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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 21604
Experience:  ASE Master & Advanced level certified, Chrysler Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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A crossfire which has out of the blue failed to start, the

Customer Question

Hi there.
JA: Hello. What is your issue regarding?
Customer: A crossfire which has out of the blue failed to start, the ignition will turn on but when the key is turned to start all dash panel information lights and electrics die until the key is released.
JA: Is the car in "Park" or "Neutral?" Do you know if your car has a "wheel lock" feature?
Customer: neutral... and is a manual gearbox
JA: What year is your Crossfire?
Customer: 2006
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I have checked the starter is not jammed, hooked up additional battery power, checked and resoldered joints in relay board and inspected ECM nothing obvious found.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: after reconnecting the ECM the engine will start for one 'short' (one second) bust of rev, after that the symptom as previously described remains, if the ECM is again disconnected and reconnected one more short burst can be achieved by attempting to start. this can be repeated as many times as it is sensible to try.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Chrysler Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

Hello, from the sound of this it does sound like a dead battery, even though you did try and jump it you need to verify voltage at the battery when this happens, sometimes a battery can be so weak that jumping does not help. let me know and we can continue, also turn the headlights and radio on to see if the same thing happens. Lou P

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks Lou
Sorry i lost connection and did not realise you had answered me. I am confident that it is not the battery because as I described the battery is more than capable of turning the engine to give that one-time short burst of rev, this only happens after disconnecting then reconnecting the ECM. I used VERY HEAVY DUTY jump leads connected across from my 300 CRD when ruling out the voltage possibilty.
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok so next i want you to insert the key and turn it on and wait one minute and then see if it will do the same or not. that will tell me if it is the immobilizer or not.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok thanks again Lou..... I have just been out and followed your instruction, the same result as before.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I was wrong before to say the dash info and lights go out when turning the key to start, they all stay live but the heater fan goes off til the key is released.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I too have been thinking this is an immobilizerr issue.
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

so sorry for the delay, that is good info , yes the fan going off is normal, so far so good, so let me think............

Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok so let me check a diagram and get back. give me a few

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No worries.....
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok so lets start with the clutch switch, it should have 2 wires on it, the

  • violet in pin 1 is the power from the ignition switch crank
  • violet in pin 2 is the output when the clutch is pressed.

lets verify there we have power going in and out when cranking.

Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

info for you

OPERATION

The starting system components form two separate circuits. A high-amperage feed circuit that feeds the starter motor between 150 and 350 amperes, and a low-amperage control circuit that operates on less than 20 amperes. The high-amperage feed circuit components include the battery, the battery cables, the contact disc portion of the starter solenoid, and the starter motor. The low-amperage control circuit components include the ignition switch, the pulse module, the electromagnetic windings of the starter solenoid, and the connecting wire harness components.

Battery voltage is supplied through the low-amperage control circuit to the pulse module when the ignition switch is turned to the momentary Start position. When the starter solenoid coil windings are energized, the solenoid pull-in coil pulls in the solenoid plunger. The solenoid plunger pulls the shift lever in the starter motor. This engages the starter overrunning clutch and pinion gear with the starter ring gear on the flywheel.

As the solenoid plunger reaches the end of its travel, the solenoid contact disc completes the high-amperage starter feed circuit and energizes the solenoid plunger hold-in coil. Current now flows between the solenoid battery terminal and the starter motor, energizing the starter.

When the solenoid plunger hold-in coil is de-energized, the solenoid plunger return spring returns the plunger to its relaxed position. This causes the contact disc to open the starter feed circuit, and the shift lever to disengage the overrunning clutch and pinion gear from the starter ring gear.

Once the engine starts, the pulse module prevents starter motor damage by only allowing the starter to be engaged until the engine is running. Once the engine fires and achieves an rpm threshold that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) defines as “engine running”, the starter motor is automatically disengaged by the PCM through the pulse module. The pulse module further prevents starter motor damage by not allowing the starter motor to be engaged if the engine is already running.

Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

also try cranking it with the ecm unplugged, it should still crank. that would be interesting to see. at least i am pretty sure it should crank.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok now that's a lot of good info to go with but just to clarify, it has never before been necessary to depress the clutch for starting this car which suggests to me that there is not a clutch switch (I will check).
Your point about cranking is a problem because in its current state the starter does not get actuated therefore does not crank at all, unless I disconnect and then reconnect the ECM as described before
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

what !!??? someone bypassed it, that is NOT correct! that may be the issue lol, get down there and check!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Maybe I am confusing modules here but I refer to the ECM as being the one with 5 connectors into it, (next to the starter relay board) is that actually the PCM?
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok so ecm is a loose term with mercedes which this is, so we will use ecm as engine control module, pcm means powertrain control module and the difference is the ecm just controls the engine and the pcm controls the engine and trans but yours is manual so there is no pcm even though some information may state so, some info is generic meaning its an overview of how most systems work.

Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

send me a picture of the module you are messing with, it sounds correct but i would like to see it.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Lol..... ok Lou i'm going to to check now, by the way our light is fading here in the UK and the car is on the drive so bear with me...
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok i will have to leave soon as well for a quick road trip and i will be back in the am here is usa. its 3pm

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok I understand. Pic attached and I have checked clutch pedal, it has a switch with red wire and brown wire connected.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
does not 'appear' to have been tampered with, not at the switch at least!
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks for your help so far Lou, I hope to catch up with you tomorrow. Cheers Nigel
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

yes Nigel that is the engine control unit sir. so we need to confirm again that there is power going across the clutch pedal wiring.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Lou.... Just back from work, I've checked power in and out of clutch switch and csn confirm yes, tested switch also and it is making and breaking ok. Just to be sure I bypassed it and... no difference still no crank.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Now here's a thought and what I found, with ignition on and using a meter in the switch connector (disconnected), red probe on red wire, black probe to earth confirms 12V...... Then Red probe on brown wire, Black probe to earth confirms zeroV....Now with switch connected and ignition on, Red probe on red wire, black probe to earth 12V,.... now with Red probe on brown wire, black probe to earth.... zero V with switch open, zero V with it closed.Now with Red probe on red wire, black probe on brown wire confirms 12V with switch closed, zero V with switch open. Resistance check across switch (disconnected) confirms open and closing.Hope this helps Nige
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok so switch is working, next we need to remove the module that is just to the side of the fuse box inside the same housing, that is where those wires pass through. i will try and respond with more info in the morning.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Morning Lou thanks again.
Where will i find the module, do u mean next to the fuses inside the car or under the hood?
I cannot see a module around or near the steering column, would I need to remove the speedo cluster?
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

It's called a pulse module. It's a small box squeezed between the fuse block and the hosing of the fuse box itself in the engine bay. I'll try to get you a photo

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok Lou gotya, yes I see it now thats easy to get to, do you want it removed 'and' disconnect?
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

im going to forward you the wiring diagram and as much info as i have so we can be on the same page, sorry for my delays, weekends are hard for me to be on here all day , wife and kids keep me busy lol. ill upload some info soon. i am getting all of my programs up and running.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thats fine Lou. No worries I know what its like... and I was not expecting a reply particularly on sunday so the fact that you have at all is great. Cheers ***** *****
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok we need to make sure the power is going into the pulse module and coming out of the pulse module on the violet wires.

Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

the confirm if the starter is getting power at the violet wire.

Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1TP63Wjr90

also lets keep this in mind as well. this is a somewhat decent video lol.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok Lou so here's what I found, bear in mind my clutch switch wires are red in and brown out, with ignition on there is no power at either violet wires at the pcm (with or without clutch depressed) but there is power at both pink&red wires (large and small) and also power at black wire. If I manually activate relay the engine will crank but not start. see short vid and pic attached.thanks for mystery start vid I have already seen and investigated that, the joints looked perfect but I soldered them again anyway.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
sorry Lou vid is only 24secs long but my system says its to big to send, its 56mb and needs to 5mb or smaller!
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
maybe this is clearer
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok, i till you what, since my info is not matching up, since you can manually activate the relay and it works that means there is a broken wire somewhere or something like that . i may be better off looking at the mercedes diagrams for the slk since that is exactly what this is, we all we need to do is verify where we are losing the crank signal from.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
its the right hand hand relay in the pcm as you veiw the pic. Can we rule out the transponder ring for the immobilizor?
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

the immobilizer stops fuel, not crank. also make sure you have the right clutch switch as there may be 2, one for cruise control and one for the starting, so either way you need to take a test light and follow the crank signal from the clutch switch to the pulse module, to the starter relay, to the starter. regardless of wire colors.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok Lou i'll look again in the morning its now 11.40pm here, so thanks again for your help so far... Especially as its sunday. Cheers Nige
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

No problem man non at all.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I'm not doin too well here Lou, there is defo only one clutch switch and its wires dissappear into the loom after which is a guessing game. Another thought I had is could the fault be at the switch cluster on the back of the ignition key barrel?
Expert:  Lou P replied 4 months ago.

ok, it can be an ignition switch fault for sure. this is just not adding up, let me opt out and see if there is a chrysler guy that can help. sorry i gave it my best go, i dont want to waste any more of your time. hope this gets resolved. ill keep tabs on your chat and reply if i come across anything.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok Lou thanks for your help anyway it is appreciated. Cheers ***** ***** Nigel
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

Do you still need help?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Sprinkles, thanks for getting back to me though I must admit I thought I had been dropped by you guys. I have just towed my crossfire into local auto electrics trader whose scanner has identified the is to do with the immobilizor. It is 8.20pm here now so more investigations will continue tomorrow.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
If you have wiring diagrams (or links to) for immobilizor, ecm and starter circuits that would be very much appreciated. Cheers Nigel
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 4 months ago.

Do you know what fault codes are setting or what the specific issue is?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Not got the codes available to me although They indicate an immobilîzer issue. Are you able to reveiw the chat I have had wih Lou on here previously, it would help you to see what has been covered. Cheers Nigel
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 4 months ago.

Yes, I do see the rest of the posts but what's relevant is the immobilizer issue. When the key isn't validated an a bus message sent to the powertrain control module that it's ok to run, it will start and die and then lock the starter out. It's going to take some in person testing which the shop is hopefully able to do, you either have a bad key, module or antenna coil. The shop may or may not be able to do the repair, a dealer level scan tool is going to be necessary to program replacement parts.