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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hello and questions in one thread.

Hello, new member here.



I was just given an 1993 Eagle Vision ESI 3.5 from my sister and brother-in-law. The car has a couple of issues and this is why they quite driving it. The car is ~4 hours away from me and I'm gathering information so I can hit the ground running when I go to look at it. I do 99.9% of my auto related repairs and rely on the net for incite because I'm sure others have had the same problem(s).

The fist issue was it would randomly drop in to limp mode at freeway speeds. 2ND gear! They took it in to a trannie shop who couldn't reproduce the problem. They parked the car which has set for approximately 3+ years.

Recently, my BIL tried to start it and when the key was turned all power was lost. If he waited a bit, the power would return, however, the power loss would repeat. He wasn't able to start the car.

I'm wondering if the two problems are related and are possible wiring issues. I worked on a Dodge Dakota and learned their wiring splices can be a problem. I did a search and did learn there is a ground on the right side and a splice under the washer fluid container that can cause problems. There was also another ground down by the radiator. I'm sure you guys are familiar with this one too.

Another item I was wondering about is the ignition switch. Has anyone taken one apart and cleaned it?

I think that is enough for the first post.

Thanks for reading and am looking forward to your thoughts!

Dan

Last edited by 1993 EagleVision; 02-13-2013 at 05:02 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 04:37 PM
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problem 2 sounds like the battery is just dead. You'll want to have the codes read for the transmission, then you can diagnose better, probably just a sensor. Welcome to the forum!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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problem 2 sounds like the battery is just dead. You'll want to have the codes read for the transmission, then you can diagnose better, probably just a sensor. Welcome to the forum!
Thanks for the welcome and reply!

As I stated in the above post, the trannie shop couldn't reproduce the problem. I'm thinking if they couldn't pull any codes, I don't think I could get any either.

I take it there isn't a lot of talk about wiring splices going bad.

I hadn't thought about it having a dead battery. I guess that could be the issue. However, I don't think my BIL would over look a dead battery. But, you never know. I'll check it out.

EDIT****

This thread looks like it may have some similarities. Transmission limp mode, no wait now it's not

Last edited by 1993 EagleVision; 02-07-2013 at 05:21 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I talked to my BIL today and he had a fresh battery in the car. He's been around the block with cars a few times and said it didn't sound like corroded cables or low or dead battery. There wasn't any clicking of the solenoid or any attempt to start. Just fading out of the power and coming back on if he waited a bit.

I'll find out more when I get to look at the car.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Dan

Last edited by 1993 EagleVision; 02-13-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 11:39 PM
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Honestly I would double-check the battery state of charge and connections. Even if a connection doesn't look bad its still a good idea to hit them with a wire brush or sand paper (I've known of some people who have had connections look good but still be poor). My guess as to the power fading out is probably the fact that the ignition switch should cut power to the accessories when cranking to provide as much cranking power as possible. Other than that I would probably check the neutral safety switch (see if it tries cranking when the shift lever is in a gear). I'm also betting that there is a start relay for the starter control circuit that may also be something to look at.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 11:40 PM
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bh1992 View Post
Honestly I would double-check the battery state of charge and connections. Even if a connection doesn't look bad its still a good idea to hit them with a wire brush or sand paper (I've known of some people who have had connections look good but still be poor). My guess as to the power fading out is probably the fact that the ignition switch should cut power to the accessories when cranking to provide as much cranking power as possible. Other than that I would probably check the neutral safety switch (see if it tries cranking when the shift lever is in a gear). I'm also betting that there is a start relay for the starter control circuit that may also be something to look at.
Will do! I'll start from the battery and check where I have power and where I don't. Who knows, it could be the battery cable. The car has been sitting for 3+ years. He just recently put the battery in it and tried to start it.

I'll check the theory of the ignition switch theory too.

I may be able to work on the car this Sat. They are forecasting the weather to be in the 30s. We'll see what unfolds. I might have a road trip in my near future!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:45 AM
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when he replaced the battery, did he charge it very much before trying to start the car?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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when he replaced the battery, did he charge it very much before trying to start the car?
I don't know if it was a new battery or a known good one. I agree a new battery should be charged before use so to reduce the demand on the alternator. However, although it might be partially discharged from sitting on the shelf, I believe a new battery should also contain enough juice to at least turn an engine over.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 12:39 PM
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Does the power completely die immediately and nothing happens? I ask because in the past I had the issue where power would completely disappear when I was trying to crank my car and nothing ever happened (Starter would not even spin).

It sounds like your terminal ends is either corroded or the terminal ends has worn out and not allowing it to completely crimp on the battery. I would recommend replacing the terminal ends (Connectors) since they are cheap.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Does the power completely die immediately and nothing happens? I ask because in the past I had the issue where power would completely disappear when I was trying to crank my car and nothing ever happened (Starter would not even spin).

It sounds like your terminal ends is either corroded or the terminal ends has worn out and not allowing it to completely crimp on the battery. I would recommend replacing the terminal ends (Connectors) since they are cheap.
You nailed it! I figured someone else experienced the same thing.

Does this car use a top post battery? (that's how much I don't know about it.)

I will not be working on it this weekend for various reasons.

I'll start a new thread once I start working on the car. It might be a month or two.

Last edited by 1993 EagleVision; 02-14-2013 at 10:32 PM.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 12:14 AM
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Another thing to check, I ran into this on my 94 Intrepid (same car): The ignition switch. These vehicles use a switch that is separate from the lock cylinder and really quite easy to access and replace (remove the column covers, requires, *maybe* a security torx bit). My Intrepid would randomly drop into 2nd and the gauge cluster would go dead. There are separate contacts (apparently) in the switch to provide power to the PCM. Key dance revealed (forget the code number) that was something like "failure on vehicle communication bus". That *sounds* scary, like , OMGWTFBBQ A $200 MODULE IS SCREWED!! but no, it was just one module (powertrain, not engine) dropping out while the ECM was still humming along. It throws a code because "hey, my PCM isn't talking to me anymore" and the transmission is electronically controlled, mechanically designed to default into 2nd gear when the selector is in any forward range and it is not getting input from the PCM.

Anyway, this was literally a $0 fix that had been a MAJOR headache for me as I didn't even replace the ignition switch, all I had to do was clean it. It's been about 10 years since I did this, but IIRC there is a ring shaped bit of plastic that unclips from the cylinder-end of the ignition switch unit, the tabs on mine broke off and there is a spring inside you should take care not to lose, but when mounted, the body of the switch is held firmly against the back of the cylinder so the broken clips aren't even a problem. I opened it up, removed the moving assembly, the contacts are at the bottom, I sprayed WD-40 on them, worked the rotor around a bit, maybe wiped it out and sprayed more in, dunno, but in the end I NEVER had that problem with the vehicle again.

That was turned up after EXTENSIVE internet research as a slight possibility of being the culprit and in my case it was. This vehicle seems to have A LOT of problems with switch contacts. Only one of the door switches is functional, while the other 3 do not light the dome light when the doors are open. There's other switches as well that I have had to clean to bring back functionality. I just think in the 93/94 range Chrysler's suppliers on switches had some quality control issues.

One may be able to test this by seeing if striking the underside of the column, or rocking the key back and forth without shutting the vehicle down, while traveling, causes the problem to occur. It will not spontaneously resolve once the transmission is in limp mode, you must restart the vehicle to clear the error I believe. I actually got into the habit before I diagnosed the issue of popping the selector into neutral (on a straight stretch with sparse traffic, mind you) shutting the engine down, waiting a couple seconds so the engine has completely stopped turning, then re-engaging switch to the start position, allowing the engine to start and then shifting back into drive. You can do this safely without losing much speed and the electronically controlled transaxle will automatically select the proper range based on the input and output shaft speeds which would probably be 3rd.

I hope that helps. Let us know what you find out in any event.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was thinking that the ignition switch may be an issue too. However, this one doesn't throw a code. Just out of the blue drops in to limp-in-mode!

Once I get the no power to anything solved, I'll move on to solving the limp mode issue.
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