dodge dakota 1997 battery draining, and idle drops till shuts off. could it be the alternator?

Asked by Jul 26, 2013 at 02:56 PM about the 1997 Dodge Dakota 2 Dr SLT 4WD Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Battery was dead, jumped it.  runs if hold rpms up.  dies when let off accelerator.  battery gauge drops at low idle.

1 Answer

78,375

Have your battery recharged and tested, replace if it tests bad, then you will have to check for a battery draw, install battery and put a test light in between the negative cable end and the battery terminal, make sure all doors are closed and nothing is on, if the light is lit then you have a draw, first thing to disconnect is the alternator as it may have a bad diode and is letting voltage back in it, if alt is disconnected and light is still lit then you will have to start eliminating circuits 1 at a time via the fuse box, when the light goes out you have found the draw. Then it is just a matter of tracking what component is drawing down the battery.

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