2001 Dodge Ram 1500 starts but won’t idle after dead battery – FIXED!

This is a small post to record a fix that defies common sense, but worked like a charm.

I left the cab light on the the truck and when I came back to it 2 days later the battery was dead.  I recharged it, and the truck would start but wouldn’t idle.  As soon as I let off the gas the engine would cut off.  I did an initial search that didn’t help and went back out to fiddle with the truck.  Frustrated, I came back in and tried again.  I must have used different words, because this time I got some strange advice on a comment on this forum question.

If you recently had a dead battery and re charged it you need to reset your computer. To do so follow these steps: A) Disconnect the negative battery cable B) Turn Your Ignition key to Start position for 30 seconds while putting the gas to the floor. c) Clean and reconnect neg terminal (good time to also clean the Pos Terminal if needed) D) restart the engine and you will be good to go.

I was running through all the bad scenarios of replacing the alternator, etc so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try since the cost was my favorite price (free).  I did it and next thing you know the truck was running.  I took it out and drove to Home Depot (It died on the way but started up again easily) and I haven’t had trouble since.

Wow, this solution just doesn’t make sense, but it worked for me!  🙂




The Boat Hauler stumbles

Coming home from a .NET computer user group meeting last night, the power steering went out.  Actually, everything went out.  It was an hour drive home and it happened about 3 or 4 minutes from home.  (Lucky me) The truck was still running, just turning was hard.  I was able to pull into the driveway and realized the temp was redlining and the battery charge was zero.  I suspected the serpentine belt had broken, so I promptly went inside.  (It was dark and about 20 [f] degrees! )

This morning I popped the hood and found out the the belt WASN’T broken, just off.  And there is some oil sprayed around.  A pulley was loose too, but Since it had only “warmed” up to about 30 [f] I didn’t probe too deep.  Now a job like this should be something CapnRehab should dive right into, right?  WRONG.  CapnRehab is a warm-weather rehabber.  So – Off to the Garage with you – mister broken truck!

(Note: at 186,000 miles, you expect a few things to break now and then.)

(Note: I alse expect another 120,000 miles!)


Truck heading to garage

Truck heading to garage