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Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3407
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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How do you reset your computer on a dodge stratus - we just

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How do you reset your computer on a dodge stratus - we just put in a new ignition coil and it is still not starting. We have already pulled the negative battery cable off and this did not work to reset computer. We have pulled the fuses out and this did not do it either.
HiCustomer welcome to Just Answer!.

Unlike home computers, rebooting a powertrain control module usually has no positive results... you just lose your trouble codes.

Describe what happened to your Stratus for me.
Little things like how it died, if it intermittently does this or if this is the first time.

Is this a 2-door or 4-door Stratus?
What year and engine?
Automatic or standard trans?

Please describe anything you've done to this point (aside from the coil) to get it running again. Any thoughts or observations will also be appreciated!

Talk shortly,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

It is a 4 door 1997 Stratus 2.4 automatic. We had it put on a scope and they said misfiring a random cylinders so we should replace the coil. The car started and was parked about 4 months ago, tried to start it the other day and it would not start, so replaced the coil today and still does not start. It is not getting spark, it is getting gas.


How do you know you're getting gas? Is it just that the fuel pump runs or do the spark plugs become wet? Or do you smell gas from the tailpipe?

The fuel pump uses a separate relay from the one that powers the coil and injectors, which is why I ask. If the pump runs, it doesn't necessarily mean the engine is getting fuel injected into the ports.

What method did you use to check for spark? In the case of a coil pack, a single coil provides spark to two cylinders. #1 and #4 are the same coil, #2 and #3 are the other.

If you happen to have both plug wires from a particular cylinder disconnected, you probably won't see spark from either one, as the spark has to complete a circuit between one plug wire end to the other. Leave one plug wire attached to the spark plug while checking for spark if you haven't already done so.

One more quick question... Do you see a CHECK ENGINE lamp illumination at key-on? There should be a 2-3 second bulb test of this warning lamp at each key on moment. Let me know either way.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Fuel - he called the fuel log - on top of the engine, fuel came squirting out, so it is getting gas. Spark plug - the only way he knows how to check it is by leaving the plug attached to the wire so you see the spark. No check engine light was on

As long as he pulled just one plug wire, it's a valid test. So we've got no spark for sure.

The CHECK ENGINE lamp... did you mean there's no bulb test? It's important.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The check engine light comes on when you start the car and then goes off. Not sure what you mean by a bulb test?
What you saw was a bulb test. The light is turned on for 2-3 seconds each time the key is turned on. Seeing the bulb test takes us in a different direction, so I'm glad you clarified that for me.

With a working CHECK ENGINE lamp, we can check for codes for one thing! This will be done by using the old Chrysler "flash method", something that will resemble Morse code.

Roll the key from off to on three times, leaving the key ON.

Watch the CHECK ENGINE lamp as it burns a bit longer, then goes dark. Get ready to start counting when it begins flashing.

Pauses between flashes tell you what to do. Short pauses mean you should continue counting, longer ones mean that THIS digit is done and you're moving on to the next one. I'd recommend doing this test a few times to get the hang of it, as the pauses can be a bit confusing at first. Early numbers like 1 and 2 often get combined into... 3.

Give it a shot and let me know what you come up with.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
did this twice so - the check engine light blinked once, paused, twice, paused,once, paused, once,paused, five,paused, five stayed off
What you counted was codes 12, 11 and 55. The only significant code was the 11, which is why you have no spark... you have no crank signal.

Causes for this vary a bit on the 97 models... with the time the car spent sitting idle, you may have had some critter damage to the harness or something of the sort. Tough call at this point.

The crank sensor is located on the back side of the block, facing the firewall on the 97 2.4 engine. The harness that services the sensor tracks down the rear (vehicle left) part of the cylinder head, disappearing as it snakes along below the exhaust manifold.

Damage to this section of harness isn't uncommon from problems such as getting chafed by the driveshaft, melted together from exhaust heat or the already-mentioned critter damage.

Inspect your harness as best you can, ultimately winding up at the sensor if nothing can be found from above. When disconnected, the three wires to the sensor (key on) should read...

Orange/ white (8v feed to sensor) Between 8 and 9v, usually about 8.8 volts.
Grey/ black (signal wire) About 5.0 volts.
Black/ light blue (sensor ground) Almost zero volts, but should have less than 25 ohms to battery negative when tested with an ohmmeter.

If you can't get access to the crank sensor, let me know and we might be able to diagnose this from above at the PCM connectors. You'll need a digital multimeter either way.

Dodgerench and other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the info - we are working on fixing the dodge and building a pole shed, so probably won't be able to see if this works until later tonight or tomorrow - thanks for the info and hopefully this will fix the status.
That's all good, just write back if there's anything I can help with.

By the way, if you find all the voltages and the ground as described... just replace the sensor.
It's not quite that simple, as the original sensor was dropped in favor of the later-type unit which uses a different connector. If you see the local Dodge parts department, the replacement sensor should come with a new connector that will have to be soldered onto the old harness. It comes with shrink tube and is ready to graft.. but you still have to do the grafting. Aftermarket sensors might still use the old style connector, but I see WAY too many problems with non-factory sensors to recommend that you use one of them.

If you have any problems or questions of course... just let me know.

Talk later,