2000 Dodge Caravan Engine failure

Tiny
LGBRENT
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 178,000 MILES
Engine goes out and power steering at the same time of course so you can't steer it to the side of the road. Couldn't be the alternator or battery, could it, because it wouldn't start back up later? Known existing problem with clockspring in steering wheel causing air bag light to come on and electronic door locks and overhead lights flashing. Have just lived with it since it's unaffordable for me to get fixed and too far past the clock spring recall. Am broke and now laid off too so am jobless and am afraid of mechanics taking advantage of me. I need the cheapest fix possible so I can get to job interviews. The longer I have to wait for an answer the worse the situation will be because I won't have the vehicle or internet or email to be able to get the answer because I could be homeless by then. Could the new problem with the engine going out on me have anything to do with existing electronic problems? Am afraid to drive it since it might go out on me again.
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Saturday, June 12th, 2010 AT 9:16 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
O.K. Try to relax and answer a few questions does van start up now? If no have you pulled a plug wire to check for spark? If yes try spraying carb cleaner into throttle body see if it lights. Clock spring not going to kill engine
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Saturday, June 12th, 2010 AT 2:20 PM
Tiny
LGBRENT
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Thanks so much for answering my plee so quickly. I'm definitely no mechanic, but you make it sound as if it might not be as bad as I was imagining. The initial breakdown was 3 nights ago and I never noticed the "check engine soon" warning light on the instrument panel that had come on until I was parking it in the driveway. I let the van sit for a couple minutes after the initial breakdown, and then I was able to start the vehicle up and drive it up my street and into my driveway, even though it wasn't running very smooth. On Day 2 after letting it just sit, I tried starting it and it ran very rough for about 15 seconds and then quit. Waited about a minute and 2nd time I started it up, it ran for a little bit again but smoother and then quit. Then on Day 3 after the incident, I started it up and it was running pretty smooth, so I let it run for 5 minutes and shut it down. Now today on Day 4 it was still starting up and running pretty smooth except for a little intermittent surge on the tachometer, so I backed it down the driveway and drove it just up my street for a short distance and then back into my driveway, and right before I shut it down, the "check engine soon" light went off. I guess I still need to get someone to help me spray the carb cleaner into the throttle body while it's running to see if it lights?
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Saturday, June 12th, 2010 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Go to an Auto Zone or similar ask to have codes read from check engine light being on. Then post and will advise
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Monday, June 14th, 2010 AT 9:20 AM
Tiny
LGBRENT
  • MEMBER
Well, Docfixit,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Finally took the van to a car repair place and they screwed around with it for 3 hours and got the following codes but still didn't know what to do with it:

PO106: Barometric pressure out of range
PO122: Throttle position sensor voltage low
P1496: 5 volt supply output too low

Was able to drive the crazy van to the repair shop and drive it home without it going out on me. Can't trust it though. Am about to give up on it, but hard to sell it in its current condition. Any advice?
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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 3:21 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
O.K. repair place must not have very experienced people. All codes point to PCM not providing 5v reference signal to various sensors and this will cause engine to shut down. Testing needs to be done with a scan tool to find if wiring is at fault or PCM. Use volt meter find TPS on throttle body


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/198357_Grafic_3_129.jpg


Pull connector key on engine off measure voltage at TERM #3 at least 4.5v if not suspect PCM


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/198357_Graphic_503.jpg

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 4:09 PM
Tiny
LGBRENT
  • MEMBER
You must be correct about not having very experienced people there because after messing with it for 3 hours, they said it had to be a computer problem, that the van had three different computer systems and it could cost $1800 plus for a new one. In other words, they really didn't know.

At least I have a job for the time being, not full time, but keeps me off of unemployment compensation. And a family member donated a Corolla, so I've got some transporation now. But I have to sell the van, so I better get some kind of estimate because I will have to disclose this info. I assume another place would go by the time it takes to do the job and cost of parts. Based on your knowledge, if you had to estimate a ballpark range, what do you think sounds fair?
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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 4:41 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Check l;ast post added pic of plug to TPS do test and will advise. NAPA has remanufactured PCMs
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Thursday, July 1st, 2010 AT 1:29 PM

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