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Chrysler Repair/1999 Chrysler LHS Engine Immobilizer

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QUESTION: attempted theft of my auto has left my car inoperable for over two weeks, I believe it has something to do with the Sentry Key Engine immobilizer because when we attempted to try and start the car, it ran for a couple of seconds, then shut off.

Unfortunately, we kept trying to start the car with the same key and I believe now we have inadvertently made our key unrecognized by the vehicle electronics...

How can we confirm if this is the issue, and how would we be able to fix this?   

Also noteworthy I only have one key, and the remote key hasn't worked for quite awhile....  I replaced the batteries in it, it worked one time, then stoped working again

ANSWER: Hi Lisa,
What devices/parts appear to have been damaged by the attempted theft?
Check fuses 7, 14, 18, and 19 in the fuse box at the left end of dash.
If those are ok, then based on what might have been broken we may be able to repair that to get it going again.
Also, what is the status of the theft security system light located on the top of the dash as it stands now, and then if you use the key and turn it to "run"?
Based on what you find, the system man also need to be evaluated using a fault code reader that plugs into a socket under the dash to see if there is any information that has been recorded that would tell us how to proceed.
Does you car insurance have any coverage for damage due to attempted theft or vandalism? If so then that may be useful in getting this situation repaired at no or low cost
Roland

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QUESTION: Damage to the plastic cover, and the key ignition cylinder thing is dented in. Will have to check the fuses. I've not had a professional look at this yet.   the light blinks steadily like normal   Liability only

ANSWER: Hi Lisa,
The shiny metal ring that surrounds the ignition key cylinder is the "antenna" that detects  whether the key you have inserted is 'approved'. If the electrical wire between that ring and the adjacent module (hidden behind the shrouds) has been disconnected then that is why it won't let the engine run. Remove the shrouds on the steering column (remove the screws on the underside of the column shroud) and notice the little box that is connected to the shiny ring. If the ring is not connected to the box try to repair that connection so the antenna ring will be working again. If the ring itself is broken try to reconnect the break.
Roland

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

QUESTION: Okay we got the metal ring out and we don't really see a box connected to the metal ring it's in a plastic box...  Is it a black plastic box.  Or a metal box that is part of the column

Are you not allowed or willing to call me while I have some help here with me?

Answer
Hi Lisa,
The ring and the box are supposed to be connected together as a unit. Look carefully at the ring and at the box, and you should find that the box has a "neck" to which the ring is supposed to be attached. If the ring has been separated from the neck then examine the ring to see how it was originally connected to the box and notice whether there appears to be some sort of a bifurcation in the ring which meshes with a similar bifurcation in the neck. Somehow you have to try and reconnect the ring to the neck both physically and electrically so as to re-establish the mechanical and electrical aspects of the break that has occurred. If not, then you will have to get a replacement unit and also get the vehicle towed to a dealer who has the diagnostic readout box which is needed to "program" the replacement so that it communicates with the body computer so that your key will be recognized as 'OK' in terms of being recognized as legal to allow the engine to run when it is started rather than being shut down after a second or so as not being a valid key.
I don't have any experience with the repair I am suggesting that needs to be done between the ring and the box but I hope the helper will understand what needs to be done when he inspects the situation first hand. Let me know if this is not clear.
If the ring and the box are indeed connected now, and show no signs of damage then presumably there is nothing wrong. Please describe the functioning of the warming light on the top of the dash which tells the status of the security system. Is it off, on, flashing? And when you insert the key in the lock what happens to the light, and then what happens to the light when you try to start the engine?
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.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, or asleep overnight, so try again later.

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)

Education/Credentials
Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"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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