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Dodgerench
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3385
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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I have a 2003 dodge ram that was parked a few months now it

Customer Question

I have a 2003 dodge ram that was parked a few months now it won't turn over and gauges won't read. I replace the starter, battery, and ignition switch in the steering column and the same issue. lights and buzzers all work fine. Also when I hook up my code reader and it tells me to turn on the key. it doesn't see the key as being on
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
all fuses were checked and relays swapped in the main fuse box located at the engine compartment everything seems good.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Hi, my name is Ed. Welcome to JustAnswer!.

I smell a rat. Or a squirrel or rabbit... something with sharp teeth and months of time to make surgical alterations to your harness.

Do me a favor and crawl around the engine compartment a bit to see if you can find evidence of critter occupation. They'll tend to find a comfortable spot to sit, especially if they build a nest. The area to the rear of the fuse block, the top-driver's side-rear of the engine and the passenger-rear side of the engine compartment are popular with the rodent crowd. Damage to the wiring harness above the engine is often obscured by the air cleaner body and ducting near the air cleaner, so some disassembly may be needed to get a good look at things. A large multi-wire connector on the top-left-rear of the engine is a favorite.

Insulation padding that's been removed from the hood pad or upper portion of the engine-transmission tunnel is a sure sign that something has been at work in the area. The battery insulator is another one and (of course) sticks, twigs, general garbage that's found its way into a place where it shouldn't be are all red flags.

Check it out and let me know if we need to start testing circuits tomorrow.

Good luck!

Ed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have checked all wiring and found no issues or signs of critters. also unplugged connections to check for corrosion and that seemed good also. could the computer be the issue? even though I replaced the ignition switch it concerns me when my code reader doesn't see the key as being on.
Thanks
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Yup, you'll get that sort of response from your code reader AND no cranking if the PCM isn't awake. I'm really hesitant to think the PCM died while it was sitting .. and you probably are as well. We'll just have to check a few circuits to see what's what.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

When would you want to start? I can put some tests together tomorrow morning if that would be OK.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Im on the east coast, you tell me when you would like to start and I will be up and ready. My truck was parked at a friends house and he starts it for me and has to move it to mow grass. so it wasn't sitting for long until this happened. He came home to mow and it just wouldn't start.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Oh, I see.

I'm in Denver, two hours behind you guys. How would 9-9:30 your time be?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no problem. I need to get this fixed so I can get home to WV. Im stuck in Richmond va now trying to fix this. I have a volt meter and most anything else I might need.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Very good! I'll see you tomorrow morning, then.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.
Gooood morning... Jake? Is that what you go by?
Your lack of response from the scan tool and the no-start could be caused by a communication bus problem IF your truck has an the factory immobilizer, called SKIM. You'll have a grey-colored ignition key if so. If not, this test probably won't matter.
Set the meter to 2K ohms, ground the black terminal and locate your data link connector under the dash -- the same place you plug the scanner to.
Now find Terminal 2, which will be Top Row, 2nd from the left. This is your PCI bus terminal. With the key off, test resistance between this terminal and a good ground. I'm not sure what it should read exactly because a well-equipped truck with more bus contact points will shift the final reading.
Then switch your meter over to 20v DC, turn the key on and repeat the test. Normal key-on voltage will also vary according to how many modules are present on the bus, but expect something between 0.7v and 2.0 volts. The number will probably fluctuate rapidly if the bus is active.
While you're doing that, I'll start pulling up pinout info for the PCM.
Hey, Happy Tuesday! (I hope it's not raining...)
Ed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I have just checked the voltage at the starter relay and have 12 volts at the relay. have any other checks?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Yup. Let's check bus voltage and circuit resistance like I described in the last post. If your PCI bus is flat, your gauges will be flat and the PCM won't allow engine start if you have the grey ignition key.

Hey, would you want to do this over the phone? There's an extra charge, but it might speed things up a bit. You may have seen a prompt on your screen for Additional Service/ live phone call. Click it if you want to go that way, then put your phone number in.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have the grey key I have a black one. no chip on the key
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would go ahead a call but thought we could just make a few checks this morning. Im trying to find a tow truck and have it towed in.justthought if you had a couple more checks that I haven't thought of I would give it a quick try
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

That uncomplicates things. Check your PCI bus anyway, then we'll press on.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

That sounds like a good plan. I've got power and ground info ready when you are.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm ready
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

With the 5.7 engine, you will have an NGC engine controller, identified by having 4 connectors. If it has three connectors, we have a different engine (let me know).

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

What was your PCI bus voltage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
not sure where to check the PCI buss voltage?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

It's the terminal in the top row of the data link connector, 2nd from left. You'll need the 20v DC scale and key ON.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it is a 5.7
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

If you're not sure about the quality of your ground (for the meter), test the bottom-right corner of the data link connector. It's a direct battery source, so you should get something around 12 volts. PCI varies, but it should show you something.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

The cigar lighter/ power outlet outer shell is usually a good ground source if you can't find another one.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Jake. You still with me?

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

I guess not. I'm going to have to opt out of your question if you don't reply.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No sorry I was working on it when the tow truck showed up. Sending it out because I need to get home today. Thanks for the help.

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