I had this problem or one almost exactly like it for almost a year.
The reason it does not start after the 3rd try is because the manufacturer alarm sytem engages. ( Grab a lunch you could be stuck anywhere from an hour to a day!)
Turn key to the "on" position; if green led mileage and PRNDL do not light up, turn "off" and smack the plastic on the instrument panel and turn "on" again. They may light based on the severity of the problem.
REGARDLESS: Before you spend $700 plus on a BCM or some other computer the dealer recommends, try this.
96 to 2000 Caravans, Town & Countries, others notoriously have bad solders on the back of the instrument panel and 95% of the time this is what is causing the intermittent problem.
FIX: Remove the instrument panel it's a little tricky but take your time. On the back of the panel there is a red connector with several wires soldered to it. These are cracked! (I needed a magnifying for mine) Have them cleaned up and resoldered. You can have the rest of the solders checked, but these should be you problem. GOOD LUCK
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 AT 10:01 AM