Question about 1998 Dodge Caravan

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98 dodge grand caravan will not start

This is an intermittent problem. Turn the key, engine turns over and shuts down after 2-3 seconds. After 3 tries like this one, the enginer will not even turn over. The van will then start normally after 5-6 hour.

1. Installed new starter (good inexpensive idea regardless on a 12 year old van) but that did not solve the problem

2. Took to dealer whi indicated that this relates to an alarm problem. The alarm triggers and will auto shut off the engine to prevent theft. replace the on-board computer at an astonishing $1500 CDN cost.

Problem started again within 6 months.

if you only give 2 tries to start (not until everything shuts off). we have been able to prevent a complete shutoff by turning keyless system lock and unlock a few times.

If anybody has a solution we would appreciate. Vehicle has very low mileage but the unreliability of whether the van will start makes us nervous to take it on trip.

Can the alarm be deactivated completely somehow

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This is very similar to a problem my sister had with her 1998 Caravan. She found that you need to remove the instrument pod and resolder the connector on the circuit board. Due to cracks, the thing will sometimes not have a good connection, causing the trouble. Mine just developed this problem too, so remedying it myself.
Go to this link for more info and a helpful disassembly PDF.
http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250440
If it doesn't work, search for 1998_chrysler_pod_repair and you should find the PDF. I hope this helps! It's really much easier to take apart than you'd think.

Posted on Sep 03, 2009

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I had the same problem. I found that my ignition key switch was going bad but fixing that did not help the problem. The mechanic tried rebuilding the alternator and the starter but that did fix the problem. Finally after lying in bed late one night I asked myself “what people do people do when they hot wire a car?” I thought it meant that they run a wire straight from the battery to the starter. So i latter brought that up to my mechanic and he said that might work. He said he would only charge me 75.00 to do that. I believe that is basically what he did. He hooked it up so that when the vehicle does not start I could push a button he installed just below the dash while the key is still on the on position and then when it does not start in the normal fashion I push the button and it starts for sure all the time. I wish he would have suggested that one before the other unnecessary costly repairs were done but I guess it could have been worse.

Posted on Nov 07, 2009

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This is absolutely the problem, fix the solder on the back of the instrument panel.

Posted on Oct 19, 2009

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CHECK FUEL PRESSURE

Posted on Jul 30, 2009

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