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2001 dakota "lights flicker"

02-24-2012, 06:57 PM
Thanks A LOT and sorry for the length.

I hear a strange sort of light humming electrical noise coming from my (passenger side) headlight.

While driving in the dark, all of a sudden my headlights flicker intermittently and then the longer I drive they flicker a lot. I think all my lighting is effected (at least cab). Its so intermittent/quick that I was more concerned of losing my exterior headlights (dark outside then).

I've googled "dodge dakota headlight flicker" and I think I read it has to do with the cab heating (up?) and read some kind of hair dryer test and also the "central timing module" located at the drivers side kick panel. Several installed this CTM & from used junkyard CTM and indicated it was relatively simple. Price was inline with what the dealership indicated yet a couple of indescrepancies:

1) the dealership parts person indicated it was located on the "passenger" side kick panel???
2) And there was programming required (my dakota has no keyless entry)????

Is the central timing module on the drivers or passenger kick panel?
And does it require 'programming' (dealership)?

So, any way still researching and I saw another thread where a few dakota owners indicated they were able to get the lights flashing problem to go away simply by disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes. So before purchasing the CTM, figured I would try this.....

So began disconnecting the hot battery post......and this is when I noticed this very slight humming noise and listened closely and tracked it down to the passenger headlight. I kneeled down on the ground at the passenger side front & pressed my ear within a few inches of the headlight and there "is" a slight electrical sort of humming noise (I disconnected the battery to stop it).

Anyone have any ideas what this is? I plan on removing the headlight & examining.

02-25-2012, 01:54 PM
Hoping this is my problem. Drove the truck to advanced auto & asked that they run
battery, alternator, & starter check with their equipment.

Alternator & starter passed. Battery did not.

I bought the car used with the battery. When the battery was new, shows rated for 800 cold cranking amps (CCA). It registered only 571 CCA's in advance auto test. We went inside the store & he checked & the battery is supposed to be rated for 700 CCA mininum.

Forgot my checkbook & returning to get a new battery. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Guess driving with headlights on, radio/CD (not factory) was a big drain.

02-25-2012, 06:02 PM
Fcrutcher, let us know if this solves or helps your interesting problem.

02-27-2012, 08:05 AM
I had similar problem with my Dodge Dakota 2001 2 WD short cabin long time ago. Just 40 days after my warranty expire. It start with buzzer nice coming sometimes suddenly and i can shut it off. So I unsolder buzzer from module and after month or so headlights starts to blinking to the point that cars front of me stops on the side of the road and let me go thinking that I am rushing or being in emergency situation. Anyway.
After struggling with dealership who wonts charge me for inspection and replace body module (driver site) $500.
I bought new module (I do not remember how much I paid, probably around $180) and replace it in 15 minute and all problems despair.

03-01-2012, 06:50 PM
Thanks wojtek90,

Thought replacing the battery fixed it but just had a pretty decent drive which exposed the the flickering again and looks like CTM replacement is next. Ordered one & should be here in a couple of days.

03-03-2012, 10:08 AM
Disconnected the battery cable (last act yesterday/friday evening) anticipating pickup of CTM order from dealership & installation.

Just picked it up 8:30AM this (sat) morning. Returned home, opened the door to the dakota, pulled off the kickpanel (20-30 secs). Looked over
kickpanel insides (1 minute?). Black box, 3 sockets.....3 screws.

Opened the mopar CTM box, looked it over....same black box, 3 holes appx positioned as CTM inside kickpanel.

Removed the 3 screws, then unplugged (one at a time) the big plug from old CTM into new CTM. Then the middle socket, & finally bottom. Held new CTM to kickpanel side, insert/turned the screws and done with replacement.

Took 1-2 minutes to get the kickpanel cover alignment back in place.

This done in less than 5 minutes.......dealership wanting to charge $80-$100/hour?

If I can do it in less than 5 minutes (first time).......the dealership??????

And the dealer told me (phone) when I first called inquiring on the CTM said they had to 'program' it (which I'm thinking means they're the only one that can install it).

Even after I told him it was NOT a keyless entry & even if it was, I didn't need it with that much more in cost. And let me to believe they still had to program it.

Headed out today to to test drive (lights on) to test for flicker.

If nothing else, a new battery & CTM I don't have to worry about (but hoping the flicker is gone).

03-03-2012, 06:08 PM
Driving around today with my headlights on in the car, a 45 minute commute departure from & return home.

Turned on the headlights & listened VERY closely both trips for clicking noises in the cab. Also, watching speedometer & other gauges for flickering lights...........nothing.

The only clicking noises I heard was me signaling for turns.

Also, the noise that was coming from the passenger headlight region is gone.

Before the new CTM installation, within 10-15 mins of driving with the headlights on the lights would be flickering like crazy.

My last drive with the old CTM, people where shifting lanes thinking I was signaling an emergency.


03-05-2012, 07:39 PM
fcrutcher, good to know!

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