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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am troubleshooting a no-crank issue on my girlfriend's 2001 300M with the 3.5L HO motor. Died in a parking lot, unable to revive, towed back to my house. This vehicle has the immobilizer system with the grey key (we only have one key), and it seems like the problem is VTSS related. No history of related problems with this car, no recent repairs.

Symptoms: No crank. Nothing happens when key is turned to start. Red VTSS LED on dash comes on after a few seconds and stays lit. After ~30 seconds, CEL comes on. Dash lights/odo work, radio/climate/lights/etc all working. Starter works when jumped manually @ starter relay. No diagnostic codes from OBD2 although of course I don't have a DRB3 tool.

Troubleshooting done:

* Checked battery and cable connections (new battery last year)
* Disconnected battery overnight to try and reset computers
* Left ignition on for several hours (with battery charger connected)
* Swapped ASD relay, fuel pump relay, starter relay with others, checked relevant fuses
* Manually jumped starter relay & fuel pump relay, starter & pump run as expected
* No physical damage to key or SKIM ring/module
* Messed with the keyfob, door/trunk locks, shifter, etc. in case something was stuck


So, from what I've read here and on other forums, it seems like the VTSS has disabled the car and there is basically nothing I can do without the DRB3 tool ($$$$$) or an emulator ($$$) to figure out what is going on. I understand I can mail one of the computers to be reprogrammed to disable the SKIS but that seems like a shot in the dark without knowing that is actually the problem. So my option is basically to 1) Rent the expensive tool and hope I find something or 2) Tow it to a shop that has the tool and hope they find something. I am hesitant to take it to the dealer because they will tell me I need a new BCM/PCM/ECU/whatever that will cost me $1000+ which is basically more than the car is worth at this point. An independent shop that has the DRB3 tool is an option if I can find one. Unfortunately this is not something that most mobile mechanics have on hand, as you probably know.

Am I right that the security LED staying on is an indicator that the VTSS is tripped or misbehaving? Is there any other diagnostic work I can do without having the $3000 Chrysler special tool to figure out what's wrong, or am I stuck towing it to a shop and hoping for the best? I have read through the DTSS/SKIS section of the FSM and it basically says you need the tool.

Anybody have any advice for me? Any help is appreciated!
 

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Woober Goobers!
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49,517 Posts
Check to see if you have any codes. Particularly SKIM codes.

Here's some info regarding the Dash LED:

The SKIS incorporates a warning lamp located on
the instrument panel upper cover. The lamp receives
switched ignition voltage and is hardwired to
the body control module. The lamp is actuated when
the SKIM sends a PCI Bus message to the body
controller requesting the lamp on. The body controller
then provides the ground for the lamp. The
SKIM will request lamp operation for the following:
- bulb checks at ignition on
- to alert the vehicle operator to a SKIS malfunction
For all faults except transponder faults and VIN
mismatch, the lamp remains on steady
. In the event
of a tranponder fault the light flashes at a rate of 1
Hz (once per second). If a fault is present the lamp
will remain on or flashing for the complete ignition
cycle. If a fault is stored in SKIM memory which
prevents the system form operating properly, the
PCM will allow the engine to start and run (for 2
seconds) up to six times. After the sixth attempt, the
PCM disables the starter relay until the fault is
corrected.
 

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Woober Goobers!
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Seeing as you only have one programmed Sentry key....any repairs are going to cost you dearly in Dealer programming keys.

If it's a key problem you might be able to get a Locksmith to cut and program a key for you at substantially less cost than a trip to the dealer. Problem is the car is immobilized and the key alone might not be your problem.

See if you can get a code scanner to verify the code(s). May be more than one. Or do a search on here for "Key Dance" procedures that will allow you to get many of the codes without a scanner.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
@Ronbo yes, but it seems the only way to get the SKIM diagnostic data is using the DRB tool. None of these are available via OBD2. Is there a way to get SKIM codes without the DRB tool? The light stays on, which tells me "something is wrong" but not what.

edit: I have an OBD2 reader and there are no stored/pending codes. The "key dance" seems to be a way to display standard OBD2 codes but anything related to the VTSS/SKIS is a separate protocol and requires the DRB3 to decode, unless I am not understanding this right.
 

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Woober Goobers!
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Have you checked for codes? Some aren't DRB Read only. If you aren't going to try then good luck.
 

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The key dance will not give you any more than what your scan tool is giving you.
You're stuck between a rock and a hard place.
 

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Woober Goobers!
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Some codes that are available with a scanner or key dance. A few SKIM codes in there that's why I asked.

COMMUNICATION
P0600-PCM FAILURE SPI COMMUNICATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
P0601-PCM INTERNAL CONTROLLER FAILURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
P1685-INVALID SKIM KEY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
P1686-NO SKIM BUS MESSAGE RECEIVED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
P1687-NO CLUSTER BUS MESSAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
P1695-NO CCD/J1850 MESSAGE FROM BODY CONTROL MODULE. . . . . . . . . . . .38
P1696-PCM FAILURE EEPROM WRITE DENIED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
P1697-PCM FAILURE SRI MILE NOT STORED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
P1698-NO BUS MESSAGE FROM TRANS CONTROL MODULE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
*BUS +/- SIGNAL OPEN FROM SKIM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
*NO RESPONSE FROM PCM (PCI BUS). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
*NO RESPONSE FROM PCM (SCI ONLY). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
*NO RESPONSE FROM TCM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
*PCI BUS COMMUNICATION FAILURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the replies! Like I said, I have an OBD2 reader and there are no stored or pending codes available over the OBD interface.
 

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Woober Goobers!
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Better start calling towing companies and saving your pennies for a trip to the dealer.

There's no silver bullet to cure this. You've done everything that can be done without a DRB III. The only thing is a bad key where you might get a locksmith to cut and program a key but there's the expense of getting them to come out and try and it still may not work.

Possible SKIM module but even replacing that requires programming and the VIN & Pin.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, that is what I thought. Pretty unfortunate, this car is now an expensive paperweight even though (probably) nothing is mechanically wrong with it :( For fun I did try the key dance, but it just goes straight to the odometer since there are no codes. Which seems to be the right behavior for this year/model. I did find a guy on reddit who was working on decoding the PCI bus comms to perform some rudimentary DRB emulation, but seems like he gave up on it awhile ago. Looks like I need to find an indy mechanic who has the DRB3 tool and some experience troubleshooting this system.

Thanks for your help fellas.
 

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This doesn’t help you, but I’ve always been very thankful not to have had SKIM on either of my Concordes. Risk-to-benefit ratio of SKIM is very low IMO.
 
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