2000 Caravan?. Dies while driving

Tiny
TJSMOMMY
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE CARAVAN
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 83,000 MILES
We have a 2000 Caravan that died while driving. Tried to start it immediately, and it just cranked away, but didn't start. We waited about 1/2 hour and it started. Then died again after about 10 minutes. Took it to a mechanic who tried to get it to die, but of course it worked till he was on his way back here to drop it off. He thought it was the coil pack, so we replaced that on Sunday am. Sunday evening (after $160 repair) the car did the same thing. Trying to get some idea of what's wrong with it, without spending tons of $ as I'm a stay at home mom of a 3 year old. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 5:11 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This type of intermittent failure is typical of a crankshaft position sensor or camshaft position sensor becoming heat-sensitive. The coil pack contains three individual ignition coils. The chance of all three failing at the same time is not very likely.

If a sensor failed, it is likely there is a diagnostic fault code stored in the engine computer. That is the first thing a mechanic should check for. Chrysler makes doing that very easy.
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
TJSMOMMY
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much! It's being taken to a different mechanic tomorrow, who will hopefully diagnose the problem instead of guessing. When I explained the problem to him, he said it could be the crankshaft, so I feel better having someone else say it too (just consider yourself my impartial third person. Lol).

Thanks again! Sara
Oh, do you know if there's a way to check that here at home? Most likely not, since we don't have a code reader. Right?
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 6:32 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
REAL easy on Chryslers. They are by far one of the most owner-friendly companies. Exactly the opposite of GM.

Cycle the ignition switch from "off" to "run" three times within five seconds, then watch the code numbers appear one after the other in the odometer display. If the engine ever cranks, even for an instant when you're cycling the ignition switch, stop with it off, wait a few seconds, then start over.
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 6:54 PM
Tiny
TJSMOMMY
  • MEMBER
Hi again! Finally got the code, after much trial and error, but I'm blond and frazzled so. It read 23 then 55. You wouldn't happen to know what that means, do you? Thanks again so much!
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 10:45 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Now, that's interesting. 1996 and newer vehicles have three and four-digit fault codes. 1995 and older vehicles use two-digit codes such as those you listed. Code 55 just means "end of message". I checked a few different service manuals and I can't find any reference to a code 23. My next suggestion would be to peddle down to one of the auto parts stores that will read the codes for you for free. Many newer code readers display the description instead of just a number that you have to look up.
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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 AT 3:47 AM

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