2002 Intrepid National Mechanic Chain Cannot Fix - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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2002 Intrepid National Mechanic Chain Cannot Fix

2002 Dodge Intrepid SE 2.7L won't start. New battery 9 months ago. Replaced that battery under warranty 1 month ago where they also checked the alternator which tested good. Took to another of the chain's stores 3 weeks ago, where they tested battery and alternator and again, they tested good. I noticed that the idle seems to be running low (approximately 600 RPM) but may not be related, I don't know. Died again 3 days ago while sitting at a stop and had it towed to the shop yesterday. The car makes no noise (does not click) when you try to start it up. I hooked it up to my daughter's car and allowed it to charge for 30 minutes before attempting to start it; I did this just before arranging for the tow. After this extended charging, the car started up and stayed on while I disconnected the cables but immediately died as soon as I put it into drive. The shop does not know what is wrong and is suggesting that I might have to take it to the dealer. Their only other thought is the starter but I cannot afford a shotgun approach to this by just trying part after part at it until something works. I am in a desperate situation because my wife requires surgery on Monday and I have had to come up with $800 by tomorrow before they will operate and this does not include the emergency room costs which I have not received yet. If anybody can help me to diagnose this problem so that I can perhaps avoid having to take it to the dealer, I would be grateful. I apologize for the long post but I don't know what else to do. Thank you so much for reading this and have a blessed New Year everyone!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 03:49 PM
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If you start the car and give it just a little bit of gas as you put it in gear, will it continue to run? If it does then the idle air control valve probably needs to be cleaned or replaced.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bh1992 View Post
If you start the car and give it just a little bit of gas as you put it in gear, will it continue to run? If it does then the idle air control valve probably needs to be cleaned or replaced.
I cannot test it at this point since it is at the shop. However when the battery died a month ago and I jump started it, I did have to keep the revs up by applying a bit of throttle when shifting into gear. As I drove it to get the second battery replaced, I would also have to drop it into neutral and apply throttle while coasting to a stop and waiting at intersections. This seems like a very good suggestion however. Perhaps this explains the reason for the low revving at idle but do you think that it is the cause of the vehicle not starting? Thank you so much!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 04:31 PM
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Sounds like 2 separate problems.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I agree. I am going to take your advice and either clean or replace the IAC Valve once I get the car back but I'm still at a loss with regard to the other problem. Thank you for bringing this up though; I think you hit the nail on the head.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 05:04 PM
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I guess where I would start is by taking off the throttle body, clean the idle air control valve and the throttle plate.

The starting issue may take a little more to diagnose. Making no clicking noises? Considering you did get it to crank over and start after charging I'm going to guess that the cables/connections for the high current starter circuit are good. I would start by making sure that it wasn't a result of a plain dead battery (if you didn't check the battery's level of charge prior to charging it then it may be a coincidence that it worked the 2nd time and not the 1st). I would expect it to be ok since it's new, but there could have been a parasitic load causing the battery to drain. If there is nothing causing the battery to drain then I would check to see if there is power being sent to the starter solenoid every time that the key is turned to the start position (checking to see if the ignition switch and relay are working consistently). If it doesn't work consistently then I would probably swap the relay with another known good one, if it still doesn't work consistently then I would suspect the ignition switch. Hopefully you find the problem somewhere in that list.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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bh1992, thank you for taking time to help me. I will try the things you suggested. One thing I wanted to verify with you: The manual mentions the Idle Air Control Motor rather than the Idle Air Control Valve. I see the IAC Valve clearly shown in the 3.5L engine but not on the 2.7L. Is there a valve within the motor assembly on the 2.7L that I should clean or is it a different design requiring an alternate approach?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 06:48 PM
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I haven't compared the idle air control assemblies on the two engines. In either one there would be a motor controlling a valve to adjust airflow when the main throttle plate is in the idle position.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 06:54 PM
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Here's the official FSM page showing the location of the IAC. It's also described as the Idle Air Controller Motor. Same location on the throttle body for 2.7/3.2/3.5 engines. There is a difference in the IAC on 1998-2001 and 2002-2004 so those parts/throttle bodies can't be interchanged in case you look for a used one.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, that makes sense. I figured that all models would include both a motor and a valve. I just wanted to check because of the difference in the terminology that they used. Thank you; I will address this as soon as I get the starting problem fixed.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Now They're Telling Me It's The PCM

I went all the way up the company chain to the Vice President who had the car sent to the "supposed" top expert on electrical problems. They removed the alternator and sent it out for bench testing. That should be back tomorrow but if that tests good, they say it is the voltage regulators contained within the PCM. They say this because they believe that the car is putting out too much current and blowing batteries. I have a couple of questions before I can determine a course of action since the cheapest unit they could find was an after-market one for $600. In addition, they say that after they install the PCM, the dealer has to "flash" the computer in order for it to work. I have done my own research and found a much better price ($200) that includes the programming but I have no idea if I can trust the source. Below is the link:

Opps, it won't let me post a link but the site is dodgeecudirect.com. 2002 Dodge Intrepid SE 2.7L V6 Gas Front Wheel Drive.

1. How can I be sure that I need to spend so much money? Is there a certain code that the system should give if indeed, the voltage regulators are bad?

2. Does this entire diagnosis make sense to those of you out there that are experienced with this sort of thing? I am in a hell of a financial mess because of my wife's surgery and the last thing I need is to spend more money on this car.

3. Does anybody have any other suggestions? My entire life consists of caring for my wife and driving my daughter to work at this point so I don't have the time nor resources to move the vehicle to different mechanics.

I'm sorry for the long post but I don't know where else to turn at this point. I thank all of you; my entire family thanks you for taking the time to try to help!
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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I also found another source for the PCM in case somebody here has dealt with either company:

carcomputerexchange.com - Again I searched for a 2002 Dodge Intrepid SE 2.7L.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 10:21 PM
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That's assuming it's the PCM. The codes you posted previously pointed to the IAC.

If it were me...I wouldn't trust their diagnosis and demand your money back if any was already paid to them. Then take it to an actual Dodge Dealer.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I posted any codes but maybe I've completely lost my mind. I think what happened is that the thread went a little off-topic with regard to the IAC. It may very well need this part cleaned or replaced but I can't do anything until the original starting problem is addressed. Thank you for responding Ronbo.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 03:07 AM
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I would seriously have my doubts that the alternator is being "full fielded" and burning up batteries, and for someone to assume that might be the case before any kind of testing, it really plays hell on their intent to look professional. PCMs do occasionally go bad but that circumstance is few and extremely far between. I'm with Ronbo on this one. If you don't have the equipment to figure this out with a little bit of guidance then ask them to repay any amount that you have already given then take it to a dealership.
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