1998 Dodge Caravan intermittent starting

Tiny
L RANDALL
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE CARAVAN
1998 Dodge Caravan 131, 00 miles

Car towed 4x in 6 mo. Ea time it starts to crank, then dies, depress accelerator, does not help. Dashboard lights all on. If try 2-3x in a row, won't even crank. If wait 1/2 hour - 1 day it will start. Problem always gone by the time mechanic gets car. 1 dealer + 2 repair shops have not found prob. Ignition switch, starter, cam sensor, crank shaft sensor replaced. Body control module checked-ok. Another problem, smell gas after each episode. Also, when key unlocks passenger door, driver door locks. Thought this was screwed up security system-tried not locking doors-still had starting problem. Dealership says no anti-theif. Please help! Running out of friends' cars to borrow.
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Monday, January 19th, 2009 AT 12:08 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
This is what I want you to try. The next time you have a no start. Unplug the instrument cluster. And see if it starts.

These have had solder problems and can cause this.

If this works, you can resolder the circuit board or replace the cluster.
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Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 AT 4:28 AM
Tiny
L RANDALL
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You suggested unplugging the instrument cluster the next time I have this problem. I've looked through my manual--it tells me what the instrument cluster is, but not how to unplug it. Suggestions?
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 6:56 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Removal

Remove instrument cluster bezel.
Remove screws holding instrument cluster to instrument panel.
Rotate top of cluster outward.
Remove instrument cluster from instrument panel.
Disconnect wire connector from back of instrument cluster.
Remove instrument cluster.

INSTALLATION

Place instrument cluster in instrument panel, bottom first.
Connect wire connector into back of instrument cluster.
Position instrument cluster in instrument panel.
Install instrument cluster mounting screws to instrument panel.
Install instrument cluster bezel.

I don't have a picture, but this should explain it.
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 8:24 AM
Tiny
L RANDALL
  • MEMBER
Thank you, I've had the intrument cluster repaired--many loose connections. I heard that the Chrysler products frequently have this problem. So far I've not had a starting problem. Thank you again.
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Sunday, February 1st, 2009 AT 6:38 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Excellent!
Thanks for updating!
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 AT 7:16 PM

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