98 Grand Caravan LE Won't Start Sometimes - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 06-22-2006, 03:27 PM
MickDodge
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
98 Grand Caravan LE Won't Start Sometimes

I've got a mysterious problem that the Dealer hasn't been able to diagnose because of course the car acts fine when I take it in.

98 Grand Caravan LE, 3.8L, Auto, 95K miles, new battery, new positive cable (old one corroded through), starter maybe 2 yrs old and is good per the dealer

Problem is this. Every couple of weeks it'll do this thing where it'll start and stall after a few seconds, no matter how much gas you give or whatever. So you star it up again and it stalls out again after a few seconds. It'll do this 3 or 4 times and then when you turn the key it won't do anything. No cranking, no click, no nothing. Acts like you're trying to start it in drive or without a battery or something. But all lights, radio, everything works except it does nothing when you turn the key. You let the car sit and the next morning or later on in the evening it starts as if there's no problem. Works great for a while and then the cycle repeats.

Dealer kept it for 2 days and can't find anything wrong. They even sent it out with the delivery guy and drove it for 20 miles and still no problem. Says he can't fix what he can't find. Thankfully they didn't charge me a cent.

Has anyone had an experience like this (i.e., is this a known issue for the 98 Caravan)? Preferably with a known solution? I did some searches and some folks say PCM but I have yet to see someone say PCM and then come back later and say yes it really was the PCM.

Thanks.

Mick
MickDodge is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 06-23-2006, 09:15 AM
MickDodge
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Do you think it could be the Crank Position Sensor? $60-90 for the part. I'm wondering whether that would cause a similar situation.

Any help or experience on this problem would be appreciated.

Mick
MickDodge is offline  
#3 Old 06-26-2006, 11:13 PM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have the exact same problem with a 98 Chrysler Town & Country, and it has been going on for two summers and only in the summer not in the fall winter or spring, I have replace, 2 PCMs (I now have 2 spare PCM's) Except what happens with us is that the instrument cluster goes dead first (Which is what currently is happening) then the ABS and Security lites stay on, then some unpredetermined time later the symptoms that were previously mentioned occur with a trouble code of 1998, "No mesage received from Transmission COntrol Module" I've worked with the VTSS, cycling the alarm and that did not worked, I looked at the wiring diagram and found that Alarm and Cluster run through the BCM, I have a problem condeming the BCM because there are no codes, and when it works its fine I am hypothesizing a component common to all is malfunctioning, There is a Pink wire common to the cluster, TCM and the VTSS. I'll let you know
dangodinez is offline  
#4 Old 07-12-2006, 11:30 AM
ray1955_w
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a 98' Grand Caravan with 104,000 mi. that's doing exactly the same thing. Get in and start it. It starts and dies about 3 or 4 times and then all the instrument lights and gages go out and then nothing. It's done this twice and each time I've gotten out and wiggled the positive battery cable and it's been fine. I'm going to change the battery and clean the connections. Just maybe that's all it is. We'll see


Ray
ray1955_w is offline  
#5 Old 07-12-2006, 12:00 PM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have replaced the battery with a spare and it may no difference the voltage and the amps were fine on the last episode I went under the dash checked all the grounds disconnected the remote starter tried to start the vehicle and it didnt start, put it all back together checked a few door jam switches and just for giggles tried it again and then it started, we then started a policy of not using the remote door locks and so far for the last 3 weeks its been fine. To Be Continued...
dangodinez is offline  
#6 Old 07-14-2006, 03:16 PM
speedie105
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A buddy of mine has a 1997 Chrysler Town and Country(3.8). His dashboard gauges would go crazy and the open door key in the ignition chime would come on and off intermittently he took it to a privat garage and found that the Altenator was bad. Had the battery and the altenator replaced and has not had a problem since.

I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan (3.8) and have the intermittent dead intrument cluster problem. I have changed the battery, took the altenator apart and found nothing wrong with that, took out all the fuses and put them back in 5 times so to make clean connections. I was thinking that it is the BCM but it went out again yesterday and it pissed me off so I smacked the dash and pop everything came back on, so now I am thinking the problem is with the instrument cluster itself. Does anyone know what wire is the ground wire on the cluster?? I have heard that it might be a bad ground.
speedie105 is offline  
#7 Old 07-15-2006, 09:58 AM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Maybe

I had a friend say that it maybe the battery, because erratic voltage can cause the ECM to malfunction, causing a cascade effect, it just happen that everytime the problem occurred we had no equipment to test it with. So it maybe possible, that the alternator may have had an intermititant We have had no problems since we stopped using the remote door locks, We also realize that you could have two identical vehicles with Identical problems, and have two completely and totally different solutions to rectify the situations.
dangodinez is offline  
#8 Old 07-17-2006, 12:31 PM
MickDodge
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Happened again on July 4th and had to leave the car til the next day when it started right up. Seems to happen about every two weeks so I'm expecting to have some more trouble soon.

I don't use the remote so the remote door lock thing isn't my issue. It's a new battery (the old one tested ok too but it was old and nasty so I replaced it). When it happens again I'll try thumping the dashboard. I don't remember having any problems with the instrument cluster but I will check next time. I thought I had read somewhere that the dead instrument cluster was something to do with with the clockspring and was subject to a recall.

It sounds like it's getting more and more likely that the only way I will get rid of this problem is to trade it in. Geez...the car is still under warranty so I should be able to get some sort of satisfaction.
MickDodge is offline  
#9 Old 07-20-2006, 12:48 PM
MickDodge
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Two Weeks and One Day Later...

Well, it happened again last night right on schedule. Van left me sit at the gast station. Started up a few times and then died. Then nothing. And yes, the gauges were dead too like others have experienced.

I decided to experiment while I waited for help. I removed the battery terminals and then replaced them and then I started it with the drivers side door still open. Started right up. I don't know whether removing the terminals or starting it with the door open made the difference (or none of the above if the car is truly possessed) but my mother-in-law who has been driving it for the last few weeks insists that if you start it with the door open it will start every time.

Does this make any kind of logical sense? How can starting it with the door open cause the van to start when it ordinarily wouldn't? The whole problem itself seems to be some sort of security thing where the whole system seems to shut down. Any help is appreciated.

Mick
MickDodge is offline  
#10 Old 07-20-2006, 04:44 PM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It has been almost a month since the last episode,
I read at another site that the door jam switches should be inspected.
But I have not had a problem since I went under the dash,
I pulled out apart connectors, inspected and reconnected,
clean and inspected all grounds. But I didn't see anything wrong,
I had stated on a previous reply that I disconnected the remote starter and
tried to start it and it didn't work with it disconnected,
but I failed to attempt to start it after I reconnected it.
Immediately after I reconnected the remote starter I went to check the driver door jam and the hood switch, Then I remembered I should to try to start it b-4 I go any further, and it started. It was the first time it started without removing the battery power for any period of time. I still don't know if I fixed it.
dangodinez is offline  
#11 Old 07-23-2006, 09:53 AM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I spoke to soon

It just happened this morning I disconnected the battery, and will try to keep the drivers door open
dangodinez is offline  
#12 Old 07-23-2006, 01:40 PM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its not starting. It cranks starts for a second with no instrument read outs then dies. I know if I spend the money to tow it to a dealership it'll start the second it gets there, and they wont find a problem or give a good guess and charge at least $500.00. ECM's and batteries have been replaced, , grounds checked, connectors under the dash removed, inspected and cleaned, voltage and amps checked, VTSS checked the alarm has been cycled with the key pad and with the drivers door lock. I have not removed the cluster yet. I am beginning to think that the problem is in the dash The first time it happen, last year the steering wheel tilted up hard and banged hard at the end of its travel, and it started right after that, and in one of the preceding string replies someone mentioned that they banged the dash and the gauges came back, and I was under the dash last time, and it started soon there after. before I take the cluster out has anyone heard of any doing that yet?
I have one problem, sometimes the Gages go out prior to the vehicle malfunctioning, I don't know if there are multiple problems or one condition causing multiple symptoms..
dangodinez is offline  
#13 Old 07-26-2006, 11:15 AM
MickDodge
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Had something weird but related happen today. Was cruising along and then the instruments went dead but car kept right on going without any problem. Fuel gauge went to zero, speedometer stuck at 45, only 2 lights I saw were a security light and the ABS light. Stayed like this for about 5 minutes while I keep cruising along and then all of a sudden all the instruments kicked in again as if nothing had happened. Pulled over 10 minutes later at the dealer and of course it started right up after I shut it down. I guess I'll try leaving it at the dealer again for a couple more days next week unless I decide to drive it over a cliff before then
MickDodge is offline  
#14 Old 07-26-2006, 01:57 PM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It just started after 3 days

I was going to go and remove the dash and figured I should try to start it, and it started with no problems, maybe I'll catch it next time
dangodinez is offline  
#15 Old 07-27-2006, 06:35 PM
charger72
Registered Insane
 
charger72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Pinckney
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You guys are having the same problem my son is having with my 97. Happens about every three weeks. He does the dash beat to get it started so it's probably in the cluster. This doesn't work every time. We have had the BCM rebuilt so that shouldn't be the issue. There is a thread here that mentions re-soldering the ground connections in the cluster. He's been talking about fixing it for 2 months now but hasn't acted. I guess he hasn't been stranded long enough yet. I'll keep checking back and let ya know if we figure anything out. Good Luck!

'99 Ram Q/C Sport 4X4 5.9 Arrest Me Red
'72 Charger Rallye
'06 Town & Country Touring


Past MoPars...
'68 Polara AKA 'The Boat'
'69 Coronet 440
'71 Satellite Sebring
'73 Charger 440 Magnum
'73 Charger SE
'78 Fury 440 Police Interceptor
'81 TC3
'85 Shelby Charger 2.2 Turbo
Too many Caravans to count!
charger72 is offline  
#16 Old 12-28-2006, 02:51 PM
tdownie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Arrow 98 Grand Caravan 3.8 liter intermittently wont start

I have the same problem in this thread and I dont see that the real answer has been posted. Did anyone find out what the problem was? I have replaced the Body control Module and Powertrain Control Module and I am broke. Please help me if you can . Tom
tdownie is offline  
#17 Old 12-28-2006, 06:32 PM
MickDodge
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
When it happens, I rap the plexiglass cover in front of the speedomoter/tach a couple of times and that seems to do the trick to get it to start. Still haven't made it back to the dealer but am planning on it soon. Will post when I do.
MickDodge is offline  
#18 Old 12-28-2006, 07:14 PM
tdownie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks. I just went out and rapped on the plexiglass cover in front of the speedo and tack and nothing happened. My symptoms are the exact same as Mick and Dan's listed above. I have also been driving along and have the guages go out and the car kept running as described above. I know when the car is not going to start because the odmometer and tripometer don't light up. I am getting the same symptom of 3-4 tries to start the car and then it wont turn over at all.

Today, it wouldnt turn over at all so I was toggling the power door lock back and forth and the headlights and parking lights started flashing (like they would for the theft alarm). Even when I disconnected and reconnected the battery, the lights kept flashing. I couldnt stop the lights from flashing until I hit the remote unlock button and then they stopped.

I am suspecting that the problem in related to the security system. If anyone has any other clues, I would appreciate knowing. I am on my second PCM too. I know that if I hook up a reconditioned PCM, the car will always start up and restart for a couple of days. It seems that the security system (or an imobilizer) locks the ignition via the PCM so that the car wont start. By replacing the PCM, the PCM is no longer locked and the car will start. I eagerly look forward to hearing from any one else. Like Mick, I am ready to drive this car off of a cliff or something, but I really need it. Tom
tdownie is offline  
#19 Old 03-10-2007, 09:42 AM
Katie123
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unhappy Same problem here starts & dies

98 Caravan same problem intermitant for verious periods sometimes months sometimes days. Dash lights & gages don't work when problem exists. I've had the cluster out and was wiggling a wire. I could make the dash gages turn on and off. I suspected that the terminal in the connector was not making contact all the time. I obtained a new terminal and piece of wire, cut off the old one and soldered in the new one. Placed the terminal back in the connector. Started right up. I also tied a ribbon on to that wire and left it hang out in front of the cluster so I could wiggle that wire when the event the gages went dead. This seemed to fix the problem for quite some time. But guess what it'ssss back again. This has been a great car. I believe that all of us together can fix this thing!
Katie123 is offline  
#20 Old 03-16-2007, 07:39 PM
dangodinez
Dan
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: CHicago
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My Chrysler named Christine

When the PRNDL does not light up and the vehicle doesnt start on the first crank, we do not make another attemtp to start it. We disconnect the battery come back in an hour and it restarts. I met a freindly Chrysler service guy in St. Charles, IL on North Ave. (Route 64) who believes the problem is in the speedo head, because everything passes through it. Example, one time we got the vehicle started with the PRNDL and dash lights and gauges out, we were at hwy speeds when all of a sudden the automatic door locks engaged and then the PRNDL and dash lights and gauges came back on. So in our case I do not beleive it is a loose connetion or wire, but a componet, like possibly the speedo head, I have been in contact with Mr. Downey another individual on this forum and he states that he has replaced the BCM, I have replaced the ECM three times, one of us may have to replace the speed head for the good of the FORUM. By the way our van failed yesterday, and is working today. It appears that repeated attempts to start the vehicle lenghtens the down time, 3-4 attempts for us equals days, one attempt 1 hour

Dan
dangodinez1@earthlink.net
dangodinez is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can't start when warm 5.9 gunmetalgolfer 2G Dodge RAM - General Talk 9 02-27-2006 07:21 AM
Stereo on / remote start..... Ht Rambler Mobile Audio & Electronics Talk 10 02-08-2006 12:21 AM
no start unless block heater plugged in(in damp weather) dodge fever 2G Dodge Ram Performance Talk 2 01-31-2006 04:35 PM
1993 intrepid cold start problems hans Dodge Intrepid 1st Gen (93 - 97) 6 01-28-2005 04:53 PM
Alarm/Remote Start System nrt2003 1G Dodge Durango General Talk 7 03-04-2004 01:03 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome