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Hello, having some serious problems here.
My 2001 Dakota just started doing this yesterday. It will randomly have idle issues when you start it. Namely you can start it but it will not start on its own you have to hold the gas pedal and if you let off of it even after holding it for a while it will simply die. It won't idle at all. It behaves as if it isn't getting fuel to the engine. (when you go to start it after it dies its as if there is no fuel being delivered and takes a few seconds to catch, like its out of fuel)
Now this isn't a constant thing, it will do it at random and for varying lengths of time.
After the last one when it finally started idling on its own again the guy helping me said he heard a strange whining near the fuel tank. I hoped out and sure enough there is this low pitched grinding/whining that could be heard over the exhaust. It was hard to localize though and I'm not sure it was from the fuel tank or just in its vicinity.
I let the truck sit for a bit and to test if the pump was pressurizing I turned the ignition to start but didn't start the truck. I heard the whine and click of the pump priming the line and when I started the truck the whining/grinding was gone and it idled.
This seems to be at random really.
Ever since I bought the truck it has had a horribly rough and irregular idle, I tried several things to fix it but when nothing worked I figured the injectors just needed a serious cleaning. I am now wondering if the fuel pump/filter were not delivering enough fuel to the engine and if now the pump is going out.
Any ideas? Experience with this sort of thing?
I'm kinda at my wits end on this, don't deal with fuel pumps a lot, and don't have a mechanic I trust anymore.
 

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Are you able to, when you manage to keep it running, drive the vehicle and does it accelerate normally ect?

Most idle issue are a result of a dirty/sticking idle air control valve which requires removal, cleaning and relearning of the idle speed (reset computer - pull battery cable for a minute)

A noisy pump can definitely be an indicator that the pump is failing but reduced pressures/flow tend to affect the vehicle above idle.
 

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Yes that's what's weird is the inconsistency. When it starts and runs it will run fine, idle a bit rough but run, and at higher rpm's it will operate just fine.
Acceleration is normal and so is shifting and power.
When the heisenglitch appears I can't keep it running long enough to try driving but I know holding the accelerator at higher rpm's the engine runs fine and smooth. That is until you let go of it.
At first I thought it was just stalling from letting the gas go too quick but it doesn't matter if its fast or really slow release it will simply die.

I just dropped it off to have the pressure system and pump inspected by pep boys. Too many odd variables to diagnose and I don't have time today. Hate that -_- prefer to do it myself.
 

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What happened with my 2000 3.9 V6 is that the Throttle position sensor went out. It is holding the throttle open just a little bit and giving the engine too much fuel. A sign on this is high fuel consumption and the idle issue. When I got it replaced at Dobbs it cost about 82.99 for the part and about 45-50 for labor. So, in my opinion, have it diagnosed and see if that's the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The diagnostic was strange, apparently the pump is ok, has correct pressure and flow through the lines.
Throttle body is functioning properly, or so they say.
What they said they found was my battery had gone bad. Their thinking was that it wasn't holding the right kind of charge and if it sat for a bit (the case each time it had the problem) then the computer and sensors weren't getting enough power to read everything right. Ergo the fuel pump simply wasn't coming on in those situations, the only fuel delivery was from vacuum pressure on the line which is why I heard the strange whine.

I am a bit skeptical about this really, decided not to let them do the work for me and for good damn reason. I checked the battery and it was sure as heck shot, not to mention I never noticed it wasn't the right kind of battery for the truck. Mnfr recommends a 800cca battery and the one in there was only rated at 700. It still did the job but it was sadly no longer holding that charge, only doing about 500 amps.
I took it to the battery guys, I prefer interstate for reasons I will explain, and they tested it too and sure enough it had finally bit the dust.
We replaced the battery with a new correct type and so far no issues whatsoever. And it damn sure starts a lot better. lol
I am tentatively calling this resolved for the moment but gimme a week to make sure.
Now the reason I choose interstate for my battery is simply put the dern things last! The one that was in my truck had been in it since before I bought it and had never given me a problem until now.
When I took it to interstate they checked its tag and mnfgr date, 1999, which is older than my truck lol.
A fifteen year old battery had been in my truck for most of its driving life. That's dependable man.
Made the wall of fame for duration lol.

At any rate I will also check the throttle sensor and a few other items on that list just to be safe, thanks for the tip. If this resurfaces I will let you guys know.
 

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Excellent find!

With a weak battery all sorts of gremlins can appear - as you found! - thanks for posting the results and keep us posted!
 

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I've got the exactly same problem, so I am going to have Autozone check the battery tomorrow and see what they find. Hopefully I am that lucky. The first time this problem happened was tonight. I drove to the store, no issues, but when I tried to leave the store.. Ugh!
 
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