The dreadful red Lightning bolt flashing symbol followed by your Ram losing power is one of the most common problems on the Dodge Ram trucks especially the 3rd gen which runs from the year 2002 to 2008.
In this article, I am going to explain to you what this means, the main cause, and how to solve the problem.
Dodge Ram Red Lightning Symbol Meaning
The short answer is that the red lightning bolt flashing on your Dodge Ram means that the ETC (Electronic Throttle Control) module detected a fault in the system.
The most common cause of this problem is a faulty Throttle Body but there are other things that can cause this light to flash which I will discuss below.
Dodge Red Lightning Bolt Dash Light Causes
1. Faulty Throttle Body:
In most cases, the problem is caused by a faulty throttle body. This is part of your Dodge Ram that controls how much air goes into the engine. If this is not working properly, then your Dodge Ram will not run correctly and this can cause the ETC module to detect a fault.
2. Bad Throttle Position Sensor:
Another common cause of this problem is a faulty Throttle Position Sensor (TPS), which sends information to the ETC module so it knows what position your throttle is open at any given time.
This sensor is known to accumulate dirt over time on ram trucks and I would advise you to clean it before replacing it.
3. Dirty Connectors:
Dirty connectors can cause this problem, too. A dirty connector is a piece of wiring that connects two or more components together.
This happens when dirt and grime get into the connection and blocks electrical current from flowing through each wire. If this were to happen, then the ETC module would not get the information it needs to operate properly.
Signs of a Bad Throttle Body on a Dodge Ram
Now, that you know that the red lightning light is caused by a bad throttle body on your Dodge Ram, let’s take a look at other signs that you might be experiencing trouble with it.
Power Lose when Accelerating:
If you notice that your Dodge Ram is not accelerating as fast as it should be when you press down on the gas pedal, then this could be a sign of a bad throttle body.
If this problem persists over time, then you might want to consider having it checked out by a professional mechanic.
A bad throttle body can also cause your Dodge Ram to experience rough idling. This means that your engine will be running roughly and will not be as smooth as it normally is when you start up the truck.
If this happens, then you should definitely have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
How to Reset Red Lightning Bolt on a Ram Pick up
To solve the issue permanently I recommend having the Trottle body and sensors replaced.
From my personal experience, this is a relatively easy and straightforward repair that can be done by an experienced mechanic in just a few hours.
You may also want to consider having the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) replaced as well. This is a relatively inexpensive part and it could solve many of your problems with rough idling and stalling, so you may want to have one installed as well.
If you’re looking for a mechanic to replace your Throttle Body and Sensors, I recommend going with a reputable auto repair shop.
A good mechanic will know what they are doing and they’ll be able to do the job right the first time, which is important because these repairs can be expensive if done poorly.
If you don’t have any mechanics in mind already, I recommend going straight to your dodge dealer and having them do the job for you.