Allpar Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1997 Plymouth Voyager and I', having a problem with it not wanting to start a lot of the time. It has been in the shop many times where they replaced the cam and crank sensors but it still has issues. Some times it dies while driving down the street. When this happens it starts right back up but you can see that the RPM's drop rapidly to cause this. When we have issues with the starting, we know that it is not getting spark. Once it does start, the check engine light comes on and you can smell the gas burning. Once it is driven and turned off, it usually starts with no issues and the check engine light is off. Mechanics here can't figure it out or tell me there is nothing wrong. I need help to solve this problem please help.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,988 Posts
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
We have replaced everything it says is bad each time the light has come on, but it keeps showing the same codes, but the check engine light only comes on when we have the issue. When we go to get it checked, nothing shows up for them to read.


We have had every sensor replaced twice since this has started "Ones showing up in the codes". he light only comes on when we have this issue. Once we turn it off and start it back up, the light is off and nothing shows up on the computer. Mechanics can't figure it out.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,988 Posts
Codes are stored for at least 20 ignition stop/start cycles, so the codes will be there for quite awhile after the fault goes away. Even after the fault goes away, the codes are still there. Do you know which codes have been found (the actual code numbers)?
 

·
Virginia Gentleman
Joined
·
14,678 Posts
What codes have you been getting? When was the last time a tune up was done? Which engine? 3.3L or 3.0L? How many miles on the vehicle?

As Bob posted, retrieve the codes (you don't need a shop to do this), post them here and we can point you in the right direction. Your vehicle has ODBII (On Board Diagnostics II) - if necessary your local auto parts store can retrieve the codes for you. AutoZone and Advance Auto will do this free of charge whereas most shops (independent and dealer) will charge you a fee.
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I do not know the code number retrieved because a shop took care of it. I know they replaced the MAP sensor, then the cam sensor, then the crank sensor, then the crank sensor again. It has the 3.3 liter in it and it has 122000 miles on it. We just bought it a couple of weeks ago and the dealer has been sending into the shop for repairs, this is why I do not know what exact codes they have pulled. I am getting tired of sending it in to these people who seem to not know their jobs and want to try to figure it out myself but this has been the most confusing issue I have ever had. I have done a lot of research online and found that a lot of these vans from the late 1980's until the early 2000's have had this exact same issue. I do no believe it is really the sensor. I have read that it could be a relay or a fault in the wiring, so I am trying to see what everyone else thinks before I start getting into that.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,988 Posts
OK. Having the codes could really help. Some mechanics just blindly replace the device indicated by the code. That doesn't always work, as some indicated failures are really induced indicators by other systems at fault. I've had a bad oxygen sensor code which was actually a bad MAP sensor, and the O2 sensor was still good. Many mechanics either lack the skills to reason through the symptoms, or are too pressured by their bosses to just shotgun a repair to get the car out and get another paying customer in.

If it happens again, check the codes in the manner I posted, and let us know what you get. Enough people here own these vans that someone is probably familiar with the actual root cause. Or we'll figure it out through back and forth Q&A.
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I was a mechanic years ago but not familiar with all these computer components but I know of most. Now that I know how to retrieve the codes myself, I will be sure to start checking myself and see what happens to pop. up. The problem with the mechanics I have seen is that they are being paid by the dealer and he doesn't want to spend much money and don't want them spending much time on it so I plan to fix it myself if possible. The only info I was able to get from the dealer was it was a 1 owner van and it was owned by a woman. The dealer put a new muffler on it before I bought it and had a used MAP sensor put in because he is too cheap to buy new. After I bought it, I have made him put new sensors in but seems to be doing no good. When my wife returns from work tonight, I will make sure to check the codes and post them if there are any. I just hope that the problem might be in a faulty relay and not the wiring harness. This has taught me to avoid buying used cars in Pittsburgh because like most of the people, they are pieces of crap and don't work.
 

·
Virginia Gentleman
Joined
·
14,678 Posts
What type of "dealer" is this? Just a local used car dealer or an actual Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealer?

Bob's right - you can't just blindly replace the various parts indicated by the code(s). There has to be some diagnosis as well. You need to understand how the various sensors interact with each other. And unfortunately sometimes parts fail or don't quite fail to the point of setting the check engine light (a soft code). I had a '92 Acclaim that would at times run rough or hesitate (even with new plugs) but it never turned on the CEL. Checking the codes it indicated the TPS was faulty - replaced it and it was back to normal.

Post any codes you find.
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
This was a local dealer unfortunately. But it was bought as is and he did not have to try to fix it but being a nice guy, he is trying. Going with you Doug, I was thinking the TPS today. The RPM's usually run around 1000 but sometimes at idle, I sit and watch it and it jumps around at times, especially if I start running the heater. It will go from 1000 to 500 back up then down and die. Like it does when it dies while it's running, but will a bad TPS cause it to lose spark on the times it does not want to start? I do know for sure that the issue has to do with the spark and not the fuel or vacuum .
 

·
Moderately New
Joined
·
26 Posts
You need to find out if there were any codes present before. On these models if the PCM looses power it will clear the codes. If you have the codes checked will a DRB it would show only a low "starts since clear" when reading DTC's. Normally it will store up to 255 starts since clear.Try to find out and post the info.
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Okay, so I checked for any codes and it flashes a 12-54-55. From what I understand, the 54 code is the camshaft sensor which has been replaced twice already. It has to be a relay or or faulty wiring. Anymore ideas?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
36,933 Posts
Google or search Allpar for caravan resolder and consider than the instrument cluster can be the cause of a no start condition. That's because it breaks the computer's communication circuit.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,365 Posts
Bad solder joints on the instrument cluster circuit board can cause stalling and odd electrical behavior:

http://youtu.be/9OwrhVOHe1Y

Possible causes of fault code 54 (cam sensor signal) include the wiring, connections and grounds, the crank sensor (which has already been replaced), the PCM itself (5 or 8 volt regulated sensor supplies dropping out) and (worst case) a possibly cracked flexplate (flywheel).
I doubt that it's a relay, although power interruption can occur in the PDC (underhood fuse/relay) box. Its close proximity to the battery means that battery acid can corrode connections in the area.
As asemt stated, the PCM will dump any fault codes if it loses battery (memory) back-up. This can be battery terminals, wiring or the PCM itself. Remove and clean the battery terminals to start and follow the circuit to the fuse/relay box (PDC) and out to the PCM.
You might want to get a service manual and powertrain diagnostic procedures book for a guide to repairs:

http://www.faxonautoliterature.com/1997-Caravan-Town-Country-Voyager-Van-Repair-Shop-Manual-Original-P15908.aspx

http://www.auto-repair-manuals.com/Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth-1997-Town-Country-Caravan-%20Voyager-2.4L-3.0L-3.3L-3.8L-SFI-CNG-Powertrain-Diagnostic-Procedures.html

A scan tool/data recorder is useful for 'live' information that may occur at stall, but leaves no clues behind. A scope view of the cam and crank sensor signals at stall can also be useful. A cracked flexplate will cause them to lose sync.
The Chrysler dealer has a Co-pilot (data recorder) that can record everything that the PCM sees up to the moment of stall. This can take a lot of the guesswork out of the repair and start a proper diagnosis.
Stop replacing parts! Always diagnose first. Always use OEM parts, used is OK as long as they are proven good. Review the repair history and interview the technician if you can to get an idea of where things were left and then put together a plan. You may want to start at the beginning again to diagnose this properly.
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
This video was very informative but my intrament panel always works. I don't think this is the problem but I'll still give a look.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top