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Hey there - my first post here because I'm trying to figure out an issue with my truck. I live in a place where I am not able to take it to a mechanic and have to figure things out myself. Here's what happened. It was a dark and stormy night... Kidding - There was a lightning strike near the truck. When it struck the lights flashed, horn made noise, etc. Since then, it hasn't started. Won't crank, won't make a noise, nothing. The lights on the dash come on, BUT some things don't work, such as the wipers, ventilation, lights, etc. When I plug the battery in, the right front headlight comes on, even though the lights are turned off. So far this is what I have been able to do.
I changed the starter, nothing still. I can get it to crank when I cross the red wire to the solenoid wire with a screwdriver. I have power to the starter and the alternator, but I have a struggle checking more than that. I have a multimeter, but that's pretty much it.
I did pull the computer out and did a visual inspection, looks ok.
I've checked all the fuses and relays, but they seem ok. It's hard to verify the relay's but what I could do, they seem ok too.
I do have a device to check the computer, but it cannot communicate with the ECU. 2 devices said the same thing.
Any more ideas? Keep in mind, I have NO way to bring it to a mechanic. I live on a fly-in only reservation in Northern Ontario, Canada. I've only had the truck for 5 months and it was running GREAT, until this happened. Thanks for any help/ideas!
 

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Assuming that the lightning strike nearby the truck, caused all your issues, the problem is probably a power surge. I would conclude that the PCM is fried -and/or a module located in the driver's kick panel called a timing control module. The PCM may have passed a visual inspection but you can't see fried circuits.

Ed
 

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It is really hard for lightning to fry the electronics on any modern vehicle. The engineers made sure that any sort of strike would be dissipated into the ground or is insulated from the ground by the tires.
That said, if it was raining very hard at the time and the lightning struck during that period, then what I said before doesn't matter as the rain essentially made the circuit for the lightning to travel from the ground where it struck into the vehicle. Like any lightning strike on a home, any electrical and electronic device on a power circuit will be affected and on these trucks, it is a few things that are critical to the function of the vehicle.
To more accurately diagnose a bad PCM, you need to use the multimeter to back probe the connectors on the PCM with it in the truck and the key to the ON position. If you don't have the 24V DC output on any of the control circuits, then you will see that the PCM is fried, but since you had a scan tool, that told you as well that the PCM was bad. As for the lights, those are controlled by the CTM, which as stated before, is in the driver side kick panel.
 

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It is really hard for lightning to fry the electronics on any modern vehicle. The engineers made sure that any sort of strike would be dissipated into the ground or is insulated from the ground by the tires.
Just as an FYI (and not to start a debate) Lightning produces a very small and localized EMP which can overload nearby electronics.

Ed
 

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Friend was driving down interstate and lightning struck his truck and Blowed Computer out. So yes it happens. Also I
remember a report of vehicle being struck
and blowed all 4 tires out.
Say what you want, but I’m a cop and did not make the crap up
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone! It was raining REALLY bad during it so there are several reasons to think that it's the PCM. Also, in my house I lost a printer, phone base, router, and a stereo with that strike so it is likely that it's the computer. If I can find the time, I might pull out the multimeter and see what I can get at the computer connections, but my life is VERY busy. Now I just have to find a good place to get a computer. I have to do it all online too, no way to make it to a dealer or auto parts store. I'll do my best! I will try and let you know how it all works out in the end!
 

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Unless your experienced in electronics repair your better off to get a used one or bring to someone that can do the repair
 

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Unless your experienced in electronics repair your better off to get a used one or bring to someone that can do the repair
Not on these PCM's. Chrysler used a dielectric gel that encased the electronic components that is extremely difficult to get off the board without damaging any of the components and since this was a lightning strike, it is more than likely that the entire board is fried.
 

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Just as an FYI (and not to start a debate) Lightning produces a very small and localized EMP which can overload nearby electronics.

Ed
Yeah, I didn't consider that but even then, if it was an indirect strike, it still wouldn't harm the electronics because of the anti-EMF shielding that all automakers used in there wiring.
24V Really? What in the truck runs on 24V?

And lightning can do considerable damage to electronics, sometimes even at a distance.
I was thinking of the PCM board, as all electronic circuits run on 24V. He would have to go to the PCM board to check that and it is hard to do with these PCM's.
 

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Yeah, I didn't consider that but even then, if it was an indirect strike, it still wouldn't harm the electronics because of the anti-EMF shielding that all automakers used in there wiring.
I don't think there was very much EMF shielding in an 07….

Back in the day, manufacturers used to depend on the metal body of the vehicle to shield the electronics …based on the principals of a faraday cage. However most car bodies have large "holes" which can allow EMPs to enter the body and damage electronics. The windshield and open space under the engine are two large holes in the faraday cage

Further, many of the wires in a vehicle are "outside" the body… such as along the chassis, which will allow a path for EMF-EMP energy to travel to a computer and burn it out. It's kinda like how a desktop sitting in your room can fry by a lightning strike miles away…if the lightning struck the power lines leading to your home. Many of the wiring systems in a newer truck are based on CAN-BUS which means everything basically runs thru a computer….

So in a nutshell, and based on the circumstances. The truck ran great until a nearby lightning strike and then nothing worked right. I conclude the PCM and CTM are probably fried from the strike.

Ed
 

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I was able to get a used PCM from this place for my 2001 Durango for about $220. It needed to be programed for the vehicle by vin #. They do this for you before shipping so it is plug and play when you get it...https://www.fs1inc.com/
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
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Yeah, I didn't consider that but even then, if it was an indirect strike, it still wouldn't harm the electronics because of the anti-EMF shielding that all automakers used in there wiring.


I was thinking of the PCM board, as all electronic circuits run on 24V. He would have to go to the PCM board to check that and it is hard to do with these PCM's.
That's complete nonsense. All electronic circuits DO NOT run on 24V.

Inside a car radio everything runs on 12V (13.8V to be more precise) with some localized voltages that may be higher for audio amplifiers and LCD screens or backlights *possibly*. But the rest of the car electronics - including all the control modules - do NOT run at 24 volts. There is no 24V source in the vehicle. Virtually everything runs at 12V or lower. Spark ignition systems are of course another exception.

And that material is not a "dielectric gel", it's a potting compound. It has dielectric properties, but dielectric gel is an entirely different material with different usage.

And it's not anti-EMF shielding..... EMF is the magnetic force generated by voltage as used in electric motors. Shielding is anti-EMI. Electro Magnetic Interference. And such shielding is rarely used in automotive wire harness, except to protect sensitive low level signals.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
 

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Friend was driving down interstate and lightning struck his truck and Blowed Computer out. So yes it happens. Also I
remember a report of vehicle being struck
and blowed all 4 tires out.
Say what you want, but I’m a cop and did not make the crap up


Because we all know, a cop would neeeever make anything up...

There's also this word that refers to past tense situations like this. It's known as blew. Do you go around town using the word blowed when you talk about what your mom did to the other guys at the precinct last night?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I replaced the computer and the vehicle is still the same. No changes, the front driver's side headlight is still on as soon as I plug in the battery, the radio works, the windshield wipers don't (but it squirts windshield washer fluid), etc. Any more ideas? Someone has told me ignition switch and there could be other things too. Once again, I have NO way to bring it to a mechanic to get things done, I have to learn on my own... Thanks for any advice!
 

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Well, I replaced the computer and the vehicle is still the same. No changes, the front driver's side headlight is still on as soon as I plug in the battery, the radio works, the windshield wipers don't (but it squirts windshield washer fluid), etc. Any more ideas? Someone has told me ignition switch and there could be other things too. Once again, I have NO way to bring it to a mechanic to get things done, I have to learn on my own... Thanks for any advice!
Looks like the wiring harnesses may have been fried as well but I would go ahead and check ALL the grounds to see if they have any signs of corrosion or damage. That may be why you are having some problems but the lightning strike may have caused some part of the wiring harness to fry. Honestly, this lightning strike keeps sounding more and more like it was on the high end of energy. You may have to request a weather report to see just how powerful that storm was.
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
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The harness is the last thing I'd worry about. It takes a LOT less energy to damage electronics than it does wiring. And the ignition switch is also unlikely.

Quit guessing and try some methodical troubleshooting.

Get yourself a good manual with an accurate wiring diagram for your model/year. Study it until you understand just one of the problem circuits --- like the headlight coming on. Automotive wiring diagrams are difficult to read and interpret, so be prepared to spend some time and ask questions.

Figure out what drives the headlight. In my '03 the headlights are controlled by some controller (I know because they can stay on for a time after I turn the ignition switch off) -- they were not in my '00. Direct from the switch. Be aware there may be a relay in the path, so you may need to figure out what drives the relay coil.

Then move on to the wiper, same routine.

I suspect that once you figure out which controller is common to the failing functions, it'll become obvious what to try next. Possibly you were poorly advised as to which controller to replace. And keep in mind you may have more than one problem.

I've been designing and troubleshooting vehicle electronics and electrical systems for 30 years. There's a lot of noise and bad advice in this group you need to filter out.
 

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I'd love to know where to start!
Factory Service Manual, section 8W.

Then pick one - just ONE - of the affected circuits.

Walk through it carefully until you understand how the voltage flows, from the battery down to the item and back.

Pick a second circuit.

Do the same thing.

See what may be in common between the two of them.

RwP
 
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