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Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1754
Experience:  ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
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Dodge Durango 1998 Dodge Durango will not start (no spark) 5.2L what

Customer Question

1998 Dodge Durango will not start (no spark)
what i've done already...

*ignition coil
*distributor cap and rotor
spark plugs and wires
*ignition coil
*pickup coil
crankshaft positioning sensor

at a loss for ideas and killing my budget..
had the same problem before and Dodge Dealership said it was the ignition coil. though i tested the one that was on there with a Fluke77 they replaced it and it ran for about a week. took it back to dodge and they said it was the coil again. Once again, parked it wouldn't start next morning.. put a coil on myself. thought it didn't start the first time i was able to drive it for a few months. there have been several times that i tried to go somewhere and my vehicle wouldn't start right away. Now, it just wont start! The *'ed items are new this time around. Had it at a shop and they wanted me to give them the go-ahead to troubleshoot for $71 an hour because they didn't know after the "basic diagnostics", whatever that entails. any ideas would be awesome!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

Do you have a test light and are able to check a few things tonight?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes i do have one.. and i'm up for a while.. its my only vehicle :(
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

The first thing I would like to do is pull the coil wire out of the distributor cap, hold it 1/2" away from ground and get someone to crank the engine over. If there is no spark, move the wire end closer to ground.


If you don't have any spark, I would like you to disconnect the coil 2 wire connector and test the dark green/orange wire for power when you get someone to turn the key on. When you first turn the key on, there should be power for a couple seconds and then turn off. If you have power, get someone to crank the engine over while you test for power, I would like to know if you have power while cranking it over.


Let me know the results!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes there is power when the key is turned to the on/run position.. but nothing when its cranking
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

That means the PCM likely isn't seeing a crank signal from the crank sensor. The PCM needs to see a signal from the crank sensor before it will turn on power to the coil during cranking.


Did you replace the crank sensor with a jobber or Chrysler part?


Have you thoroughly checked the wires going to the crank sensor to see if there are bare, broken or pinched wires?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
sorry for they delay.. it didn't say you replied. the crank sensor i got was from autozone. i still have the original one sitting next to me now.. looks like something spliced the wires on it for some reason, so i was reluctant to put it back in. Do you mean the wires in the wiring harness that connect to the crank sensors clip? ... I just had the vehicle at a shop and they swapped out the crank sensor and it still wouldn't start.
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

Yes, the wires that run from the sensor connector up to the engine main harness.


When you say they swapped out the crank sensor, did they install another new one or used one?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i've not begun to tear into the wiring harness
i have a Fluke77 couldn't i just check the supply voltage?
and if that is a sufficient way, then i've done that and it its good according to the repair manual i have

i wasn't there .. their words were, "we put a new crank sensor in"
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

Sorry, I didn't mean you had to tear into the harness, just visually check it up to where it goes into the main harness.


Lets check the crank sensor. With the connector attached, I would like you to back probe the violet/white wire with the key on to see if you have 5 volts. If you do, crank the engine over and see if you still have 5 volts.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes, still have 5v both times
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.
Now can you check the gray/black wire and see if it jumps from 5 - 0 - 5 - 0 while cranking it?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
well looks like i can no longer work tonight.. my battery seems to be dying and my charger (bought 2 days ago) doesn't seem to be working. it will barely turn over now.

the gray/black wire didn't have 5 volts when in the run position and would hold 5v when cranking. i will exchange my charger and have my battery charged tomorrow. everything is closed it this horrid town i'm stationed in.
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

No problem, just let me know when you are ready to continue and we'll take it from there!


In the mean time after you get the battery charged, I would like you to check that gray/black wire again while the key is on and manually turning the engine over on the front crank pulley(1 1/4" socket). The voltage should go from 0 - 5 - 0 - 5 - 0 - 5 and etc while cranking the engine over.


Let me know!