I have a 1993 2WD 3.9L V6 Dodge Dakota Sport that continues to blow the 20A auto shut down fuse underneath the hood. From everything I could dig up I was under the impression that it _had_ to be a short somewhere: first I came across someone mentioning that it might be the O2 sensor harness; it might be the three-to-one wire splice (with the red/white-stripe wires); it could _possibly_ be a bad ground; could it even be a bad battery?
Admittedly I'm a car novice at best—I'm definitely no expert—but from snooping around it just seems like it _isn't_ a short, because every place I've been led looks fine.
LEADING UP TO THE ISSUE....
I've had similar occurances to my current situation three separate times, but before this the ASD fuse has never blown.
The first night I was on my way home with a buddy of mine, and as I came to an intersection my truck began to sputter a bit—it just wasn't running well. I thought I might be out of gas, since my light had been on for a little while, so I pulled into gas station which I just happened to be near by and put a few gallons in. Pulling out of the station, though, I realized that the problem did not cease. A few hundred meters down the road I pulled into a parking lot for a liquor store where my oil pressure gauge dropped and my truck shut down. Not knowing what the problem was, and it being too dark to check my oil levels, we hurried back to the gas station and bought a couple of quarts of oil. I put them in, but they didn't seem to help. I tried and tried, and on a final attempt—just as it was looking as if I'd have to walk the rest of the way home—I just held the key and eventually she fired up. I thought it was a strange occurance, but I didn't put an extraordinary amount of thought into the event.
Night two didn't go quite as well. In a different area my truck showed the same symptoms: bad response, loss of power, sputtering. Again, I pulled in to the closest gas station and put in a few gallons; when I started the truck up again it did the exact same thing it did the week prior: oil pressure dropped and it stalled. I didn't put any more oil in it this time because I now knew that I had more than enough, but I continued to turn the key and test my luck—I didn't have any
. I left the truck in the gas station's parking lot overnight and stayed at a friends house. The next afternoon my buddy had is dad come into town to take a look at it. When I tried starting it up the next day we had some luck: there was a brief time when the engine was _trying_ to fire, and when it did I pumped the gas quickly and it started right up. This time I thought that it was more peculiar, but we were under the impression it was water in my gas or something.
Day three was the killer.... Since spring was starting to show and the cold weather had pretty much ended, it hadn't shown any problems for almost two weeks—since we were thinking it was water/ice in the gas this made sense. Me and some friends pulled an "all nighter," and when I went to head home the next afternoon I started my truck up (and it started up fine), shifted into reverse to back out, and it stalled. It had done this before in the past, so I shifted it into neutral and tried starting it again and again; no luck. We tried a variety of things and after a while realized that I was getting no spark; thinking it was a fuel problem was now out the window.
Upon further inspection I noticed that two fuses under the hood were blown: the 20A ASD fuse (which I mentioned) and a 5A ign. off draw fuse. We stuck larger fuses in both to test it out, and it started! I was excited, so I shut 'er down and got a ride to the auto parts shop to get some new fuses. When I got back I threw them in and once again it started right back up, but this time for only about 25 seconds before it blew the 20A; the 5A was fine.
WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR....
As I've previously mentioned, my knowledge of vehicles is not excellent and I'm a novice at best. I hope that someone can offer some sort of help, though. For example:
*Diagnosing a _specific_ problem and pointing me in the right direction
*Helping me narrow down my search by asking more questions or something
*Should I just throw a 25A or 30A in there and call it good?
*Or should I just run it off a cliff and look for something new?
OTHER INFO THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE USEFUL....
In 2004 the heater core went bad, and when I brought it in for repairs my truck was returned to me with (1) the dome light no longer functioning (2) my radio not working. (2) was cleared up when an audio shop installed a CD player for me, bypassing a yellow wire that must have been no good, but (1) is still an issue. I only mention this because I came across someone who coincidentally has this problem as well as the fuse problem, and I'm wondering if somehow—some way—the two problems could be linked.
If anyone needs pictures or anything like that to help I can provide them upon request. If anything needs to be cleared up, let me know. Hopefully this post isn't too wordy, but I figured being as specific as I can would avoid as much confusion as possible. Thank you to anyone who responds!