CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2003 Dodge Caravan Shutting Off

We have a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan which keeps on shutting off or sometimes will not start up. When it has problems starting up, there is no turn over of the engine. Just nothing. After awhile, it will start up. During driving, it will just shut off. At first it would start right back up but now it will not start right back up. We have replaced the computer and the crank shaft sensor. We have taken it to two dealerships and they do not have any ideas as to how to fix it beyond what we have done. Our mechanic is baffled. He has checked the wiring and sensors but cannot find the problem. Can anyone help?

Define “no turn over of the engine”. Do you mean that there is no starter noises, the starter motor is simply not working or do you mean the starter is cranking but the engine just does not “catch” and start?

Hello ms7:

My guess is some component in the ASD/ Auto Shut Down circuit is failing like the relay or you have a damaged lead somewere in that circuit.

Suggest finding a trusted electrical shop.

Or trading it in for something more reliable.

My suspicion is you have a simple power connection problem that is causing the trouble. Look for any clues for this by checking to see if anything else doesn’t work while the trouble is happening. Like the dash warning lights or any of the other accessories. The trouble could be with the ignition switch or before it which would cause a lot of other things to not work. The problem may also be after the ignition switch which may just be effecting a few accessories.

There is a BCM module in the vehicle and I’m not sure if the starter circuit is involved with it or not. If the circuit does go through the BCM then that is suspect also. Perhaps that is the computer you stated was replaced and not the PCM. I think your best clue to the problem is anything involved with the starter circuit but you need to consider all clues in order to find the trouble. Replacing things like the crank sensor will make no difference in a problem where the starter isn’t turning on. A good electrical trouble shooter will know about these things. You may need to find a shop that specializes in that.