Car cranks but will not start. - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Car cranks but will not start.

I will go down the list of what is wrong and what was checked in order.

First off, it is a 1995 3.3l intrepid.

Day one, I start the car up to move it oh, about five feet, and don't attempt to start it again until later that night. That night, I get in to start it and it starts up but it dies on me two seconds later. I keep attempting to get it running and it just keeps on quitting on me. There was no hesitation while cranking as if the battery might be dying, so I know I've got juice. As it was running though the rpms kept dropping too low before it would stall, and I wondered if it was due to voltage. Eventually I said screw it being as it was christmas night. ('tis the season fa la la some crap...)

Day two, I get home from work and decide to try and figure out what the fig is wrong. I get it to start as it was doing the night before, and to no surprise it kept dying. I happened to keep it running by laying on the throttle to about 2000 rpm, and it would surge and drop briefly then go back around 2000. I thought maybe throttle position sensor, but that would set a code and I did the key check for codes and nothing for that came up. Then I went to try and see if it was a fuel pressure problem. The night before I took a pen to the fuel rail pressure port and a good amount of fuel came out, seeing as I couldn't find my adapter for my fuel pressure gauge, but then today I checked it with the gauge and after hooking it on the car wouldn't start after that, at all. That made me wonder if by relieving the pressure it then didn't have enough to start it up again. After that though I decided to check for spark from the ignition coil pack, and I checked it at the pack at cylinders 2 and 6 and there was none, which I am pretty sure there should be spark while cranking even if it won't run.

All in all it has been interesting trying to pinpoint exactly what would make it do these chain of events; fuel pump, ignition coil, fuel pressure regulator, wiring harness for the fuel injectors, or could it even be the PCM? Anyone with some similar experiences or advice?

And two things I forgot to mention; while it was running and the rpms were dropping, each time it did that the lights would dim. And my EVAP purge solenoid was making this ticking sound for a couple of weeks, although I doubt a failed purge solenoid would make it have these symptoms.

I have the next three days off to figure this out, so I am up for troubleshooting through any length of lists to diagnose the problem.

Thanks for your time and for any ideas on the matter.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 07:30 PM
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Does it run about 2-3 seconds?

When you start the engine the PCM watches for the crank and cam sensor signals. If it does not see them within a few seconds it drops out the ASD and fuel relays.
When it stops is the any stumble or just dead? If just dead it might be one of the two sensors has failed.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eprisoncells
I will go down the list of what is wrong and what was checked in order.

First off, it is a 1995 3.3l intrepid.

Day one, I start the car up to move it oh, about five feet, and don't attempt to start it again until later that night. That night, I get in to start it and it starts up but it dies on me two seconds later. I keep attempting to get it running and it just keeps on quitting on me. There was no hesitation while cranking as if the battery might be dying, so I know I've got juice. As it was running though the rpms kept dropping too low before it would stall, and I wondered if it was due to voltage. Eventually I said screw it being as it was christmas night. ('tis the season fa la la some crap...)

Day two, I get home from work and decide to try and figure out what the fig is wrong. I get it to start as it was doing the night before, and to no surprise it kept dying. I happened to keep it running by laying on the throttle to about 2000 rpm, and it would surge and drop briefly then go back around 2000. I thought maybe throttle position sensor, but that would set a code and I did the key check for codes and nothing for that came up. Then I went to try and see if it was a fuel pressure problem. The night before I took a pen to the fuel rail pressure port and a good amount of fuel came out, seeing as I couldn't find my adapter for my fuel pressure gauge, but then today I checked it with the gauge and after hooking it on the car wouldn't start after that, at all. That made me wonder if by relieving the pressure it then didn't have enough to start it up again. After that though I decided to check for spark from the ignition coil pack, and I checked it at the pack at cylinders 2 and 6 and there was none, which I am pretty sure there should be spark while cranking even if it won't run.

All in all it has been interesting trying to pinpoint exactly what would make it do these chain of events; fuel pump, ignition coil, fuel pressure regulator, wiring harness for the fuel injectors, or could it even be the PCM? Anyone with some similar experiences or advice?

And two things I forgot to mention; while it was running and the rpms were dropping, each time it did that the lights would dim. And my EVAP purge solenoid was making this ticking sound for a couple of weeks, although I doubt a failed purge solenoid would make it have these symptoms.

I have the next three days off to figure this out, so I am up for troubleshooting through any length of lists to diagnose the problem.

Thanks for your time and for any ideas on the matter.
I wouldn't be too concerned about the dimming lights. Your Alt can't keep up with electrical demands when the dieing engine can't turn it fast enough. The purge solenoid normally makes a ticking sound when it is operating. It's just not always noticed because it only operates at certain times. I agree with dodgerunner that one or both the cam and crank sensors are causing the trouble. If you replace cam sensor, it should have a paper spacer attached to the business end. Leave the spacer on and push sensor into it's hole until it bottoms out on the cam sprocket, then tighten the locking screw while keeping downward finger pressure on the new sensor. The crank sensor has no spacer, just push it in and tighten the screw.

2003 Intrepid SXT 51,000 miles 1-10-06

'94 3.3 Intrepid owned since May '94 182,000 miles has been traded in for the above.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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First off, thanks for the great advice you two. It is definitely acting like it could be just that. I will probably be buying a low end multimeter to test both the sensors, but in the mean time, could I just disconnect the cam pos sensor to possibly have the PCM run the vehicle on a set of variables to at least get it started? Also, my check engine light no longer pops on with the key on, which in turn means I can no longer check for codes. Normally I would think if it's just a sensor I could still check the codes; any ideas on this?

Thanks again, all information is always greatly appreciated.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eprisoncells
First off, thanks for the great advice you two. It is definitely acting like it could be just that. I will probably be buying a low end multimeter to test both the sensors, but in the mean time, could I just disconnect the cam pos sensor to possibly have the PCM run the vehicle on a set of variables to at least get it started? Also, my check engine light no longer pops on with the key on, which in turn means I can no longer check for codes. Normally I would think if it's just a sensor I could still check the codes; any ideas on this?

Thanks again, all information is always greatly appreciated.
With either Cam or Crank sensors disconnected, there is no way it would start. A bad sensor will not cause your CEL not to work. You might have wiring issues causing both the dieing engine and lack of CEL. Code #11=crank, code#54=cam , but these codes will only be set if problem is detected during cranking.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 07:29 PM
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Sound like you might have a bad bulb and need to replace you CEL light. Does it light when you turn the key on and the lamp check is done. IE it should light during the lamp check.

Also you really can't check the Crank and Cam sensors with a meter. Their outputs are pulses. If you had a scope you could check them, I have done that. With a meter you would get a reading on low AC volts but would not tell you much.

Last edited by dodgerunner; 12-27-2005 at 11:35 PM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2005, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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I am starting to highly doubt that the problem is due to a sensor. I checked for output voltage at both the cam sensor and the ignition coil connector, and both weren't reading. If I did not say it earlier, the coil isn't even giving off any spark, which one of the two sensors wouldn't cause I wouldn't think. The repair manual I have says "If NO spark or INTERMITTENT sparks occur, disconnect the coil pack electrical connector and check for battery voltage to the ignition coil pack on the dark green/orange wire with the ignition on" done that. Then later after a few more tests it reads, "If all checks are correct, check the coil driver circuits fro the computer. Using an LED test light connect to the positive battery terminal, disconnect the coil pack electrical connector and probe the white, red and black connector terminals while an assistant cranks the engine. If the circuits are functioning properly, the light will rapidly blink on and off as the PCM grounds the circuit. If there is no flashing from the test light, most likely the computer is defective." I have done this as well, and no flash was present.

I've been discussing these issues with my neighbor who is former mechanic of fifteen years, and he said in all those years of working on chrysler, ford, gm, he had only had to replace twenty computers. He suggests I should try to find if there is power getting to the PCM before I go out and buy a new one for the vehicle. Now, this brings me back to here seeing as the Haynes repair manual has crude information on PCM wiring schematics; is there any one who may know of any great sites as to where you can get in depth information about wiring schematics for the PCM and all the circuitry tests you can before to eliminate this problem?

Any insight is again always appreciated, and sorry to sound like a ranting fool.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2005, 01:36 PM
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I recently had a similar problem to this I think.

After just getting my 94 New Yorker back from the shop, I had to take a 600 mile trip the next day. It ran fine the whole trip. The next day, my dad moved my car out of the driveway and onto the street.
When I went to start the car to leave, it cranked and started just fine then died almost instantly after a second or two, seemed like it ran out of fuel. After that, it was almost impossible to get the car started again. By running the starter for a long time it would start, but it would run very very rough and die almost immediately. By giving the engine gas, I could keep the engine running, but it was still very very rough and if I let off the throttle, the engine would die.

Finally, after almost submitting to the fact that it would have to be towed since it would stall if I tried to drive it, I started it another time. Overall, this was probably the 5 or 6th successful try to start the engine. This time I figured I'd let the engine run for a while just to see what happened. Strangely, after a little while, a couple minutes at least, it seemed to smooth out. I let off the accelerator and it idled on its own. Still a little rough, but it wasn't stalling.
Since it was running OK at this point, I drove it around a little bit and filled the tank with new gas, I'd only had about 3/8th's of a tank of gas. I tried starting it at the gas station and it started up fine, no hesitation to start and a smooth idle.
After the car died about every time I tried to check for codes, but none ever came back, just 55.

This was a week and a half ago now, and the problem hasn't returned. Other than some other extraneous nightmares that shouldn't be related, it has been running fine. I just attributed the problem to a fluke in the fuel system and figured I'd make sure to get the fuel filter changed soon.

I'm very interested to see what your solution to the problem is.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2005, 03:42 PM
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You have got to see if the ASD relay stays in. If it does not stay energized while cranking the engine then you will not have any signal to the coil, injectors etc. The ASD relay has to stay on for any other functions to work.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2005, 07:58 PM
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The PCM will de-energize the ASD and fuel pump relays if it does not receive a signal from both cam and crank within one second. The ASD supplies the power to the coil pack DarkGreen/Orange wire, and power to all injectors. The PCM supplies 8 volts to cam and crank on the Orange wire (with key on). Is this the wire you checked at the cam connector?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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I did check for voltage at the cam electrical connector with the key on and got zilch. I also tried swapping a recently bought relay (which I know is good) with the ASD relay and that wasn't the fix either. I found this wiring schematic from Autozone which basically tells you everything wired to the PCM, but I must be dense when it comes to tracing wires, because I am not quite sure which one would power the pcm. My guess would be wire number 20 or 30 at the pcm, but really, I am unsure. Anyways, something is bound to fix it and I am determined; I love these cars too much to leave it down.

Last edited by Eprisoncells; 12-29-2005 at 10:59 AM.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 07:45 PM
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For some reason unbeknownst to me, D.I.net does not give me the option of attaching a pic in my replies. either that or I just don't know how. The following info is for '94 3.3L. Battery power goes from Pos batt terminal through the black bullet style connecter,to main bus bar in Power distribution center, fuse "B" 20 amp (looking from drivers fender fuse "B" is 2nd from the right,in the row closest to engine) from the fuse the wire is 16ga.Red with white tracer, and goes to a splice and finally to pin #3 at PCM. The other wires (all also 16RD/WT*)at the splice go to TCM pin #56,Trans Control shutdown relay (labled EATX shutdown in power distribution center) and the ASD relay. The diagram in your link is correct, it's just not very detailed.

2003 Intrepid SXT 51,000 miles 1-10-06

'94 3.3 Intrepid owned since May '94 182,000 miles has been traded in for the above.

Last edited by jedgxe; 12-29-2005 at 08:23 PM.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for that very detailed description, it helps out immensely.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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This car is really starting to piss me off, and I am too stubborn just to take it to a garage, that and being laid off from a job doesn't help the matter. The car is currently sitting a friend's grandfather's garage, and he has been a mechanic for years, and even he is stumped. Here is a run down of things that were done (as far as I remember).

Power getting to the PCM (confirmed)
Can get the fuel pump to kick on with a wire to the relay connector then grounding it.
Tried two different PCM's, one being from a respectable yard.
Tried one crank sensor.
Checked ever fuse, two or more times.
Swapped all relays around.
Most of the fusible links checked on the wiring itself.
Checked voltage to cam and crank sensors.

Now when we checked for voltage to the two the voltmeter wasn't the best he had. He got his better one and the next morning I went up there he said he got around 4.2 volts to each, I checked them yesterday and couldn't get squat. I am almost tempted to rip the whole wiring harness out of the damn thing, but fear what if that leads to nowhere as well. I just wish there we somewhere out there who had a very similar problem happen to their car. What just gets me is if it's not the crank sensor, or pcm, what else would make you lose the check engine light which engages for two seconds each time the key is on? If it sits for awhile (ignition off) and you turn the key to ON you will see the check engine light but it's only for a brief millisecond.

I think today I am taking my neighbors meter up there, which is a MacTool, and will go from there.... (geez)
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 06:22 PM
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