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Automotive HELP NEEDED...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Chuck P., Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    Going a little nuts here. I really need some help about a problem with my van.


    1996 Chrysler Town and Country 2WD
    3.8 Liter
    150,000 miles (mostly highway)


    Cold start- Starts and Idles Fine, drop into DRIVE/REVERSE, the motor dies. Starts up and Idles fine.

    Van has to "warm up" for an extremely long time, I'm talking 25 minutes plus in some cases!

    Once the "magic" temperature has been reached, the van will run. When you slow down for a stop, the RPMs drop to around 500 and erradic, then steadies out and idles fine.

    Starting from a stop, it shudders. It's like you hit the gas, but the RPMs don't move for a minute..WEIRD... Again, once the temp gets to the OPTIMAL temp, the van runs like normal...

    I've heard two completely different diagnosis for this. An ignition problem (coil, plug wires) and that's it's a transmission, clutch engaged all the time problem..The transmission one just doesn't make sense to me since it idles fine in park and neutral..But I'm no mechanic either....

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated....Thanks...
  2. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    I'm not sure if this is the same as our Delivery vans are but we had the same problem you described. The problem was in the transmission. We had both of them fixed and now they are fine. I heard that Chrysler has had lots of problems with just that thing. I'd check with a dealer and see whay they say.
    I know it sounds weird but it indeed was a transmission problem.

  3. Lewis


    Sounds like the "coolant temperature sensor" to me.
    You have 2..I am not refering to the one for the dash gauge.
    A colder engine requires a richer fuel mixture.
    When working properly,this sensor tells the computer that the engine is cold and the computer richens the mixture accordingly.
    A cold engine runs in "open loop",meaning none of the other sensors are active.
    When the engine warms up,and the temperature sensor relays this to the computer ,the engine goes into "closed loop" and recieves feedback from all the other sensors.
    This is a common failure.
  4. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    Lewis, I think that is what they told us, some kind of a sensor that was in the transmission. Not to sure though since I'm not a big chrysler man. :rolleyes:
  5. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    That is just about the same thing I've been thinking (although my van only has the one sensor for the dash gage)...I'll look into it..

    Thanks guys...I hate taking anything to the dealer, those prices get a little crazy..
  6. crappiebub

    crappiebub Justcrazy's Guide!

    Chuck do a Google search for a Message Board on Chrysler or you van specific. I use one for my Explorer and S-10 and have saved bundles of money on repairs and replacement help. Some guys even do Detailed descriptions with pictures. Another friend uses one for his Dodge Diesel and has saved some big bucks also.
  7. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    Will Do...Thanks...
  8. doesn,t Chrysler have the key code thing i think its turn it on and off 3 times leave it on the 4 th time and count the check engian flashes then look up the code
  9. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    I think they do...I've had it hooked up to a dealership quality scanner the other day with no luck...No codes, no nothin'.:(
  10. chuck i don't know a lot, but sometimes there are silent recalls on different problems on some cars. so it wouldn't hurt to ask the garage if there any silent recalls on your van.hope you find your problem and don't cost to bass
  11. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

    My mom had an old van that had similar problems at one time. I don't think they were that bad though. I will try to remember to ask her what they said it was and what it took to fix it.
  12. gonefishin'

    gonefishin' Lifestyle Farmer

    Could be a combination of things too. I know where there is a '96 Dodge Caravan that runs good, has good tranny, damage from deer hit. About $500 should get it. Don't know about interchangeability of parts. PM me if interested I'll give you the guys number.
  13. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

    this might sound stupid to someone who knows vehicles: (just warnin ya! ;) )

    but doesnt anyone think it might have anything to do with the flow of "air" through the engine?

    (egr, pcv, vacuum lines, etc.)?

    I had a bad (rough) idle once in my old car and it was because of a bad egr warning light ever came on. But it wasnt nearly as severe as the problems Chuck is experiencing.

    Good luck Chuck, i hope you get it figured out soon!
  14. Have you checked the throttle plate to see if it is gumed up?The cis motor is what controls idle,if the tp is clean.Biggest problem with a dirty one is cold running while in gear at idle.
  15. You Can Try TRUCKS Idea Because This Sometimes Wont Kick On The Check Engine Light. They Sell A Cleaner You Can Use On Throttle Bodies That Will Help In Idle,response. Most Cars Datting Back To The 90s Dont Incorperate The Fuel System In Their Computer To Let Use Know There Is A Problem. If Your Check Engine Light Is Not On The Computer Is Not Finding Anything Wrong As Far As The Sensors Go. The Key Thing Was Only Good Up To Around 90. They All Had Their Own Self Check Built In To Make It Easy On Us. Not Today! Hard Starting,rough Idling Might Be Caused By A Plugged Fuel Filter,dirty Or Worn Plugs Ect.. It Pays To Start With The Filter If No Miss Is Found After The Engine Is Warm. Becareful Because Depending On Fuel System (tbi-7-10psi/multi-port-30-45psi) It Can Hold Some Pressure! :)
  16. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    Trottle plate was "thoughly" cleaned. I did this first thing. It was dirty of course but it did not help the situation.

    So far I've replaced:

    Air Filter
    Ignition Coil

    Going to put in a new Coolant Temp Sensor as soon as I find my wet suit...
  17. Good luck I don't know much about american cars so I can't help much.Oh one more thing have you tried injector cleaner?
  18. Is The Check Engine Light On!
  19. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    No Check Engine Light at all.

    We had it hooked up to a dealership quality scanner and no trouble codes came up..

    The mechanic that checked it said he thought the transmission is not disengaging. So basically, when I put it in gear, there is no going from PARK to DRIVE slowly the way it should....It's already fully engaged and therefore the engine dies...Once the transmission/clutch gets to operating temp, it breaks free and operates like it should..

    Sounds expensive to me.....
    :( :(
  20. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    Let me make a few calls about interchangeability <-however you spell it:D

    You can go ahead and send me the phone number just in case it works..Thanks..