98 Dakota won't start

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  #1  
Old 02-27-05, 11:43 PM
nickfinity
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98 Dakota won't start

Hello,

Yesterday afternoon my wife and I took my 98 Dakota out. It started fine, but about 2 miles down the road it kind of jerked and it lost power. I was able to pull into a driveway, but it wouldn't start. When I tried to start it at first a little bit of smoke came from under the hood. It came from the driver side close to the cab.

It acts like it wants to start, but it just won't "catch." When I popped the hood I noticed some fluid and it smelled a little like antifreeze. It was not leaking from the radiator, however. At first I thought it came from a hose, but when I felt the hose it wasn't wet.

Fortunately I don't drive the truck often and it isn't critical that it be fixed right away, but does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Nick
 
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  #2  
Old 02-28-05, 06:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: nc
Posts: 616
Did the engine overheat? Check for fuel and spark.
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-05, 07:04 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 72
If I had to guess it might be an internal coolant leak. Water in excess can choke up an engine or even kill it. If that is the case a flush of the engine and radiator will most likley fix the temprary problem. The other is to find the leak and fix it.
 
  #4  
Old 02-28-05, 07:42 PM
claims guy
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Check the cooling system for a low coolant level, both in the overflow reservoir and in the radiator itself. If you find a low coolant level, chk the oil dipstick for an overfull condition, and either coolant on the stick at its normal green color, or (hopefully not) a brownish-milkshake color.

If you find either of these, you do indeed have an internal coolant leak, which could be from an intake gasket leak, head gasket leak, or cracked cylinder head or engine block.

It almost sounds as if you experienced a hydrolock situation, which would occur with an internal coolant leak; the cylinder fills with coolant, and would eventually cause the engine to die. And possibly bend a connecting rod, too - which might explain why the starter turns over, but won't "catch".

If you have ANY signs of intermix, and this problem with the engine turning over, DO NOT continue to crank the engine; severe engine damage may occur (if it hasn't already).

Remove all the spark plugs, and crank the engine over to see if any of the holes play Old Faithful and spit out a heapin' helpin' of green coolant or milkshake. If they do, you'll need to go into the engine further to determine the problem. If you do have this level of intermix that you have the geyser effect, I doubt a hydrocarbon block test would be the safe thing to do (see "hydrolock bend the connecting rod" reference above).

Good luck, and let us know what you find.
 
  #5  
Old 03-01-05, 05:12 AM
nickfinity
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Thanks for your help everybody. The overflow reservoir was definitely low, but the radiator was completely full (although the color didn't seem quite right, maybe that's because it needs changed?). The oil level and color was normal.

If the weather is decent tonight I'm going to do some more poking around to see if I can find where the leak is. I wish I would have looked around more closely on Saturday.

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Nick
 
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