'99 Dodge Dakota dies in idle

Engine’s run like a dream ever since I’ve owned this truck (couple years now). Suddenly, this morning, I’m coming back up the lane from the highway to our house(nearly a mile) when the engine died.

It started up again, but I had to restart it a couple of times to get it off the lane into our yard. After fooling with it awhile, I could get it to idle after working the accelerator a little once it’s started. Makes me think something may need a dab of oil.

I’m alone at the moment, so I can’t get anyone to sit in the cab and operate the accelerator while I look at the engine, or vice versa.

At least now I feel confident enough to drive to the shop, but before I figured out that I needed to keep working the accelerator, I was afraid I’d hafta have it towed.

If you’re able to prevent the engine from stalling by stepping slightly on the accelerator, it usually points to a dirty/malfunctioning Idle Air Contol circuit. The IAC motor is mounted on the throttle body, and it’s function is to allow air into the engine past the closed throttle plate when the accelerator is released. If the IAC circuit doesn’t allow air into the engine either because of a dirty idle air bleed port on the throttle body, or if the IAC motor is failing to go the proper position for the idle condition, the engine will stall.

When you slightly step on accelerator, the throttle plate slightly opens. This then allows air into the engine and the engine doesn’t stall. So basically, you stepping on the accelerator slightly is substituting for the malfunctioning IAC curcuit.


Thanks. I saw this answer on the same question for a newer model Ford, but I’m not good enough with engines to be able to find the IAC motor. I did fail to mention that once I work the accelerator several times and release it, the idle is fine Not that this would contradict your suggestion, but it might shed more light on the problem.