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Dodge Repair/'97 Intrepid 3.5 Won't Start...follow up


Hi Roland.  Four months back you were helping me with the Intrepid that wouldn't start one day.  I checked the cam and crank sensors, coil, relays, etc.  There was no spark to the 1/4 cylinders.  No codes displayed.  I had just had the timing belt changed, so towed it back to the same guy.

After a couple months, he says he thinks it's the computer.  I get a new computer on-line and he installs it.  I drove the car maybe 150 miles and all seems OK.  Yesterday I get a "43" code, which I recognized as a likely spark plug wire problem.  I find three plug wires not snapped on to the plugs, but I guess close enough to make contact most of the time.  I snap them on and drive home, no problem.

This morning I go to start the car, and it's a repeat of before, cranks great, no hint of wanting to start.  So I assume the computer is damaged again.  Any ideas?  And any idea what is affecting the computer?  The insulation on the wires at the crank sensor was brittle and mostly gone the first time. The more I thought about it, I suspected that a short there caused the first computer to malfunction.  I corrected that before I took it to the shop.


Hi Mike,
The 43 code has to do with the primary winding of a spark coil circuit, of which there are three. It suggests either a problem with one of the spark coils or the wiring to one of the coils, though it could be a failed computer as the last possibility. Have you disconnected the battery, tried to start it, then found any new codes (other than a 12)?
Do you hear the fuel pump run for about a second when you turn the key to run? Do you have spark at the three plugs that are accessible easily?
Check for those before thinking about a replacement engine control module. I assume the module you bought was used, correct?
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it,

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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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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2011 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

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


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

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

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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