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durango-driver
 
  Truck won't start. Smells like gas. - Posted: 11-07-2008, 08:22 PM
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Post #1

Hello all,

I have a 2000 Durango that I've had for about a year now. I have had little to no problems with it up until now.

I went to start the truck, and it turned over for a split second and died. Usually it starts right up like a champ. I tried again with the same results. I let it sit and checked all the fluids. When I went to start it again, I gave it a little gas and was able to get it turned over but the engine would only stay turned over if I held the gas. The next and final time I tried to start it, I noticed some smoke with a smell of gas and that's when I decided to stop trying.

The other day going up a hill, the engine sputtered a little bit but kicked right back in with full power. Other than that, I can't think of any other symptoms. Frankly, the truck has ran great.

Any ideas on what the problem is? Thank you in advance.
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dodgefan360
 
 Posted: 11-07-2008, 08:52 PM
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Post #2

It's undoubtedly your battery causing the trouble. Batteries that are bad or are on their way out give off various symptoms. When my original battery went, I had to keep the D in neutral with a bit of gas at red lights or it'd stall out.
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durango-driver
 
 Posted: 11-07-2008, 09:06 PM
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Post #3

Thank you for that quick response. In reading that, I went and popped open the terminal protector things and there is indeed a good amount of corrosion. I checked everything about 2 weeks ago. What can cause this amount of corrosion in such a short period of time?

Also, what do you recommend that I do? Clean the terminals and get the battery checked, or just get a new battery all together?

Thank you again.
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durango-driver
 
 Posted: 11-07-2008, 09:08 PM
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Post #4

Oh, just out of curiosity - is this a Durango specific issue? I've had plenty of batteries go bad on me, but none of which have scared me like this... with the smell of gas and all.
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dodgefan360
 
 Posted: 11-07-2008, 10:07 PM
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Post #5

Bad batteries have a tendency to do many weird things to a Durango, if you do a search for 'battery' you'll be able to read up on a lot of them. I'd get your battery load tested to make sure it is operating within' spec. I haven't heard of anyone mentioning the smell of fuel in relation to a bad batt. When was the last tune-up done (with new plugs)?

My current battery has been in use around two years and the terminals corrode a lot faster than the stock battery (cleaned only once!). It's best to take the wires off the terminals and clean off the corrosion with a wire brush. I'm not a battery expert by any means, but I clean off my terminals every 4-6 months and my D is driven approx 15,000miles/yr and can't say if that kind of corrosion means that a battery is on its way out. Even new batteries can fail after a year or so.
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Amsoil in the diffs, transfer case and engine - Hughes Plenum - Fastman 52mm TB - K&N FIPK - SCT tuner currently set at 87 octane - Magnaflow 15659 exhaust

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durango-driver
 
 Posted: 11-07-2008, 10:37 PM
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Post #6

This has been very valuable. I'll do as subscribed and hope for the best.

Thank you again so very much. I'll update the thread as soon as the problem is resolved.
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durango-driver
 
 Posted: 11-08-2008, 10:52 AM
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Post #7

I have a new problem.

I went to remove the battery and clean off the terminals when I noticed that one of the nuts had been corroded down to seem as if the nut was stripped. Also, it seems the terminal connectors have a bit of rust.

I took it in for a tune up at the beginning of summer and they told me everything was alright and didn't need to be changed. Not being mechanically inclined and not having a lot of money, it sounded good to me and only changed the fluids.

About the gas smell, I've never had to hit the throttle when started the engine, but did in this case - so the gas smell could of been a possible flooding? I don't know, just something that popped in my head last night.

Back to my new problem. How the heck do I get this nut off so I can clean the terminals.

On a side note - I'd like to learn a little more about the schematics of how the ignition system works.

I have always been under the impression that the battery is really only there to power the electricity when the car is not running and start the engine and once the engine is started, the alternator takes over. So once I start the engine, shouldn't it stay running until I shut the car off - not just sputter and die.

Sorry for being such a pain. I love my Durango and hate to see it like this. I don't really have the money right now to just call a mechanic and have it towed away so any advice and suggestions is VERY much appreciated.
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dodgefan360
 
 Posted: 11-08-2008, 02:04 PM
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Post #8

If vice grips and elbow grease don't work, then I'd make sure you have sufficient slack in the wires, cut the current terminals off and clasp on some new ones along with a new battery. It'll cost a bit of green, of course. I'd advise against NAPA or CarQuest batteries, as that's what I'm currently using and the terminals do corrode as I mentioned above, more so than with other brand batteries that I've owned. I'm not sure if there is a penetrant lube that will work on corroded terminals. Perhaps someone else wil chime in on that. It's a big file, not sure if it's 100% what your after but I scanned it from my Hayned manual: http://biodsl.com/images/durangoelec.jpg
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Amsoil in the diffs, transfer case and engine - Hughes Plenum - Fastman 52mm TB - K&N FIPK - SCT tuner currently set at 87 octane - Magnaflow 15659 exhaust

My 2000 R/T
2000 R/T Factory service Manual
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gramol
 
 Posted: 11-09-2008, 11:10 AM
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Post #9

you'll find if you dig here a bit that dodge's like good, full sysytem voltage...........new battery couldn't hurt if it's a few years old............a far as corrosion......fairly normal on a top post battery............there's actually currant flowing across the top of the battery believe it or not.............one way to prevent or move the corrosion from the terminals is to put a copper penny on the battery............i use silicon on the penny and stick it on a flat surface..............you'll find the white fuzz builds up on the penny, not the positive post...............
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!05RAM05!
 
 Posted: 11-09-2008, 04:00 PM
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Post #10

on the early durangos, the batteries had very little to do with anything other than what you stated, the initial power to start it. Does your D have any sort of factory alarm system with ignition cut off? Have you pulled the wires recently? The reason I ask about the alarm is that my 98 did exactly what you are talking about. My alarm was tripped one night and I didn't hear it(didn;t know there wasn't a speaker for it). Well when I went out the next morning it wouldnt start, obviously the battery. I get a jump. it tries to start, then dies. I try to turn it over again and hold the gas, it ran like crap and then died.
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durango-driver
 
 Posted: 11-11-2008, 01:07 PM
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Post #11

It was undoubtedly the battery as originally posted. Thank you so much for that. It made the 4 mile hike to get the battery worth it when the D started right up.

I like the penny trick. I am going to give it a try.

New Battery = $70.00
Core Charge = -$9.00
4 Mile Hike = A Workout
Dodgetalk Community = Priceless.

Again, thank you so much for your help. Now I know where to come for future knowledge and reference.
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durango-driver
 
 Posted: 11-11-2008, 04:03 PM
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Post #12

UPDATE:

It wasn't the battery in it's entirety. I went to start her up about an hour after putting the new battery in and ... click click nada.

I ended up replacing the positive terminal connector cause it was so thin and corroded. Seemed to have done the job.

Thanks again everyone.
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dkeys412
 
 Posted: 11-11-2008, 07:38 PM
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Post #13

I had the same problem on friday morning, I would have your alternator checked out, my dingo was doing the same thing turn over and I had to hold the gas to keep it going, I too replaced the positive on my battery about a month ago, but it was my alternator, and since I have the r/t it is a higher amp alternator so you can guess my surprise and the surprise to my wallet too.
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wulfen33
 
 Posted: 11-14-2008, 05:32 AM
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Post #14

there are battery terminal cleaner and protectant sprays at any parts store to help remove and prevent corrosion.
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durango-driver
 
  Thumbs up  Posted: 11-15-2008, 10:32 AM
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Post #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeys412 View Post
I had the same problem on friday morning, I would have your alternator checked out, my dingo was doing the same thing turn over and I had to hold the gas to keep it going, I too replaced the positive on my battery about a month ago, but it was my alternator, and since I have the r/t it is a higher amp alternator so you can guess my surprise and the surprise to my wallet too.
Thanks for the heads-up. I hope I do not have this to look forward to...

FINAL UPDATE.
The positive terminal connector was so thin from corrosion it actually snapped when I gave a quarter turn after feeling some tension.

I was in such desperation to get the car going I took the back of a plastic screwdriver and slightly tapped the positive terminal connector onto the positive battery terminal. (NOT RECOMMENDED) I was able to get the D running long enough to get me to the parts store to purchase a new terminal.

I stripped the wire covering on the positive wires about 1 - 1.5 inches, followed the directions and crossed my fingers. The D has started up perfectly ever since. I also applied the spray/gel to help in corrosion protection and used the penny trick as mentioned above. I left the negative connection alone because it didn't look like there is anything wrong with it. Even though the problem might of been the battery, I am keeping the new battery in mostly for peace of mind and knowledge of when it was replaced.

The changing of the terminals was kind of nerve wracking since I hadn't done it before. It was an easy fix / change. On a difficulty rating from 1 - 10 with 1being the lowest, it was about a 1 or 2. The gas smell was most definitely a flooding thing. I haven't smelled it since.

Hope this helps someone and thank you everybody for your help as well.
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gramol
 
 Posted: 11-18-2008, 05:21 PM
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Post #16

the penny thing doesn't cost much..........a bout five cents!!! with the silicon........look at it a month from now......you be amazed........and on that subject......drop one in a glass of coke........let it sit for awhile.......LOLOLOLOL.......we drink that stuff.........well i guess the stomach is already acid anyways!!!!.....glad you got it fixed!! later
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