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Richard, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 4141
Experience:  Over 26 years of experience as lead tech and shop foreman.
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1500: My Dodge Ram truck suddenly will not recognize my ignition

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My Dodge Ram truck suddenly will not recognize my ignition key to allow me to start the engine.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

Did the truck start and stall three times and now not crank over anymore?

What does the security light in the instrument cluster do after turning the key on, does it go out, keep flashing or stay on solid?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes three time3s.

What does the security light in the instrument cluster do after turning the key on, does it go out, keep flashing or stay on solid?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

goes out.

If it goes out, then the security system is working and the vehicle should crank over.

Are you positive the light goes out after turning the key on and waiting 5 seconds?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

light goes off in 3 seconds; getting error code P0513.

If you are getting P0513, that red light to the left of the temp gauge should be flashing! Turn the key on wait 10 seconds and see if that light starts to flash. When you have an invalid key fault code, the light will go out, but after 5 seconds will start flashing.

Have you tried to disconnect the battery to see if that fixes the problem?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When I turn the key, the engine will crank continuously, but won't start. When I turn the key on and wait 10 seconds, the red light is not flashing.


The red light goes out and stays out. We have tried disconnecting the battery for overnight but it did not fix it.

I asked you in my first reply "Did the truck start and stall three times and now not crank over anymore?" You said "yes three time3s."

Now you say the starter is cranking the engine over??
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry. I'm relaying information. I did not realize it was still cranking. Now I know thatit did start and stall three times, but it IS cranking over.

No problem! If the starter is cranking over now and the red light turns off and stays off, then we know it's not related to the security system. You may have had a problem with the security before this, but that is not the problem now.

Can you get someone to bend down near the fuel tank and listen to see if the fuel pump runs for two seconds when turning the key to the run position(not start).

If you can't hear the pump run, bang the bottom of the tank with a wooden block while cranking the engine over to see if it starts.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The lifter pump is working. There is fuel in the tank. Getting fuel all the way through the fuel filter to the engine.


But if it matters, the pump runs when the key is turned to the run position, but it does not stop after two seconds, it keeps running.

You listed this truck as a Dodge Ram 1500. Is this a 2500 or 3500 with the Cummins diesel engine?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Again, I am relaying information. It is a 3500 with a Cummins diesel engine.

Ok then you have a Ram 2500 or 3500 and that pump will run longer since this is a diesel.
Can you get someone to remove the large intake hose from the intake plenum and spray a little starting fluid into the intake while someone is cranking the engine over to see if it stays running after it starts? DON'T spray starting fluid into the air cleaner hose, you must remove the intake hose from the left side of the engine.

Don't let the intake heaters turn on, just start cranking it!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Still working on what you said. Have it ready to go, but needed to hook up to another car because the battery was getting down a bit. Should be able to tell you the result soon.


Please respond so I will have a link to send you my next message.

Ok, let me know!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The engine did start but stayed running only briefly - apparently just burning off the starting fluid. It did not stay running.

Did this problem start all of a sudden and you had no problems prior to this like a longer crank time before it started or loss of engine power?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It just started all of a sudden.

Is there any other fault codes, other than P0513?

What are you checking the fault codes with, the key cycle procedure or code reader?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No other fault codes. I'm checking the fault codes with the key cycle procedure.

Can you remove the high pressure pump supply line and hold it in a quart jar and then bump the key to the start position and see how much fuel you get in the jar after the pump quits running(it will run for 25 seconds).
Can you check the #4 injector line to see if it's leaking bad when cranking the engine over?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The no. 4 injector line is not leaking, and no other leaks are noticed.


Also, did you receive my message about whether the security system cuts of the fuel such that it could still be a problem?

No I didn't get your other message.

Since the security light is going out, this shouldn't be caused by the security system.

Do you have access to a scan tool so we can read the common rail pressure?

Have you checked the transfer pump flow to the HP pump yet?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not able to check on these things. No scan tool, and can't access the lines regarding the transfer pump and HP pump.


Probably going to have to wrap it up on this end. A couple of last questions.


Just so we will know, does the security system stop the engine by cutting off the fuel, or is it something else - perhaps electronic?


If you had to guess at this point, would you guess it is something in the fuel delivery, and if so, what? (Clogged fuel line, inoperable pump, etc.?)


Lastly - thanks so much for your help. We may not have figured this out, but being able to check out some possible issues, and eliminating some (such as the security system) is great. Unfortunately, he is 400 miles from home and trying to get back to his wife from a week at the Army Reserves. But as I said, at least doing what we could is a positive.


The security systems don't operate like they used to on older vehicles. On older vehicles they would shut off the fuel injectors.

On your vehicle, the security system(sentry key immobilizer system) works differently. It sends the security status to the PCM and when the PCM doesn't receive a valid key message, it will allow the vehicle to start and stall three times and then shutdown the starter control until it sees a valid message. So basically if the security system was the problem, it the security light would either be on solid or flash.

Most of these problems are caused by a fuel supply issue or an injector problem, but without being able to check the common rail pressure, it's impossible to say.

If I were to guess, I would say this is a fuel issue or an ECM issue. I thought you might have a cracked #4 injector line, but if there is no leak, then that can't be the problem. These are very bad for cracking the #4 injector line and it will not start when that happens.

I sure wish I could do more, but when you have a problem like this, it is very difficult to diagnose without a scan tool.

If you have any other questions feel free!
Thank you,
Richard and other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks again. I rated you Excellent!

Thank you very much!!

Can you let me know what you find?

Thank you,