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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I try to start my 2004 Dodge Dakota 2WD 3.7L A/T it will first turn the ignition switch to start it just makes one click and will not turn over the stater, with all the dash light going out. I then turn the ignition switch back to the off position and then again I turn it to start for a second time and the starter turns over and starts.. The battery is new, the battery cables check out, and the engine ground checks out.. The starter does turns over at full speed and the engine then starts right away.. Is this a sign of a failing Ignition Switch?????
 

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It is always the second time that it turns over on?

I don't know if this is fact or fiction, but I have read that the ignition switch, itself, is usually a durable & reliable low-fail part. Someone may dispute that, but I am just repeating what I have read.
Whenever I have had a starter solenoid shooting craps on me, I can usually get it going by turning the key over multiple times until it hits (but by multiple, I mean MORE than on the second attempt).

When I read your post, I was thinking that the click you are hearing is either the starter relay or the starter solenoid itself (which, I think, would rule out the ignition switch).

Something you could quite easily do is swap out your starter relay with an identical one in your PDC BEFORE your first attempt at starting (I don't think that's the problem, but it is real easy to do & it doesn't cost anything).

Going back to the starter solenoid, it shouldn't be hard to troubleshoot (except for the fact that after your second attempt it works & it is hard to fix something when it's not broke), but here is a nice tutorial on the subject which includes trouble shooting.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Another thing that I have notice is that the problem is temperature related. When it is colder it might take several attempts to get the starter to turn over. When warmer it takes only two. After the pickup is warmed to normal operating temperature it will turn over on the first try.
 

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When it is colder it might take several attempts to get the starter to turn over. When warmer it takes only two.
Next time it is cold & it doesn't crank the first time you hit the key, try swapping your starter relay as I described above. As I typed--free and easy.

I could be wrong, I often am, but from what you have described, I am thinking starter solenoid.
That can be troubleshot, and there are plenty of tutorials on that on the internet, and here is another one:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I decided to follow your advise and first try the starter relay (cheapest option $9.23), then try a different starter switch ($25.00) and if these do not work I will replace the starter ($110.00). I will post which part ends up fixing the problem
 

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Keep the old relay for a spare unless/until you determine that it is bad & actually was the problem. I am thinking that it probably isn't. I am also thinking that you could probably get it cheaper from Rockauto (even with shipping) unless you are in a hurry. And swapping it with an identical relay in your PDC is totally free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I removed the stater relay so I could get the part number off of it (parts stores showed two different types).. After I got the part number I ordered a replacement relay. While I was waiting for the new relay to arrive I re-installed the old relay. During the week that I was waiting for the new relay, the pickup stated just fine using the old relay. Now two weeks later it is still starting just fine. I do not know if one of the relay terminal was not making good contract or what. The terminals were not dirty or corroded, so I do not know why this fixed the problem..
 

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I do not know if one of the relay terminal was not making good contract or what. The terminals were not dirty or corroded, so I do not know why this fixed the problem..
Thanks for the update.
Sometimes just re-seating an electrical component will "fix" an issue.
I once typed in "can a relay fail intermittently" as a search engine and an article came up stating that yes, it can, & it went on to explain the inner workings of a relay and how it is basically a switch and how, in the function of a switch, it could get stuck in a position.
So it is also seems possible to me that when you pulled it out you jarred it
internally & whatever was sticking intermittently isn't any more.

I suppose it is also possible that nothing is actually fixed and for some reason whatever was wrong is just temporarily in remission. Intermittent problems can do that & that is why I find them tough to troubleshoot.

When the new relay arrives in the mail, if it was me, for how little a relay costs, I'd replace the old one with the new one.
 
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