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Scott
Scott, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 1638
Experience:  ASE Certified 0ver 25 years. Dealership, independant experience Bubmer to Bumper all makes/models
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Grand Voyager: engine starts to turn..dies..wipers..car wont start

Resolved Question:

We have a 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan and we have been vexed because intermittantly and unpredictably it will not start. Each time this happens, the key is inserted in the ignition and turned and the engine starts to turn over and immediately dies, this will happen for three to four times, and then when you turn the key the fourth or fifth time nothing happens, the car seems dead. The battery is fine and the lights, wipers, radio, etc. work but the car won't start. The first time this happened we had it towed, but by the time the mechanic checked it, it started fine. This problem might happen twice a week or not for two or three months. Each time when it doesn't start, we try over and over, reinsert and jiggle the key, try a new key, etc. But after an hour, or a few hours, if we keep trying it, all of a sudden it will start and work fine until the next time it happens. Our mechanic replaced the starter and a cam shaft sensor, but the problem persisits. Please help!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Scott replied 7 years ago.

Hello,

 

Ahhh, the mysterious no starting Voyager/caravan syndrome. I would bet my ex wifes bank account I know what the issue is. Had a many of these spend some time at the shop until we could get them to act up. After we started seeing a repeat of these vans coming in on the hook, we started instructing out clients with the same symptoms as yours to purchase a cheap rubber mallet.

 

No, not to smack yourself in the head; however, I bet at times when this breaks down, you would like too. No, beat the van instead. Next time you get the "crank, no start" get out, bend over and smack the fuel tank a couple of times on the bottom about center of the tank. Re attempt the start. If it starts, like I think it will, hang a pump in it.

 

If this does not diagnose it, the only other way to diagnose this is to have it spend some time with the shop. I have driven vehicles home with fuel gages taped to the windshield and scan tools recording, just to break down and go "Ooooh, so thats what the problem is." Some times, a techs gotta break down too to fix the issue.

 

So, buy a mallet.

 

Let me know.

 

Scott.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

So when you say "hang a pump in it" you mean replace fuel pump? I am willing to try almost anything, but I am curious to know why banging on the gas tank makes a difference?

Expert:  Scott replied 7 years ago.

The fuel pump is a electric motor. At times, the brushes in the moter wear, and get hot. A good thumping gets the motor moving again.

 

Like I said, I am about 95% on this just because it fits in the usual M.O. for a Chrysler/plym/dodge van intermitant no start condition.

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