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Discussion Starter #1
Heres the run down. Over the past couple of colder months the car has had to crank a few seconds longer to start when its cold. When it starts your good for the day. Today it wouldnt start at all, not even a hickup

I sprayed starting fluid in the intake, nothing as well as verified the injectors are firing at the injector. I ohmed out the coil at it appears to be fine. I pulled a plug wire and stuck a plug in it and grounded it to the valve cover, there was some spark but seemed weak. I didnt have time to see how the plug going to the coil was, Id assume it was fine as I had some spark.

I also hooked up my scanner and saw the cam and crank sensor are being detected by the computer. Any Ideas on this?

Im planning on a new set of plugs and wires, but cant see them just go bad like that.

thanks,
 

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Prehaps you should check out you coil, could be bad. Anyway here's some info for you:

FAILURE-TO-START TEST
See Figure 1

This no-start test checks the camshaft position sensor and the crankshaft position sensor. Refer to the ignition coil tests before commencing with this test, much time may be saved if the problem lies within the coil.

The PCM supplies 8.0 volts to the camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor through one circuit. If the 8.0 volt supply circuit shorts to ground, neither sensor will produce a signal (output voltage to the PCM).

When the ignition key is turned and left in the ON position, the PCM automatically energizes the Auto Shutdown (ASD) relay. However, the PCM de-energizes the relay within one second because it has not received a crankshaft position sensor signal indicating engine rotation.

During cranking, the ASD relay will not energize until the PCM receives a crankshaft signal. Secondly, the ASD relay remains energized only if the PCM senses a camshaft position sensor signal immediately after detecting the crankshaft position sensor signal.

Check battery voltage with a voltmeter. Make sure to always attach the positive voltmeter wire to the positive (+) terminal of the component being checked. Do the same with the negative - wire also. Voltage for the battery should be approximately 12.66 volts or higher to perform the failure-to-start test.

Unplug the harness connector from the coil pack.

Connect a test light (or voltmeter) to the B+ (battery voltage) terminal of the coil electrical connector and ground. The wire for the B+ terminal is dark green with a orange tracer.


Fig. 1: Attach the 12 volt test light to the B+ (battery voltage) terminal of the coil electrical connector and ground



Turn the ignition key to the ON position. The test light should flash on and then off. DO NOT turn the key to the OFF position, leave it in the ON position.

If the test light flashes momentarily, the PCM grounded the ASD relay. Proceed to Step 5.

If the test light did not flash, the ASD relay did not energize. The cause is either the relay itself or one of the relay circuits. Test the circuits for a ground or open circuit, Refer to Chassis Electrical for further electrical information on circuits. Since Chrysler does not give a procedure for testing the relay with a voltmeter, ohmmeter or test light, have the component tested at a reputable automotive service center familiar with Chrysler vehicles.

Crank the engine. If the key was placed in the OFF position after Step 4, turn the ignition to the ON position before cranking the engine. Wait for the test light to flash once, then crank the engine.

If the test light momentarily flashes during cranking, the PCM is not receiving a camshaft position sensor signal. Test the camshaft position sensor circuits for a ground or open circuit, Refer to Chassis Electrical for further electrical information on circuits. Since Chrysler does not give a procedure for testing the camshaft position sensor with a voltmeter, ohmmeter or test light, have the component tested at a reputable automotive service center familiar with Chrysler vehicles.

If the test light did not flash during cranking, unplug the camshaft position sensor connector. Turn the ignition key to the OFF position. Turn the key to the ON position, wait for the test light to momentarily flash once, then crank the engine. If the test light momentarily flashes, the camshaft position sensor is shorted and must be replaced with a new one. If the light did not flash, the cause of the no-start is in either the crankshaft position sensor/camshaft position sensor 8.0 volt supply circuit, or the crankshaft position sensor 5 volt output or ground circuits. Have the crankshaft position sensor checked, after checking the sensor circuits for a ground or open circuit, by a reputable automotive service shop familiar with Chrysler vehicles.


Coil Test
See Figures 2, 3 and 4


Fig. 2: The ignition coil connection terminal descriptions




Fig. 3: Check the primary resistance at the electrical connection and the secondary resistance across the coil towers




Fig. 4: Ignition coil terminal identification



Coil one fires cylinders 1 and 4, coil two fires cylinders 2 and 5, coil three fires cylinders 3 and 6 for the 3.3L and 3.5L engines. Each coil tower is labeled with the number of the corresponding cylinder.

Unplug the ignition cables from the coil terminals and the spark plugs. Make certain to label them before removal. Measure the resistance of the cables. Resistance must be between 3,000-12,000 ohms per ft. (30.5 cm) of cable. Replace any cable not within tolerance.

Unplug the electrical wiring harness connector from the coil pack.

Measure the primary resistance of each coil. At the coil, connect an ohmmeter between the B+ pin and the pin corresponding to the cylinders in question. Resistance on the primary side of each coil should be 0.45-0.65 ohms at 21-27°C (70-80°F). A coil not allowed to cool down, could result in inaccurate measurement results. Replace the coil with a new one if the resistance is not within tolerance.

Remove the ignition cables from the secondary towers of the coil. Measure the secondary resistance of the coil between the towers of each individual coil. Resistance for these engines depends on which manufacturer made the coil being tested. If the coil was manufactured by Diamond, the resistance should be 7000-15,800 ohms; if the coil was made by Toyodenso, the resistance should be 7000-15,800 ohms. If the coils' resistance are not within specifications, the coil must be replaced.

Hope this helps you get your Trep running again !!!
 

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You also need to readt the TSB that describes cold start problems in the 3.5L - calls for gapping plugs to .035 and only using a certain type of copper Champion plugs.
 

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Here's from the FAQ section:

3.5L won't start in cold
Symptoms:
Whenever it gets below freezing, the 3.5L engine will not start, or has a hard time starting.

This is almost always due to bad spark plugs, or using the wrong spark plugs. In most instances, people were using platinum plugs. Put in any copper or gold based set of plugs (Like the champions), and gap them to .035.
http://dodgeintrepid.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=32410

Overall, both the 3.3L and 3.5L are very rock solid engines. The only way most people kill them is overheating (cracking the block). The transmission needs extra attention to last.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
As far as checking the cam and crank sensor, when I have my Snap-On scanner hooked up it says NO on both as soon as I start cranking they both read yes. I assume this means the sensors are both good?

I will replace the plus also, I have a new set of Champions on the shelf. On a side note, I stuck a new plug into a plug wire and grounded it, the spark didnt appear all that hot, it could have been a bad ground, but at least it was sparking.

The IAC wouldnt cause any of this could it? I shot in some starting fluid and cracked the throttle, that should have been sufficient.
 

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mopar2ya said:
As far as checking the cam and crank sensor, when I have my Snap-On scanner hooked up it says NO on both as soon as I start cranking they both read yes. I assume this means the sensors are both good?

I will replace the plus also, I have a new set of Champions on the shelf. On a side note, I stuck a new plug into a plug wire and grounded it, the spark didnt appear all that hot, it could have been a bad ground, but at least it was sparking.

The IAC wouldnt cause any of this could it? I shot in some starting fluid and cracked the throttle, that should have been sufficient.
I don't think the IAC could not make it start, but you never know I'd take it off and give it a good cleaning just to cover all your bases. I believe if you go through all those thing that got covered above you should be alright. If not, you got a bigger problem. I hope not, I like to see you get back on the road again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll swap them, but these are the same plugs for the last couple of years and never had this problem before, but plugs are cheap.
 

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Firstly before you start replacing anything check the fuel pump. Do you hear it prime? IF you dont have a friend stay back there and turn they key to on. If he doesnt hear it then its probably the fuel pump.

When the fuel pump goes, most of the time it does it when you shut your car off (it usually doesnt do it while you are driving) and when you come back to start it, it will only crank. It wont start. Sometimes you can get home by banging on the tank with a hammer (NON METAL OF COURSE!) but after getting it back home you'd need to replace it or be standed again.
 

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i didn't gap my plugs. im fine. but yeah i have no clue... could this be your starter posibly dying?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The starter is perfect, it cranks nice and fast, fuel pump primes, even shot in starting fluid not even a pop. Anyway I pulled the coil the other day and ohmed it out, it all checked good, put it back in today fired right up and its coldler now then when it did this. It has to be plug wires as it was really damp/high humidity when this happened and with old wires probably had bad spark. Now its dry its less likely to ark, tonight I'll pop the hood and see if I can see some sparks jumping around between wires. Either way its getting new wires and plugs. Just want to confirm it first.

Any recommendations on wires?
 
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