97 dodge ram 1500 5.2L fires, but wont run or idle


Asked by May 14, 2013 at 09:22 PM about the 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr Laramie SLT 4WD Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

my ram 1500 (318) will fire, but wont run.  Here is the scoop;
   Has been trowing bad Upstream O2 Sensor code for some time
   oil dipstick reads low, however there is no leaking anywhere(coolant,under etc.)
   When i add a small amount of oil, it says its way over full
   truck sat for 3 days, now wont start
   it will fire up, but will die right away, needs pressure on gas pedal to stay running then as soon as i let off it dies
   new TPS sensor was put on
   plugs are fouled with gas
   oil does NOT smell like gas
   throttle body was very dirty(cleaned, new gasket)
   battery is good and fully charged

I'm stuck with what to do, I'm not sure why it isn't running and I don't have a lot of money to just throw into it!  Please Help!!

6 Answers


the oil issue is a tad puzzling... but in regards to the problem with it shutting off and needing to have pressure on the gas for it to stay running, I had the same problem with my truck. Check your crank shaft sensor, if it's been showing codes for your o2 sensors for a while, they need changed, because that could be causing that as well. Generally the sensors are only about 45 - 55 dollars. also do yourself a favor and and the next time you put gas in it, put in GOOD GAS as well as a can of Sea Foam.

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Best Answer

Awesome! Thanks for the insight. Is there a good way to test the crank sensor?

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not that I'm aware of.. the only way I know of is if you hook it up to a scan tool (which you can buy at Harbor Freight or almost any automotive store for about 50 - 75 bucks, and see if it it showing a code for the crank sensor. They mount it in a pretty crappy spot. Most of the time on Dodge trucks they are mounted right under the tuck towards the rear of the motor (although i have seen them in a couple other spots) Not sure why they would put the stuff there with water, and salt, and other things that can come up and hit it off the road. if you see any kind of cracking or damage of ANY kind, replace it. You'll also notice the electrical connection for the 4 wheel drive is right under the truck in the middle as well.. generally they just kinda hang there and they just wrap the connection with electrical tape at the manufacturer. again.. not sure why they would put them in places like that.. but they do.

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Awesome! I'll give it a shot tomorrow morning. I did read that a person can give it a basic test with a multimeter. I'll let you know what I come up with. Cheers!


I have an update. I was about to try the crank sensor when I got an idea to unplug both O2 sensors from a dodge dealership tech. So I did, changed oil, and bam! it runs better than ever. The crank sensor didn't look damaged at all so I left it for now. thank you for the advice!


There is a TSB on the oil leak http://dodgeram.info/tsb/2000/09-05-00.htm

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