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Time for a new car?

let me start by telling you that years ago at atime when i was driving a 86 vw jetta that only gave me problems i had a dream that i had a black pickup truck that was invincible, in the dream it fell upside down in a ditch and kept going afterwards.

anyway years later i came across

a dodge dakota 3.9l v6 - i bought it off my dad who inherited it from his brother who passed away.ive been driving it for about 4 years.

a few months ago after having problems starting it i cut off the clutch safety wiring (the thing that prevents you from starting the car with the car in gear)

and hard wired it.the seal that kept all the grease away from the actuall contact points on the clutch safety switch (?)was worn out and there was never a good contact.i figured i’d just have to remember to press down on the cluch before starting the car.this worked for a while then the same thing happened again.this time i just cleaned a contact point on the starter and the car started up right away.

then recently yes ,you guessed it it happened again!so ive been trying to start it very often each time and when that didnt work i would push the car a bit and pop the clutch.its all a matter of parking in the right place wherever you are with a

bit of a runway…kind of like back to the future.anyway the end came yesterday-after being able to start the car with the key not the push, it made a strange squealing noise from the starter the whole trip home.when i got home and turned the ignition off it still squealed.i think it sounded as thought the starter was still going but the engine was off.the starter began to smoke

then the car just died.

so im wondering if this is the end-did the engine possibly sustain damage from this or is it just in need of a new starter.or maybe even a problem on the ignition switch?

or just tell me to get a new car and save me the time and effort.tell me my dreams dont come true…

I had a similar problem with a Dodge van many years ago. A wire from the ignition switch the the starter had shorted out to ground which meant the starter kept running no matter what I did with the switch. Fixing the wire and replacing the starter was the fix. I doubt this has hurt the actual engine or anything else, except maybe drained the battery.