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Ric
Ric, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 152
Experience:  ase certified/certified chrysler/dodge specialist/30 years
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1993 plymouth Acclaim..crank..start position..battery gauge..voltage

Resolved Question:

I have a 1993 Plymouth Acclaim throwing codes 12, 21, 51 and 55. Furthermore, the engine will not crank with the key turned to the start position. The battery gauge says the battery has normal voltage. Help?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Ric replied 4 years ago.

Ric :

Hi and welcome to Just Answer.My name is XXXXX XXXXX i'll be glad to help you this evening.

Ric :

How long has this been an issue?Did it just start?

Customer:

I havn't had past problems with the car. Drove it to the gas station fine and then went to leave and it wouldn't start or even turn over

Ric :

If you shift the car into neutral will the car start?

Customer:

Im not sure. I can check but it will take me a few minutes to drive over to where the car is

Ric :

The code 21 is for the oxygen sensor.This fault will not keep the car from starting.

Ric :

OK I'll stay on.

Customer:

ok

Ric :

Also turn on the head lights and check to see if they stay bright or do they dim when you crank the engine.

Customer:

ok I will check. I havnt been able to get the engine to even crank in the past

Ric :

Check the battery terminals and make sure they are tight.

Customer:

I will. the battery gauge reads normal

Ric :

ok

Customer:

the engine won't crank in neutral and the battery terminals are tight

Customer:

the headlights don't dim when i try to start the car

Ric :

The neutral safety switch on the transmission,the ignition switch on the column or a fusable link near the positive battery terminal may have failed.One way to get the car started and home is to unplug the starter relay and remove the cover to manually close the contacts to see if the car will start.

Customer:

should i just try to replace the ignition switch first?

Ric :

Try swaping the starter relay with another relay in the power distrbution center.If it does not start then you still could have an ignition switch or neutral safety switch issue.Do you have a test light?

Customer:

how do i identify the starter relay?

Customer:

i probably have a test light at the house

Ric :

I'm sorry i had a connection issue i'm still here and i'll answer your question

Ric :

The stater relay is on the drivers shock tower. There should be 2 relays there.The stater relay is the one closest to the drivers fender.

Customer:

should i switch the starter relay with the one that its next to?

Ric :

It might or might not work because some of the relays have different monting bosses in the covers.

Customer:

yea they don't fit..should i just replace the relay or is there a way to test it?

Ric :

Can you hear or feel any clicking from the relay when you crank it?

Customer:

no i don't hear anything

Ric :

ok...more than likely the ignition switch has failed and needs replacing.

Customer:

ok thanks

Customer:

how long would it take me to replace it myself?

Ric :

At the most maybe an hour and a half.

Customer:

ok i will try to do that next week. can i message you if i have any other questions?

Ric :

Yes please do.I will be here if you have anymore questions.

Customer:

do you think the O2 sensor also needs to be replaced?

Ric :

Yes definately

Customer:

ok thank you

Ric :
Here is some more detail on replacing the ignition switch in a 93 Dodge Caravan.
Use these instructions at your own risk. This job requires careful work and correct reassembly.
Tools needed: A Torx screw driver T-20 size, also a Tamperproof Torx nut driver or socket, also size T-20. Battery terminal wrenches, a wheel block and a 1/8" flat blade screwdriver.
If the symptom is "engine will not crank", you may have a broken potmetal lug on the ignition lock cylinder. You must disassemble the unit to determine if your lock cylinder has a broken lug. On my Caravan, the yellow and blue wires entering the ignition switch actuate the starter when bridged with a paper clip. Do this at your own risk.
Block wheels so car will not roll.
Disconnect battery ground.
Remove 6 T-20 Torx screws from the bottom plastic housing around the steering column. Carefully slide the housing down and do not tear the sliding plastic that covers the gearshift lever opening.
Turn the ignition to "run". Put gearshift in "Park". Remove 3 three tamperproof torx screws from ignition switch. Wiggle switch out and disconnect plugs.
Take the switch assembly to a workbench. Ensure key is set to run. Find a slot and a 1/8" pin on the ignition switch assembly. Press down behind the pin with a screwdriver and wiggle and draw the key and lock cylinder out of the ignition switch.
Inspect lock cylinder for a broken potmetal lug. Unless the cylinder needs repair, do not pull the key out and do not disassemble the lock cylinder.
Slide the good lock cylinder into the new ignition switch. There is movable lug on the lock cylinder. I think it drops down when you pull the key part way out. I think. Be gentle and patient. The new ignition switch is shipped with it's inner parts set to "run". Slide the lock cylinder into the new switch with the same orientation as when you pulled it out of the old switch.
Put the switch and key in "run" position.
The switch must engage three places on the steering column:
First, the upper ignition switch pin must engage the gearshift blocker. It is a sliding mechanism along the steering column. The upper pin on the ignition switch fits in a gearshift blocker. Look at the grease pattern and slide the plate with a slot. Put it in the midpoint. The upper pin on the ignition switch engages the slot of the plate.
Second, The lower ignition switch has a projecting "key". The tip of the key must drop into a pivot hole.
Thirdly, an alignment pin on the steering column enters a matching hole on the ignition switch.
When you think it is right. Thoroughly test that all the linkages are working correctly. Run the tamper proof screws in finger tight and check the gearshift, ignition switch and steering wheel locks work right. You can visually see the gearshift blocker linkage move. Test the steering wheel latch to latch and unlatch.
Tighten the tamper proof screws. Insert two electrical connectors. Connect ground cable. Test switch. Verify gearshift blocker and steering wheel lock mechanism work as expected.
Hi, I was able to remove the key and cylinder without removing the whole assembly, I used a slightly bent small screwdriver to depress the pin and wiggled it out, I have no tamper proof tools. I can now start and run the van with a needle nose pliers. mine is a 1994

Read more: This is for a dodge caravan but it is the same mecanicallyhttp://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_change_the_key_cylinder_of_the_ignition_switch_in_a_1993_Dodge_Caravan#ixzz1vvrrGLis
Expert:  Ric replied 4 years ago.

The chat will be open for 7 days.I will check back to see if you need anymore assistance...ok? Thank You for choosing Just Answer...Ric.

Ric and 3 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ric replied 4 years ago.
Hows it going? If you need anything i'll be checking here.