2003 Chrysler Town and Country Stalling problem

Tiny
MMACENKA
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 128,000 MILES
My 2003 Town and Country stops running while driving. After about 10 minutes of driving it will just shut off. Lights on dash stay on. Can start right up again and same thing will happen. After this happens a few more times car will not restart. Power is still on dash panel but starter will not engage. No clicking, no nothing. Had towed to dealer. Of course it immediately started up. Could not replicate problem. Ran codes no problems. Thought it could be theft system but they said if it was codes would show and car would cut off after a minute or 2. Also, warning light would light up. While driving home from dealer van cut off. Started up a few times. After 3rd stall starter would not engage. Called dealer back, immediately informed me it was a computer issue-$1300 installed which is almost what van is worth. Had towed to friends garage where we are now trying to diagnose issue.
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Saturday, November 16th, 2013 AT 10:20 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You got handed a lot of misinformation. First of all, you get three chances to crank the engine before the Engine Computer thinks something is wrong, and it disables the starter circuit. You don't have to tow it to a shop for that. Just wait a minute or two and it will crank again.

When the anti-theft system is activated, the engine will start and run for two seconds on the fuel pressure stored in the lines. It will not run for a minute. The fact that it runs for significantly more than two seconds proves it's not in theft mode.

The first thing we need to clarify is what you're doing when the engine stalls. If your foot is off the accelerator pedal and you're approaching a stop when it stalls, that's an idle speed issue typically related to recently disconnecting the battery or running it dead. That has a real easy fix. If the engine stalls while you're driving at a steady speed, that is usually due to one of two sensors becoming heat-sensitive. They'll work again when they cool down.

When you called the dealer, you spoke with someone behind the service counter, not a mechanic. They can be reprimanded for "diagnosing" the problem over the phone. Often they know less about cars than you do. They're simply repeating things they may have seen mechanics write on repair orders in the past. A lot of them still fall on the computer as the cause of every unknown problem because that WAS real common on GM cars in the '80s and early '90s.

The are no diagnostic fault codes set when the system enters theft mode. Codes are set when a computer detects a problem. There is no problem when the anti-theft system is doing its job. When there are no codes set related to the stalling problem, your mechanic can drive the vehicle with a scanner connected to view live data. Most scanners have a record capability that allows them to record a few seconds of information when the problem occurs. They can play that back slowly later to see what took place that's related to that stalling. If it's a sensor problem, the most common causes of intermittent stalling are the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensor. On the Chrysler DRB3 scanner, those are listed as "no" or "present" during cranking when the no-start is occurring. Without the scanner and that information, it can be really difficult to diagnose that sensor's missing signal. This is where you have to be careful with well-meaning do-it-yourselfers. Often they just throw random parts at the problem. That can introduce a whole bunch of new variables and problems, then even an experienced mechanic will have a hard time sorting that all out.
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Saturday, November 16th, 2013 AT 12:58 PM
Tiny
MMACENKA
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the insight. When the engine stalls we are driving at highway speed with foot on accelerator. Power remains on dash lights. It will start up immediately one or two times. Third time starter will not engage. Several hours later it will start right up then problems repeat themselves. It is very cyclical.
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Saturday, November 16th, 2013 AT 1:12 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Really need to know which engine you have when discussing an engine-related problem. The 3.3L / 3.8L were the most common engines, and crankshaft position sensors were the most common failure. Also, when installing one, the air gap has to be set very precisely. Failure to do so can also cause intermittent stalling, intermittent failure to start, and intermittent backfiring.
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Saturday, November 16th, 2013 AT 1:48 PM
Tiny
MMACENKA
  • MEMBER
3.8L
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Saturday, November 16th, 2013 AT 2:22 PM
Tiny
KEVLUVSNEE
  • MEMBER
Hello my mom has the same 2003 t&c its doing the same thing did u ever figure it out.
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Thursday, August 20th, 2015 AT 9:57 AM
Tiny
KEVLUVSNEE
  • MEMBER
Did u ever figure it out the issue my moms car is doing the same thing!
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Thursday, August 20th, 2015 AT 10:06 AM

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