1998 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY INTERMITTENT "WON'T STAR

  • Tiny
  • hmzjacks
  • 1998 Chrysler Town and Country

Please help, at a total loss. Have a 1998 Chrysler Town and Country 3.8 liter V6 with 161,000 miles. I have spent a lot of money in diagnostic repair bills.

Problem: After the van has been driven for a while and turned off, sometimes, with no warning, when I turn the key to start the engine nothing happens, the engine won't turn over. All lights (inside and outside) work, the van will not make a sound.

I have had the vehicle towed, several times. As usual, when the mechanics finally get to it, the van starts right up. The pattern seems to be; van will initially start, then unexpectidly, days or weeks later after the van is driven and turned off, the van will not start. Or, if it does start, it will sputter and die.
After a time or two, it will not start back up.

However, after letting the van rest an hour or so, the van will start right up and run again until the problem repeats itself. Could something be loose causing the problem or something more?

Diagnostics have been completed and no codes have been found by the mechanic, because, the van works fine when by the time the mechanic gets it. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated. I do not want my wife and children to be stranded again.

Thursday, August 16th, 2007 AT 12:15 AM

8 Answers

  • Tiny
  • verbakint75
  • Member

Go back to the town and country forum and look at the post two down from yours; the post titled " electrical problem?&Quot; You are the fourth (5th?) Person I've encountered to have this problem.

The best solution seems to be whacking the dash, because there is faulty wiring there causing the problem.

Oh, by the way, a bit of info that helped me; the town and country has an anti-theft system that seems to make the key inoperable after several failed start attempts. This is the most likely reason that turning your key produces nothing but a dead instrument panel after several failed start attempts.

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Thursday, August 16th, 2007 AT 5:51 AM
  • Tiny
  • cedrlm
  • Member

I recently purchased a 97 T& C with 180k miles. After about a month I ran into this starting problem. Hitting the dash didn't work. But, I opened the driver's door and tried to start it, I wanted to see if I could hear any relays clicking. The van STARTED. Today it didn't want to start again, I held the key in the start position and opened the driver's door and it fired right up.

I have to laugh at this.

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Saturday, September 15th, 2007 AT 8:23 PM
  • Tiny
  • frabla
  • Member

My 1998 T & C LXI has same issues. Will start fine usually but will not start sometimes. Today won't start at all. I have hit the dash, opened the doors, disconnected, charged and reconnected battery, jumpstarted, replaced starter & battery previously, had towed in only to have start right up at shop, etc, etc. I won't let my wife drive it anymore. Has become totally unreliable and will need to go unless somebody has any ideas. Sometimes it will start if on a hill and put in neutral and roll and start. Kind of inconvenient. I believe it has to do with alarm or ABS system or possibly the transmission sensor switch. If anyone knows how to disconnect the alarm system or override it advise please.

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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 10:22 AM
  • Tiny
  • paseaj
  • Member

I had my van not working after a long road trip of 4K miles. It justsuddenly stopped running while idling. I tried detaching the battery. Nothing. Whacking the dash. Nothing. Then I tried opening the door while turning the key. VAROOOM! Thanks! Apparently it had something to do with the SKIM security shut down.

I love 2CARPROS. Com!

Poochie Jones

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Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 2:49 PM
  • Tiny
  • anonnick
  • Member

My 2001 will start and then shut down after 3 or 4 seconds. It will do this over and over, as if you were trying to start it without a "chipped" key.

It was really starting to irk me to death, so in frustration one day I pulled the tilt bar toward me and vigorously bounced the tilt wheel up and down. I then turned the key and "whala", started right up.

It seems to be doing it more often than ever before now and that is how I have to start the stupid thing. Some type of electrical failure I am sure.

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Saturday, May 19th, 2012 AT 2:00 AM
  • Tiny
  • sunni63
  • Member

Hi everyone I have a 98 T&C lxi I to had the problem of it not starting & having to bang the dash the problem at least for me was the computer for the dasboard needed to be replaced my guy was able to re soder it (until I can by the new one) and for the last 4 months its been working fine

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Sunday, June 17th, 2012 AT 11:36 PM
  • Tiny
  • Jacobandnickolas
  • Expert
  • 68,410 posts

When this happens, do this. Have a helper turn the key to the start position while you check for voltage at the smaller wire on the starter. You should have 12v. If you do, replace the starter. If not, check the stater relay.

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 AT 2:32 AM
  • Tiny
  • Joseph Balcerek
  • Member

I have a 97 T& C Lxi it has multiple electric problems. The 2 most common are the start for 2-4 seconds then die. Smack the top of dash. It starts. Thats a failing wire connection in harness. Its under dash about directly below steering wheel. Down low, a retangular " box" type junction. What wire? Your guess is as good as mine. Chrysler dealers deny, deny, deny that' s the problem & won' t give a satisfactory solution. Do not buy a computer !
The 2nd problem is after driving and making a few stops. Shutting it off & restarts. Then it won' t start. But dash lights light as supposed to. But no sound " click " mine just started playing that game
Har har. I believe is a relay problem, as after it sits and cools down, it starts right up ! Don' t be to quick to call for a tow. If it doesn' t start after two or 3 tries wait 1/2 hour to 45 min.
Electrical problems are hard & expensive to diagnose. Best to find someone familiar to the vehicle who is HONEST.
MOPAR has been known for " crazy" electrical problems for years. Good luck.

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Sunday, June 26th, 2016 AT 7:06 PM

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