Down the rabbit hole...can't shut the engine OFF - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Question Down the rabbit hole...can't shut the engine OFF

Lord, I hope that this is a stupid question.

I acquired an '01 Intrepid that was maintained to death by the PO, my best friend's father (a retired engineer). Even though it has a 2.7 it runs perfectly. Have had it a couple months with zero mechanical problems. I have been repairing some collision damage, but none of it has caused any issues with any systems.

Today, I decided to removed the Sony CD changer, which involved pulling the console cover over the shifter (to get to the radio console). I could not remove it entirely due to how the shift lever & its leather boot are installed, so I horsed it out of the way & finished the job. This did involve occasionally moving the shifter back & forth to get at screws, etc.

After an uneventful reassembly, I found that the battery was nearly dead (clicked on trying to start, but had enough juice for lights) . I have known that the battery was dying since I got the car - was going to change it out this spring. Deciding to charge the battery, I found I could not remove the key from the ignition. I eventually figured out that the horsing of the shift console caused the leather boot to bunch up in a way that prevented the lever from being completely seated in the Park detent. However, that knowledge came later. I eventually wrestled the shifter fully into Park & got the key out of the ignition, set up the charger & left it alone for 4-hours.

On return, I entered the car & it started right up. I shut it off, and couldn't get the key out. After about a half hour, I sorted the console issue, and the key/ignition block behaved normally. I removed the battery charger & put it away, and left the car.

About an hour later, after sunset, I happened to look out my kitchen window & noticed that the instrument lights were on - as though the car were running. I found the car not running, no key in it, but the dash lights were on.

This is when I went down the rabbit hole - there was no way to turn them off. Returning with the key, I started the car without any issue or weirdness. I turned the key to the off position & removed it. The car remained running & the dash lights stayed on. I cycled the key /ignition switch every which way, but nothing happened. WTF.

I cycled the ignition off, and removed the key (dash/instrument lights burning), and pondered what to do next. Within 20-seconds, the engine began to run rough, stumble, then died. Dash lights stayed on. I started it again, then cycled the ignition off, and removed the key; died the same way: within 20-seconds.

Totally confused, I searched online & found only that there is a cutoff relay that, if removed, kills the engine. Tried this and it worked. Instrument lights stayed on.

Next advice: maybe that relay's bad. Switch it out. Nope; no change.

The only other advice was to disconnect the battery, wait a half-hour, and reconnect it. No change. Tried it twice., second time, over an hour. I did note that there was a lot of sparking when I reconnected the neg batteery line - as if there was something drawing a fair bit of current - and I could also hear a faint, anemic buzzy whining that stopped & started depending on whether or not the battery was connected. None of the fuses are blown. I could not trace this noise. Perhaps it's the fuel pump?

My only conclusion is that I somehow porked the ECU when I charged it. This car has never had a day's trouble in the past three years, and no issues since I bought it two months ago. It's been boringly dependable.

I have lately been told that it may be the ignition switch - although I would consider this a cosmic coincidence, given that there hasn't been a single instance of the electrics acting up prior to this afternoon.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 02:57 AM
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Ignition Switch first. Especially after having problems with the shift interlock.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks. It's a cheap & relatively easy thing to switch out...that and/or the cutoff relay.

Are they that delicate? I never forced the thing. The only force was pushing the shift lever far enough forward to get it fully into the pawl. That put a lot of pressure on the plastic console housing, but it otherwise seemed unaffected. It shifts cleanly and eeasily through all ranges.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 12:34 PM
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If not bad ign. switch:

Anemic buzzy whining: Cabin blower fan, or the cabin air sampling fan (a very small fan that is behind the left side of the face of the ATC - behind slots, but if you have MTC, it doesn't have the sampling fan - but if you have that fan, it automatically runs for a few seconds when you open the car door, then shuts off - messing with battery connection may also trigger it?).

You may need to adjust the shifter-ignition interlock cable to sync up the ignition switch with the shifter - see FSM for procedure. Adjust shifter-to-transmission cable while you're at it.

For the future, not sure what you did to get the console cover out of the way, but be aware that there is a small screw - either allen socket or torx - I forget which - that you loosen a good bit to get the shift knob off. Also, you can put the key in the ignition and turn it to Run position to allow you to move the shifter back. With those two things done, you can remove the shifter bezel. Be sure to chock the wheels when moving the shifter out of Park so the car doesn't roll - brakes don't work much at all without vacuum with the engine off (parking brake helps if on level ground).


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 06:03 PM
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Does the ignition lock work now with the shifter in park? In other words you can't turn the ignition cylinder without using the key?
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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The shifter works perfectly. Key operates properly with no stick or slop. And yeah, you have to have the key.

What I did was pop the bezel cover off & pull the thing up over the knob, then turn it 90-degrees. The boot prevented complete removal. This granted access to the radio console bezel, although to get to the screws for the radio & tray I did have to switch the car into IGN & move the shifter back & forth. The only time unusual force was applied was after everything was reassembled, and the boot was all bunched up at the bottom of the shift lever, & blocking the forward edge of the shift slot. I was mostly compressing leather to get it into Park.

At no time was the key forced; it wouldn't rotate back to the free position is all. I flipped it back & forth a few times, but with no more pressure than a normal start. I realized immediately that the shifter wasn't seated properly.

With respect to syncing up the transmission switch: that all works normally as well. Reverse lights, and the indicator on the dash all indicate correctly.

However, I did try moving the shifter back & forth while it was running/ignition in OFF postion to see if it would magically make contact & behave normally again. No joy.

The car won't start unless it's in Park. I haven't driven it any distance besides back & forth in the driveway, but all indications are that no one would ever know that there was anything wrong with this car- until you shut if off & remove the key.

Another source indicated that there was a service memo about a similar problem, which was traced to corroded contacts in a Jones plug under the passenger-side rear bench seat (this is wiring for the fuel tank & evaporative equipment). Apparently, a bad connection can signal an issue that prevents the cutoff solenoid from shutting off the engine. I checked it this morning and it was fine. I gave a light pass with a file on all of the contacts anyway; no dice.

I am still not sure where the whining is coming from - it sounds like the last death rattle of the GEICO gecko - but it seemed to be coming from the vicinity of the power center on the driver's side fender. I pulled every fuse & relay: no change. However, there are two large, black Jones plugs located between the 2.7 engine & the power center - one looks like it runs to the back of the engine &/or trans & the other looks like it goes through the firewall. I pulled the front one apart (I could reach it)...and the noise stopped. However, it resumed after I plugged it back together.

I picked up a new relay and an ignition switch. Too late to install them tonight, here's hoping for tomorrow.

In the worst case: aside from finding a car that had a 2.7 & 2nd Gen - is there anything else I should know about replacing the ECU? And where is the ECU?

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it.

Last edited by Three-Nuts; 02-27-2017 at 10:17 PM.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:30 PM
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I doubt a relay is your problem.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:46 PM
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And one thing I forgot to inquire about was your initial removal of the "CD Changer"? Was this an aftermarket Radio with a changer or something separate from the radio. Could be possible you hosed up some wiring if it was aftermarket. Did you replace the radio?

Does your car have an aftermarket Remote Start or anything like that?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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It was completely aftermarket & separate from the factory radio: Sony 12-disc changer wired to a 12V switched line in the trunk (abandoned in place) with audio through an FM/antenna feed. I was kinda hoping for some type of aux in patch so that I could run my Zune (hey, I'm old) through the factory radio. A girl can dream...

It took about 10-minutes to remove the radio, discover disappointment, pull the FM line box & wire, and reinstall the radio.

I also doubt the relay is a problem, since I swapped it & there was no change. But hey, it was $7.00, and stranger things have happened.

The whole thing commenced after I charged the battery.

If it's not the ignition switch, then I assume I fried something in the ECU. I have heard all kinds of stories & anecdotes over the years about jumping a 'modern' (i.e ECU-equipped) car - how it can play hob with the electronics...although I've always heard these about jump-starts, not a charger (which, by the way, I hooked up to the terminals first, THEN plugged in).

Remote start? Hell, it didn't even come with a fob. I found one at a salvage yard; if I ever get this thing running reliably again, I plan to take it to the dealer & have it paired up to the car. I miss having a remote.

(short answer: no, it doesn't have remote start)

Last edited by Three-Nuts; 02-28-2017 at 12:29 AM.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 03:40 AM
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Thanks for explaining about not stressing the shifter - that wasn't clear (to me) in the OP.

Probably my last comment here, but a few years ago, someone had a problem with engine run-on, and the problem went away when he replaced the headlight switch. Sounds crazy - can't explain it - could have been something coincidental, or there may be some sneak path occurring with some fault in that module, but you might try unplugging the headlight switch connector on a long shot.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Update:

Replaced the switch. No change.
Replaaced the ASD relay. No change.

Now, the engine won't accelerate past 4K RPM. At just before, it starts loping. I imagine that this would manifest as a bucking/significant losss of power if it was underway. I don't know if this is new; this is the first time I acceler ated the engine above maybe 1800-RPM since I cahrged thebattery and all of thse problems started.

To recap: car starts and runs normally (except the 4K RPM thing).
When I shut it off and remove the key, it stays running, then dies after about 15-seconds.
The check engine light is on (which indicated an evap issue in the fuel system before my OBDII reader died).
The oil light & a couple other warning lights stay on. The radio, turn signals, etc do not work once the ignition is switched off.

There is something drawing current and a faint, medium-pitched buzzing that only stops when the battery is disconnected.

I'm out of ideas. Hope you have some.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:29 PM
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You should check the codes to see why the CEL is on. There might be something there that would point to the problem. Don't need a scanner to check the basic codes. Do a search for: "Key Dance to check codes". Basically you turn the ignition switch from off to the run position (Not Start) 3 times and end with the ignition in the Run position and the codes will show up in the instrument cluster odometer display. If there's more than one code they'll flash in sequence.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three-Nuts View Post
...When I shut it off and remove the key, it stays running, then dies after about 15-seconds.
The check engine light is on (which indicated an evap issue in the fuel system before my OBDII reader died).
The oil light & a couple other warning lights stay on...
That right there is a clue. The engine oil pressure light goes thru no computers. Its body is grounded thru the engine block, and its wire goes directly to the oil pressure warning LED in the cluster. The other side of the LED gets power from the OFF-RUN-START contact of the ignition switch. (By the way - 'OFF' is not the key position where you remove the key - it is the position between that one and RUN.) SO - something is putting voltage to that Fuse 1 circuit when the ign. switch is turned off - either that ignition switch contact is staying closed (you just replaced it, so unlikely), or something (a wire or device on the Fuse 1 circuit) is feeding 12 volts to that circuit from an always-on (hot) circuit.

Use the FSM schematics (start at page 8W-40-6) and a voltmeter or troubleshooting light to find out how voltage is being forced onto the Fuse 1 circuit. (Also look at page 8W-12-8.)

You sure the ignition switch is fully in the LOCK position (the position at which you can normally pull the key out)? (Be aware that if the interlock cable is out of adjustment, it can allow you to pull the key out of the ignition switch with the switch not in the LOCK position.)

HERE'S SOMETHING TO LOOK AT:
The DLC (Data Link Connector) wires are known for coming out of the connector body. One of the wires in the DLC is to the Fuse 1 circuit. There's another wire from Fuse 18 that is always hot. If those wires are connected, there's your 12 volt source to the Fuse 1 circuit. (See DLC wiring on page 8W-18-2)

Again, troubleshoot to find out why the Fuse 1 circuit is staying powered.


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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I'm weak & slow on electrical stuff, so bear with me.

The key only can be removed when the shifter is fully in PARK and the keyblock is in the LOCK position. It's very crisp.

The 4K thing is a rev limiter. I didn't know.

I took the car out and drove a mix of highway and local roads for about 25-minutes. The car runs perfectly and there are zero issues. Everything operates normally & silky smooth.

Except when I shut it off.

After a long ride the engine keeps running for quite awhile. With the key removed, the oil light does NOT come on; the airbag light comes on, and the odometer and shift indicator displays stay lit. However, this is similar to what comes on normally if the key is switched to IGN but not started - the fact that the oil light does not light does indicate, as you noted, that it runs independently. It doesn't come on until the engine actually quits running.

The code it threw was for an evap issue in the fuel system. That only came on when this problem started. I re-checked the plug under the back seat under a VERY bright light & hit it with a spray contact cleaner for good measure. No obvious issue there.

What I DID discover was that the wheezy noise that I was hearing can be stopped by pulling the fuse for the O2 sensor. Nothing else changes, however. Interestingly, when I put the O2 fuse back in, there's a clicking noise coming from within the intake plenum. I could not trace it to anything specific. It goes away when I pull the fuse.

The only way to kill the odometer and the shift indicator displays is by pulling the battery terminal.

It just seems like a hell of a coincidence that the car had zero electrical issues until I threw a battery charger on it.

Off to check the DLC.

Thank you again.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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DLC looks & feels fine, all wires are tight. No change.

Ugh. I've about had it. Physically swapping out the ECU is not difficult, but the dog & pony show of getting it flashed to this car looks like a giant pain in the sack.

Pity, too. The car is a jewel (aside from the mismatched paint on the hood & fender)

Last edited by Three-Nuts; 03-01-2017 at 09:25 PM.
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