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Chrysler Repair/'00 Neon Will Not Start but cranks: spark check


QUESTION: I have a 2000 Dodge Neon with a 2.0 L 16v engine. It died on my daughter and would not turn over and we found a blown fuse in the fuse box inside the car - number 10 - the fuse kept blowing out and would kill the car each time - we finally got a circuit breaker fuse and installed it so we could drive the car home without it dying on us - we found the source of the short - it was the wires to the torque converter control solenoid - we repaired these wires and the car will now not start - it cranks over just fine but will not start up - the only code I am getting is the P1684 code - I did have the P0743 code before I repaired the wiring - I don't know where to go from here

ANSWER: Hi Frank,
The wire to the torque converter clutch solenoid branches off a 7-wire splice located near the power distribution box. All the wires are dark blue/white and should show 12v when the key is in the run position. I would look at pin 20 of the powertrain control module first plug, and at the fuel pump relay socket (that is the most outboard relay) where you would expect to find 12v on the outboard rear pin socket as those 2 devices need to have that power to operate. Perhaps one or the other of those wires is disconnected at the splice (or where you found the problem with the clutch solenoid wire).
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.

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First off thank you for your lightning fast responses!  The place in the wiring where the damage occurred was between the 5 pin plug mounted to the bracket behind the PCM and the TCC solenoid itself - it appears that the wires were rubbing against the transaxle/motor and wore through and shorted out - as I said we were able to drive the car home just fine (probably after the wires finished shorting out completely) and then once we repaired the wiring the code went away but no start - will turn over fine - I do keep getting fuse flashing in the odometer when I try to start the car or turn the key on but all fuses have been verified with a voltmeter and have power to both sides of each fuse that should have power with key on engine off both in the fuse box and in the power distribution box - I am wondering if when these wires shorted out it could have damaged the PCM?

ANSWER: Hi Frank,
When you have a no start with no codes you have to go to basics and history. Do you hear the fuel pump run when you turn the key to the run position, for about 2 seconds and then stop, which is normal?
Do you have spark while cranking?
But given this history of excessive current flowing out of that fuse which went to a splice upstream from the 5 wire disconnect I would also wonder about the other items that are serviced by that upstream splice because the splice experienced the high current flow. The two voltage sources from that same splice that I mentioned are of course central to the engine running. So I would suggest that you verify there is voltage present in those to locations in the start and run position of the key.
Let me know what you learn, please.
Thanks for the rating and nomination. You can do both of those steps again if you would be so kind.

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

I will check the wiring where you suggested after I get off work would make sense if there is a broken wire connection that it would generate a fuse code because all it sees is a broken connection in the circuit.  I do have power to the fuel pump.  What is the best way to check for spark while cranking?

Remove a spark plug cap. Then use a screwdriver with an insulated handle. Insert it into the spark plug cap, then hold the two together and place the metal shaft of the screwdriver about 1/8" from the cylinder head and have your daughter crank over the engine while you watch for a spark to jump across the gap.
Do you have a voltmeter or glow light to check that there is voltage at pin 20 of the pcm while cranking?  

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Roland Finston


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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