Starting Stumper

Tiny
LENZMOM
  • MEMBER
  • DODGE CARAVAN
1998 Dodge Grand Caravan, 120,000 miles. I love my van when it runs. About a year and a half ago, we started having problems with starting the van. I'd be driving around, go into a store, school, whatever, come out & the van wouldn't start. 2 things would get it to start: 1-leave it for about 18-24 hours & it would start as if nothing ever happened; 2-my husband could "rock" the van from side to side, get in & it would start right up. Took it to Dodge shop, they replaced the ignition switch, didn't help. Started happening more often, towed it to the shop 5 times (now my insurance dropped my towing coverage off), by the time it got to the shop, they were able to start it right up. Finally the service manager came out to our house the next time it wouldn't start, put it on his computer, decided the BCM was bad. He left & my husband went out 10 minutes later, "rocked" the van & it started right up. $350 later, BCM replaced, still having problems. Shop figures it's something either electrical (they'd have to go through & test all wiring to see where problem is- apparently nobody's too keen on that option), or something to do with the security system- which they apparently can't disable because of the way the factory installed it& its interconnectivity with other stuff). Skip to New Year's Eve. Van died in WalMart Parking lot, the next day it started, for the next 5 days, it died 3 more times. "Rocking" the van no longer is effective. Dodge shop has no tech bulletins on it, no clue what the problem is. Chrysler tells them to start throwing parts at it until something fixes it. My shop won't pull that kind of B.S, but we're still dead in the water. Called Dodge customer service, they said they had no fixes, but I could lodge a complaint. If they get enough complaints, they may work on getting a tech bulletin together for it. Fine, but I need my van now. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Friday, March 3rd, 2006 AT 2:04 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
JPAM
  • MEMBER
I just read through it quickly. Did u guys think fuel pump. I know on the van mother-in-law has they would have to tap the gas tank to get fuel pump to work. Rocking it might have same effect. Let me know how it turns out thanks. Jess s.
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Friday, March 3rd, 2006 AT 3:04 PM
Tiny
JPAM
  • MEMBER
Just read another posting that u had replied back to. So when u say it wont start. Your saying nothing happens just died? If thats the case I would have to take back other comment. Sorry cant say much more. Good luck.
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Friday, March 3rd, 2006 AT 3:10 PM
Tiny
'85MUSTANGII
  • MEMBER
From the post I've read it seems that rocking the vehicle would have to have some effect on the fuel pump. I'm curious if the shop has tried lowering the gas tank and putting a whole new Fuel pump assembly in. I worked on one at my shop that was an Astro Van with the same issues. We replaced the fuel pump assembly 5 times cuz something electrical was wrecking the pumps. The next problem it had was the injection system.
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Saturday, March 11th, 2006 AT 3:24 PM
Tiny
LENZMOM
  • MEMBER
:oops: Reading through my original post I see I forgot to mention a significant point. ? When I try to start it & it turns over, fires up, then dies. It will do that 4-5 times, then it just won't turn over - all my dash lights light up, everything is working, it just won't turn over- nothing. Before it "locks you out" (as I've come to think of it), you can hear the fuel pump kick in, the van starts, then dies. When I first posted this, I could let the veh sit for 24 hours or so & it would start right up. 2 weeks ago, it wouldn't start even after the 24 hours. Rocking it has no effect. I'm waiting for a friend to come over to take a look at it now that it's "good and dead", but don't know how much luck he'll have. We'll probably end up towing it to the Dodge dealer, where it will start right up. Nothing like a $75 jump start. :
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Thursday, March 30th, 2006 AT 5:04 PM
Tiny
DMCDERM
  • MEMBER
This is happening to my 98 grand caravan right now! The dealer has it and also can't figure it out. Was your problem solved and if so how. Please help
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Wednesday, December 27th, 2006 AT 4:53 PM
Tiny
KJMAN
  • MEMBER
Check and replace that if you can find it. It is a cheap fix to a severe problem I once had in an older INTL pick up. They laughed at me as it was actually a resistor wire and no one knew it but them. Things get old.
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Friday, December 29th, 2006 AT 6:21 PM
Tiny
CRACKER JACK
  • MEMBER
I'm still having trouble with my 1998 Chrysler T&C. 2 yrs into this problem & much $ invested. The only thing that works now to get it started is a hard hit on the dashboard with my fist to the right of the steering wheel. (I discovered this one day when it wouldn't start) Must be a short in the wiring some where in that location. Whats located under there?
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Monday, January 1st, 2007 AT 11:09 AM
Tiny
KOBY
  • MEMBER
This might sound stupid but check to see if all your bolts in your steering colum is tight. Sometimes the gound wiring is connected to your steering colum. If it is loose you will have a short. It loosens when you use your tilt steering wheel alot.
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Friday, January 19th, 2007 AT 7:46 PM
Tiny
JRUNYANS
  • MEMBER
I have a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport with the 3.3L FlexFuel System and 156k miles and I am having this very same problem as well. I've been searching all over the place and I can find people asking this question, but I'm not seeing any answers. Has anyone identified a positive solution to this?

Talking to mechanic friends, and from what I've gleaned in my searches there seems to be 5 prevailing suggestions as to the cause:

1 - Security system
2 - Computer
3 - Ignition switch
4 - Starter
5 - Electrical (other)

Of these, I've read where people have replaced the computer and switch without success. I have no clue as to how to test and/or replace the security module. I do plan to replace the starter tomorrow, maybe that's the trick.

Has nobody found an answer yet? I've had no problems with this van until this problem started about 6 moths ago.
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Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
KNIGHTRIDERKITT2000
  • MEMBER
Do all your peoples vehicles start up for about two seconds then it dies, if so and you have a key with a chip in it, then there is an intermittent problem with the computer receiving the code from the key for your engine to stay running.
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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 AT 6:18 AM
Tiny
JLAWLESS1
  • MEMBER
My problem sounds similar to this. When your van "died" the first time, did it make any noises or did the engine just shut off? Mine made no noises and now it won't start. I'm going to try and "rock" it back and forth like you did. Please let me know about this. Thanks.
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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 9:29 AM

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