1998 Dodge Intrepid Intermittent non-starting

Tiny
LAURAC
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE INTREPID
  • V8
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 152,000 MILES
Sometimes I have a problem getting my 1998 Dodge Intrepid to start during the winter. It only happens when I have driven it for a while and then stop, and try to restart it within a few minutes. If it is sitting for an hour or more, it always starts fine. When this happens, it will turn over but not start. If I let it sit for a few minutes, then turn the ignition and it catches, I must IMMEDIATELY switch it into drive and hit the gas or it will die. I've taken it to several garages but nobody can seem to replicate the problem in order to troubleshoot. Any ideas?
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Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 AT 4:04 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

First we need a starting point - but let's try to go cheap. Please go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for FREE they can pull the codes to the car. Most important: Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for FREE also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter.

Next, we need to figure out if it is electrical or fuel related. Cold make everything work harder because yes, it's cold. But let's try to get a jump on it. Pull a plug wire off of the spark plug and insert something into the end of it and have someone try to start the car and have the metal object really close to a piece of metal on the engine and see if you are getting a good strong popping blue spark. Don't have your hands on any part of the metal! If there is no spark, then it is electrical. If you are getting good spark then you need to get a fuel pressure check on the fuel pump to ensure it is putting out okay.

You have 152K miles on it so it is time for things to go. It could be your ignition module etc or it could be your fuel pump. We need to narrow it down though.

Also, when was the last time you did a tune up. Plugs, wires, fuel and air filters?

Also, if you do get back with us please make sure you tell us if your engine is a 2.7L or a 3.2L and what the 8th digit of your VIN is.

Please do the above and let's take it from there and try to get it a little more reliable.
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Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 AT 8:02 PM
Tiny
LAURAC
  • MEMBER
Hi,

Thanks for the advice. I took it to AutoZone today and they didn't find any bad codes or problems with the battery, alternator, or starter. This is very typical because I've taken it to several places and nobody can ever find anything wrong with it. HOWEVER, I was out running errands today and had trouble starting it three separate times. These are the conditions under which it won't start:
1. I've been driving it for at least 20-30 miles
AND
2. I then leave it sitting for more than 10 minutes but less than an hour.

It ALWAYS starts up first thing in the morning or when I have driven it and then let it sit for less than 10 minutes or 1 hour or more. This problem has been occurring the past 3 winters. It starts fine all summer with no problems, but once the weather turns cold, the problems start. However, the last two days have been unseasonably warm (60s and 70s), yet I've still had trouble starting.

I can always get it started if I stop trying and wait 10-15 minutes, then try again. It shudders a lot when I first get it started, but then drives fine.

I don't know if I'm brave enough to try testing the spark plug as you suggested--I don't know much about cars and am afraid I'd electrocute myself!

I've had the air filter replaced and oil changed recently, but I'm not sure when the last tune-up of plugs, wires, etc. Was.

My engine is 3.2L, and the 8th digit of the VIN is J.

My father-in-law thinks it could be the carburetor--does this sound likely to you?

I'd really appreciate any follow-up advice you can provide!
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Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello - laurac

Anything put here on the post is open to all to read.

Once I understand who can do certain checks on your car for you, then we will go back to the post so that others can possible fix their cars from your experience.
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Thursday, November 20th, 2008 AT 12:24 AM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello - laurac

That is okay about AZ not finding any codes.....it will make it a little more.....interesting but we will be fine. The thing we did find out is the battery, alternator and starter are okay.

As for the spark plug, you mentioned your father-in-law, could he do this, or your husband, or someone else...maybe a neighbor you are mad at and a good shock will cheer you up....JUST KIDDING of course. But we do need to see how it is sparking. The best time to do this is when it stops....after the 10 minutes during the after 10 minute to 1 hour thing. You could do it right now to see how it looks. That will give you something to compare it by. Although after looking at your engine, you have 6 independent coil packs, one per plug. So it may be hard to do in the middle of the street.

Normal maintenance schedule - your spark plugs should be changed at 105,000 miles, better at 75,000. So you are about 47,000 - 77,000 over a good tune up. This should also be the fuel filter.

No, it doesn't sound like a carburetor....you have a throttle body on this vehicle.....so not exactly like a carburetor but you father -in-law is thinking down the right path.

With this many miles....which isn't a lot, but this is about when these things happen, if we can narrow it down, if it is fuel I am thinking your fuel pump is starting to go.

If it is electrical, it may be a crank sensor or it could be an ignition switch or something like that.

On this model, you have an ASD, Automatic Shutdown Relay that provides battery voltage to the ignition coil (the ones on the plugs). The PCM provides a ground contact (circuit) for energizing the coil. When the PCM breaks the contact, the energy in the coil primary transfers to the secondary causing the spark. The PCM will de-energize the ASD relay if it does not receive the crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor inputs.

I have attached the check out for the ASD. All you need is an ohm meter. There are two different types, so make sure you match accordingly. Also, check out the fuel pump relay with this check also.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_Picture1_10.jpg




http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_Picture2_9.jpg



NOTE: Two styles of relay may have been used (Fig 77 or Fig 78).
Both styles of relay can be tested using this procedure.

The following description of operation and tests apply only to the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) and fuel pump relays. The terminals on the bottom of each relay are numbered (Fig. 29).

OPERATION
Terminal 30: Is connected to battery voltage at all times for both the ASD relay and fuel pump relay.

Terminal 85: The powertrain control module (PCM) grounds the coil side of the relay through terminal number 85.

Terminal 86: Supplies voltage to the coil side of the relay.

There is no wire terminal in the cavity.
OFF Position
Terminal 87A: When PCM de-energizes the ASD and fuel pump relays, terminal number 87A connects to terminal 30.

This is the OFF position.
Terminal 87A is the center terminal on the relay.
There is no wire or terminal in the cavity.
In the OFF position voltage is not supplied to the rest of the circuit.

ON Position
Terminal 87: When the PCM energizes the ASD and fuel pump relays, terminal 87 connects to terminal 30.

This is the ON position.
Terminal 87 supplies voltage to the rest of the circuit.
TEST

Remove relay from connector before testing.
With the relay removed from the vehicle, use an ohmmeter to check the resistance between terminals 85 and 86 of the relay. The resistance should be between 70 to 80 ohms .
Connect the ohmmeter between relay terminals 30 and 87A of the relay. The ohmmeter should show continuity between terminals 30 and 87A.
Connect the ohmmeter between relay terminals 87 and 30 of the relay The ohmmeter should not show an open circuit at this time.
Connect one end of a jumper wire (16 gauge or heavier ) to relay terminal 85. Connect the other end of the jumper wire to the ground side of a 12 volt power source.
Connect one end of another jumper wire (16 gauge or heavier ) to the power side of the 12 volt power source. DO NOT attach the other end of the jumper wire to the relay at this time. WARNING: Do not allow ohmmeter to contact terminals 85 or 86 during this test .
Attach the other end of the jumper wire to relay terminal 86. This activates the relay.
The ohmmeter SHOULD show continuity between relay terminals 87 and 30.
The ohmmeter SHOULD NOT show continuity between relay terminals 87A and 30.
Disconnect jumper wires.
Replace the relay if it did not pass the continuity and resistance tests. If the relay passed the tests, it operates properly Check the remainder of the ASD and fuel pump relay circuits. Refer to electrical diagrams.

Can you take your car to get a fuel pressure check to check out the fuel pump? This would be great.

If possible, see if it is possible to remove a coil and plug boot to put something in the bottom to be able to check the spark. If you can.....then if it stops before you get back to me....do this check so we can see if you are still getting a spark.

Next, have a can of starting fluid. Next time it stops.....give it about 12 minutes and of course try to start and it shouldn't. Spray some starting fluid (follow directions on can) into the throttle body....I attached two pics, the first is where it is and the second is without the air cleaner hose on it and the arrow shows where to spray. Put the air cleaner back on and try to start.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_1_89.jpg




http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_Picture3_7.jpg



This is my thought.....see what you think. For now, get the fuel pressure checked and check out both ASD and Fuel relay. Be ready to do the above tests with the plug and starting fluid.

Once we do figure it out, then you need to get the plugs and fuel filter changed.
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Thursday, November 20th, 2008 AT 10:17 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Laurac

Forgot something..... Looks like you may have some recalls on your vehicle. The dealer may fix these for free. Please contact the dealer service department, give them the VIN number of your car and have them check on these to see if they apply to you. If they do apply - several of the safety ones are very important....so please get this checked and again, normally recall repairs are free. I have attached them for you to reference when talking to the dealer.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_Picture4_7.jpg




http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_Picture5_5.jpg

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Thursday, November 20th, 2008 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
GERRY9251983
  • MEMBER
I was just wondering if the car was had to start meant, it turned over slow or turned over fast, if it turned over slow then you might want to check your ground wire by the starter, it maybe bad ground for the starter, im a manic at a shop and we been having the same problem lately a lot of cars, trucks, tractors and etc.
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Thursday, November 20th, 2008 AT 11:00 PM

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