Question about 2002 Dodge Intrepid

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I have a a 2002 2.7 Intrepid. The car will start up perfectly 4 or five times, then there will be nothing, no click, no noise at all. Would not start last night, then thiis morning started without a problem. I took in for service, they told me I needed a new battery. They installed battery, I drove out of the parking lot and card proceeded to stall after 30 years. Could the starter brushes be the problem since it is intermittent. It is amazing how I can start it five times in one day and then get nothing. After a time out of 20 minute or hours, the car starts perfectly. Any ideas?

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  • servente727 May 08, 2009

    emissionwhiz
    you guys really are good. I am afraid they will try to see me an alternator when some guys have said the car would not keep starting if the alternator was defective. Your thoughts. Thanks, Dave


  • servente727 May 08, 2009

    They called me and said their master tech determined it was the starter. I gave them the OK only with the agreement they would be pull the part if the problem was as not solved. I guess they don't repair just the brushes these days. It if works, I will be satisfied. At least I got a free battery since the "old one" was still under warranty. The car has 155K on it, so the fact that the starter replacement does not sound unreasonable. You guys really do have a great service and I will be quick to recommend it to others. I did talk to the about the neutral safety switch, so they do know that I know. Thanks again. Dave

  • servente727 May 09, 2009

    Thanks Ed for the advice on the Intrepid starting problem. I am starting to get really nervous whether these guys at Pep Boys have any idea what they are doing. They promised the car last night. The first starter delivered was the wrong model, the second they said might be defective because it was making so much noise and maybe they might have to push the flywheel back. They said they would be checking this morning. I am not a mechanic but have some common sense. How could the proper starter model be causing problems with a flywheel working properly before. They only have one Master Tech at this location, the rest look like they might have one year of certification. Do I have a right to feel a little edgy and nervous about competency? Am I liable for any of this wasted time and mistakes they make when the final labor bill comes in? God I hate paying for incompetency. The only reason I took it there was because they had the warranty on the battery which they said needed to be replaced. Looking forward to your response. Dave

  • servente727 May 09, 2009

    Ed, thanks again for the prompt reply and your candidness regarding their competency. I am 66 years old and been around the block so to speak. One last question that has been on my mind. If a repair place replaces a part to fix a problem and it does not fix the problem, why would I have to accept the part at all? It does not make sense to me to have to pay for a $350 solution that brought nothing to the party. For my and their sake, I hope the starter is the answer. However, if the problem still exists, should I pay for the part or tell them I don't want it. I have never done this before but am getting close as I am really concerned about the competency of the crew there. I have been doing prison ministry for 15 years and have ministered to inmates who have more automotive skills than this group. As you probably know, many of them have more skills than just being able to hot wire cars and "borrowing" replacement parts. Dave

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I can't understand why they couldn't determine if it was your starter as, there is a remote jumper for the starter which allows to engage the starter without a key and activating any of the relays to the starter.I can't see the other offered by the other fixya experts so the solutions I provide may just be a repeat of what the others have told you.What I found in the wiring schematics for your vehicle would point me towards two possibles,the starter relay,which is located in the power distribution center or the power train control module which contains the park/nuetral safety switch.Unfortunateley the schematic for the powertrain control module is unavailable to me so I can't determine if it's a computer based or an electro mechanical switch.It is possible that the ignition switch could be the problem to,but since relays are used the ignition switch in todays vehicles no longer carry a heavy current,which is the main cause of switch failure.I hope these possible solutions will help get you in the right direction to solve your problem.

Posted on May 09, 2009

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Based on your description, I would have suspected the starter. The only reason to replace a battery is if it fails a battery test. They should have showed you the results of the battery test. Newer starters are a single, enclosed unit. They are easier to replace than rebuild. They should have also verified that the starter solenoid is OK if it is external to the starter. Sometimes the starter solenoid is built into the starter. If you trace the positive (+) cable from the battery and it connects directly to the starter, then the solenoid is built into the starter.

If you ever experience a similar situation where the starter occasionally fails, you can tap on the starter lightly with a hammer or mallet to try and have the drive pinion engage the ring gear on the flywheel.

Posted on May 09, 2009

  • Steeler Ed May 09, 2009

    I would be very concerned about the work they are performing. Ordering a replacement part is very easy. The only way I can think of getting the wrong part is that they placed the order wrong or the vendor sent the wrong part. The replacement starter should require no modifications to your flywheel. There's a possibility that the old starter may have damaged the flywheel or flex plate. Those parts should be visibly inspected to insure no damage has occurred before the new starter is installed. I've replaced a starter before and it took me less than an hour. I think you could have received better service at the local tech school. The students work is always inspected by the master tech before it goes back to the customer.

    As for the amount you have to pay, you do not have to pay more than the estimate you were given for the work. I'm not a lawyer so you would have to seek legal advice if they over charge you. In many states, a signed estimate is required before work can begin.

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If u have been driving it with a low battery then it is very possible the starter brushes are burned and the commutator they ride on, this can cause an intermittent no crank no start, but most times you will hear a click from the solenoid, I suggest u do this first, disconnect the battery negative cable the go under the car and pull the starter wiring loose and clean the starter terminals for the starter ands the starter solenoid, if this corrects the problem then u are home free, if not you may have an issue with the security system, when u had the car at the dealer did they test the security system for codes? did they duplicate the no crank no start condition?

Posted on May 08, 2009

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 08, 2009

    There is one other part that will cause this problem and may be the issue here, it is the Nuetral Safety switch, this switch keeps the starter from engaging unless the gear selector is either in Park or Nuetral position, after thinking about and re-reading the problem I think this may be the root cause of your no crank from the starter. This not a real common problem but i have seen it a few dozen times over my 35 years as a technician. see photo, the part is only about $30 so i would suggest u replace it.

    Here is the part # STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # NS212 {NEUTRAL SAFETY/BACK-UP LIGHT SW.}
    w/ A.T.




  • yadayada
    yadayada May 08, 2009

    Been doing this 35 years and if the alternator was bad the battery would be run down, is the battery charged? also the battery warning light would be on in the car, u can have Kragen or Autozone test the alternator and check the battery for free, do that, if it is OK go with the nuetral safety switch i suggested.

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