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"Lightning" warning light on Ram 2500

4 replies to this topic

#1 mikejeep

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Posted October 23, 2013 at 04:36 pm

Hello all,


    My trusty 2003 Ram 2500 with Hemi just started flashing the "lightning" warning light along with a check engine light.  Some cursory internet searches say Throttle Position Sensor.  While I can easily swap out the sensor, what other troubleshooting might you recommend?  I'm mechanically inclined and have a pretty good electrical meter.  I don't have access to a scanner close by. 


    Truck has 100K miles on it.  It is still running fine.




#2 Bob Lincoln

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Posted October 23, 2013 at 04:55 pm

I'm not familiar with a lightning bolt warning light, but I don't believe there has ever been a warning light for the Throttle Position Sensor.  Check fault codes:



#3 valiant67


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Posted October 23, 2013 at 05:14 pm

The lightning symbol usually means a problem in the electronic throttle control, not necessarily the throttle position sensor.  Is this a Hemi?  You'll probably need an advanced OBDII scan tool to get any diagnostics info on that system from the 2003.

Edited by valiant67, October 23, 2013 at 05:15 pm.

#4 Doug D

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Posted October 23, 2013 at 06:03 pm

Valiant is on the right track.  This is from my 2006 manual:


21. Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
This light informs you of a problem with the
Electronic Throttle Control system. If a problem
is detected the light will come on while the
engine is running. If the light remains lit with
the engine running your vehicle will usually be drivable,
however, see your dealer for service as soon as possible.
If the light is flashing when the engine is running,
immediate service is required and you may experience
reduced performance, an elevated/rough idle or engine
stall and your vehicle may require towing. The light will
come on when the ignition is first turned on and remain
on for 15 seconds as a bulb check. If the light does not
come on during starting, have the system checked by an
authorized dealer.



Not sure if this is the same for your 2003 2500.  And yes a DRBIII scan tool will be needed to retrieve the fault codes.

#5 mikejeep

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Posted October 29, 2013 at 07:43 am

Hello all,


    I used the "3 turns of key" trick here to pull the codes on the truck.  P2181 indicates a problem with not warming up fast enough.  I watched it warm up on a cold day, and I can't disagree with the computer.  Have plenty of good coolant, so I ordered a new thermostat.  Will install and see how that works.  Other code is P0585 - caused by my teenage niece pushing the cruise control buttons incorrectly.  I think the 0585 is related to the "lightning" light on the dash. 


    Will report back once I put the new thermostat in the truck.


    In the process of installing ball joints and more in the front end.  I can understand why it was so expensive to do at the dealership!


Thanks all,



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