Mechanics

TOLD ME IT WAS OVER-HEATING

1997 Dodge Intrepid • 282,000 miles

I recently replaced the radiator, I was driving and it told me it was over-heating. It went into safety mode and wont start. I recently replaced the radiator on my 97' dodge intrepid, one night I was driving and the car told me it was over-heating.(There was no smoke) eventually it went into "lock mode" and shut off, locked the wheel, breaks and gas pedals only thing left on was the lights and radio. I waited until the temp gauge said it was cool again and tried starting the car. It didn't start, I also replaced the cam position sensor, it still doesn't start. I'm in need of my car! Help! Please!
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Leysmadre
January 12, 2012.




Scan it for codes. Does it turn over? Check compression. Verify spark and fuel pressure. Check the ignition and starter relays.

Rivermikerat
Jan 12, 2012.
No, it won't turn over at all.

Tiny
Leysmadre
Jan 12, 2012.
Verify power to starter and solenoid. Check starter relay and fuse.

Rivermikerat
Jan 12, 2012.
Hi guys. Sounds like a serpentine belt problem which will cause a loss of power steering and a run down battery. To clear up some obvious misconceptions, there is no such thing as a "lock mode". That would be extremely dangerous and often fatal if that happened while driving. Way too many people don't realize that a loss of power steering assist is not a loss of steering ability. You just have to tug harder on the steering wheel.

When the engine stalls there is enough vacuum stored in the power brake booster for two to three power-assisted stops. That's to allow you to stop the car safely. After that you have to press much harder on the pedal to stop the car, and you won't have the normal precise control you're used to. The brake pedal had better never lock up or you can be sure there would be lawsuits. You can prove these things to yourself and practice bringing the car to a stop in an emergency by driving in a deserted parking lot, turning the ignition switch off, then observing how much harder you have to work to steer and stop the car.

You have an engine running problem and didn't bother to list the engine size. That's rather relevant. My guess is you have the 3.3L. The water pump on that one is driven by the serpentine belt, so it would stand to reason a broken or slipping belt would lead to overheating, loss of power steering, and if you keep on driving it like that, a run down battery. The 3.5L water pump is run by the timing belt. Most of the time problems there result in the engine stalling or running very poorly long before any overheating problem would show up.

A discharged battery can easily be strong enough to run lights and the radio but not have enough voltage to engage the starter solenoid, so I don't think there's a starter circuit problem given the additional symptom of the engine stalling.

The camshaft position sensor can cause a stalling and no-start problem but there's no reason to suspect it is defective unless there is a related diagnostic fault code stored in the Engine Computer. You'll notice rivermikerat's very first comment. Those sensors often fail intermittently by becoming heat-sensitive, and engine overheating COULD potentially aggravate that or cause it to occur, but that sensor has absolutely nothing to do with the starting system. Given the multiple symptoms, at least check the serpentine belt first since it is the only thing they all have in common. If it is intact, tight, not packed with snow, and not slipping, THEN pursue the overheating, stalling, and no-crank symptoms as three unrelated problems that all occurred at the same time.

If you have the 3.5L engine, worn or broken timing belt components could lead to a slipping water pump and gradual overheating, and if the belt eventually breaks, the engine will stall, but it would still crank just fine. Power steering would be lost when the engine quit running, but that wouldn't be even close to enough time for the battery to run down.

Also note that if you continue driving when the serpentine belt is broken or fell off, it is real common for power steering fluid to be pushed out of the reservoir causing a big mess. That happens about half of the time, on any car brand, and is dependent on how far you turn the steering wheel and how many times you turn it while the power steering pump isn't running. If you do see that mess, and likely a puddle on the ground, you can be sure you have a belt problem. Once fixed, you'll need to add power steering fluid, and you can expect it to buzz loudly for a while until the air works its way out.

Caradiodoc
Jan 12, 2012.
I Was told the wrong information. It does turn over. And its missfiring on 3 cylinders. My dad said it might be a coil?
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Tiny
Leysmadre
Jan 14, 2012.
Still don't know which engine you have. How were those misfires determined?

There are three coils in the coil pack on either engine. One failed coil will kill two cylinders. The engine can run, (poorly), on just four cylinders. A coil can fail electrically but it is more common for one to arc internally and fail to fire its two spark plugs. That problem will not show up with an ohm meter test. The fastest way to verify a coil problem is by substituting a new one or a known-good used one.

If there are stored diagnostic fault codes for those three misfiring cylinders, you have to look for what they all have in common. Fuel quality is one thing, but misfires are detected by the crankshaft position sensor. They don't cause much trouble on their own. If a misfire is detected, there usually really are misfiring cylinders. Fault codes should be in memory stating which cylinders have a problem.

There are six individual injector drivers in the Engine Computer. One failing is rare. Three failing is not too likely. What would be more likely is a break in the 12 volt feed wire to three injectors on one side of the engine. You could find that with a voltmeter. The dead side depends on which engine you have. 12 volts is fed to the driver's side injectors first on the 3.3L, then a wire takes that 12 volts to the passenger side injectors. A break in that wire would kill three injectors.

The 12 volts is fed to the three injectors on the passenger side first on the 3.5L engine, then through that wire to the driver's side. A break in that wire would cause the driver's side to be dead. You must bypass the automatic shutdown relay or have the engine running to measure those voltages. 12 volts should appear on the dark green / orange wire to every injector.

Caradiodoc
Jan 15, 2012.
3.5L

Tiny
Leysmadre
Jan 15, 2012.

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