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Ask Chris (aka-Moose) Your Own Question
Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 44451
Experience:  16 years of experience
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Dodge grand caravan 3.3l v6: Left my house this morning, made

Customer Question

Left my house this morning, made two left turns. While making the second left my van died in the middle of the turn, rpm to zero, still had electrical to dash, and horn, lights and everything worked ok. I tried to re-start it and the engine woudn't turn over. I could here the solenoids clicking. First thought, damn my engine is seized. Got my buddy to help me push the van back to my driveway to begin my own diagnostics.
Tried to start in driveway again, same thing just solenoids clicking.
Begin staring system diagnostics.
I hooked up a remote wire to Cavity 87 of the Starter Relay and was not able to get it to crank, hear relay clicking when contact is made. Manually cranked engine, not seized.
Removed starter and had shop bench test, tested ok 3 times in a row.
voltage to main red wire on starter is 12.5+
no voltage to starter exciter wire (brown) when key turned to start
continuity of brown wire is good.
I removed Stater Relay and tested it. Everything seems fine and is working as it should.
Put the Starter Relay back in , got the wife to sit in the van and try to start as I checked the other Starter Relay Cavities. Pin 86 received proper voltage when Ignition was turned. However Pin 85, did NOT got to Ground.
From my wiring diagram I see that Pin 85 is suppose to connect to ground via the PCM (Powertrain COntrol Module) and the Transmission Range Sensor / Park Neutral Sense switch. Pin 85 was not going to ground when trying to star t.
I checked for continuity between Pin 85 of Starter Relay and Pin 31 of PCM Connector, continuity was good.
I checked continuity betweend Pin 76 of PCM and TRS/NS switch , continutiy was good.
I check function of TRS/NS when in Park or neutral, TRS went to ground in Park and in neutral. Did not go to ground in any other gears.
So wiring checks out. From what I gather is that the PCM is not putting pin 31 to ground as it should be when trying to start. PCM Dead?
I hooked up my CanOBD-II reader. It connects ok has power and will go through the read cycle. It reads and returns no codes. and the only circle that lights up is the CC (Comprehensive Componenet Monitor) normally other monitor icons light u
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also something worth mentioning:the car had been stalling randomly during the last few weeks of life, it was hot out, ac was running, stalled primarily during idle. Exhibited dead battery like behavior, requiring jump start. Battery took a full charge but was reported as 25% life left.I have replaced the battery as a part of my troubleshooting.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry for the delay in getting a response to you. Sometimes we get alot of customers and just can not keep up. Sometimes you just have to wait for the correct tech to login.Do you even still need help. Sometimes customers seek help elsewhere or figure it out on their own before we get to each and everyone.I am sure I can help a lot or a little at least something if you give me a chance and work with me. I am going to get an answer to you regardless if you reply or not sooner or later.If your concern is urgent reply and let me know and if you have anything more you think will help me, to help you, let me know. I work on here normally 3pm-3am central. Thanks Chris
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I still need help. I am stumped. I am thinking its the PCM, but before I replace it to the tune of 270$ I'd like to see if there is something i've missed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Let me know if my description of the problem or my path to solution is unclear.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For this being an urgent matter, I am not happy with the lack of communication. 24 hrs and not a word towards my answer.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
What year, and model Dodge van is this?What liter engine?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2000 dodge grand caravan 3.3l v6 41te transmission (transmission range switch rather than safety neutral)
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** key on, jump the switch side pins at the relay 30-87 and let me know if it will crank and start.If it does nothing then jump a wire across both wires to the starter motor and let me know the results.I do so far agree its looking most like the PCM is to blame here at least for the no crank issue, I would like to know though if it will start when bypassing the relay and making it crank. You want a excellent 5 star answer & I would like to be rated the same for providing it. Consider I don't know your skill level & I can't see, smell, hear, or touch the vehicle. It may take a few back and forth replies. Try your best to respond with good detail so I can do the same. I normally log in at 3pm and work late. A rating is required. Your rating me, what I type. I am not an employee of this website, nor have control over the fees or the time it took to get a response. If you rate negative or not at all you still paid, but I get nothing. I want you pleased with me and my efforts, so let me know if your experience here has come up short.Thanks Chris
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will give this a try when I get home in about 2 hours
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Super
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Jumped 87>30= solenoids clicking not starter actionJumped 87>30>starter wire (brown) = no starter action but humming from fuel pump area.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
I do not believe your on the correct relay, because this should not result in other relays clicking and this relay only powers the starter motor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it is the starter relay. Cannot pin down what relay clicks when I try to jump
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
row of relays closest to the engine, second one down from firewall direction. Listed as starter relay on inside of cover.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Are you sure your on the right pins at the relay. if the starter is good and getting power from the battery and your jumper wire has power while connected, then the only thing you should of noticed was the engine cranking, not the fuel pump running, that's controlled through a different circuit.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I stripped away a small portion of the small wire that goes to the starter about 4 inches up from the starter and jumper 87>30> starter. Nothing. I positive Im in 87 an positive im in 30 of the starter relay
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also verified I was getting 12.5 on the jumper wire going to the starter. I also removed the small connector on the starter and tried going straight to the pin....no crank.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Since you powered the signal wire to the starter, and the starter is getting power from the battery, this confirms this starter motor is bad.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thats very strange, I had it tested at O'reilly, and it tested good 3 times. I will take it in to have it tested again. I hope it is bad honestly, it is much cheaper than a new pcm. But if it is indeed bad, I have banged my head against the wall on this for days due to error -.-
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
If both wires at the starter are powered when commanding it to crank, it should result in the starter spinning.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will be investigating again today, I had them test the starter again, this time having them jiggle the connection, still passed 3 times.I am positive I was getting 12.5 on the jumper wire i connected to the small exciter wire on the starter. will be investigating those 2 wires again today ill let you know if i find anything new.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Super
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have done some more investigating and can now get the starter to crank by jumping 87 to 30 with the key on. Now back to the problem of grounding. The PCM is not grounding the starter relay.The PCM will ground the relay once it receives the proper things from the transmission rnage switch and the factory security system.I verified the TRS is functioning, the wire goes to ground in P and N and is open in all other gears.I think I verified the factory security system by following th voltage from the ignition switch into the security box under the dash and following voltage out from there. Seems there is no impedance.Again Im thinking PCM but wanted to know your thoughts now or anything else to look at before I drop 280$Also, the PCM should function straight plug and play style correct? The vin and mileage info has to be flashed but that wouldnt affect startability?
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
I can see nothing left to blame but the PCM, I also show programming is required for the anti theft system prior to being able to start.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would that be for a kill switch? Dont believe this system has one..
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
A kill switch would be something aftermarket installed, not OEM.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And of course My Chilton manual doesnt say anything about flashing whatsoever. "Installation is the reverse of removal"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will install a PCM tomorrow and let ya know how it goes.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Great