'00 Cirrus hates water

I own a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus LXI (120000 miles), and I have been having some trouble with it lately.

First off, when it is wet or really dewy it will not start. It will sit there and crank, but never kick over and run. If I let it set till its semi-dry out, I can usually work with it for a few minuets eventually getting it to start, but this takes just the right amount of gas from the pedal and lots of patients. Also, I can just let it get completely dry out and then it will start like nothing happened.

Second, if I happen to get it going from a moist start it will sputter from stops and almost die (which causes lots of panic from me when crossing highways). However, it only sputters from stops, not when accelerating from other speeds (30->60) or normal low RPM conditions (right after a shift).

Third, if it again is started when its moist out it will idle roughly.

Recently I have changed the plugs and plug wires, thinking I may be able to get away from this problem cheaply. However, I have no such luck. I have heard that this could be caused by a bad sensor (crankshaft position sensor?), but I have also not ruled out bad distributor. I wonder, though, how the distributor would get wet under the hood when it is just parked to make it not work, and why it would only have a problem during starts… Anyway, I hope that someone one here can help me out and maybe give me a good definite clue on what it is, and how much I’ll need to do to fix it.

If you need anymore information, just ask. I’ll happily see what I can provide.

Thanks in advance!

what engine? 3.0 or 4 cyl?

It has a 2.5 liter V6.
Transmission is a 4 speed auto.

Your problem is probably somewhere in the high voltage part of the ignition system. That includes the distributor (I’m not sure if you have one), coil, plug wires, and spark plugs.

Use a windex type sprayer to spray water on those items with the engine running. You will see the engine sputter when you spray the bad part.

if the engine won’t start, you can try warming and drying the ignition parts with a hair dryer and see if it helps.

I did some preliminary testing with a squirt bottle and didn’t have much luck determining the source of the problem. However, I will do more extensive wet tests later this evening; time permitting.

Change the distributor cap and rotor.