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96 Grand Caravan LE 3.3L Engine wont Start, Persistent Oil Light.

The van was running very well and the abruptly refused to start (will not engage the starter motor). If I switch the key into Run, everything seems normal (oil light on). When I advance the key into start, I get nothing. No clicks, no noises. This van has offered up some mysterious glitches over the years, so I removed the neg battery terminal and left overnight only to find the same condition exists. Battery is OK. I can manually engage the starter just fine at the solenoid leads with a jumper. I was able to key-switch it into the mode were the Check Engine light blinks a code: 12 55. From Internet research the 12 = recent battery disconnect and 55 = end of report. I also de-installed the EVS-II Security System that the dealer had installed back in 96 - I have always hated it and wonder if that was suppressing the ignition. Anyway. I was thinking that this was the neutral safety switch, however then when reviewing everything again, I see that when I put the ignition in Run, all the indicators light up and then go out except the Oil Light. Checked the oil and it was very low. I refilled the oil to proper level, however the Oil light remains on in the dash and the car still refuses to engage the starter. So.. Any help would be appreciated:

Q1. Is the Oil Light an indication of a dead sender? Is the sender in the ignition path? Is there a way to jumper it for a quick rule in/out test? Is there a volt/ohm meter test possible on my existing sender?

Q2. How can I rule out the Neutral-Safety switch? Seems there are at least 3 sensors on the transmission. Which? Can it be jumped to rule it in/out?

Q3. I did not rudely destroy the EVS-II security system and could re-install this. I have placed it back in and retested with the Valet and override switches in place. Is there some "computer" thing needed when de-installing this, or is removing the module from the three harness connectors OK?

I have a local mechanic and I enjoy working with him with to keep my cars in shape. I am just trying to get this operational over the weekend and not waste money replacing everything in the path.

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  • 3 more comments 
  • flbill Sep 21, 2008

    Yes the security system has been functioning... I removed it because I did not like it. The siren for it is busted and my wife/kids set it off by accident often and they don't know that it is set off as without the siren you only get some relay clicks and flashing lights. Before this current non-start event, the security system was working fine. Since one aspect of the system is to disable ignition, I was wanting to rule it out.

    No I do not know of a means to test the BCM. I can run any test and report back, however I have no specialized maintenance equipment.

  • flbill Sep 23, 2008


    Bottom line: This turned out to be a failed ignition switch. Luckily I did not invest any money/time in all the things that it could be. Once I started the engine with the remote switch connected to the starter solenoid, then I was able to confirm that the oil light went out and I could drive it to the mechanic. Thanks for the consideration.

  • sergio1234 Dec 12, 2008

    I have the exact same problem. I am going to purchase a new ignition switch today and will report back the results later.

  • Anonymous Dec 22, 2008

    same problem but I'm in Mexico and nobody find the problem, what I can do, since the car do not sart and not spark is on ignition coil?

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    To much information, is the security system working, have you run a test of the BCM?



6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


SOURCE: 2003 Caravan No Crank, 3.3L

This is a bad PCM. Try to disconnect the security system first and if it still does not start then it is the PCM.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008

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SOURCE: p1684 dtc code on 2001 dodge grand caravan sport.

Yah code 1684, it just tells you that battery/computer has been disconnected within last 50 starts. If it doesn't drive you nuts, give it some time, you'll be suprised how quick 50 starts will go by & light should go out

Posted on Dec 29, 2008

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SOURCE: AC & Rear wiper switch button indicator lights blink

The procedure for re-setting the HVAC control panel on a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan follows:
With ignition on but not running
1. turn knob to air vents
2. turn fan knob to ON
3. temperature setting on COLD (2X) {I have dual temp controls}
4. hold top(rear wiper) and bottom (rear wiper with wash) buttons pressing down together until all the buttons cycle through (this will require 1 to 2 minutes of continuous pressing)
I learned this from a very helpful local Dodge service adviser

Posted on May 15, 2009

  • 574 Answers

SOURCE: security light blinks on dash , truck wont even try to start

Does your key have a chip on it? If it does its probably the problem

Posted on Aug 23, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 2002 Dodge Caravan, 3.3l,V6 Wont Start.All my

The ringing/dinging only started last friday, so its not when i put the key in it. Its a fast ringing and when i take the key out it does it for like 45 seconds

Posted on Mar 09, 2010

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