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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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sporadically not starting

I've had this problem for at least a year now. At first my car (2004 Dodge Intrepid) would fail to start (would crank but not turn over) maybe once every couple months. I noticed that after letting it sit for a little while it would just magically start just fine.

Lately it has been happening several times a week. I would go out to the store or something and when I came out to start my car it won't start. It just cranks and nothing happens. I be stuck waiting and after 30 minutes or an hour it would just start up like nothing was wrong.

Its getting me so frustrated because all the mechanics I talk to say they can't determine what is wrong unless they are there when its doing this... The problem is that it is so sporadic that its impossible. Its not like I can just take it to a shop and turn the car off and try and turn it on hoping it wont start- that never happens.

Over the long period of time of it doing this I have noticed a couple things that are unusual that makes me believe the problem is related to the electrical system. The first thing is the cruise control will randomly shut itself down. I will be driving down the highway with the cruise set and all of a sudden the cruise fails. I try to turn it back on but nothing. However, when I turn the car off and back on the cruise will come back on.

The other thing I noticed is the check engine light goes on and off constantly. Usually the day I'm free to go to the dealer to have them run the code it goes off.

I had a mechanic tell me he thought it was the crank sensor so I had him replace it the other day but that must not have been the problem because its back to doing this. UGH! Anyways, if anyone has any recommendations or ideas on what the problem might be I would greatly appreciate it.

Here's a video of my car doing this. It ended up starting 15 minutes later like nothing was wrong...soo frustrating.


Last edited by Mizzou; 06-09-2011 at 09:50 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 08:51 PM
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If an aftermarket crank sensor was used, try an OEM one. The non-start problem sounds like cam or crank sensor - almost certainly the problem. Except for speed sensors, aftermarket sensors have proven not to work so hot in our cars.

Cruise control problem is likely unrelated to the non-start problem. Calibrate your brake switch. Brake switch could need replacing, but that's fairly rare. Aftermarket is OK for that switch, but calibrating it will likely fix your c.c. problem and will cost $0.00 plus 2 minutes of your time. If still no joy, replace the switch (calibrate it after installing)

Here's how to calibrate the brake switch, from a post of mine a couple of weeks ago:
The FSM says to remove the switch from the brake pedal arm to adjust it. That is not necessary, and it can be difficult to get it to go back onto the bracket correctly without causing damage to the switch.

With the brake switch still mounted, depress the brake pedal with moderate pressure with one hand while pulling out on the plunger with the other (you may have to support yourself on your elbows to do that) until the plunger clicks out and is again against the pedal arm (while brake pedal is depressed), then s-l-o-w-l-y release the pedal so that it returns to its rest position. That's it. Takes seconds to do.

I've never had to pull back on the pedal - you should be able to rely on the pedal spring to pull it back and push the plunger in the correct amount of clicks. But if for some reason it doesn't come back all the way, then, OK, pull rearward on the pedal, but only just enough to pull it against the stop. If you pull back too hard, you will temporarily flex things and compress the rubber stop, and the switch plunger will be pulled in too far, and you will end up with the original problem. In fact I suspect that many of them get out of calibration by the driver inadvertently pulling back on the pedal with the front of their foot.


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Last edited by peva; 06-09-2011 at 08:55 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. I'll look into that. Also, I was able to get video of my car doing this so I uploaded it to photobucket. You should be able to click on the picture in my first post to see the video.
My car ended up starting 15 minutes later. Talk about frustrating,
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 09:06 PM
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Mizzou? Are you accually at mizzou? I'll be there this fall. Nice to see another Missouri trep, welcome to the site, you'll find alot of help.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 11:07 PM
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checking the fuel pressure as well will be a good idea. Peva has put you on the right track to a good start
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Mizzou? Are you accually at mizzou? I'll be there this fall. Nice to see another Missouri trep, welcome to the site, you'll find alot of help.
I am. I'll be a senior this fall.

You are going to have a blast when you get there.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 02:24 AM
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I am. I'll be a senior this fall.

You are going to have a blast when you get there.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 10:24 PM
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Sporatically Not Starting

I've had the same problem with my '04 Intrepid. Car will turn over great but not start. it seems to only happen if it has been shut off for a short time (~10 minutes). I bought a devide to read the error codes and found out that if I read the codes, I get "0" errors but then I clear the codes anyway and the car will start. This works 90% of the time. If I do not clear the codes (even if there were no error codes), the car will not start. On occasion, even if I clear the codes, that will not work and I have to disconnect the battery for a few minutes and then the car starts every time. I suspect it is a computer problem.

I also used to have an engine light that stayed on all the time and I would get an error code for O2 sensor. Then that went off and the Air Bag light stayed on all the time. Now that has gone off and I periodally have the problem that the car will not start.

By the way, I am also a Mizzou Alum.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 09:41 AM
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Anyone found a fix for this? I'm getting this also... during the summer had a hard start issue was told it was battery got a new one (warrenty) then yesterday had this problem again... had the car off for 5 min temp was at middle. had to get a boost to get it going..
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 11:22 AM
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Bad connection somewhere? This could have caused your battery failure too. Disassemble*, clean and reassemble with some kind of corrosion preventative the following:
  1. battery connections
  2. positive and negative jump posts

* It's "OK", Johnny 5, we'll reassemble too.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:26 PM
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...* It's "OK", Johnny 5, we'll reassemble too.
Hah! I wonder how many got that.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:51 PM
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got the short circuit reference lol... My Grandma was an extra in the second one where he's in the worlds largest book store in Toronto...

But it's not the cables... redid them when the battery was replaced this summer also upgraded the "Big 3" for my audio... Alternator is cranking 14.4V (tested at bat-to alt, bat to chasis, bat to engine.) Did a charging system test (free at partsource) and passed with flying colors. Battery holds charge 12.5 when car isn't running.

Again this only happens when the car is warm (say driving for an hour or something)...

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 08:15 PM
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my 00' R/T has done the exact same thing for all 10 of the years I've owned it....thru the first 3.5 HO and the new 3.5 HO.....I've had the terminals replaced, starter sylonoid replaced, the entire starter replaced, battery replaced.....nothing seems to help...its very spurratic....mostly seems to not want to start after running and being at full temperature and then sitting for 30 min or less and trying to start it again....cranks away but no turn over....then it just starts like nothing is wrong....very weird....
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 07:39 AM
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It cranks, but won't fire. Does it without warning or in any pattern, the crank sensor WAS replaced as well?

Only leaves the Camshaft position sensor. If that isn't it, inspect your PCM's terminals for loose or damaged connections. Remove the connectors, insure no rust or dirt is present, re-install and ensure it's all firmly installed encase it wasn't before.

There isn't any other reason that I know that would do that - without throwing error codes. It may even possibly be the MAP sensor too - had this happen on a Caravan once before.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 08:19 AM
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my 00' R/T has done the exact same thing for all 10 of the years I've owned it....thru the first 3.5 HO and the new 3.5 HO.....I've had the terminals replaced, starter sylonoid replaced, the entire starter replaced, battery replaced.....nothing seems to help...its very spurratic....mostly seems to not want to start after running and being at full temperature and then sitting for 30 min or less and trying to start it again....cranks away but no turn over....then it just starts like nothing is wrong....very weird....
that's exactly how mine goes.... the crank will do one *chug* then stops... if I keep trying the battery dies...This is definitely odd.....Who fed the Mogwi after midnight?
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