Dodge GC Engine quit running in a turn...

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Old 07-07-08, 07:50 PM
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Dodge GC Engine quit running in a turn...

We were turning down our street coming home from work when the engine just died. When we tried to start it, there wasn't even a click of the starter let alone the engine cranking. But the lights, radio and windows worked. I disconnected the battery in hopes of clearing whatever error might have caused the problem, but then I got the symptoms of the battery being low on charge. So I put the charger on and the meter showed it being low, drawing 9v. It has come up quite a bit in the past 1/2 hour or so and is now only drawing about 4-5v. However, I'm not able to get the Click sound from the starter even.

Here are some details and other symptoms.
2001 Dodge Grand Caravan
3.3L V-6
154k miles
Transmission rebuilt on Fathers Day by a local shop. Pretty good rep.

No, I don't get the Check Engine light on when turning the Key on. And yes, it has been on in the past and I have had 3 people Diagnose it at Service stations and I have received 3 different (completely) reasons why it's on.

No, I don't hear the Fuel Pump prime at "On" either.

My Gas Gauge shows empty when I know there's about 1/2 tank.

Yes, I have 500 different electrical issues with the van, from rear heat/blower quit working to the tailgate opening on it's own and continually trying to open til it died one day. Front Air/Heater blower only works on high and the rear wiper started funking out a couple weeks ago.

Aside from driving it off a cliff, which I can't right now because of it's lack of Any motion, What are some possibilities of the problem I'm facing now.

Thanks,

JJ
 
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Old 07-09-08, 11:34 AM
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Need help bad.....

A lot of views, but no replies. This is my only vehicle and can't get to work. I own my own business and the economy is killing us but now the van is making it worse.
 
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Old 07-09-08, 11:42 AM
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JJ
A battery doesn't "draw" volts, the more common term is draw amps, though thats sorta inaccurate also.

Don't trust any meters on a typical cheap battery charger, they are only an estimate.

Is the battery connected to the vehicle? You should disconnect it from the vehicle, then try charging. What is the water level in the battery or is it sealed? How old is the battery?

Do you have a voltmeter you can use to check across the battery terminals while it is disconnected?

You can take it to most auto stores and they can do a test to see if its shot. Even that may not be accurate tho.

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Old 07-09-08, 11:52 AM
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I know trusting gauges is Iffy. It is one of the better Charges, but wouldn't say the best. I did not disconnect the battery to charge it. However, the Dome Lights are as bright as can be etc. The battery is about 18 months old so not bad but not good either. Extreme weather here much like AZ. Lived there for 14 years. Battery is a sealed system so I can't really check the water. But that's suppose to reduce the loss of water. I'm going to go check the Grounds on this again. Terminals were real clean but you can see the Green in the wires of the Neg cable. I don't have a volt meter, so that's out. Closest Auto Shop is a couple miles away and this is my only vehicle. Neighbors at work so kinda stranded. Wanna come pick me up!? ha ha

I'm back and forth on this. Some local advice has been, Ground Cable, Ignition, BCM, ECM etc. and all have their Logics. I'm leaning Ground Cable because of the Sudden shut down and it's the Cheapest solution. But with my luck......
 
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Old 07-09-08, 12:00 PM
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Very likely it could be a ground, all that salt and slush up there wreaks havoc on that sort of thing.

Is the meter on your charger a Volt or Amp meter? The readings you gave make no sense to me for a Volt meter.

If you disconnect the battery, you get a better idea of whether it is actually taking and holding a charge, or whether there is a draw somewhere else. But you need a hand held voltmeter to analyze it.
 
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Old 07-09-08, 12:23 PM
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Yeah, sorry, Said Volts instead of Amps. I was just out again looking at the grounds and found 2 and they are connected but didn't take them off to create a New connection or clean them. It's parked on a hill so I can't jack it up to find the other ground and my Big Head can barely fit under the front bumper as it is. The innitial cause leads more to that the Ground disconnected as it was instant. However, some of the other electrical issues makes you think that it may be the BCM. On the other hand, a poor ground would limit the function of Rear Heater Blower, Lift Gate going nuts, Driver door lock engaging as you pull on the handle etc.

Frustrating.....
 
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Old 07-09-08, 01:46 PM
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Cool UPDATE!!! Ignition Fuse Blowing......

Ok, Found that the Ignition Fuse was blown. Put the only replacement I had in, 5 amps bigger, and it blew as soon as the ignition switch turned on. So Riddle me this Batman, Do I go for the Switch or do I have a more Deeply rooted problem?!
 
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Old 07-15-08, 09:50 PM
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first off if your check engine light doesn't come on with the key on and engine off you have an ecm problem or a wiring problem to the ecm or you're like some people that deal with the check engine light being on for years till the bulb finally burns out. if the check engine light stays on while the engine is running then that means you have an error code in your vehicles computer.

my brother had a lot of issues with the wiring harness in his caravan and ended up trading it in due to these. it sounds like you have a number of problems that are probably caused by a bad spot in the engines wiring harness. I'd start with doing a visual of that
 
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Old 07-16-08, 08:36 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Here's what's happened in the past few days. I had narrowed it down to the Ignition switch fuse blowing. Replaced the Ignition Switch and still blew. So I had it towed to the Shop. With that information the Mech started his trace. He knew of the recent history from electrical issues, tranny rebuild etc.

The Wires leading to the fuse box were his first priority. He traced and eliminated any issues between the ignition switch and fuse. Then he went out of the fuse box and ran into a Spaghetti mess of branch after branch. This one wire leads to about 6 different things. In his trace, he found 4 wire connections corroded or broken because of corrossion. Wiring harness travels under the battery mount.

Checked all modules, relays etc. Everything fine. Head scratching time. Turns out the harness leads up and over the Tranny, next to exhaust heat shield etc. Well there's a Harness mount up there and when they reset the harness after rebuilding the tranny they pinched 2 wires causing the short.

The headache was that were so many leads that were corroded or broken. Hence a Goose Chase. Dodge/Chrysler has issues with their wiring on these vans and it's well know not only here but in the Auto Service industry. Not to mention that Dodges wiring diagrams are something left to be desired it sounds like.

Just wanted to update this thread but also to help people in case something like this happens to them.

JJ
 
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Old 07-16-08, 09:32 AM
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Not aimed at anyone personally.........

But how can you blame a vehicle Manufacturer for a shotty design, when the Mechanics who work on these things do Slipshot work at best......

All those clips and brackets are put in for a reason, but yet if you look in the top drawer of a Mechanics tool box, there are always 10 or 12 spares????????

I'm not denying that the auto manufacturing engineers have a bad idea or a bad day now and then......But do we have the right dismiss them , if the vehicle is not put back together as "INTENDED"?

If your doctor removed your arms and replaced them with ears....were you always defective???? Or did the doctor screw up?
 
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Old 07-22-08, 09:47 PM
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as far as whether or not the manufacturer is to blame over mechanics it all comes down to this. Yes there are mechanics who take short cuts or make mistakes (like the one where the wires got pinched) but 90% of the wiring problems that occur on A LOT of caravans and other dodge/chrysler vehicles are caused by corrosion. especially living in the north east I see it a lot. It isn't anyones fault but the engineers who design the wiring and don't put enough thought into what will make the connectors not corrode. aparently it seems like the engineers for the wiring on the vehicles don't live in a part of the country where it snows.

I myself have quite a few spare clips,hardware in my box but you know where they came from? sometimes when you replace wireing harnesses or other parts they come with new clips, hardware. I save the old ones (if they're in good shape) incase a car comes in thats missing one or has a broken one so I can put one in for them without having to charge them. so before you go judging and compareing us to doctors putting on the wrong parts, THINK about it a little. If we were taking a shortcut and didn't care to put it back in on one car, why would we save it in our tool box? If we didn't think it was important enough to bother, why keep it? It doesn't make any sense.
 
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