Contents

Stereo stops working ¶ 

Burnt fuses ¶ 

The fuse box creates a link between the car battery and electrical components, eg. the car stereo. Fuses prevent malfunctioning equipment from drawing too much current and causing a wire amperage overload. Try checking the fuse box for a burnt fuse. Refer to the fuse replacement guide for additional information on fuse removal and installation.

Faulty head unit ¶ 

Head units are very fragile devices. Common causes for breakdowns include: excessive volume, incorrect speaker impedance, improper installation, old age, and physical damage. Even if the head unit appears to be broken, it may in fact be the speakers or the display that is malfunctioning. Please refer to the head unit installation guide for more specific instructions on diagnosis and replacement of the head unit.

One or both headlights will not turn on ¶ 

Burnt fuses ¶ 

The fuse box creates a link between the car battery and electrical components, eg. the car stereo. Fuses prevent malfunctioning equipment from drawing too much current and causing a wire amperage overload. Burnt fuses, however, could cause serious electrical problems. Refer to the fuse replacement guide for additional information on fuse removal and installation

Burnt headlight ¶ 

The small filaments in headlights are particularly prone to damage. If the filament of a lightbulb is broken, it will not form a closed circuit with the battery and will fail to light. Refer to our headlight replacement guide for more information on diagnosis and installation of a new headlight bulb.

Vehicle is silent when you turn the key in the ignition ¶ 

Corroded battery connections ¶ 

The contact surfaces of a battery often corrode over time, causing a loss of connection and yielding the symtoms of a dead battery. To eliminate corrosion, clean the contact surfaces with baking soda or a store-bought cleaner.

Vehicle makes a clicking noise but won't start ¶ 

Faulty starter ¶ 

The solenoid acts as a current switch between the car battery and the starter. Broken solenoids cause a loss of connection between the contact points and the starter, creating a loud clicking sound. This sound is either a cracked magnet or an object impeding the movement of the solenoid.

Dead battery ¶ 

Dead batteries can no longer provide enough current for the starter to turn over the engine. Instead, the starter gear will make a distinct clicking noise as it knocks uselessly against the flywheel. As batteries age, corrosion can build up on the internal lead plates. This can sometimes be fixed with the help of a local battery specialist. If you don’t feel comfortable in your ability to change a battery, visit your local automotive store, which will most likely install a new battery free of charge upon purchase.

The battery keeps running down ¶ 

Dead battery ¶ 

The easiest ways to test a battery’s condition involve the use of either a multimeter or a hydrometer. If you don’t have these tools, consult a mechanic to do the test for you. To use a multimeter, simply place the prongs of the multimeter on the battery’s positive and negative electrodes. The voltage should read at least 12 volts. Hydrometers require opening the battery. Warning: Lead Acid Batteries contain strong acids which can burn exposed skin. Wear eye protection and gloves when working with a hydrometer. Batteries are made up of plates, lead, lead oxide , and an electrolyte solution (35% sulfuric acid, 65% water solution) which causes a chemical reaction that produces electrons. Hydrometers test the battery by measuring the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte. A low reading means a shortage of electron production.

Faulty charging system ¶ 

A truck’s charging system consists of an alternator, a rectifier, and a regulator. The alternator generates AC current, the rectifier converts it into DC current, and the regulator feeds it into the battery. You could also use a multimeter to measure the voltage across the battery leads while the engine is running, which should read at least 14.5 volts. Finally, you could have an automotive shop perform a load test and identify which component is malfunctioning.

Current drain ¶ 

A drain on the battery is often caused by malfunctioning electrical equipment that uses current even when the car is off. Eventually, this current usage could drain the battery until it is no longer able to start the engine. In order to check for a drain on the system, disconnect one battery lead and place an ammeter on both the battery lead and the exposed terminal. The reading on the ammeter should be no more than .01 amps. If there is a higher draw, consult a mechanic to find out where the leak is occurring.

Battery cranks starter very slowly ¶ 

Dead battery ¶ 

A dead battery will fail to provide enough current to the starter to turn over the engine. When a starter doesn't receive enough current, it can't create enough force to turn over. You will be able to hear the starter gear clicking against the flywheel. When a battery gets old, corrosion can build up on the internal lead plates, which can sometimes be knocked off with high amperage by your local battery specialist. If you don't feel confident changing a battery, visit an automotive store, which will most likely install a new battery free of charge upon purchase.

Battery boils over ¶ 

Overfilled battery ¶ 

This step should be done by a trained specialist. Characteristics of an overfilled battery include poor voltage and an inability to charge to full capacity.

Faulty alternator ¶ 

A faulty alternator will overcharge the battery, creating a lot of heat. This temperature increase could cause an otherwise functional battery to boil over. To diagnose a faulty alternator, use a multimeter to measure the voltage across the battery leads while the car is running. An ideal alternator output voltage is around 14-15 volts.

Dead battery ¶ 

Older batteries often suffer from sulfur buildup on the electrodes, forcing them to work harder. This extra strain causes the battery to overheat, boiling the water inside and causing pools or condensation to form on top of the battery. Although this is not an immediate problem, a battery that boils over is probably at the end of its useful life and should be replaced before it dies altogether.

Vehicle pulls to one side when braking ¶ 

Worn brake hose ¶ 

A worn brake hose will not transfer enough pressure to the brake piston, severely hampering the effectiveness of the brakes. If the hose feeds the brake calipers unevenly, one wheel will brake harder than the others, causing the car to pull to one side.

Damaged or stuck caliper ¶ 

A damaged caliper won’t brake as hard as the others, causing the car to pull to the side of the better working brakes. On the other hand, a stuck caliper will constantly apply break pressure to the rotor, causing the car to pull to the other side.

Brake pedal sinks to the floor ¶ 

Brake fluid leak ¶ 

Improper brake fluid levels may lead to air entering the brake lines. Brake systems work on the basis that liquid isn't compressible. If compressible material (such as air) enters the brake lines, it will compromise the transfer of force from your foot to the brake calipers. Stepping on the pedal will feel like stepping on a balloon.

Faulty master cylinder ¶ 

The master cylinder may have a leak allowing air into the brake system. Brake systems work on the basis that liquid isn’t compressible. If compressible material (such as air) enters the brake lines, it will compromise the transfer of force from your foot to the brake calipers. Stepping on the pedal will feel like stepping on a balloon.

Hear or feel scraping or grinding sensation in brake pedal ¶ 

Seized calipers ¶ 

A seized caliper will apply constant pressure on the rotor. Given time, a seized caliber will cause serious brake wear. Eventually, the wheels will begin to squeak and the vehicle will start drifting. To check for caliper seizing, jack up the wheel in question and try to turn it. If it is hard to turn or makes a grinding noise, it is most likely a seized caliper. Take your truck to a brake shop for repairs.

Worn brake pads ¶ 

Take your truck to a brake shop and have them check your brakes for wear. Most brakes have an indicator strip that tells you when they need to be changed. Eventually the pads will make a squeaking noise if they get too low.

Worn rotors ¶ 

If you can see your rotors through the rim of the wheel, visually inspect them for scratches or scores. These indentations may be the cause of inconsistent breaking and squeaking noises. If the rotors have a lip or groove around the edge, take them to a shop to be milled or buy replacement rotors.

High pitched screeches when braking ¶ 

Worn brake pads ¶ 

Take your truck to a brake shop and have them check your brakes for wear. A worn brake has an indicator strip that lets you know they need to be changed by making a squeaking noise when they get too low.

Worn rotors ¶ 

If you can see your rotors through the rim of the wheel, visually inspect them for scratches or scores. These indentations may be the cause of inconsistent breaking and squeaking noises. If the rotors have a lip or groove around the edge, take them to a shop to be milled or buy replacement rotors.

“Brake light” appears on dash board dummy illumination board ¶ 

Parking brake is on ¶ 

If the parking brake is engaged, the brake light on the dashboard will light up automatically. Disengage the parking brake and the light should shut off.

Brake fluid leak ¶ 

If the master cylinder is low on brake fluid, a sensor will turn the light on. Open the cap of the master cylinder (under the hood) and fill if necessary.

“Check engine light” appears ¶ 

Loose gas cap ¶ 

Try tightening your gas cap. This is the most common problem indicated by the “Check Engine” light. Twist the gas cap clockwise until you hear several clicks. Keep in mind that it could be awhile before the light resets.

Low oil pressure ¶ 

Locate the Oil Pressure gauge; it should be in the instrument cluster next to the speedometer. Do not drive the truck if the Oil Pressure gauge indicates low oil levels. If you notice a sudden drop in oil pressure, or the movement of the gauge is erratic and accompanied by a knocking sound from the engine, pull over as soon as possible. Contact a trained mechanic.

Overheating ¶ 

Locate the Oil Temperature gauge; it should be slightly to the left of the speedometer. If it indicates overheating, pull over as soon as possible. Caution: Always wait for an engine to cool off before adding water or coolant. There is a risk of cracking the block. DO NOT open the reservoir cap while the engine is hot! Once the engine has cooled off, slowly turn the reservoir cap to release pressure, and then add water or coolant. If this happens more than once, see a trained mechanic.

Rough idling or stalling ¶ 

Loose or warn vacuum hoses ¶ 

Examine all vacuum hoses for disconnections, loose or cracked hoses, or broken fittings. When changing a hose, always ensure it is being replaced with another hose of the same type, length, and diameter. Replacement hoses must be rated for fuel injection systems and fuel vapor.

Clogged air filter ¶ 

The air filter is located in a plastic housing on the passenger side of the engine bay. Unsnap the four tabs on the cover to remove the air filter. If the filter appears to be dirty, replace it with a clean one. We recommend using a K&N air filter, which is washable and reusable.

Dirty spark plugs ¶ 

The job of the spark plug is to ignite fuel in the combustion chamber of the engine with an electric current. A rough idle may indicate that one or more spark plugs is not firing properly. The spark plugs can be accessed by removing the throttle body air intake and then removing the "Coil Overs" on each cylinder. If the old spark plugs appear dirty or damaged, replace them. Consult your owner's manual or a repair shop for the correct model spark plugs for your engine. Make sure the spark plug gap is correct before replacing the plugs.

Worn serpentine belt ¶ 

A worn serpentine belt can cause various parts to slip as the engine is running. Older neoprene belts are prone to cracks and chipping, so visual inspection is simple. Newer EPDM belts do not crack like neoprene, and require a belt gauge to check for wear. Refer to the serpentine belt maintenance guide for instructions on how to replace a serpentine belt.

Faulty throttle position sensor ¶ 

The throttle position sensor measures the position of the throttle and adjusts fuel mixture accordingly. If your Dodge won’t idle, idles too high, or stalls often, the throttle position sensor may be faulty. This is a repair best left to the professionals.

Poor acceleration ¶ 

Parking brake is on ¶ 

If your truck experiences a sudden loss in acceleration, double check that the parking brake is disengaged. If your parking brake is not set, but you still experience poor acceleration, you may need to adjust the parking brake.

Faulty throttle position sensor ¶ 

The throttle position sensor measures the position of the throttle and adjusts fuel mixture accordingly. If your Dodge won’t idle, idles too high, or stalls often, the throttle position sensor may be faulty. This is a repair best left to the professionals.

Low fuel pressure ¶ 

If the engine is idling properly but the truck still struggles to accelerate, the problem may be low fuel pressure. Low fuel pressure is caused by bad electrical connections to the fuel pump, clogged fuel filters, or a pinched fuel line. Try replacing the fuel filter. If the problem persists, contact a mechanic.

Poor fuel economy ¶ 

Parking brake is on ¶ 

If you experience a sudden decrease in fuel economy, double check that the parking brake is disengaged. If your parking brake is not set, but you still experience poor fuel economy, the parking brake may require adjustment.

Faulty O2 sensor ¶ 

The oxygen sensor controls the mixture of air and fuel in the fuel injector system. If the oxygen sensor is faulty, the engine will consume more fuel than necessary. If you notice a sudden drop in fuel economy, contact a repair shop. This usually means there is excess fuel in your engine, which can cause further problems.

Low tire pressure ¶ 

Low tire pressure can severely impact the efficiency of your truck. Check all four tires regularly to ensure adequate inflation. Ideal tire pressure can be found in the installation instructions or on the data plate inside the door. When in doubt, 35 psi is probably fine.

Excessive oil use (more than one quart every 3000 miles) ¶ 

Loose oil drain plug ¶ 

Check for excessive oil residue on or near the oil drain plug. Leakage means the plug has either come loose or wasn't properly closed. Check the plug and make sure it has not been cross-threaded.

Worn front gasket ¶ 

A worn front gasket could potentially lead to a large oil leak. Check for oil spots on and underneath the front of the engine. If you find oily residue on the front of the engine, consult a certified mechanic to replace the front gasket.

Loose or dirty oil filter ¶ 

Locate the Oil Filter Bolt underneath the truck. The bolt should be tight, but not to the point of stripping. If your oil filter is dirty or hasn't been changed recently, remove and replace the filter.

Loose or faulty oil pressure sender ¶ 

If the Oil Pressure gauge is changing erratically but no knocking sound is coming from the engine, it is usually the sign of a faulty oil pressure sender. If you put the key in the ignition but don’t start the engine, the Oil Pressure gauge should cycle up and down. If the needle doesn't return to zero, the oil pressure sender needs replacing. Ensure that you have the correct replacement parts before proceeding.

Excessively worn pistons and rings ¶ 

An engine’s pistons and rings will inevitably wear down due to age or improper lubrication. When this happens, an engine will consume more motor oil to help fill the gaps. If an engine has a sound oil system, but oil usage is still above average, the pistons are probably worn and must be replaced by a mechanic.

Engine continues running after removing the key ¶ 

Faulty ignition switch ¶ 

Feel on and around the switch for signs of heat, which could indicate a short circuit. This means the ignition switch is faulty and must be repaired by a mechanic.

Faulty relay ¶ 

If the relay isn't working properly, it will stay engaged even after the key is removed.

Feel free to use a multimeter to test the relay, but replacing a relay is a job best left to a professional.

Low octane fuel ¶ 

Low-octane fuel can cause the engine to continue running after the key has been removed. Try filling the tank with higher-octane fuel, or fuel from a different gas station.

Overheated engine ¶ 

If an engine overheats badly enough, the heat might actually be igniting the fuel within it. Check the Oil Temperature gauge on the instrument cluster. If oil temperature is high, let the engine cool down. Caution: Always wait for an engine to cool off before adding water or coolant. There is a risk of cracking the engine block. Find a coolant that is compatible with your engine and add as needed.

"Hot" spark plugs ¶ 

Spark plugs that become too hot can cause ignition after the key has been removed. If the spark plugs in your engine have been replaced recently, double check that they’re the correct type. If they aren’t, replace them with the correct ones.

Yellowish green, pastel blue, or fluorescent orange colored fluid draining ¶ 

Coolant leak ¶ 

Find the coolant system, located near the front of the engine. Check the coolant level and search for leaks or other signs of damage to the radiator. If there is a large leak, see a mechanic. If the leak seems minor, consider adding a cooling sealer. Continue to check the coolant level periodically and add coolant as needed.

Dark brown oily fluid on driveway ¶ 

Engine oil leak ¶ 

Check the front of the engine for any oily residue. If you notice an oil leak, or lots of oil near the front of the engine, you probably have a broken gasket seal. Leave replacement of the seal to a trained mechanic. Afterward, be sure to monitor your Oil Pressure gauge for any sudden drops. You may need to perform an oil change if the problem persists.

Red oily fluid on driveway ¶ 

Transmission leak ¶ 

Transmission leaks are very serious, and must be handled quickly to avoid costly repairs. Most transmission leaks are caused by an improper tightening of the bolts on the transmission fluid filter. Another common cause is worn out gaskets and seals. Replacing a transmission pan gasket is a relatively simple repair.

Clear water under car ¶ 

Air conditioning condensation ¶ 

Condensation occurs naturally on every air conditioning system after heavy use. Water in the air collects on the cold surfaces and then simply drips to the ground. This is perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about. A similar effect also occurs at the tailpipe.

Rhythmic vibrations in steering wheel ¶ 

Improper wheel alignment ¶ 

If one tire undergoes significantly more wear than the others, the wheels may need to be realigned. Improper wheel alignment creates excessive drag, causing uneven tire wear. Wheel realignment requires special equipment, so it’s best to take your truck to a tire shop.

Loose lug nuts ¶ 

Ensure all lug nut are securely fastened to the wheel. If you find that some lug nuts are loose, loosen all of the nuts on that wheel and then retighten them evenly. Alternate lug nut sides when tightening to seat the wheel properly and avoid stripping.

Tires are out of balance ¶ 

One of your tires may have been balanced incorrectly when installed, or some of the balancing weights might have fallen off. Balancing tires is best left to a professional. Contact the shop where you purchased your tires to have them balanced.

Faulty steering dampers ¶ 

Steering dampers help prevent bumps in the road from effecting the steering wheel. To check the steering dampers, set the parking brake and block the rear wheels. Raise both front wheels off the ground with jack stands. Place both hands on your tire (one at 3 o'clock and one at 9 o'clock) and then push it back and forth rapidly. If the wheels move without much effort, the damper probably needs to be replaced.

Warped rotors ¶ 

The first sign of a warped rotor is usually obnoxious vibrations in the steering wheel while braking. Warped rotors (usually in the front) will develop an uneven lip along the edge. Many automotive shops offer rotor machining, which allows old rotors to be reused. If the rotor is severely warped or impossible to machine, you will need to purchase new rotors.

Bent wheel rim ¶ 

Wheel rims are occasionally bent by collisions with objects in the road. Examine the outside lip of the rim for dents, and then remove the wheel to examine the inside lip as well. You can also take your wheel to a tire shop, where they can determine if the rim is bent. Bent rims cannot be fixed reliably, and must be replaced.

Uneven tire wear ¶ 

Improper wheel alignment ¶ 

If one tire undergoes significantly more wear than the others, the wheels may need to be realigned. Improper wheel alignment creates excessive drag, causing uneven tire wear. Wheel realignment requires special equipment, so it’s best to take your truck to a tire shop.

Failure to rotate tires ¶ 

Tires should be rotated periodically to ensure longevity. Failure to do so will result in uneven wear on the tires. Always be sure to have your wheels rotated and aligned regularly.

Worn struts ¶ 

If the inside of a tire is experiencing a different amount of wear than the outside, it is usually a result of worn struts. The struts support the wheels, and when they become worn, it can tilt the wheel slightly and cause uneven damage. You can replace the struts yourself or go to a repair facility, but either way you might have to realign the wheels afterwards.

Pulling to one side while driving ¶ 

Improper wheel alignment ¶ 

If your truck pulls to one side while driving, or if you must turn your steering wheel slightly in order to drive straight, your wheels may need to be realigned. Take your truck to a tire shop for repairs. If the pulling occurs only while braking, the problem probably lies with the braking system. Refer to the "pulling while braking" section above.

Low air pressure ¶ 

Slow air leak ¶ 

If you find that one of your tires can’t stay inflated for longer than a few weeks, it is probably due to a slow air leak caused by a small puncture or an improper seating. Take the tire to a tire shop and have them either repair or replace it.

Bent wheel rim ¶ 

Although rare, a bent rim can occasionally cause a slow loss of tire pressure. Bent rims often cause damaging vibrations while driving. Inspect the lip of the rim on both sides, looking for any cracks or dents. If in doubt, take the wheel to a tire shop. Bent rims are difficult to repair, so it's usually better to replace the wheel.

10 Comments

My gauge cluster went out in my 02 dodge ram 1500 now it won't shift out of low gear.. it is super chipped do you think that could be the problem?

jacob - Reply

My ac lights in my dodge ram 1500 2007 stop working

sgray1975 - Reply

My gear indicator is going on and off. When it's off .my transmission won't shift .right or the truck will barley take off. I've checked the relay. And the wires in the column.and had it tested to see if any codes come up but nothing is showing.?

Ron - Reply

My truck seems to be sluggish when taking off I give it gas tach moves truck doesnt ...not right away put s code reader on it and po524 low oil pressure shows would this cause my truck to seem like it has transmission problems 2007 dodge ram 1500

jdepriest32 - Reply

2004 dodge ram 4.7 getting p0068 code. Already changed map-tps-crankshaft pos. sensor and camshaft pos sensor. Obd2 says tp 11.3%-load value 68.2%-map 74kpa - ignition timing aadvance is negative 6.6 deg. Truck starts but idles rough with a knocking sound and stalls. Strong gas smell from exhaust. Can anyone help?

Jeremy Pontius - Reply

07dodgeram1500 just broke it's belt what will be any more problems after I get a new belt

Charles - Reply

I can't get my 2003 Dodge Ram out of park, I step on the brake, but it won't budge. What to do?

dd2d - Reply

Dodge ram 1500 has codes P0201thru pP0206saying all injectors have an open circuit. Why?

Matt Haeckel - Reply

My 2007 dodge ram is jerky. I do not know what to do. It's my first dodge truck.

Mackman17 - Reply

My dad has a 2007 ram 4x4, when driving it, it makes a couple knocks at what seems to be the front right side of the motor (hearing it from drivers seat). It then loses power and in some cases just shuts power off causing me to put it in N and start the truck again. Anyone have any ideas what's going on with it?

seechance - Reply

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 133

Past 7 Days: 790

Past 30 Days: 3,851

All Time: 85,849