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More 98 Caravan problsms


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10-20-03, 05:22 PM   #1  
jfulcer
More 98 Caravan problsms

I did normal maintenance on my 98 caravan - replaced the PCV valve (and the hose that led to it) and the air filter. I also topped the oil off (I've got a slow rear main oil leak that will be replaced soon).

Today my wife was driving it to the bank and on the way back, the oil light came on and it appeared the power steering went out. She pulled over, turned it off and back on and it appeared fine. Just a short distance down the road again, it started doing the same thing and the engine just quit. We were able to get it started again and drove it a little more (headed home), and it quit again. It's sitting in the church parking lot right now, and I can't start it. I can turn the ignition but it will not turn over. It seems like it tries to start, (no cranking) but doesn't.

I'm wondering if I overfilled the oil if this can cause this. I've checked the engine compartment and everything looks correct and back in it's normal place. I'm at my wits end.

help???

 
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10-20-03, 05:37 PM   #2  
First, did you check the oil level again?
Sounds like you'd better put a socket on the crankshaft bolt and see if the engine is seized. The part about the oil light sounds a little scary. Were there any noises before it stopped. How many miles on this truck?

 
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10-20-03, 05:58 PM   #3  
jfulcer
When I checked the oil, it appeared to be a little over the 'max' line - which led me to believe that it was overfilled. Before I added the oil, it was just below the minimum level and it specifically says "Add 1 quart at this level", which is what I did.

There were no noises or bangs or anything - it just stopped.

I have no idea where the crankshaft bolt is, I'm not that much of an engine mechanic so I can't tell you if it's seized. We have around 98000 miles on it.

 
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10-20-03, 09:00 PM   #4  
mike from nj
are you positive it was the oil light, i've seen a lot of things called a lot of things (that they aren't)

make sure it still has a belt on it, first

 
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10-20-03, 11:17 PM   #5  
I'm thinking this sure does sound like maybe a battery cable connection is loose.


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10-21-03, 12:52 AM   #6  
jfulcer
I'm 100% positive it's the oil light - it looks like a little oil can.

And yes, the serpentine belt is still on also. ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

 
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10-21-03, 07:13 AM   #7  
Joe_F
Not sure I understand the problem. Won't even crank? Won't run? Have any power (headlights, radio, fan, etc)?

Clarify that and we'll go from here.

 
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10-21-03, 08:13 AM   #8  
jfulcer
When I try to start the engine, it sounds like it tries to crank, but just doesn't. I am still getting power (windows still work and lights and radio are fine). It's not a 'low power' situation like a drained battery sometimes shows.

I am about to head out to change the oil completely (figured that would get it back to a good oil level) and take it from there. I just don't know if the oil caused the problem or if there was something else.

Jeff

 
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10-21-03, 09:38 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Make sure your connections are good and tight as well.

 
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10-21-03, 05:47 PM   #10  
Don't bother with the oil change. That slight overfil didn't do anything. Everything your describing points toward a loss of oil pressure and engine seizure. It's time to tow it to the shop for diagnosis. You may have fried it.

 
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10-21-03, 06:16 PM   #11  
jfulcer
If I have fried it, any guesses as to how much it'll cost to either rebuild/replace the engine? It's a 3.3. Is it even worth it?

 
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10-21-03, 06:24 PM   #12  
A reman long block will probably run $3000-$4000 all dressed out replacing water pump, hoses, all ignition and likely radiator too. Is the rest of the van worth the investment? I'd stay away from a used one. You'll still be over $2000 and not have any idea what you got. Take first things first, get it checked out and see what your up against.

 
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10-21-03, 10:45 PM   #13  
Wow...I think we need to clarify a bit here.

The engine won't crank means it will not spin...it doesn't do anything when turning the key

The engine won't start means it will crank, but just keeps cranking and never starts.

So is the engine cranking? Just not starting up?

A bad connection will make it shut off, make the oil light come on, and make it not crank intermittently. We need to verify exactly what it is doing. A seized engine will generally never start back up once it has seized.


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10-22-03, 04:05 AM   #14  
Originally posted by jfulcer
When I try to start the engine, it sounds like it tries to crank, but just doesn't. I am still getting power (windows still work and lights and radio are fine). It's not a 'low power' situation like a drained battery sometimes shows.

Jeff
It appears he's describing a fully charged battery rhat will not spin the engine. The only time this thing restarted was after the initial stall. A short time later is stopped for good and won't even crank. Sounds like a seize to me.

 
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10-22-03, 06:08 AM   #15  
Joe_F
We don't KNOW what he's describing because it's not clear.

Original poster: Please clarify for us.

Have you verified all that's been supplied here?

 
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10-22-03, 06:47 AM   #16  
jfulcer
The engine does not crank. You are correct that it initially started after a stall, and didn't start after a subsequent stall. And the oil light is still on.

It does appear the battery is fully charged. I haven't put a meter to it, but it's not acting like a dying battery normally acts, and it's not really too old.

It's pretty much beyond me as to what is wrong, but we're all going to have to wait to see what the resolution. I can't get it into the shop for about 2 weeks, so I'll be sitting just like you going "hmmm".

Unless anyone else has any suggestions that I can try?

 
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10-22-03, 07:19 AM   #17  
Joe_F
You need to check that the terminal connections are good, clean and tight.

Tap on the starter with a hammer (go easy, they are easily damaged) and if the vehicle starts, the starter is bad. But, there are likely other problems too.

If you put a 1/2" breaker bar on the crank pulley and try to turn the engine, will it turn? If not, motor is likely seized.

 
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10-23-03, 01:00 AM   #18  
It's natural for the oil light to come on when the engine stalls...because it is not running...can't pump up any oil pressure. It will always come on with the ignition on but not running.


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10-23-03, 04:00 AM   #19  
OK, please clarify.
Was the oil light on WHILE THE ENGINE WAS RUNNING or just after it stalled.
It makes a big difference. It's normal if the engine isn't running.

 
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10-23-03, 07:09 AM   #20  
jfulcer
The oil light was on intermittently just before this all happened. And it was on immediately before everything died.

I knew the oil light comes on for the self test when you first start, but I've not seen it stay on if I just put the key in and turn it to ACC.

Can someone describe to me what the crankshaft pulley looks like and where it is? I'd like to try that, but do not know where it is.

I tapped on the starter and that didn't appear to effect anything - I may have not tapped it hard enough though. Worried about destroying it (with everything else).

 
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10-23-03, 10:20 AM   #21  
Joe_F
Crankshaft pulley is the bottom pulley where the oil pan area is.

I think you're missing something simple here.

 
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10-23-03, 06:21 PM   #22  
Originally posted by Joe_F

I think you're missing something simple here.
Sounds like he's been pretty clear to me. Lets see what he finds.

jfulcer
To make the instructions a little clearer, the bottom pully has a big bolt in the center of it. Get a socket that fits it and a large 1/2 drive ratchet and try to turn it in a clockwise motion. If there is no give to it and it feels solid, be prepared for the worst. If you can rotate it slowly, the problem is elsewhere.

 
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10-24-03, 09:04 PM   #23  
mike from nj
after rereading your initial description, it's still not completely clear.

does the engine spin(turn over) when you try to start it(when cranking it). or does it just make one loud click noise once?

there is no self test for the oil light, it's on because there's no oil pressure, when it starts and oil pressure is established---the light goes off.

when you're driving, and it stalls, the light comes on, because there's no pressure, also, you will lose power steering, because the engine isn't spinning(running)

these engines are very reliable, and the few that i've replaced were due to gross negligence, like the oil never being replaced. if it is a bad engine, it would be making very loud noises for a while before it seized.

if you think it's seized---because it makes one loud clunk when attempting to start, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right, look inside the right front wheel well area and on the splash shield(black) is a little plug to take out (1 inch by 2 inches oval) behind that is the main bolt everyone is talking about, it should be a 15 mm(maybe 18mm) and try to turn it.

i'm thinking you have a fuel pump or crank sensor problem.

unfortuantely, i'm going away for 1 week and i won't be able to see the end of this thread, let us know what eventually fixes this(til next friday)

 
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10-25-03, 06:09 AM   #24  
jfulcer
The engine does not clunk when I attempt to crank it, nor does it spin when attempting to crank it.

Mike, don't worry about not seeing the resolution - I will be unable to have this checked out for a week or so and it's forecasted to be cold and rainy the next week or so here and the van is outside on our parking slab, so no diagnosis work for me.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

 
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10-25-03, 03:22 PM   #25  
Joe_F
I don't think the engine is seized either. I think there's other problems.

Again, go back to the basics. Something's definitely being missed here as noted by others.

 
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10-25-03, 03:32 PM   #26  
Originally posted by Joe_F
I don't think the engine is seized either. I think there's other problems.

Again, go back to the basics. Something's definitely being missed here as noted by others.
I guess you guys are ignoring the factr that the oil light came on prior to stopping both times. It still cranked the first time but not the second and the battery is not dead.

 
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11-18-03, 12:12 PM   #27  
jfulcer
well, the verdict is in...

The engine is seized. But the oil level is fine on it. It went to the dealer and they said there was just a bit extra, but not a huge amount. They don't have a reason why it happened - most likely something related to the oil - just that it did. Ugh.

Oh wait, I have an extended warranty!

Sorry, sir, your van has 108,888 miles on it even though the odometer only says 98K miles on it, so it's not covered.

Soooo.... the dealer is putting a used engine into it 60k miles- short warranty, but still better than nothing, and it's costing me $2400 including labor. They were the best quote of the places I called to get this done.

sigh. This was an expensive PCV valve that started this all.

 
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11-18-03, 02:06 PM   #28  
Thanks for the feedback. Kudo's to Desi501

 
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11-18-03, 02:23 PM   #29  
I'm glad it's fixed but sorry it was a little costly.I don't think your pcv valve caused it though.

 
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11-18-03, 03:11 PM   #30  
Thanks Lugnut

 
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11-18-03, 06:59 PM   #31  
I agree...don't think a pcv valve could have done that. Sorry to hear it is seized. Good luck with the new-used engine!

Good call Desi! You were on track from the start.


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11-18-03, 07:40 PM   #32  
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Wow, I wonder what happened to cause the engine to seize? It is too bad an oil change costed so much
BTW I know someone that seized up a reliant 2.2 L engine twice and it survived! There was NO oil left in the engine so they put in a qt to get it home and then they filled it up and got an oil change. 2 weeks later the engine overheated and of course the head gasket blew (the infamous head gasket problems on the 2.2) so the car was junked (the whole car was falling apart)

 
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11-18-03, 07:42 PM   #33  
IM only a bit confused. How is it that your odometer is incorrect? And how did they come up with that?
Billy

 
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11-18-03, 08:40 PM   #34  
jfulcer
I don't think it was the PCV valve either. But that and the air filter are the only two things I touched in the engine compartment. (well, the hose that went from the PCV to the top of the engine needed to be replaced, but that's another story) So barring another valid explanation, that's the reason I'm sticking with.

As for the odometer being wrong.... well again - another long story. For about 5 months the whole dash blinks on and off. Sometimes stays on, sometimes stays off. With help from other posters here, I knew it was a module on the dash, but had not repaired it yet. Right now the dash is NOT working, so I do not know the exaxt miles except for it being over 98k miles. When they took the car in for diagnostics, the PCM read 108k miles.

How is there a discrepancy? I dunno. I know the dash WAS recording miles even if the display was off. And it's off, to the best of our knowledge, almost <i>exactly</i> 10k miles. Seems fishy, but I have no way of tracking back when it was wrong. I could have bought the van and the seller rolled back the miles. Who knows.

One thing irritates me about this, when the van was in for recalls about 4 months ago, after I asked them about it, they said there was something wrong with the dash that was causing a problem. According to the 'SOP' that the manager says they go through, this means they run the diags and compare the miles. There was NO notation of this being done and the miles being off. But I have no way of knowing if the tech just did it and blew it off or never actually did it. grrrrr

 
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11-18-03, 10:49 PM   #35  
mike from nj
that's a cheap price but i still wouldn't buy it.

i'd call chrysler and tell them the story, or tow it to another dealer. the pcm stores a different kind of mileage, called 'sri' mileage, and can be changed by anyone with a scan tool, this mileage is a maintenance reminder mileage and isn't reliable, everytime i check it, it's different than the odometer.

bottom line, the dash says the true mileage, and i think it might be stored in the bcm or the dash cluster, and neither is changable by anyone, period.

you might have a case with the chrysler 1-800 number.

 
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11-19-03, 04:05 AM   #36  
I have to agree with Mike on that. As for the reason your engine seized.......Quite possibly the oil pump gave up the ghost and that is why you lost oil pressure and your light came on. On the restart you drove with 0 oil pressure and the ensuing seize happened.
Just my .02.
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11-19-03, 06:07 AM   #37  
jfulcer
The dealer was more certain that the PCM was right as opposed to the dash cluster. What they said they did was a DRV (?) test - and that's what read the miles. They said that's what they have to go by if the dash isn't working properly.

It's interesting to hear that the PCM can be changed - the way they indicated it to me the PCM cannot be changed, that it's the 'golden rule' per say. Two separate people from the dealership told me that.

Unfortunately, we don't have the money to keep getting it towed to different places - it already has been at two, and every time I get a tow, that's more $$$.

I will call chrysler and see what they have to say about it. The bad part about it is they already told the warranty company that it was 108,000 miles and I think they're going to have a hard time convincing them that it's something else. But I suppose that would be their problem.

 
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11-19-03, 07:32 AM   #38  
jfulcer
This gets even more interesting.

This car was originally Canadian. According to Chrysler, they would have had to replace the PCM and dash module to convert it to miles. Chrysler appears to have no record of the conversion.

Who wants to bet someone made a 'mistake' when they reset the miles? I'm waiting for a call back from the dealer now to see if they DRV was reporting miles, or kilos. Maybe it wasn't changed and the van only has 67,000 miles on it (converted).

We'll see!

 
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11-19-03, 02:41 PM   #39  
I hope they owe you and if they do tell them to get the used engine out of your van and install a new or reman factory unit.

 
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11-19-03, 02:59 PM   #40  
DRV is actually DRB.... It stands for Diagnostic Readout Box. This is Chryslers Scan tool. Does lots of nice things an aftermarket scan tool wont do.
GET EM!!!
Billy

 
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