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Chrysler Repair/98 Caravan 3.3 l ASD continuous clicking

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Question
QUESTION: Hello,
I've been through many previous posts and haven't found one exactly the same as the problem I'm having.

On several occasions, the engine cuts out or will not start. During this time, the Check Engine light is flashing intermittently in conjunction with the ASD relay chattering, another relay located along the air inlet hose from the air filter box, and the fuel pump turns on/off, all in a random chatter. Up until this time, the rpoblem would go away after about a minute of leaving the ignition switch on. It seemed like the fuel pump was having difficulty pumping up to pressure, but that could have just been my imagination.

This time the problem didn't magically disappear, so I replaced the ASD and fuel pump relays, to no avail. I also noticed on more than one occasion that after turning off the ignition switch, the ASD relay continued to chatter, but stopped after less than a minute.

Thanks in advance for your help.

ANSWER: Let me think about this, check the manual and then get back later.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: After sending my question, I went back out to try it again. I took 2 videos. The first one documents the problems and shows the unidentified relay on the air intake. On the second one, I let the ignition switch on long enough for the relays to calm down, and after several tries got it to start. While cranking it over, it seemed to be starved for fuel and kind of backfired, as though the timing was off. Once it did start, it would not idle at a constant RPM and finally quit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQEmHRWRhCs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV6A28Pw3-c

If the links don't work you can search youtube using:
98 caravan starting problem.

Thanks again

Answer
Hi Wade,
Thanks for the video...I saw the first one, that was added to your follow-up question. The second one I couldn't see for some reason.
In any case, when relays, particularly several relays together, click in that manner it makes me believe that rather than the relay control function oscillating like that it is more likely that the voltage supply to the other end of all the relay control coils is depressed such as to not allow the relay points to remain closed firmly. I wonder whether the battery/alternator voltage output is marginal when this happens or perhaps there is an intermittent short that is dragging down the voltage on the system, as opposed to something related to the actual control of the engine functioning by the PCM. Start with measuring the voltage across the battery when this is happening vs when it isn't happening and let me know what you find. It may be that the short is actually caused by a component that is being activated by one of the relays and thus you get a feedback response which is the repeated clicking. Were that the case you could try removing the clicking relays, one at a time to see which one when removed stops the others from clicking.
If on the other hand it has to do with the pcm control function and all the sensors related to that, then it would be desireable to get a fault code readout. Unfortunately, I don't believe you can get the codes via the ignition switch but only by plugging in a fault code reader. A nationwide autoparts store, such as Autozone, will often do that readout for free. Let me know any 4-digit fault code numbers that come out.
Tomorrow I will be tied up most of the day, but if you respond early I might see that. Otherwise I'll be available in the evening.

Roland

Chrysler Repair

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

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Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

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Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

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Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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