Question about 1996 Dodge Intrepid

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Hi, my 95 intrepid, will turn over but wont start. We've checked the obvious, such as battery and gas tank level. Any idea what it possibly could be? I had read online a fuse in the ECU could have blown? However when testing the sparkplugs there was no visible spark seen (during the day if that matters) could it be the coil? if so how do you determine that as I dont want to keep spending money if it isnt going to fix the problem.

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  • lynn
    lynn Jan 04, 2011

    what were the events or conditions just prior to having this problem? Be as detailed as possible.

  • k_tortola89 Jan 04, 2011

    Honestly nothing special that I determined. Its winter, cold outside, at zero and below at times, but I had also used a gas antifreeze in the tank. Really I had driven it home from work with no problems of it starting at all, than the next day it wouldnt start

  • k_tortola89 Jan 04, 2011

    apparently according to a friend of mine there is no distributer cap there. I mean we did the a test for the spark already by taking the plugs off and completeing the circut using a screwdriver with no spark, I just want to be sure before I go spend more money.

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Well that does narrow it down some. Although I'm not completely familiar with the 1996 model intrepid. I do know that there are some year models with fuses in the ecu. If it wasn't for the fact that it gave no prior indications I might think coil. But even though this vehicle doesn't have points. It does have what's called a hall effects generator under the rotor button inside the distributor cap. It does the same thing that points used to do. If it's bad you will get little or no fire to the plugs regardless of coil condition. A coil pretty much works or it doesn't. They sometimes breakdown under heat and load, but never overnight. I really don't want to send you out buying parts with no sure way of knowing they will solve your problem. But unfortunately like so much electronic **** I have never heard of a way to check one. I do know that you can check the coil by taking off the wire from the coil to the distributor and hold it close to the connection for the coil. It sure should make a visible spark day or night in the high energy system on your car. On a good day I might even be able to remember if a coil will work with a bad hall generator. Something nagging in the back of my head says no.The coil has three wires going to it. The obvious one goes to the distributor. One is a power lead that should be hot with the ignition on. The other is a ground. But even after all this could be stuff. I am still inclined to look for your trouble in the distributor with the hall generator. It's been a lot of years since I've changed one but back then they were around twenty bucks. I'm sorry I can't be more specific. There are just so many variables. But just by what you've said. that's all I really can think of.

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  • lynn
    lynn Jan 04, 2011

    I'm so sorry Man. I don't know if it's this cold I'm fighting or I've just been up too late. Mostly just brain dead I guess. You are so right you have no distributor. If I'm thinking right you most likely have a 3.3 liter in that Intrepid and the only two things that might cause the problem you've described are the crankshaft sensor/timing reference sensor and the coil pack. Once again There is really very little way of knowing which it might be from way down here in Georgia. But if the darn thing had no symptoms and has never even displayed a problem starting it's most likely in the coil pack. That's mostly and educated guess because it could really be either one. You might try to get to the crank sensor it's located beside or underneath the crank pulley and check to make sure it's still plugged up. I don't believe it's on a fused circuit. You would have to check the manual or ask someone at the dealer for the skinny on that. Please forgive me for showing my age. Let me know what you do to fix it. Now you have piqued my interest for sure.

    lswallom@gmail.com

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