Technical aspects of automobiles

Help, car shutdown while driving

My town and country 2003 started to have problem lately.  It starts out
as the windshield wiper stop working.  I changed the relay and it
works.  Then right afterward, while driving, the car jerks heavily.  I
asked a mechanic and he said it probably is the input output trans axel
sensors  I turn the key from off to on (but not start the engine) and
it shows the engine light blinking.  So, I replaced both.  The light
stops blinking.  But at the same days that the car jerking problem
started, it starts to shut down while driving.  I have to wait several
seconds to start it up again.  Then I recall that the car lately takes
longer to start when I turn the key on.

Yesterday, I turned on the key, and the car seems to start, so I turn
it back a little.  This shuts down the car.  Then I cannot turn on the
car.  There is no cranking noise.  Just couple relay click.  I measure
the voltage and it shows something like 12.3 volt.  I use an ODB II to
read out any error code, and it says "Pass".  I waited for about 5-10
minutes and open and close some doors (I don’t know if it helps), then
it starts again.  While backing up, it stops again.  It again takes
several minutes before it starts again.  There’s no cranking or
anything like that when it does not start.

I then drive around a block to see if it runs.  It runs fine, but I put
it back in my driveway and don’t dare to drive it.

What could be the problem?  How do I troubleshoot this problem?

Thanks,

-vdu

.
posted by admin in Без рубрики and have Comments (21)

21 Responses to “Help, car shutdown while driving”

  1. admin says:

    vdu wrote:
    > What could be the problem?  How do I troubleshoot this problem?

    It must be an electric problem. Work forward, check power supply include all
    connectors from battery, etc.
    Maybe a thermal problem or it occurs only on knocking, try to reproduce this
    error.

    Regards,

    Ralf

    http://www.omnibusclub.de
    Erfinder des Abgasturboladers Dr. Alfred J. Büchi: "Die Abgase,
    deren noch inne-wohnende Energie bis dahin vergeudet wurde …"

  2. admin says:

    I’m thinking the ignition switch itself, or it’s associated wiring.  If
    the key turning does nada, there is no signal going to the related
    starting components, [no-crank condition].  Could be also, bad starter
    wiring or solenoid, hoo boy.

    Like Ralf says, start at battery, go to starter and ignition switch
    from there, see if current is occurring. You seem to have eliminated
    most other possible problems.


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  3. admin says:

    Knifeblade_03 wrote:
    > I’m thinking the ignition switch itself, or it’s associated
    > wiring.  If the key turning does nada, there is no signal
    > going to the related starting components, [no-crank
    > condition].  Could be also, bad starter wiring or solenoid,
    > hoo boy.

    > Like Ralf says, start at battery, go to starter and
    > ignition switch from there, see if current is occurring.
    > You seem to have eliminated most other possible problems.

    I’m not so sure the module has been eliminated, has it?
       Also:  My 95 Roadmaster has a star wiring connection
    underneath the underhood fuse housing that likes to loosen up;
    very common problem.  There are so many connections coming into
    that star that it can cause some really interesting problems, and
    mine lined up real close to the OP’s descrip.
       A mechanoc nephew told me about that.  I pulled the fuse
    housing off, turned it over and grabbed the connections, and they
    felt tight, but as I did so, I noticed the underhood light
    flickered and the ignition key bell dinged because I’d
    inadvertantly left the key turned on.  They didn’t really feel
    loose, but were pretty dirty & crudded up, so I took the wires
    off, cleand everythign and reassembled:  100% fix to date.  That
    was about two months ago.  First garage wanted to sell me a new
    module.  It was just bad connections.
       Moral:  Feeling tight doesn’t mean connections are good.

    HTH
    Pop

  4. admin says:

    Good point, pop, sort of the connection issues I was thinking of in my
    post.


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  5. admin says:

    A neighbor’s Dodge was doing something similar, and she took it to the
    dealer and after $75 and all day in the shop told her they had no idea
    what was happening…it wouldn’t act up for them…

    I took her to go pick it up after the dealer was closed, and it
    wouldn’t start. While checking the connections to the battery I noticed
    a hairline crack in the neg cable clamp…replaced the cable end, it’s
    been fine since…

    Check your connections, starting from the battery and working out to
    primary power from the starter to ignition, to fusebox…etc….you’ll
    find it. It’s usually something so simple, you overlook it….


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  6. admin says:

    clicking noise, you might check the condition of the battery, the
    battery terminal connections, and the battery ground wire connection to
    the body.

    sounds like a shot battery.

    the occasional starts might just be the result of a battery surface
    charge.

    also the x-mission "safety" system will kick-in at times, and by turning
    the key off, and then on, it will go into the limp-mode to let you drive
    to a garage.

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    >mho
    >v fe

  7. admin says:

    I had a mercury sable and experienced the same kind of problem. It was
    the ECM, I had to replace it and did not happen again.
    good luck!!

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    vdu wrote:
    > My town and country 2003 started to have problem lately.  It starts out
    > as the windshield wiper stop working.  I changed the relay and it
    > works.  Then right afterward, while driving, the car jerks heavily.  I
    > asked a mechanic and he said it probably is the input output trans axel
    > sensors  I turn the key from off to on (but not start the engine) and
    > it shows the engine light blinking.  So, I replaced both.  The light
    > stops blinking.  But at the same days that the car jerking problem
    > started, it starts to shut down while driving.  I have to wait several
    > seconds to start it up again.  Then I recall that the car lately takes
    > longer to start when I turn the key on.

    > Yesterday, I turned on the key, and the car seems to start, so I turn
    > it back a little.  This shuts down the car.  Then I cannot turn on the
    > car.  There is no cranking noise.  Just couple relay click.  I measure
    > the voltage and it shows something like 12.3 volt.  I use an ODB II to
    > read out any error code, and it says "Pass".  I waited for about 5-10
    > minutes and open and close some doors (I don’t know if it helps), then
    > it starts again.  While backing up, it stops again.  It again takes
    > several minutes before it starts again.  There’s no cranking or
    > anything like that when it does not start.

    > I then drive around a block to see if it runs.  It runs fine, but I put
    > it back in my driveway and don’t dare to drive it.

    > What could be the problem?  How do I troubleshoot this problem?

    > Thanks,

    > -vdu

  8. admin says:

    fivei…@webtv.net wrote in article
    <26894-44A88B8F-…@storefull-3314.bay.webtv.net>…

    > clicking noise, you might check the condition of the battery, the
    > battery terminal connections, and the battery ground wire connection to
    > the body.

    > sounds like a shot battery.

    > the occasional starts might just be the result of a battery surface
    > charge.

    > also the x-mission "safety" system will kick-in at times, and by turning
    > the key off, and then on, it will go into the limp-mode to let you drive
    > to a garage.

    That isn’t really what your owner’s manual says, is it?

    "x-mission" usually refers to transmission while I believe you mean
    "emission."

    If you are going to quote your owner’s manual or a Haynes repair manual,
    then you should quote it exactly, because when you try to make it sound as
    though it came from your own, personal, knowledge bank, you usually screw
    it up massively.

     >mho

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    > >v fe

  9. admin says:

    Thank you all for helping.  I think I make lot of progress in finding
    out what the problem is here.

    According to Haynes manual, I following the trouble shoot procedure.
    Because when I turn the key, there’s no cranking, but there’s a click
    sound.  So I assume that’s the solenoid clicks.  It says the problem is
    either the battery, the main solenoid contacts, or the start motor
    itself.

    Next, it says to check the solenoid, locate and remove the starter
    relay from the PDC.  Connect a remote starter between the battery and
    terminal 87 of the starter relay connector.  If the starter motor
    operates when the remote switch is activated, the solenoid is OK and
    the problem is in the ignition switch, neutral start switch, starter
    relay or the wiring.

    So, I takes the relay out, turn on the ignition key, and then connect
    between the battery + terminal and the terminal 87 of the relay.  When
    I do this, the engine is cranking.  From this, I conclude that the
    starter motor is good and the solenoid is good.  Chances is the
    ignition switch is good (because all other lights and windows are on
    when I turn on the key).  I switch the relay with the front blower
    relay (same relay part id), the problem is still there.  So I conclude
    that the relay is probably not the problem (I can further test this
    relay if not sure).  So, it’s remained to be the neutral start switch.
    This is another thing attached to the transmission.  I replaced the two
    input/output speed sensor.  One of them failed.  I think this one also
    fails.

    I think the source of failure due to my recent change of the
    transmission oil.  I put back 4 quarts ATF+4 from advance auto parts
    (it says it’s compatible with Mopar ATF+4).  I think some of the
    silicone (from the sealant of the bottom pan) may have get there and
    screw things up (I see some black stuff on one of the sensor I took out
    mentioned above).  The problem I have is that I don’t know if the
    amount of oil is enough or not.  I clearly took out a little more then
    4 quarts.  However, if I use the stick to check the oil level while the
    engine is running hot, the oil goes way pass max level.  But if I take
    out 4 quarts, and put back 4 quarts, how could that be too much?  I
    remembered the previous time I changed the transmission oil (before
    this time), the car has problem of shifting gear.  I talked to a
    mechanic and he told me to put more oil.  I did, and the problem goes
    away.  So it does not seem to be that the oil level is too high before
    I change the oil last time.

    I’ll update my progress more next time,

    Vdu

  10. admin says:

    I just talked to the mechanic again (he’s a cousin of mine, from
    another state), and he said it’s very likely to be the starter.  This
    is really confusing though.  The book says if it’s cranking, it’s not
    the solenoid, but either the ignition switch, neutral start switch,
    starter relay or the wiring.

    This guy is very experienced though.  He own a garage and he’s making
    living by fixing car for more than 15 years.

    I think I’ll try to replace the starter motor and see if it works.  I
    hope that I can either test out the starter motor or can return the new
    one if the problem does not go away.

  11. admin says:

    I took the starter and solenoid (together as a unit) to Advance Auto
    Parts.  They tested them and said it works fine.

    Now, it seems my options are limited.  It’s either the transmission
    range switch (part and neutral switch), the wires somewhere, or the
    starter switch.

    If it’s the starter switch, then why when I turn the key to starting
    position, I hear a click in front (probably from a relay).  If it’s
    some wire, then from the relay box to the starter is ok, because I can
    wire them from the battery directly to the relay terminal and it
    cranks.

    If it’s the park and neutral switch, I have to find a way to test it
    out because it’s a pain to take it out.  First, I have to open the
    transmission oil pan which means to change the transmission oil, which
    I just did last month.  Second, the oil cost a lot (ATF+4), so it’s
    better be the reason before I replace it.   I also have to use silicone
    for the gasket, which means I have to scape out the old one.  Not to
    complaint, but to say that I have to test this things for sure before I
    replace it.

    I probably will find way to test the park and neutral switch before
    continue on this.

  12. admin says:

    I think I was able to test the park and neutral switch.  The problem I
    had was that I couldn’t find the 4 connectors for the Powertrain
    Control Module.  It turns out that my car is SBEC (single board
    electronic control) type.  So, using the right reference, I was able to
    identify most of the stuffs needed for troubling shoot the whole thing.

    My conclusion is that the park and range switch is bad.  When in
    neutral and park position, with ignition key off, it’s about 15 ohms
    between the ground and the output (measure at the PCM connector).  When
    it’s in other positions, it’s above 400 ohms.  Unless the power train
    diagnostic book is wrong, the correct reading for other position is
    below 10 ohms.  The problem now is that if at parking, and the ohm
    reading is correct for this position, shouldn’t it be enough for me to
    start the car?

    I probably will replace the switch.  However, I’ll wait a bit more, to
    see if I have any further idea to confirm this fact.

  13. admin says:

    several years ago i had a datsun 200sx that had a similar sounding
    problem. did all the tests w/ the starter/solenoid–each worked.
    checked al lthe other connectiosn, fuses, relauys, etc–all ok.  i was
    really stumped.

    turned out the solenoid worked, but the heat shield was missing,
    causing the solenoid to heat up, so when the car was cold in the am, it
    was fine, if i ran a quick errand, it would not start.  if i went
    somewhere and it sat for a while (about an hour perhaps), then it would
    start fine.

    i threw a new heat shield between the solenoid and the exhaust header
    and that solved the problem!

  14. admin says:

    Thanks for sharing your story.  My car would not start at all now.  I
    check the diagnostic book for transmission, and they have another long
    test for this park and neutral switch (transmission range sensor).  The
    problem is that the book is for NGC and EATX type (if I remember them
    correctly).  These have 4 pins for the powertrain control module
    (PCM), while I could only find 1 in mine car.  I know for sure that my
    car also have 4 outputs (from looking at the connector for this
    sensor).  However, I don’t know where these wire go, so I don’t know
    how to test them.  I can only locate 1 wire so far.

    I am thinking of replacing this right now.  Only problem right now is
    that I am still not very sure if this is the problem (I need a sure way
    to test to say that this is the problem, not the PCM failed or anything
    like that).  I also found out that my local Chrysler dealer no longer
    sell ATF+4.  The ATF+4 compatible at advanced auto parts that I used
    last time may have caused me all these headache.

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    whiteou…@gmail.com wrote:
    > several years ago i had a datsun 200sx that had a similar sounding
    > problem. did all the tests w/ the starter/solenoid–each worked.
    > checked al lthe other connectiosn, fuses, relauys, etc–all ok.  i was
    > really stumped.

    > turned out the solenoid worked, but the heat shield was missing,
    > causing the solenoid to heat up, so when the car was cold in the am, it
    > was fine, if i ran a quick errand, it would not start.  if i went
    > somewhere and it sat for a while (about an hour perhaps), then it would
    > start fine.

    > i threw a new heat shield between the solenoid and the exhaust header
    > and that solved the problem!

  15. admin says:

    Please give me some idea here.  My car is still not starting.  When I
    turn on the ignition switch, I just hear a click on a relay.  This is
    not the same as the starter relay.  It’s one next to it.  Below is my
    summary of my findings:

    1) The starter motor is good.  This is based on the following
    observations:
        – I brought it to the advance auto parts, and they tested and said
    it’s good
        – I hard wire the starter relay and the engine cranks
    2) The starter relay is good.  This is because I tested it steps by
    steps using a guide book, and it pass all steps
    3) The ignition switch is good (please tell me if my assumption is
    wrong).
       This assumption is due to the followings: the starter relay has 4
    pins, 85, 86, 30, 87.  Pin 85 comes from the PCM (starter relay
    control), pin 86 comes from the ignition switch, pin 30 comes from the
    battery, pin 87 goes to the start motor.  If I turn the key to the
    start position, pin 86 has 12.x volt.  Pin 30 also has 12.x volt.
    These are good.  The problem is pin 85 has 12.x volt.  This means no
    current for the starter relay, and it won’t close the path of pin 30
    and 87, so starter motor does not crank.  If I ground pin 85, the
    engine cranks (this also points out that the relay is good).
    4) The wire from the ignition switch is good, because pin 86 has 12.x
    volt.
    5) The wire from the batter to the pin 30 is good, because it has 12.x
    volt.
    6) The wire from the relay to the starter motor is good, because I can
    crank it by hardwire the relay pin 30 and 87.
    7) It’s not the battery, because I can crank the engine if I hardwire
    the starter relay.
    8) The problem come from the PCM pin 85.  So, why it has 12.x volt.
    >From the factory service book, I see that one thing that affect this

    would be the transmission range sensor (TRS).  I replaced, this, and
    the engine still does not crank.  So, could it be the wire the come
    from the TRS, or the PCM (the main computer of the car), or anything
    else that cal lead to this problem?  I hope the PCM is not the problem.
     It cost a bunch of $, and it needs retrained (which needs the DRB III,
    which costs > $3000).  This means it probably requires me to bring it
    to the dealer.  The car can not start though, so I need it to be
    hauled.  This is real bad.  Since I had a bad experience with the local
    dealer, do you think other auto shop can fix this type of problem?  I
    remember that I used an ODB II to read DTC and it says no code.  I’ll
    check that again.  Looking at the electrical diagram, I don’t know
    where else to troubleshoot the problem.

  16. admin says:

    "vdu" wrote:

    My car is not starting.

    It will start if I ground pin 85 of the starter relay while
           the ignition switch is in the start position.

    If I turn the key to the start position, pin 86 has 12V.
    Pin 85 also has 12V.    Why does it have 12V?
    ____________________________________________________

    READ THIS WITH A UNIFORM-SPACE FONT (COURIER/LUCIDA):

    This is my guess at the circuit you described:

                    STARTER RELAY
                     __________
                    | contacts |
                    |          |
    BATTERY ====(30)|====/ /===|(87)=======STARTER
                    |          |
    IGN SW —–(86)|–\/\/\/–|(85)——-PCM?/SRC?/???
                    |   coil   |
                    |__________|

    Pin 85 must be grounded and Pin 86 must see 12V for the
    coil to be energized.  When Pin 85 is grounded, coil current
    will flow and coil resistance will reduce Pin 85 to Zero Volts.

    The wire from Pin 85 goes to some safety device which is
    supposed to ground that wire, thereby giving permission
    for the starter relay to operate.   From your description,
    Pin 85 is never getting grounded.       You might try:

    1.)  Checking the wire for a bad connector at each end,
         corroded terminals at either end, or a break inside.

    2.)  Checking the device at the other end of the wire.

    In an emergency you could just connect Pin 85 to a ground.
    The key would then start the car, but the permissive safety
    features would be bypassed or disabled.

    Good luck.

    Rodan.

  17. admin says:

    I’m with Rodan.  You’ll have to trace that wire that goes to the #85 and
    find exactly where it goes and what it does.  You’ll also need to find
    what other wires/sensors the wire may be affected by.  Saftey nuetral
    switch is the first thing to look at.  Make sure it works and is
    properly adjusted since they can be moved around a little.  Also, does
    your car have an OEM alarm or theft device?


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  18. admin says:

    Thank you, Rodan and ponchonutty, for your replies.

    Rodan – yes, your diagram is correct.  Pin 85 goes to the PCM.  I’ll
    trace to see if there’s a short along the line from the relay to the
    PCM.  I did ground this pin and the engine cranks, but the car did not
    start after about 3 seconds of cranking.  Beside safety, I wonder if
    just ground this wire is good enough for starting the car.  Last night,
    I tried to read error code again using a different scanner.  There was
    no error code.

    I just replaced the park and neutral switch, and the problem is still
    there.  The car has alarm, but I am not sure if it has anything more
    than that about anti-theft.  The radio does not need code, so no
    anti-theft there.

    My problem right now is that Pin 85 goes to the PCM, and if there’s no
    short between the PCM and the power distribution center (where the
    starter relays sits), then I don’t know how to get further with this
    PCM.  My plan is to read the diagram again from the service manual to
    see if there’s anymore hint.  I just hope that the PCM does not fail.

    Last night I also wonder if Pin 86 is the one supposed to be grounded
    and Pin 85 is the the 12 V one.  But according to Rodan, it does not
    seem to be the case.  Also, I have to check the digram, because as I
    remember, Pin 86 is the one supposed be 12 V when turn on the key to
    start.

    I’ll keep my progress posted.

  19. admin says:

    A very good news.  I found an open and the car runs now.

    It was more complicated than that.  After I found and fixed the open a
    while back, the car still didn’t run.  Then I tested the PCM grounds
    and the starter control wire and all seems good.  Yesterday, I tried to
    force the car to at least crank again by grounding the starter control
    pin.  It surprised me that it didn’t start.  So, check again and this
    time, the starter line is cold.  I know that something different is
    going on.  But the ignition switch line is easier to track because it
    doesn’t go throught the computer.  I look through the fuse box, and
    it’s open for the ignition.  I am not sure when this fuse burnt but it
    must have happened after the last time I crank the engine and testing
    this circuit, and before I fixed the open line.  I am sure that this
    wasn’t the case in the beginning, because the pin 86 of the starter
    relay was 12.x volt.  It really throws me off because I thought it was
    good, and after fixed the open line and the car still didn’t work, I
    was looking for some other leads.

    Anyway, this is a good news for me.  I got the car running fine now.
    Thanks all for trying to help me out and share your story.

  20. admin says:

    vdu wrote:
    > A very good news.  I found an open and the car runs now.

    I have a completely unrelated question.  You mentioned using silicone
    sealer on the transmission pan.  Is that permitted?  My Toyota book
    warns specifically against doing that, and I’ve read that bits of
    silicone rubber can break off and get into the valve body.

  21. admin says:

    I would follow the manufacturer service manual.  For the Chrysler
    above, the manual asks to use silicone (I carefully bought it from the
    dealer wich cost a little more, I am not sure it’s any different from
    auto part store).  I used gasket before, and it leaks after several
    months.  Your case could be different.  I also fear the rubber could
    cause damage other places, but because I had the leak problem, I had to
    follow the maker’s advice.  You should follow their advice if they warn
    so.  For these things, I would use the dealer’s stuffs because it does
    cost much, and save money and headach later.

    What you wrote is very interesting, and it would be nice for some
    expert to clarify this.  I am sure my car does not work with gasket
    because I tried it, and would not do that again.

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    do_not_spam…@my-deja.com wrote:
    > vdu wrote:

    > > A very good news.  I found an open and the car runs now.

    > I have a completely unrelated question.  You mentioned using silicone
    > sealer on the transmission pan.  Is that permitted?  My Toyota book
    > warns specifically against doing that, and I’ve read that bits of
    > silicone rubber can break off and get into the valve body.

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