Ignition and Starter problems

1998 Dodge Ram 2500 12V Cummins

When i put the key in the ignition the starter turns without me actually engaging the ignition. After engaging the ignition, the truck will not start unless I press the pedal down a little bit. Any ideas what it could be?

Does the starter engage as soon as the key is in the switch without turning the key? If it is then your ignition switch is bad. Which pedal are you pressing…the accelerator or the brake? The brake must be depressed before the starter will engage if the system is working normally. If you have to hold the accelerator down for the engine to start then you probably have leaking injectors. This will cause a flooding condition not unlike a carburetor equipped engine.

Not sure I understand this correctly, but you put the key in the ignition switch turn it one click to ACC (accessory) and it is OK. The second click should be ignition “on” but the starter is engaged as well? This means you do or don’t have to turn the key more to the point where the ignition switch should normally send power to the starting motor?

This would seem to be a faulty ignition switch. Some are easier to replace than others. Your options for a fix on the ignition switch are a locksmith, a Dodge dealer, a general mechanic, or an auto electronics specialty shop. If you are handy you can see if you can buy the part and figure out how to do it yourself. You may end up with a different key for the doors and ignition if you do it yourself.

The starter engages as soon as the key is in the switch. I have to hold down the gas pedal to start the truck. Thank you!

The starter engages as soon as the key is in the switch. I have to hold down the gas pedal to start the truck. Thank you!

What if anything stops the starting motor? If the starter keeps spinning after the diesel motor has started you are going to ruin the starting motor.

Get the ignition switch replaced, like yesterday. A starting motor for a Cummins diesel motor is going to be very pricey. Diesel starters are “heavy duty” due to the high compression diesel motor that they have to spin.

I’m guessing you press on the gas to get it going because the glow plugs don’t have time to get up to heat. With a diesel there is usually a delay from ignition “on” until you kick the motor to get the glow plugs hot.

I strongly urge you not drive or start the truck anymore until you have this sorted out. It seems you are risking a much more expensive repair if you do. The ignition switch shouldn’t be a big deal.