light works fine.
The horn doesn't work which is obviously a no-no- and there is no way in hell I'm installing a horn button. The dash on this truck is cherry. That and the carpet are about the only things in perfect condition.
Finally, the lights around the license plate don't work.

So, I go through and check the fuses. Because that's what my step-dad taught me. When something messes up, check the fuses first. That's when I realized that three relays had been removed. The horn and park lamp relay switch were missing from the fuse box next to the steering wheel, and the horn relay was gone out of the box under the hood.

I bought new relays. I inserted the two in the dash. As soon as I did it was like Rose Red had been fed. All of the lights started flickering on and off like crazy. I could hear clicking from the relays. It sounds like live electrical feed being intermittently sent. So, we know the bulbs work. We know the relays and wires work.
But why is the truck acting crazy?

Someone told me to check the CTM for water damage. There's no water damage. I checked. So, the same mechanic told me to switch out the CTM.

My problem is that I don't understand how this could be the CTM. The lights work, when the relays are plugged in. The problem is that they also act crazy, and I feel like I need an exorcist. My other issue is that I don't know that i'm comfortable switching out the CTM myself. I know that it's a fairly easy thing to do in that I literally just remove the bolts and switch out the box. But, I've also heard stories about how the CTM wasn't programmed with a DRB and the truck basically died. I don't have a keyless entry or automatic locks or windows, but still...

Anyone else have similar issues with their trucks? I've read through several other posts, and a couple of the ones that seem similar never updated the status of their issues.
 
  #2  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:05 AM
Shadly1
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Grounds. I don't know which one but most intermittent electrical issues are grounds.

Get yourself some electrical contacts cleaner and a towel. Unscrew any ground you can find and clean them well with the cleaner and towel. The connector, the surface they mount to and the nut or screw that holds them on. All of it! If you see any visible corrosion on anything, hit it with the electrical cleaner and a brush of some sort. Either a soft brass brush or an old toothbrush.

While you're at it, also clean up all the bulbs and sockets. I'll bet this fixes you up.
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:03 PM
AllisonNicole
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Awesome. Thanks for this. I will definitely get to this just as soon as monsoon season ends here in Raleigh. It started raining a week ago and hasn't let up. Lol.
 
  #4  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AllisonNicole View Post
Awesome. Thanks for this. I will definitely get to this just as soon as monsoon season ends here in Raleigh. It started raining a week ago and hasn't let up. Lol.
It started raining in April here, and hasn't stopped.
 
  #5  
Old 06-14-2019, 05:55 PM
AllisonNicole
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Default Update 1

Originally Posted by AllisonNicole View Post
So, I just bought this truck. It's a 2002 Dakota 3.9L.
Anyway, while we were at the dealership we checked the lights and such. I could've sworn we checked them all, but my husband says we obviously missed a couple.
It's raining here, and is supposed to rain for the next 4 days. This is significant because I drove my new truck home in the rain. Apparently, the tail running lights that are supposed to be illuminated during dark and twilight hours, and during inclement weather don't work. The blinkers and the brake lights are fine.
Then, the led lights in the cluster all light up, and switch off as their supposed to when I start the truck, but the speedometer and the gauges won't light up. The dome light works fine.
The horn doesn't work which is obviously a no-no- and there is no way in hell I'm installing a horn button. The dash on this truck is cherry. That and the carpet are about the only things in perfect condition.
Finally, the lights around the license plate don't work.

So, I go through and check the fuses. Because that's what my step-dad taught me. When something messes up, check the fuses first. That's when I realized that three relays had been removed. The horn and park lamp relay switch were missing from the fuse box next to the steering wheel, and the horn relay was gone out of the box under the hood.

I bought new relays. I inserted the two in the dash. As soon as I did it was like Rose Red had been fed. All of the lights started flickering on and off like crazy. I could hear clicking from the relays. It sounds like live electrical feed being intermittently sent. So, we know the bulbs work. We know the relays and wires work.
But why is the truck acting crazy?

Someone told me to check the CTM for water damage. There's no water damage. I checked. So, the same mechanic told me to switch out the CTM.

My problem is that I don't understand how this could be the CTM. The lights work, when the relays are plugged in. The problem is that they also act crazy, and I feel like I need an exorcist. My other issue is that I don't know that i'm comfortable switching out the CTM myself. I know that it's a fairly easy thing to do in that I literally just remove the bolts and switch out the box. But, I've also heard stories about how the CTM wasn't programmed with a DRB and the truck basically died. I don't have a keyless entry or automatic locks or windows, but still...

Anyone else have similar issues with their trucks? I've read through several other posts, and a couple of the ones that seem similar never updated the status of their issues.

So, we changed out the CTM. Since my truck doesn't have keyless entry, automatic windows or locks, or an anti-theft system it was easy. I put the horn and lamp relays back in the box next to the steering wheel and the parking, reverse, and licence plate lights work perfect. The horn still didn't after this, nor did the high beams.
When I opened the hood, I found the high and low horns. The wires had been disconnected. I'm guessing it had something to do with the truck acting haunted. We plugged them back in, and the horn works perfect now. My husband ordered me new lights for the headlights. We installed those today, and it caused a fight.
He wanted to do it the hard way. He reached in through the rear of the light panel and fought with them for close to an hour. I told him how to remove the headlights. He didn't want to listen though. Something about it being unnecessary to remove the entire headlight casing.
He was determined to prove me wrong by doing this the hard way.

Men....

Anyway, the truck is now fully functional and will pass an inspection when the time comes.
Now, onto the next list of issues.
Brakes and rotors
The drivers side seat
The headliner
A new paint job
removing the tool box attached to the bed of the truck
getting the dent in the tail gate fixed
Re-installing fog lights before winter hits
A new ignition switch
Figuring out why there's a gremlin taking up residence in my cd player, and removing it

You know... Fun stuff.
 

Last edited by AllisonNicole; 06-14-2019 at 06:03 PM. Reason: I forgot to ad a header, and then I wanted to add the last section.
  #6  
Old 06-14-2019, 05:56 PM
AllisonNicole
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Yea, that happens. Apparently, we're down to two seasons in the south this year; the one time of year it rains, and the 2 months of sunshine we just got. Lol.
 
  #7  
Old 06-14-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AllisonNicole View Post
Yea, that happens. Apparently, we're down to two seasons in the south this year; the one time of year it rains, and the 2 months of sunshine we just got. Lol.
I think Michigan is working on being a Rain forest again....... I can't mow about a third of my yard, for fear of permanently losing my tractor in it....... Yeah. It's wet. I think we have gotten more rain this "Spring", than we normally do in a year...... At least the temps aren't truly stupid. Been pretty mild lately. I don't mind. (though, I am considering taking up swimming again...... purely out of necessity. My neighbor is still building his Ark........)

Not sure about the dakotas, but, on the full sized trucks, passenger and driver seat cushions will swap over fairly easily, so, if you can't find a good drivers seat, you may be able to make a good passenger seat cushion work.

Do your rear brakes as well, and replace ALL of the soft lines. Do a close inspection of ALL the metal lines as well. I don't think dodge used real high quality lines in that era, rear brakes lines are a standard repair on the full size trucks.....
 

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