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Ask Chad Farhat Your Own Question
Chad Farhat
Chad Farhat, ASE Certified Technician A6 - Electrical / Electronic systems A7 Heating / Air conditioning systems
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1229
Experience:  Owner at Carolina Auto Service &Sales , 20 years Experience in Foreign & Domestic vehicles
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I drove to my sleeping spot and everything was fine. The

Customer Question

Hi! I drove to my sleeping spot and everything was fine. The next morning, the engine started fine, but after about 3 seconds, it sputtered and died and I haven't been able to get it started since, although the starter cranks it fine.
JA: Have you checked the engine's fuel supply? And the spark plugs -- are they all working?
Customer: Well, just now, I separated a spark plug wire from one of plugs to see if i could get a spark, but instead of the starter cranking, all I got was a couple of clicks, and with the plug wire back in place, the starter now won't crank. Gas tank is half full.
JA: What is the model/year of your Dodge?
Customer: 1999 Ram Van 1500, 5.2L V*
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I'm hoping to fix it myself. Other than trying unsuccessfully to find the fuel filter to clean or exchange it, what I just said about the spark plug wire and the starter now no longer cranking, that's it.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: I can't think of anything other than up to now the engine has always started like a dream, almost instantly; and that occassionally going uphill before being warmed up, the engine sometimes seem to sputter and choke out. Add SeaFoam in the gas greatly reduced that problem.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Chad Farhat replied 2 months ago.

Hi, I'm Chad ,Welcome To JustAnswer, I'm reviewing your question and I will be be posting a replay ASAP

Expert:  Chad Farhat replied 2 months ago.

1- well first we need to check battery do we have 12Volts? the clicking sounds you hear , sounds like a dead battery

lets get the engine spinning so we can test for fuel & spark ?

is this original starter ?

2- if we do have 12 volts at battery ,then are we getting it at the starter ?

3- Next is getting 12 volts from the ignition switch itself ?

3- we need to confirm ,are we getting fuel ? The fuel pump should prime up for few secs from the trun of the switch from off to on , do you hear coming ON?( you will hear it buzz)

Please let me know

Thank You

Chad Farhat

ASE Certified Technician

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My description was too ambiguous. I'm familiar with the repetitive clicking sound that results from a too weak battery trying to crank the starter. This clicking mentioned was not like that. It was more like "clickclick," very fast together, and then nothing. At the time I thought, "That sounded like a relay." Although I don't have my meter available, I know the battery is good; it was fully charged overnight, and the starter cranked properly the one time I tried it after reinstalling the battery this morning (just in case the problem had fixed itself.) I think a weak battery can be eliminated as the cause.BTW, when I took that wire off one of the plugs, I set it up as close as possible to the plug so I could see whether a spark was arcing between the plug and its wire. Was that wrong? Should I have set up the wire so it would arc against the engine, if at all?In any case, until I finally got the passenger compartment cover off the engine, the starter was working fine and cranking the engine at full energy, but no sign that the engine was even trying to fire up. That said to me that either the sparkplugs weren't firing, or the engine wasn't getting any gas.Now that the inside cover is off the engine, and I have removed the air filter, I can see and feel that both the air control plates are in the fully closed position. I do not now smell any raw gas smell even when I get my nose as close as I can to the carburator, nor have I smelt any at any time in the three days of this process.Am I correct that in this particular model the filter is part of the sending unit? If not, where do I find the filter?As for the age of the starter, I do not know. I bought the vehicle used at about 175000, and it's never given me any problem in the 12000 miles I've added to the van.A buzzer does come on for a few seconds when I turn the ignition fully on. It is similar in sound to the buzz you get if you open the driver's door with the keys still in the ignition switch.
Expert:  Chad Farhat replied 2 months ago.

1- i would lay the spark on the engine and check for spark ,nothing wrong with what you did , if you spark from wire to plug we know spark getting to plug but we dont know if the plug is firing that way pull it out and stick in the wires and lay it on engine and watch for spark while cranking

2- are you asking where is fuel filter correct? you mentioned the air filter earlier ,no air filter not part of sending unit fir fuel fuel ?

the fuel filter is located ,( The fuel filter/fuel pressure regulator is located at top of fuel pump module on top of fuel tank.)

i sent you a diagram also for it

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I got a text message from you a couple minutes ago, but I'm not seeing the content on my laptop. I much prefer to type on a real keyboard. Can your recent message possibly be sent to my internet page: your other answers have shown up there.If I wasn't clear the first time, let me say that when i did my little experiment with the plug wire, and got the "clickclick," that was it for the starter. Now when I when I switch to the "Start" position on the Ignition, the result is.....nothing. No clicks, no grinding starter, nothing but complete silence. So until that's resolved, I won't be able to do any experiments to test for spark.
Expert:  Chad Farhat replied 2 months ago.

i m not sure why is this happening, you should receive my reply on this post and also an email will be sent to you that i replied , if you getting different stuff i will have to send it to customer service to see why is that


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did receive your latest message sent at 1:07pm edt here on my laptop, so that problem may be straightened out. But as I wrote before, there's a good charge in the battery, but now, since my testing for spark, absolutely nothing happens. It seems like no power at all is getting to the starter. So, of course, I can't follow your advice about testing for spark.
Expert:  Chad Farhat replied 2 months ago.

ok so we need to solve this problem first , have you checked the ignition switch itself in the steering ?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What I did was to swap relays. Now, I get a result when I turn the ignition switch to start: a series of very fast clicks. As I had inadvertently left the ignition switch on after raising the windowss against a sudden squall, I suspect I'm hearing the sound of a starter motor not getting enough power, but if so, it's the first time I've heard it with the engine cover off. I don't see how I'll be able to proceed any further today. I now have two partially charged batteries, so I'll have to get one of them fully charged tonight.Assuming the problem is not electrical but in the gas supply, are there any tests or quick fixes that can be tried before dropping the gas tank? Thanks.
Expert:  Chad Farhat replied 2 months ago.

yes we have fuel pump relay we need to check also there should be a fuel test port to see if fuel pressure exit should be on the fuel rail look like a tire pressure stem on tire if you want to test for fuel

Expert:  Chad Farhat replied 2 months ago.

Hope I was helpful to you , Please let me know if you need anything else on it

A Positive Rating is Much Appreciated

This Post Will Stay Open For You to Come Back and ask me any Follow up Questions you may have on this issue Even after you Rate Me.

Thank You
Chad Farhat ( aka -Customer)
ASE Certified Technician