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Engine dies

'97 dodge dakota engine starts and vehicle will move and then engine dies. Just bought it and it ran fine. Coil was replaced by previous owner four months ago. At times it will run fine but is not reliable and wife will not drive in it. Had it towed to dodge dealer and they said it needed a new coil which they installed and still have the same problem and now think it might be the ecm which is mine even if it does not cure problem. Truck has 145k miles and otherwise is in good shape. When it does run, engine is strong, automatic shifts good and all accessories work. But, it won’t keep running.

ECMs don’t really die very much. That’s an absolute last resort taken by people that don’t have a clue or don’t want to bother with your truck.
Bring it to an independent mechanic. Forget the dealer.

I’d start by measuring the fuel pressure and check for vacuum leaks. Carefully spritz some ether or starting fluid around vacuum hoses to see if the idle is affected. If it is, investigate the area.
It could be many other different things, but I seriously doubt it is the ECM.

This sounds like a good approach and I will try this route.

Good luck. Just come back with your findings. No doubt between all of us here we’ll get that thing running well again.

This sounds like a fuel pump. If turns out it is the pump. The box comes off a lot easer than dropping the tank. I had a Dakota it did this. I too replaced the coil. It ran fine for 2 days then the pump died completely.

This is great!! Appreciate the input and will keep y’all posted as things progress next week.

It is fixed! Took a reman ECM and coil. Truck runs good for an old dog…I mean Dodge. Thanks for the input I received because it did help a lot.

Thanks for the update. We hardly ever hear the actual results.
Am frankly surprised it was the ECM but am glad you got it fixed.

Still running great!

While I didn’t contribute on this one, I too would like to extend my thanks for your followup post. We try to help people and it’s gratifying to learn the final results.

I just appreciated the help and ask for more input on a 2000 Buick LeSabre I purchased new. Have replaced three window regulators and another has failed. This is just a defect that GM and some other manufacturers have made and do not care once the warranty runs out. The problem I am having now is none of the windows operate nor do the door locks work with remote or by switches in car. Is this a simple or something major? Fuses all checked ok. Car just turned 80k miles and is in top shape otherwise.

My first suspect for the trouble would be broken wires in the driver’s door jam. The car is getting to “that age” when things like that happen and are pretty common problems. The wiring harness in the door jam might be replaceable if that is the case. You would wise to purchase a service manual for the car or a wiring manual for it. Factory manuals are the best to get due to the detailed information they have. Ebay is a good source for them.

Thank you Cougar. Nice to know there are smart, intelligent people “out there”!

You may want to start a new thread on that issue because people would have to read the entire thread to figure out you’re asking another question.

It probably isn’t related to the control switches in the door.
It is also hard to believe all window regulators failed at the same time.
If I had to take a stab at it, it probably is whatever controls those window motors and door solenoids.

Sorry! I was unclear in my description of window problem. They did not go out at the same time. The car was probably eight yrs old when the left front failed in the dead of winter. The next one the following year and the last one a year ago. During the last event the information monitor failed to recognize the keys and stated “Theft attempt detected”. However, the keys would still start the engine. I checked the batteries in the key fobs which were ok. Also, when turning on the ignition, a welcome message programed for each key would not display. For some reason that info had been lost but I was able to reprogram it and it now does recognize the keys (which it was also not recognizing during the start up information center.) Hope I might be making sense. The problems now seem to be confined to door locks and windows inoperable.