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Amedee
Amedee, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 21869
Experience:  ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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1500 Dodge Ram Van: No power to cluster, no headlights, no

Resolved Question:

No power to cluster, no headlights, no dome lights, no radio power, nothing at all when the key is turned to run. When turned to start, the newly installed starter cranks the motor, I get spark, but it will not stay running. The fuel pump does not power on when the key is turned forward as it used to. Seems the fuel pump along with all other electronics are not working for some reason.


 


Update #1 When I connect my test light to the negative terminal of my battery, and then touch the probe to the firewall, it lights up.


 


Update #2 With the ground wire to the battery disconnected, I have 12v on my ground cable.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can assist you with your question.

Did you still need help?

Does the check engine light come on with the key on?

Are there any codes in the computer?

Does the TPS have 5 volts with the key on?

Can I get your VIN?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There is no power anywhere in the vehicle as stated, so no check engine light.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Thank you for that information. It sounds like you have a bad connection, blown fuse or fusible link causing this condition. You are going to need to start by checking the battery voltage and working your way to the electrical components in order to find out where you are losing voltage. The battery should be at 12.6 volts or so. If so, then check the battery terminals and connections. If you put the battery leads on both positive and negative cables past the outside covering, you should get the same reading as the battery. If that checks out, then move your voltmeter over to the power distribution center under the hood and check to be sure all fuses have power on them at all times. These also should have full battery voltage (12.6 volts). If there is no power at the power distribution center under the hood but the battery has power, then the problem is between the battery and power distribution center.

If there is power under the hood in the power distribution center., then we check for power going to the fuses inside the vehicle with the key on. It is possible that the root cause if after the power distribution center and before the fuse block inside the vehicle. Ignition switch, wiring or bad connection can all cause this condition. This should be enough to get you started and going in the right direction.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask. Please don't forget about me. I will be looking forward to your reply.

Amedee
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The battery is sitting at 12.3v


 


I need you to be able to go back and forth with me quickly so I can perform your tests and get back to you within minutes. The van is in my driveway and I am ready to fix it. If you can reply quickly so I am not waiting all day, I will continue. Please confirm.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

I work all day long and I am at lunch right now. I will be more than happy to assist you when I get home later today. I will also be on line all weekend. If you need help right now, you can relist and another expert will be able to help you.

I hope you can wait.

Amedee
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I see that you are more than credible. I will wait for you dependant upon how long I must wait. I am in MI, EST, it is 2:08PM here, what time must I wait till? Also, please be very descriptive with me and let me know what tests I can perform in the meantime to help you diagnose the issue.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Thank you for waiting for me. I just got home from work and will be on line the rest of the night.

I will be happy to send over specific tests so that we can pinpoint this problem.

Can I start by getting your VIN?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

2B64B11X7YK109908

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Thank you for that information. I want you to start by checking for power on fuse number 1 under the hood in the power distribution center. It should be a 140 amp fuse. This fuse should have power on it at all times. You DO NOT need to remove the fuse for this test. There are small little metal prongs on the BACK SIDE of the fuse. You SHOULD be able to use those to check for power on this fuse. Be sure to check both prongs on the back side of the fuse for power.

In addition, check all other fuses under the hood for power.

Let me know what you find.

Amedee
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The 140 amp is the alternator fuse. I am bowling now and will not be home and ready to work on the van until tomorrow. Is that ok?

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
YES, that would be OK with me. I will be looking forward to your reply tomorrow.

Have a good night.

Amedee
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, the 140 alternator fuse has power. Am I supposed to pop the plastic piece off of the other fuses in there so I can check for power on them?

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
YES, you could do that or just remove the fuse to check for power going into each fuse. The only problem is this will tell if the fuse is getting power. It will not tell you if there is power leaving the fuse.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So what is the proper way? If I remove the fuse, all it tells me is that there is power going to the fuse, but is does not tell me if the fuse is good. How do I test these fuses while they are plugged in? They are all square fuses, not spade fuses.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
If you cannot pop off the top of the fuse to check for voltage on the fuse WHILE it is plugged in, then you WILL need to remove the fuse. This is the only way.

Can you snap a picture of these fuses and upload it to this page?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't think you understood me here:


 


 




You replied




Saturday, September 07, 2013 9:52 AM EST





Ok, the 140 alternator fuse has power. Am I supposed to pop the plastic piece off of the other fuses in there so I can check for power on them?







I am able to pop the clear plastic piece off and then use my test light to see if I get power. I will go test them all, and then I will report back.


Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

YES, that is correct. Sorry for the confusion.

If you can, please pop off the top of the fuses and check for power. Check all of them for power under the hood and let me know.

Thank you
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Here is a wiring diagram or a road map that we are using to track this problem down. You will see the arrow pointing towards the battery in the diagram and I have circled the main fuses. We need to be sure that the battery voltage is getting to these fuses.

graphic
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Testing now, stand by.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Sounds good..
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, all 14 fuses have power at all times.


 


Funny thing I just noticed. They all had power even with my battery ground cable disconnected. Another thing that is weird.... When I connect my test light to the battery negative post, and check for power, I have 12v on the metal grill of the van.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Do all tests with the battery connected. Both positive and negative cable connected to the battery.

If the metal part of the van is power, this means you have a bad ground.

Connect the battery cables back up to the battery and re run the test.

All fuses should have power under the hood. If this checks out good, then turn the key on and check for power on the fuses inside the vehicle.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Checking now. Again, the engine block and grille of the van have 12v, and they should not right? I will check the interior fuses and report back.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Correct. The engine block should not have power. This indicates a bad ground.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

All fuses have power, both under the hood and inside the vehicle. The battery now has the negative cable hooked back up as well.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
And the dome lights still don't work? What about the headlights?

Does the engine block still have power right now? Check it with the key on.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Not a single light anywhere, headlights, dome lights, radio, dash cluster, the buzzer does not buzz like it used to when the key was inserted, nothing at all. But the starter will crank when I turn the key, yet still no lights. The engine block still has 12v with the key on and off.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
I was not aware that the engine would crank over.

Turn the key on and check for voltage going to the TPS and MAP sensor. The computer sends out 5 volts to these two sensors with the key on. If there is no 5 volts going to these sensors, then we need to check the inputs going into the computer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can you help me locate them please? I am not familiar with this vehicle, it is my grandfathers.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

I have circled the two sensors we need to check for voltage in the picture.

graphic
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Please do not lose your patience with me, but how are you wanting me to conduct this test? Do you want me to disconnect the sensors and check a certain pin on them with the key turned forward? Or dig my probe into the wire with it connected? Sorry, excuse my ignorance.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
No problem..

Turn the key on, disconnect the electrical connector going to these two sensors and measure voltage on all three terminals in the connector coming from the harness. Two out of three of them should have 5 volts both at the TPS and at the MAP sensor.

Use your voltmeter. The black lead goes to ground and the read lead is used to check for power on each circuit one at a time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Both connections have 5v or slightly more at the harness on 2 of the 3 pins.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Not sure if my last response went through, I have 5v on both harnesses in 2 of 3 pins like you said. What next?

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Thank you for checking that for me.

A few things here. You said that the dome lights don't work? All dome lights get power from fuse 4 under the hood. If this fuse has power on it, then the dome lights should also have power to them. If not, then you just have an open or a break in the wiring between fuse 4 under the hood and the dome lights. Check the glove box light and under hood light to see if they work. These are also on this same circuit.

The other thing is the fuel pump and circuit. The fuel pump relay provides power to the fuel pump. However, the PCM provides a ground to activate the fuel pump. So if the PCM is not grounding the fuel pump relay, the fuel pump will not get power. You are also going to want to check for power going into the fuel pump relay with the key on. The relay should get TWO powers with the key on and cranking. You can remove the relay and check the female pins or cavities for power with the key on and cranking. The third pins gets grounded by the PCM when turning the key and cranking and the fourth pin is power out of the relay (after it gets activated by the PCM) to the fuel pump. Here is a wiring diagram of this circuit.

graphic
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There is no power to any light, under the hood, the glovebox, anything, no power to them. Also, when the key is turned forward, I can not hear the fuel pump working like it used to.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Right, I understand the fuel pump is not working. That is why we need to check the fuel pump circuit like I mentioned.

It is possible that you have a bad PCM or even a bad instrument cluster.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was wondering about the fuse box under the hood. Remember, this all happened due to the jumper cables being hooked up backward. I will try to follow what you said and test the circuit.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.


Jason,

EVERY SINGLE TIME I have seen this issue caused by jumper cables being hooked up backwards, it is due to a blown fuse or fusible link. Hands down.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So you think we are going to be able to fix it! I hope so my friend! Laughing

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
YES, I do. I would like you to re check the fuses for voltage under the hood. I think this is going to be the problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They all have power at all times. I only have one ground cable going to the battery is that right? Then a cable that comes from the harness and grounds to the firewall. Both cables going into the fuse box have power on them at all times.


 


Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Thank you for the detailed pics.

If your sure all fuses inside the vehicle and under the hood are good and have power to them, then yes, we need to focus our attention on the ground circuit. The engine block should not have battery voltage. You will need to check the ground or negative cable from the battery to the engine block and frame. You should only have one big wire going to the negative post on the battery unless that smaller wire in the pic I circled is supposed to attach to the ground terminal at the battery. Please check that as well as the cable going into the negative battery terminal that I have pointed out in the pic.

graphic
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

I have to step out for a bit and spend time with my family. I will continue to check in with you periodically. I will be back in a few hours. Please keep checking these wires and the engine and frame grounds. Just follow the ground cable from the battery to the engine block and frame. I will be in touch.

Amedee
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the cable you circled is the one that connects to the firewall.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the harnesses may be causing the problem, when they were unplugged, i had no power on the fuse box inside the vehicle, then i plugged the first one back in, i think the map, not sure, and still no power to the fuses inside, then i plugged in the other, maybe the tps, then i had power all the sudden.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

Sorry for the delay! It was a little longer than expected. I do apologize. Are you on line?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Van is running, but the radio goes out when the headlights are turned on sometimes, and the lights seem dim. The dash goes in and out also. Gauges work sometimes, not sure if loose connection, short, or battery problem.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
Jason,

How did you get the engine running?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I replaced the old ground wire and made sure the new one had a good connection.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
YUP!

That will do it!

What is the battery voltage at with the engine at idle?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

13-14v so alternator is working. Still when headlights are turned on and off radio dies, lights dim and sometime gauges dont work.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.
I would check the violet wire and the red/white wire for power going into the back of the radio. If you are losing power for any reason, it will show up as low voltage on these wires.

Also, check the black/light blue wire for a good ground when this happens.

If all checks out ok, then I would suspect a bad instrument cluster or another bad module on board your vehicle.

However, since we were able to get your original issue resolve and the vehicle is back up and running, I would appreciate a positive rating for assisting you with all of your questions. This question will not close. We can still continue our conversation even after you rate my answer as "excellent service" for assisting you with your questions.

Amedee
Amedee, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 21869
Experience: ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Amedee and 9 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you

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