1996 Intrepid ES 3.5 won't start read story /photos reply please - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-27-2013, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question 1996 Intrepid ES 3.5 won't start read story /photos reply please

1996 Dodge Intrepid ES with a 3.5 V6, has 137000 miles, automatic transmission.
Will not crank over, won’t start, starter spins but does not engage.
I bought this vehicle with a so called “Leaking water pump”. I checked the oil dip stick and saw clean oil, no water or antifreeze on it. Bought the car and drove it 30 miles home and parked it. The next morning there was about a half quart of antifreeze on the driveway. Checked the overflow bottle, which was nearly empty. Put in almost a gallon of antifreeze and drove to Autozone. Picked up two bottles of water pump sealer. Since the water pump was not making noise, I hoped this was a cheap fix for athe time being. I poured one bottle it into the overflow bottle and the leak completely stopped. I then drove it over for three weeks, almost two thousand miles, had a small water leak and put in the second bottle and had no more water leak problems. The temp gauge always read less than half way on the gauge, no overheating, drove great, put almost two thousand miles on it after that. I then got a check engine light, went into O'Reilly Auto Parts and the code was Mis-Fire. Cleared the code and the next day, got another check Engine light. Went back to O'Reilly Auto Parts and the code was the same Mis-Fire. Cleared the code again and they said it was most likely the spark plugs or the spark plug wires. Bought plugs, pulled out the 5”inch spark plug boot and then pulled plug number one on the front right. As you know the plugs are way down inside the manifold, takes a 4” inch extension and the spark plug socket. The plug looked great, checked the gap on new plug, replaced it and put the boot back on. I did not replace the other five at that time as I left the task for another day. Three days later, while driving on the freeway the temp gauge went past the half way mark and I pulled over, opened the hood and the engine compartment was hotter than normal. Tried to remove the over flow bottle cap half way and antifreeze was coming out of the over flow tube, let the car sit for a few minutes, then drove to a friends home and parked it for about five hours. Got back in the car (almost midnight), started it and drove home bound on the freeway. Was going 70 mph with cruise control working fine, when the temp gauge began to climb, I thought the thermostat must be sticking, so turned on the heater to see if that would help circulate the antifreeze, all of a sudden I got an Engine Oil light and Check Engine Light on, then the temp gauge dropped and I thought all was good. The Engine Oil light went off and then the motor began to sputter and there was no power as I pressed on the gas pedal, dead gas pedal. My heart sank and the car began to slow down and coasted to the side of the freeway. Came to a stop, put it into park and tried to restart it. The starter was turning but no engine turn over, nothing but the sound of the starter. The engine quit and I was thankful there was a full moon and no rain. I grabbed my golf clubs and made the walk of shame down the freeway. There were four different vehicles that passed me and nobody stopped. I walked a bit over a mile before a State patrolman turned on his lights and scared the crud out of me. He got out laughing and said, “I just got to know what’s going on. I have never seen anyone carrying golf clubs down the road at midnight before”. I told him my story and he gave me a ride home from there, giggling all the way. Next day, my mom and I went out with a tow rope and we towed into a repair shop, the guy went out and tried to start it, just had starter noise. He said, “Sounds like no compression, may have broke the timing belt and if you did, you may have bent the rods if this is a Interface motor your screwed If the timing belt is broken you may have blown the motor. Call the Dodge Service Dept. and find out if it is an Interface motor and remove the timing belt cover and see if the timing belt is broken. I called the service manager and found out it is an Interface motor (I thought OMG) but he said “The chances of the rods bending and the motor blown would be pretty minimal if anything. So, take it apart and find out if the timing belt is broke and call me back”. So, I began my task, went to a web site and watched a two-part video on how to take out the radiator, A/C belt, Serpentine Belt and tensioner, Crankshaft pulley, the two timing belt engine covers and what did I find? That the timing belt was NOT broken, now what the heck do I do? “Check the timing marks on the block, since it is a dual overhead cams motor I checked to make sure the crank was at Top Dead Center (TDC) and rotated the engine clockwise to line up the mark on the crank pulley to the TDC mark on the block, checked both the camshaft sprocket alignment marks and found the passenger side camshaft sprocket was to the left of both indented marks on the block, so the camshaft must have moved one tooth to the left somehow. The white indented mark on the camshaft pulley was not in the same position as the drivers side camshaft pulley which was between the two dented marks on the block. So I figured the timing belt skipped a cog, simple fix right? According to the website I took off the belt tensioner and loosened the timing belt. Bought a new timing belt and water pump. Replaced both and even turned the crankshaft two complete turns and lined up to TDC, checked the camshaft sprocket alignment marks and both sides are in the middle of the two marks on the block, seems all is perfect. I had high hopes, put it all back together, which is a process, but that is why I love mechanics anyway. So, went to start it and what happened? SAME thing, starter making noise, no cranking, no fire. I called the service dept. and he said “Replace the camshaft senor and crankshaft senor and it should fire right up”. I researched where these are located and will most likely replace them today and see what happens next. Any clues out there in this World Wide Web of Internet what I can do next? By the way, I have also torn it all back down and checked the timing belt alignment marks and rotated the crank to TDC, both the camshaft sprockets are aligned perfectly in the center of the alignment marks, re-rotated the crank two more turns and re-checked the camshaft, all perfect! I have taken photos of this whole process for anyone to verify what has happened. My phone number is 406-530-1103 and my email is [email protected] thank you very much anyone? I have read and reread so many forum posts about this problem that my eyes are getting terrible the last two days. Posts that have 97 Intrepid 3.5L Won't Start, Need Help! Some say ECM is bad, some say Camshaft and Crankshaft Sensors are bad, am I on a wrong path?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg A3_1996_Intrepid_TDC.jpg (81.3 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg A4_1996_Intrepid_Passenger_Side_Camshaft.jpg (62.8 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg A5_1996_Intrepid_Drivers_Side_Camshaft.jpg (41.3 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg A6_1996_Intrepid_Second_Teardown.jpg (70.3 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg A2_1996_Intrepid_In process of tear down.jpg (70.3 KB, 17 views)
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-30-2013, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Update #1 ~ Replaced Cam and Crank Senors still no fire

I have changed out the Crankshaft and Camshaft Sensors. Took photos along the way. Noticed the camshaft sensor, located on the left (drivers side) upper camshaft area next to the thermostat had no paper spacer on the end of it per factory information you need the paper spacer resting on the camshaft. I had hoped that was the problem of no start, no fire. Then changed out the Crankshaft Sensor, wow that was only accessible after taking off the right front wheel and going thru the splash shield. Took photos and will add to this post. Is my next move / purchase an ECM (Electronic Control Module), a MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) Sensor, a PCM (Powertrain Control Module) or what? I have no trouble codes after doing the key check trick, The starter spins the engine, but there is no sign of life yet. I will get a scan tool tomorrow and see what the computer says. Thanks for reading sure could use some idea's.

Camshaft_Sensor_Location_Upper_DriversSide_Old_Verses_New.jpg

Crankshaft_Sensor_Location_Diagram.jpg

Crankshaft_Sensor_Location_Old.jpg

Crankshaft_Sensor_Location_New.jpg

Crankshaft_Sensors_Old_New.jpg

Left_Camshaft_Between_Marks_.jpg
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-30-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Just read a similar post (NO START, replaced sensors too, please help)

Seems mighty similar that Rolando is having the same problems as me. I have joined one other Forum with Dodge here is a link, are there anyone that can assist us? Opps I have not made five posts or more so can not list the Dodge Forum dot com link, but it is crazy that these cars are not firing up.

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Post #1

Have a 1997 dodge intrepid 3.3L, won't start has no spark, put new coil, new crank sensor, new cam sensor new ECM, and still no spark. could some one help me out. I'm new to the site, and if I could also be of any help just let me know.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-30-2013, 08:06 AM
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Are you sure it's getting fuel??

98 ram qc 4x4 360 with .30 overbore everything els stock 86 ram d150 with a bad 318 and in the carhold a 67 plymouth satilite 383 b&m slap shifter with 4.10 rear gears blue truck #195
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-01-2013, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow I have done some more research what do you think

I do not get any Trouble codes from the ECM, however after reading this article the Automatic Shutdown Relay in the Fuse Box may be a culprit. I see there have been many readers of this post, only one reply "Am I getting fuel"? I sure figured there would be more experts online, hope this day will be great, please advise.

Automatic Shutdown Relay
by Bob O’Neill and Bob Lincoln
The power supplied to the fuel pump, ignition coil, fuel injectors, and parts of the power module is controlled by the logic module through the Automatic Shutdown Relay (ASD); the idea is to shut off fuel pressure and the ignition systems when the key is turned off to prevent fires, dieseling, and other problems. The relay is located in different places on different years.
The ASD relay is closed (allowing power to flow through it) when the ignition is first turned on. If the signal from the ignition reference is lost while the engine is running, or if the turbo boost pressure reaches and exceeds the over boost cut-off point, the logic module cuts power to the ASD, which in turn removes power from the fuel pump, ignition coil, injectors and those parts of the power module. This causes the engine to shut down.
The logic module monitors the relay driver. If it senses that the relay driver is not responding correctly it will trigger a code . If the logic module does not sense an absence of current when the circuit is open, or 12 volts DC when the circuit is closed, it knows that the circuit is open or shorted, and triggers code 42. In later models which used the SMEC or SBEC, the logic module monitors the output of the fuel pump relay output as well as the fuel injectors. If it does not see 12 volts DC when the relay is activated, it triggers code 42.
Failure of the automatic shutdown relay is often shown as inexplicable stalling or refusal to start.
Bohdan Bodnar noted, “The ASD can be triggered by a broken wire or short in another place, e.g. the fuel pump.”
For troubleshooting purposes only (don’t drive like this!), Ed Hennessy wrote: “You can try feeding power to the fuel pump directly. Connect 12V+ from the battery through a fused link to the positive terminal of the coil. That will back feed 12V to the fuel pump through the ASD circuit. If the pump runs [it should be easy to hear], the ASD relay is bad. If not, the fuel pump or its wiring is probably the problem."
On most Chrysler cars, you can hear the electric fuel pump engage for a second or two as soon as you move the key from OFF to RUN (not START - it will still engage but you might not hear it). If you do not hear that, there may be a failed relay, fuse, or fusible link, or even a bad fuel pump. You might want to try testing your car for this before it refuses to start, so you will know whether you can hear it or not. (

Try disconnecting the MAP sensor, which can cause a car to not start without setting any fault codes! If you disconnect it completely, the car may start, in which case it is definitely the MAP sensor.

The MAP sensor in Chrysler cars
The air inside the intake manifold and atmospheric or barometric pressure is sensed by the Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor, which sends a signal to the ECU. The ECU uses this information along with data on the air’s temperature to infer the density of the air entering the combustion chamber, when calculating how much fuel to add to this mixture. This information is especially important at Wide Open Throttle (WOT) because the system does not use feedback from the oxygen sensor at that time. At idle, information from the MAP is used to regulate the AIS motor (setting the idle speed).
Starting in 1987 the MAP sensor is mounted in the engine compartment on the passenger side firewall.
The MAP sensor is a strain gauge which changes its output voltage based on the amount of vacuum or boost it is connected to. This vacuum/boost signal moves a silicon diaphragm inside the MAP sensor. This diaphragm is thinner in the center than it is around the edges and is mounted with a vacuum below the chip. A steady 5v supply is provided by the ECU, so the voltage from the MAP shows the relative pressure of the manifold.

Dead MAP sensors are fairly common. When the MAP sensor goes, the result may be stalling, the engine stopping even at highway speed, or failure to stop. We were told that there is “an available air bleeder valve kit to prevent intermittent operation and premature failure of the MAP sensor. The valve allows a small amount of dry air into the MAP vacuum line to prevent a condensation buildup. It’s a low cost add-on, inquire at the dealer for the part. I used up six MAP sensors before finding out about this - haven't lost one since.”

The Barometric Pressure Read Solenoid
The MAP sensor input from the manifold to the atmosphere is switched by the Barometric Pressure Read solenoid. This solenoid is controlled by the logic module. It takes a reading of the barometric pressure to calculate incoming air density and uses this to control boost in turbo engines. At closed throttle the solenoid is momentarily activated. This happens one time per closure but not more frequently than every three minutes and this happens only within a certain engine speed band.
At idle, some engines may ‘miss’. This is because the computer continues to sample the outside barometric pressure using the MAP sensor. If this happens it can be ignored as it is a glitch in the software of the logic module.
While the logic module activates and deactivates the solenoid, it monitors the output of the solenoid driver. If it doesn’t see near 0 volts DC when turning the solenoid on or 12 volts when turning the solenoid off, there is either an open or shorted circuit. If this happens, it triggers a code 37
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-01-2013, 02:03 PM
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Your fuel pump could be bad. Sometimes if you listen when you turn your key to the on position you can hear it pressure up.

98 ram qc 4x4 360 with .30 overbore everything els stock 86 ram d150 with a bad 318 and in the carhold a 67 plymouth satilite 383 b&m slap shifter with 4.10 rear gears blue truck #195
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Have fuel and spark

Removed the cap below the thermostat on the fuel line, pressed a Phillips screw driver to it as my friend turned the key to the on position and got fuel pressure. Pulled Spark Plug one and tested it to verify spark. Bought a MAP Sensor and replaced the Auto Shut Down Relay in the fuse Box and will install them today. Still no codes are showing up on the scan tool.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-01-2013, 09:24 AM
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im having the same problem i have replace the cam sensor the crank sensor and the auto shutdown relay andthe fuel pressure regulator what else is left
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