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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. Newbie here. I have read through all 20 pages & have failed to find a thread listing the issues I am having although I'm sure someone out there must've gone through this.

2005 Grand caravan, 74'000 miles, 3.3 v6.

About 3000 miles ago, my anti-theft began acting up. Van starts, runs for 3 seconds, dies & anti-theft light flashes. After 2 or 3 tries, it will start & run fine. The problem seems to be happening more & more now. I have only one key for the van. My step-daughter had a similar problem on her chebbie monte carlo which required "re-setting" the anti-theft system.

I'm wondering if the same can be done in my case? I have read here that the anti-theft can be disabled entirely. This would be fine with me if it would solve the problem. Can it be done without a trip to the stealership?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hmmm. Maybe I am the first?:)
 

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Sounds like a problem with the Sentry Key Remote Entry System (SKREES) or the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM).

The Sentry Key Remote Entry System (SKREES) uses a transponder chip that is integral to the circuit board of the integrated ignition key (SKREES and RKE incorporated) to communicate with the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM). Ignition keys are supplied with the vehicle when it is shipped from the factory.

Each Sentry Key has a unique transponder identification code permanently programmed into it by the manufacturer. Likewise, the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM) has a unique "Secret Key" code programmed into it by the manufacturer as well. When a Sentry Key is programmed into the memory of the SKREEM, the SKREEM stores the transponder identification code from the Sentry Key, and the Sentry Key learns the "Secret Key" code from the SKREEM. Once the Sentry Key learns the "Secret Key" code of the SKREEM, it is also permanently programmed into the transponder's memory. Therefore, blank keys for the Sentry Key Remote Entry System (SKREES) must be programmed by the SKREEM in addition to being cut to match the mechanical coding of the ignition lock cylinder.
The Sentry Key's transponder is within the range of the SKREEM's transceiver antenna ring when it is inserted into the ignition lock cylinder. When the ignition switch is turned to the ON position, the SKREEM communicates with the Sentry Key via a radio frequency (RF) signal. The SKREEM determines if a valid key is present based on the information it receives from the Sentry Key. If a valid key is detected, that fact is communicated to the PCM via the PCI bus and the vehicle is allowed to continue running. If an invalid key is received by the PCM or no status at all is communicated, the vehicle will stall after two (2) seconds of running. The indicator light will be flashing at this point. The Sentry Key's transponder can not be repaired. If it is faulty or damaged, it must be replaced.

Common communication problems:

•Two transponder keys too close together.

•Speed Pass too close to transponder key.

Solid indicator that there is a system failure.

•Loss of PCM communication.

•Failed antenna circuit.

The Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM) receives an encrypted Radio Frequency (RF) signal from the transponder key. The SKREEM then decrypts the signal and broadcasts the requested remote commands to the appropriate modules in the vehicle over the Programmable Communication Interface (PCI) data bus. A valid transponder key ID must be incorporated into the RF signal in order for the SKREEM to pass the message on to the appropriate modules.

Automatic transponder key synchronization is done by the SKREEM if a valid transponder key is inserted into the ignition cylinder, and the ignition is turned ON. This provides a maximum operation window for RKE functions.

Each Sentry Key Remote Entry System (SKREES) consists of a SKREEM and a transponder key. Each system has a secret key code unique to that system. The secret key is electronically coded in the SKREEM and in all programmed transponder keys. It is used for immobilization and RKE functions for data security. In addition, each transponder key will have a unique identification. For North America, the options are a 3-button or 6 button integrated keys. For Export, the options are 2-button or 5 button key fobs. (Export does not get the integrated key).

When the ignition switch is moved to the RUN position, the SKREEM transmits an Radio Frequency (RF) signal to the transponder in the ignition key. The SKREEM then waits for a response RF signal from the transponder in the key. If the response received identifies the key as valid, the SKREEM sends a "valid key" message to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) over the Programmable Communication Interface (PCI) data bus. If the response received identifies the key as invalid or no response is received from the transponder in the ignition key, the SKREEM sends an "invalid key" message to the PCM. The PCM will enable or disable engine operation based upon the status of the SKREEM messages. It is important to note that the default condition in the PCM is "invalid key." Therefore, if no response is received by the PCM, the engine will be immobilized after two (2) seconds of running.
The SKREEM also sends indicator light status messages to the Mechanical Instrument Cluster (MIC) to operate the light. This is the method used to turn the light ON solid or to flash it after the indicator light test is complete to signify a fault in the SKREES. If the light comes ON and stays ON solid after the indicator light test, this signifies that the SKREEM has detected a system malfunction and/or that the SKREES has become inoperative. If the SKREEM detects an invalid key ORa key-related fault exists, the indicator light will flash following the indicator light test.

Basically it comes down to the key itself is malfunctioning, or the module is malfunctioning, or a bad antenna, or a problem communicating on the PCI bus, or a problem with the PCM itself. Being the light flashes I would say the key itself or the modules antenna is going bad.

•SENTRY KEY IMMOBILIZER MODULE - REMOVAL (only here for purposes of understanding where the antenna is located)

1.Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable.

2.Remove the Steering Column Opening Cover

3.Remove the steering column upper and lower shrouds

4.Disengage the steering column wire harness from the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM).

5.Remove the one screws securing the SKREEM to the steering column.

6.Rotate the SKREEM upwards and then to the side away from the steering column to slide the SKREEM antenna ring from around the ignition switch lock cylinder housing.

7.Remove the SKREEM from the vehicle.

Installation is in reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I am going to buy another key with the buttons & two of the sentry keys, have them cut, then bite the bullett & have my dealer program them. Looks like the original beatup key (I have but one) is probably going to be the culprit. (hopefully).

Anything else I might want them to turn on or off or tweak while they have the computer hooked up?
 

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If your key is beatup, I can almost bet it's the problem.

Make sure everything is flashed and updated. There are a few TSB's for the vehicle.
Flash: Driver And Passenger Power Door Lock Switches Inoperative And Opening the
Liftgate Triggers The Theft Alarm
Flash: MIL Illumination Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) P0135 - O2 Sensor 1/1 Heater
Performance
Flash: MIL Illumination, Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) Inoperative
Flash: MIL DTC P0480-Cooling Fan 1 Control Circuit

The most recent update for your vehicle will address all the above problems.
 
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