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Chrysler Repair/intermittent shutdown problem: 3.3L '99

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QUESTION: I have noticed something new that might of be help in diagnosing the stalling problem with my van.

The cruise control will not work for few (5-10) minutes after the episode (i.e. van stalling or almost stalling and Alarm Set and Service Engine Soon lights coming on). The light will not come on the dash by pressing cruise on/off button and neither does the cruise engages. In addition, during the same time, the dashboard light for Cruise will not come on even during the initial system checkup when the key is turned to On position (without cranking). The cruise will start working again usually in few minutes after the episode or if I disconnect the negative battery cable, it will start working immediately.

I believe now that the problem is purely electrical but not sure if the cruise control thing is cause or effect!
Does this new symptom point to something specific to diagnose this stalling problem?
Thanks

ANSWER: Hi Shafique,
I looked over the manual section on the cruise control. I don't see any electrical aspect of its operation which would cause the engine to stall. About the only aspect of it that may be relevant is that it also needs the vacuum supply line that comes from the intake manifold. I would suggest that you look carefully at both ends of that hose to be sure there are no cracks along the full length of the hose or loose fittings that would allow air to leak into the system and thus stall the engine due to too lean of a mixture. You would need to disconnect the battery and remove it and the battery tray to access the servo and the vacuum hose at that end.
Roland

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

QUESTION: I have already looked at all vacuum hoses and this one too after removing the battery. However, if a vacuum leak is causing stall then I do not know how to explain re-start without any problem. There is no way a vacuum leak will fix itself for like indefinite time. Am I right or is there another aspect to this scenario?

It may be that cruise control is one of the system affected by stall; may be there is some sort of common wiring between cruise control and the problematic circuit!

Thanks again for your help.

ANSWER: Hi Shafique,
As I read the wiring diagrams for the cruise control I don't see any connection that would cause the engine to stall as the result of a problem with that system. The only electrical reason for not working AFTER the stall would be an intermittent connection of one of the speed control's two switches in the steering column with pin 41 of the PCM. Those two switches are connected by a common white wire in the column through a couple of spices where it comes finally to pin 41 as a red/light green wire. The connection is via the flexible clockspring unit between the wheel and the column, and the clock spring also carries a black wire from the switches to a ground point. Another possible 'no activation' would be if the stop light switch were falsely indicating the brake pedal was being activated. That routinely de-activates the system under normal conditions.
I still wonder whether you have checked the 'solidity' of the PTC #1 functioning in the junction box. I could imagine that if that were flakey it would cause the engine to shutdown and then recover quickly. It is a self-resetting fuse-like device.
Roland

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

QUESTION: I checked the PTC #1; even wiggled it while the engine was running, nothing happens. By the way, I do not have a total of 10 PTCs. There are 8 slots. 3rd & 8th slots are empty and 4th is jumped. What causes these PTC devices to reset?

Answer
PTC's are solid state circuit breakers which will open when the current reaches a set point and then after cooling will close.
Remove PTC #1 and measure the voltage at both clips with the ignition switch in the "run" position. Then put the PTC back in its socket and have your voltmeter attached to the "cold" side of the PTC socket, Then the moment the engine dies quickly check the voltmeter to see if it is or is not showing voltage at that moment. It may be opining and then quickly closing.
Without a fault code and with everything else you have checked that is about all I can suggest that you try for this problem.
Roland

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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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