97 Dakota starting problem

Hi All, I've had an intermittent problem starting my 97 Dakota 318 club cab automatic the last few days. Every once in a while when I turn the ignition
switch to start I get no lights or apparent electrical response of any kind - I may occasionally see a very dim idiot light but that's it. And it doesn['t seem to matter whether it's hot or cold. No starter action or gas pump noise of any kind. So far after several attempts it's started right up like there had been no problem. And most of the time it starts right up on the first try. Is this most likely the starter motor, solenoid or something else? Thank you for any help you may be able to give.
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Last time I had a similar problem there was an intermittent problem with the ground connection between the display/switch panel that cause the difficulty.
An aside we also had problems with floating grounds that cause the aluminum radiator to corrode. (easy to test with a cheap digital volt meter -- any voltage above a couple of millvolts between the metal and battery ground post suggest a potential problem)
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Firstly, check your battery cables for a good, clean connection. Then have your battery load tested. Report back with the results.
MIke

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beekeep
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Not fer long.... not fer long....
;^)
Mike

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I couldn't agree more - Harvick is and probably always will be the number one whiner. If he could only drive about half as good as he can whine he'd be a serious competitor!
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Thanks Mike and to everyone who responded to assist with this. I cleaned the battery terminals and sure enough it hasn't happened again. I haven't checked the battery yet but will do so this weekend. Will post back if the problem resurfaces. Thanks again.
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I love cheap fixes!
Mike

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wrote:

When this happens, what do you do to make it start? Just re-try the key?
If that is the case, I'd say ignition switch is #1 on my list of likely suspects, but do clean the battery terminals too...
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wrote:

days when you got plenty of warning that the battery was going - now there's so little metal in the cell interconnects that they fail open resulting in total or near-total death.
As others have stated - loose battery connections can also do it.
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