1996 Dodge Dakota Starts and Runs Beautifully When Cold, But Will Not Idle After Restarted When Warm

We have a 1996 Dodge Dakota SLT that we purchased used. It starts and runs beautifully when the engine is cold; however, if you turn the vehicle off it is difficult to get it restarted and to keep it idling without keeping your foot on the accelerator. The funky thing is that after your “fight” with it a few minutes (i.e., foot constantly on the accelerator), the truck will then start to run correctly and idle correctly until the next time you turn off the engine. We have noticed that on each occasion when we have had this problem, the engine smells EXTREMELY flooded. We’ve been told its a temperature sensor, any other number of sensors, and now the IAC. If starting by process of elimination with least expensive fix first, what the heck do we replace first?

@gmrush first thing to do is clean the throttle body.
Tap on the IAC at idle. If it instantly dies, it’s faulty.
The coolant temperature may very well be faulty.


Thank you SO much! We have not yet looked at the IAC; however, my husband did take the coolant temperature sensor out and it literally disintegrated as he unthreaded it from the manifold. I guess that means that’s our FIRST culprit to look at! :slight_smile:

Update: We ended up taking out the IAC and cleaning it. It was pretty encrusted with carbon, etc. Since it is relatively expensive, we have not yet replaced it fully, but cleaning it did do wonders and now the truck runs fine.



I’m glad that a simple IAC cleaning seems to have restored normal idle