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Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 3407
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/ Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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99 Sebring: LXi..Starting problems..Distributer assembly

Customer Question

'99 Sebring LXi. Starting problems. Distributer assembly has been replaced. Two engine diagnostic tests have been peformed - no problem identified. Starting failuer rate 1 out of 5. runs perfect when started.
Osx Z
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Doug In North Carolina replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for using Just Answer again, my name is Doug.

When you say you're having starting problems, do you mean that the engine spins over but it won't catch and run?

When it does run (that 1 of 5 times) is there a check engine light coming on? If so have you retrieved the fault codes?

Let me know.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hello, It starts 4 out of five times. Chrysler dealer has done a fill diagnostic test. engine does crank over, but no ignition - it will not catch and run 1 out of 5 times. I can try 10 - 20 times at one sitting or untill the battery almost runs down ....... try an hour later and it starts with any hesitation. No engine dash lights come on ever indicating problems. Battery charges and all non-engine ligths, locks etc are operational. I think: there is no electricl impulse reaching the plugs from the distributor. now what osx z
Expert:  Doug In North Carolina replied 7 years ago.
On these 2.5L v6 engines there are a few things that give the symptom you describe. The tests are rather involved and require use of a multimeter and sometimes a graphing meter referred to as an Oscilliscope.

For an answer I can tell you the common things that would cause your symptom but without you being able to test these items, you'd not know which was failing until you replaced it.

Would you like detailed instructions on things to check or did you just want to know the most likely causes?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hello, The diagnostic tests were done at a Chrysler dealer with very fine digital equipment. I thought that you may have had some experience with this type of problem and that is why I contacted you, but I think that what you suggest is not practical nor applicable. Replacing parts without knowing what the problem is not going to solve the problem. I would like to discontinue this analysis of the problem. and your srvices.Thank you.

Osx Z

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 7 years ago.

Hi Osx Z... my name's Ed.

I do have a suggestion that's cost-free and sometimes applies to the 2-door FJ (Sebring) models with the 2.5 engine concerning intermittent crank, no-start circumstances. When it happens, tap lightly on the ASD relay which is located on the bulkhead near the left hood hinge along with two other relays.




ASD stands for autoshutdown, the relay that's often called a "Main Relay" in many fuel injection systems but performs the same function... it powers the system up. For reasons I don't understand, Chrysler didn't monitor ASD output on these models, which can result in no-start instances with no DTCs generated. The relay contacts apparently become pitted and have difficulty transferring power to the system on an intermittent basis, making diagnosis difficult. Your cam and crank (rotation/ timing) signals will reliably set codes when bad, but this one might be flying under the radar.


I believe the ASD is serviced as a 3-pack in this model, so be prepared to buy two more relays than you actually need if it proves to be your problem. ASD definitely lives there though and it's been the only trouble source seen to date.


Good luck!