1997 Dodge Stratus wont start

Tiny
AIMEEGUTIERREZ
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE STRATUS
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 174,000 MILES
I have changed the fuel pump the ignition coil the crank sensor and the ignition sensor the batterie is dead but when being jumped sounds like it wants to turn over can you help please
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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 AT 4:48 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Might as well change the wiper motor too as long as you're blindly throwing parts at it. Am I to try to understand that the whole problem is a dead battery? Or is the battery being run dead from trying to start the engine? You need to put some punctuation in your sentences so they make sense.

If your battery is simply dead, it will not get sufficient current through the jumper cables to crank the engine. Jumper cables should only be used to partially recharge your battery enough to crank the engine. That can take from one minute to 20 minutes, depending on how completely the battery was run down. If it still doesn't crank after charging the battery, remove the jumper cables and measure the voltage between the two battery terminals. If it's less than 12.0 volts, suspect a shorted cell in it. No amount of jump starting will get it going. If the voltage is over 12.0 volts, watch the headlights while cranking the engine. If they go real dim, suspect dirty cable connections. Dirty connections will also prevent the battery from fully recharging while driving.

Not sure what you mean by "ignition sensor", but the other three things you mentioned could cause a no-start condition, but the engine would crank fine.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 AT 5:38 AM
Tiny
AIMEEGUTIERREZ
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Well I took the battery in and it was bad so got a new one. Still wont start. Was told now that it may be my timing is off.
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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 AT 11:32 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I assume the engine is cranking ok now. If not, that's another issue.

Try to listen by the fuel tank or filler cap. When a helper turns on the ignition switch, you should hear the fuel pump run for about two seconds, then turn off. If you don't hear it, check the fuel pump fuse and the electrical connection to the pump. Look for broken or bent pins in the connector.

If you get that two second burst from the pump, check for spark while a helper cranks the engine. If you get spark, the fuel pump will be running again during cranking. Both systems are powered on the same circuit from the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay. If there is no spark or it is erratic, suspect a problem with the crankshaft position sensor or the camshaft position sensor. By changing a lot of parts previously, a bunch of new variables were introduced. Even professionals run into problems such as pins bent over in connectors, defective new parts right out of the box, incorrect sensor air gaps, etc.

If your Check Engine light is on, there is at least one diagnostic fault code stored in the engine computer's memory. Disconnecting the battery to replace it would have erased that code so that valuable information is lost. The engine computer also had the relationship between the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors' signals memorized. Specific conditions must be met for that information to be relearned. Usually it just means starting the engine like normal, but there might be an issue with replacing both sensors at the same time. Was there a starting problem before you had the battery trouble? If not, why did you replace those sensors and fuel pump? You didn't say what the original symptoms were or what troubleshooting steps you took; just that you changed a bunch of stuff.

If all the trouble began as a an engine stalling problem while you were driving, and the Check Engine light was on, you might suspect the dowel pin between the camshaft and its sprocket is sheared off, and the sprocket has turned a little on the shaft. That will mimic a jumped timing belt and be detected by the engine computer because the cam sensor's signal will be late compared to the crankshaft sensor's signal. The diagnostic code would be something to the effect of "Cam and Crank signals out of sync". When the timing belt jumps one tooth, the computer turns on the Check Engine light to warn you, and the code is put into memory. Two teeth off and the computer shuts the engine down to protect it from very costly damage. Three teeth off and the valves will hit the pistons. Luckily it won't get that far. This was actually more of a Neon thing, but in your car, the result would be the same if the timing belt really did jump a few teeth. It's a possibility if it has never been replaced yet at the mileage you listed. The first thing I would try is to reinstall the original crankshaft position sensor and that second sensor, then see what happens when you try to start it.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 AT 4:49 PM
Tiny
AIMEEGUTIERREZ
  • MEMBER
Okay so heres how it started. I was driving and the engine kinda sputtered, its standard so I thought I was in the wrong gear, I put it in nuteral and it acted fine. A little furthure down the street it did the same thing but died. I pulled in some where and opened the hood there I don't recal seeing a check ingine light. I opened the hood and tried to start it again. Wouldnt start. I was waiting for some one to come get me for the hell of it tried to start it again and it started. I drove down the street straight to the auto store just a couple blocks. It died on the way into the parking lot. I asked the man to come look at it. He checked to see if there was a spark from the coil, or distributer cap, he said there was no spark so I needed to get a new one. I did it started. I turned it off and on a few times then it wouldn't start again. Put the old one back on and got some of that starting spray you put in the air filter it started but when I pushed the gas it wouldn't rev any higher. Chenged the spark plugs too. Finally it started again wouldnt stay on. A macanic told me the fuel pump, actually three differant people, So I changed it. Still nothing another one came with his code reader machine and the code he got was the ignition sensor which is located on the p[asanger saide under the car some where. The guy who came to put it on for me told me that my car had two of them the other on is the crank sensor it is located near the end of the shifter cables on the side of the block. Still nothing, the guy then checked for the spark the same way the first guy did and said iI needed that coil, distributer cap, so I went and got one a used one. Finally I remembered that the code reader guy told me that a crystler will not start if it has less than twelve volts in the battery which is why I got the battery tested. My father in law came and did the battery for me still nothing. He took out the spark plugs and dried them out cause they were dripping and tried it. He rolled the car down a hill cause when his bros trucks timing jumped he said he could pop it or something like that. At that moment it almost started too but the hill wasnt steep enough I assume. Now thats the whole detailed story and there is still no check engie light on.
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Thursday, December 10th, 2009 AT 9:03 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Dandy information. Thank you.

My first reaction was it's not fuel related because Chrysler fuel pumps rarely stop working after they've started up and are running. With real high mileage, they usually cause a no-start after sitting turned off for a while. Your comment about the dripping spark plugs would tend to confirm that the pump is working.

I seem to recall that one of the Neons I worked on with the broken camshaft dowel pin also had wet spark plugs, but I can't say with 100 percent certainty. It's good the battery was replaced, but that shouldn't have CAUSED all this trouble while it was running unless the charging system isn't working. Doesn't sound like that's the case either.

I think by "ignition sensor" they mean the camshaft position sensor. That would be a generic term that could apply to the sensor with the same function on any brand and model of car, just with a different name.

I'm confused as to the direction to send you since the camshaft position sensor should have been the most likely suspect. I don't want to send you on a wild goose chase, but I guess given the track record, it might make sense to look at the timing belt, and if it appears to be in proper time, I'd pop the cam sprocket off and look at the dowel pin. The description of the diagnostic code doesn't agree exactly, but it is related.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, December 10th, 2009 AT 11:39 AM

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