Chrysler Repair/'93 Dodge Grand Caravan: no start
QUESTION: Hi I have a 93 grand caravan 3.3 AWD and it was starting and running fine. Here's what happened:
1. I left the dome light on and completely drained the battery.
2. I was in a hurry and hooked up my battery charger on jump mode and tried to start it but it was too dead to turn over.
3. I turned the charger down to 10A charge on deep cycle mode (the car has a deep cycle rv battery)and let it charge maybe a half hour.
4. After a bit I put the charger back on jump mode and it would turn over but not start. It acted like it wanted to start when it first started to crank, then just cranked and cranked.
5. I fully charged the battery on 2A but now it won't start.
What is the first thing I should check?
ANSWER: Hi Dave,
Do a fault code readout. Turn the key; "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the check engine light, which remains "on", to see it begin to flash, pause, flash, etc. Count the number of flashes before each pause. Then repeat the process to be sure of an accurate set of flash counts. Tell me the counts in order of appearance and we'll go from there. I will be available early tomorrow morning to read your follow-up question if you send it tonight, and get right back to you then.
Please read the PS below and respond to it.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you very much Roland! I disconnected the battery earlier today and hooked it back up for the test and the car started. It took a few tries like it was starving for fuel or something - it would try to start then die. After maybe 6 or 7 tries it finally started and seems to start ok now.
I ran the code test a few times and came up with 1-2-5-5. The pause between 1 and 2 was pretty short so I wasn't sure if it was 3-5-5 or 1-2-5-5 but I looked in my shop manual here and saw there were no three digit codes.
I seem to recall this happening before and the car wouldn't start until the battery was fully charged but I don't remember whether or not I had to disconnect it.
As you know the 12 code is about disconnecting the battery, and the 55 means end of code readout.
My favorite candidate when you have a no start with no codes is the exhaust gas recirculation valve being stuck ajar. Interestingly another '93 minivan owner with the same issue wrote me about 5 minutes before you only he did show a 32 code, but the egr can do this without showing the 32 code. Here is my answer to him:
The egr is mounted along a narrow pipe that branches off the manifold next to the radiator and that goes around to the rear of the engine, and is mounted sideways under the throttle body. So find it and do exactly the same things.
"Once you find the valve notice that it has a round vacuum hose-operated top piece. the valve body proper which is connected to the exhaust pipe. and a flange between those two parts inside of which is hidden a rod which is the valve stem. The stem has a circumferential slot into which the tip of a screwdriver can be inserted to move the stem back and forth. You will notice spring-action in one direction which closes the valve.
What generally causes the code is that exhaust fumes make the stem sticky such that it won't close tightly. What you need to do is spray some WD-40 on the stem where enters the valve body so as to free-up the 'action'. Move the stem back and forth after spraying it so that the spring action now closes the valve to a dead stop.
You will find the engine accelerates better and slows down to idle when you come to a stop better."
So give that a try because I think that will work for you too.
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