2000 Dodge Intrepid Won't crank over

Tiny
MIKE.PATCHEN
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE INTREPID
Electrical problem
2000 Dodge Intrepid 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive 83,000 miles

Hi,

I have a 2000 Intrepid with 83,000 miles. Over the past couple of months, this car has started to develop a problem with starting. Frequently, I turn the key and nothing happens, sometimes the engine will turn over a little bit. Move the steering wheel and it cranks right over. I have checked the battery and charging system, all check out OK. This morning, with an outside air temp of 35 degrees, I couldn't get this thing to turn over at all. It took about 5 minutes of moving the steering wheel a back and forth before it finally cranked over enough to start. Car runs perfectly fine once started, no stalling or hesitating at all. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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Monday, October 27th, 2008 AT 9:35 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
It sounds like there may be a problem with the ignition switch located on the steering column. I'n not refering to where the key goes in, but rather an electrical switch which functions by the location of the keey assembly. Because the car starts when you play around with the steering wheel, you may be moving something to allow the switch to make contact.

You may need a mechanic to check this. It requires a little work and the switch will need to be tested.

Joe
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Saturday, November 8th, 2008 AT 5:04 PM
Tiny
BETSINSBN
  • MEMBER
I've been having the exact same problem with my 2002 Intrepid for the last 9 months or so. Last spring the dealer replaced the ignition switch (at a cost of $350!) And it worked for a week then the same problems returned. Returned to the Dealer who "babysat" my car but it started everytime. Over the summer there didn't seem to be a problem but now that the weather is cooler again (Indiana) the non-starting problems have returned. Wondering if the cold temps have something to do with it. Seems to take more attempts at "turning the wheel" to get it to turn over. Today, when I would finally get it to turn over, it took several attempts at cranking for it to fire. Just wondering, did you ever determine what the problem was with your car?
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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 AT 6:03 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
It sounds like your ignition problem may have returned, but that doesn't justify why it's harder to start when cold. Does this happen to you all the time? When was your last tuneup? Does your car have a factory alarm?

Joe
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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 AT 7:25 PM
Tiny
BETSINSBN
  • MEMBER
As much as I hate to admit it I've never had a tune up. 100010 miles. I was told it needs plugs & transmission flushed but couldn't afford last spring. Now that I've saved $ to do it the starting issue returned. Thought I would call to get it in next week for the plugs since it needs them anyway. Plugs just didn't seem to be the answer to me when turning the wheel seemed to be the key to getting it to turn over. Since it only seems to happen when the outside temps are cool, I was thinking it sounded more like an electrical issue, perhaps a wire that contracts in the cold and turning the wheel stretches it to make the contact. The starting problems began occasionally in about March until May when it was 1 or 2 times a day. Always first attempt in the morning. All summer it was fine. About a month ago started haveing problems agian, a couple times a week and now the last 3 days it's happened every time I attempt to start. It seems each time I have to "turn the wheel" more times. Today, when I would get it to turn over it took a bit for it to actually start running. In the past it just started right up after turning the wheel. Yes, it has a factory installed alarm. I am the original owner and it's been a great car until this issue. Thanks for your help & very quick response!
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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 AT 8:00 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
I'm glad to help. The van is due for a tune up. However, I agree with you. A tune up will not get rid of the engine not turning over when you turn the key. When you turn the key and nothing happens, do all of the dash lights come on as normal? Do you hear any clicking? Also, are you taking the van back to the same mechanic who replaced the ignition switch? If the problem seems to happen more often in the cold, now may be the time for him to check it. I really believe (if all dash lights come on as normal) the switch has something to do with the problem. My only other concern would deal with the factory alarm system. If it malfunctions, it could cause a similar problem. Make sure your mechanic feels comfortable working on it before they drain you of money looking for a problem they can't fix. It may require a dealer.

Let me know what you find. I would really like to hear what caused this for you.

Joe
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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 AT 10:29 PM
Tiny
BETSINSBN
  • MEMBER
Thanks. Not that it matters much I guess. But it's a car (2002 Intrepid), not a van. When I turn the key all the dash lights come on but it's deadly quiet. I tried to be more observent this morning. It took 4 attempts at turning the wheel to get it to start then I drove 2 miles and stopped for gas. After 7 attempts I was on my way again. Drove 10 miles to work, turned it off then restarted like a charm. The Dealer is the one who replaced the ignition switch last May and babysat the car 1 week later. I've had a rather difficult time finding a "trusted mechanic", hence the reason for taking it to the Dealer. I thought with such an odd problem the dealer should know the car better than anyone else. I don't have much faith in the Dealer after they couldn't find the starting problem before but seemed to be able to recommend $3000 worth of other things that could be (but were not urgent) fixed. As far as a possible alarm issue, would there be anything I might notice to indicate there is a problem with it, other than the starting issue? It seems to work fine to me.
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Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 7:57 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
If the lights come on on the dash, there is power to the CPU. If it doesn't start and the starter and relay are good, there must be a problem within the security system or the ignition switch itself. I hate to say it, but the dealer who replaced the ignition switch needs to recheck his work to make sure he didn't give you a bad part or if something came loose. Also, the wiring in the column needs to be checked. Finally, they will have to make sure the factory security isn, causing you problems. I realize that you feel unsure of them, but I feel they owe you, at least, to recheck the problem they said they fixed earlier this year. I would push that concept.

Let me know what they say.

Joe
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Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 9:39 AM
Tiny
BETSINSBN
  • MEMBER
Wanted to update you on my 2002 Intrepid saga. It's been in the shop today. They changed the plugs without problem then said the starting issue seemed to be classic for a starter. Also suggested to replace the battery since it was original, 6 years old and I had been having starting issues. They replaced both and just called to say it starts fine but won't keep running after it starts. They are thinking some sort of vacuum leak but need to investigate. Should know more Tuesday.
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Monday, November 17th, 2008 AT 4:03 PM

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