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Chrysler Repair/'97 Cirrus LXI won't start


QUESTION: Saturday morning I went to start the car and it wouldnt start. I had thought maybe it was just cold, so I waited until it warmed up. It still wouldnt start. Jumping it didnt work either. The lights and dash all come on, but the radio and wipers do not work. The car doesnt even try to turn over. It just does nothing. Hubby is a good mechanic and can fix it, but needs some help tracking down what it could be. His first thought was fuse, but those seem to be ok. Help??

ANSWER: Hi Erica,
Take a close look at fuse 8 (20 amp) in the power distribution center in the engine compartment. That fuse passes current to the ignition switch and from there to many engine components as well as the radio and wipers. Let me know if that one is OK but he should start there. Look carefully to see if it might have a cracked wire rather than being blown.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.

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

QUESTION: We replaced the #8 fuse and there is no change. There was a 15 AMP fuse in there so I was pretty hopeful :( Any other ideas?

Hi Erica,
First we have to get the starter motor working. Try moving the gear shift lever slightly off-center on both sides from the detent position in P or N, then try the start. It could be that the P/N safety starting switch is off-center.  
If that doesn't work, then open the hood and take the lid off the power distribution box. In the very rear of that box there are 4 relays, the front driver-side relay is the starter relay. Have a helper try the start while you listen/touch the relay to see if it clicks or not. If it clicks then if the battery were charged up/jumped and the wire from the relay to the starter motor was good then the starter motor would click.
If it doesn't click then either the starter relay (exchange if for a different one of the 4 in the rear of the box as a test) is bad, or the starter switch section of the ignition switch isn't working.
All these possibilities can also be diagnosed with the help of a voltmeter if your hubby has one and I can describe which wire to test.
Once you can get the solenoid switch at the starter motor to click loudly, the motor should respond if the battery is charged/jumped. If not, then the starter motor would be at fault.
Please rate my answer and consider a 'yes' to the question about a nomination of me.

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Roland Finston


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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