2009 town and country shut off at stop sign/red lights

I have a 2009 town and country with 50k miles on it. It drove just fine, until I brought it to the dealer
for the R03 recall on Friday, June 12th, 2015.
Right after that, the engine sometimes shut off at the stop sign or red lights.
Also, when I back from the parking, the car won’t move forward after I shift from R to D -
but it can still go backwards. It doesn’t always act like that.

So I brought it back to the dealer. Their technician said it is unrelated to the recall,
and after a week, they told me they couldn’t find the exact reason, but
suggested me to replace the spark plugs and wires ($559.xx). Then we can start from there,
which means I may need to replace other parts later on - as they weren’t sure the exact cause.
I don’t like the idea of the first step - so I drove it home.

Supposedly, the R03 recall is to prevent the car from sudden shut-off. Is that
just coincidence my car started to shut off right after the recall?

I also noticed that it is more likely to die if I brake harder - not 100% sure about this, maybe
just illusion.

Did a test drive this morning(6/24). Shut off once out of 10 or so stop-signs. Did notice the RPM
went down and up a little (-just a little) at idle.

R03 recall is an ignition switch replacement. It’s possible they put in a bad switch or a wire is loose.

When it dies at a red light, how do you get it started? Turning the key to the left and then back to the right? That would indicate the switch.

Can you jiggle the key and cause the engine to die? If so, this also points to the ignition switch.

When it “doesn’t go forward” after shifting from reverse, do you mean the engine dies, or it stays running but the car doesn’t move? If it dies, it could also be the ignition switch or the wires being jostled by the gear change.

Sounds like the dealer is at fault. But why would they think he needs plugs? Were they able to reproduce the engine stoping at stops?


Bill - you asked very good questions. Two different things happened:

  1. engine dies when complete stop

  2. engine running fine, but can only move backward. nothing happened when move to D - sort of like Neutral. - only happened to me once when backing out from parking lot.

Haven’t tried to jiggle the key yet, but will do in a couple of minutes. Ignition switch may be one cause, but there may be other reason as well - the engine dies sometimes when coming to a complete stop without changing gear - just at the stop sign/red lights.

Some suggested to clean the throttle body. Not sure if that is the cause, but will do it tomorrow.

Also, the technician from the dealer told me the spark plugs/wires are bad. He tried to show it to me by spraying water onto them for more than five times. There was no sparkles as he claimed. Since there are only 50k miles on it, I refused to let them replace the spark plugs and wires.

Just did a test drive. No problem, except the car stumbled a bit when coming to a stop - guess the suspension isn’t very good. Also jiggled the key a few times, nothing happened

What exactly do you mean by “stumbled a bit” ? And why do you attribute that to the suspension?

Suspension problems are usually serious and a safety risk.

Sorry for the wrong word. I am close to a moron about cars. Typically when a car comes to a complete stop, the inertia will move your body forward - at least we’ll feel the force. When mine comes to a stop, I feel the force more than once - not every time though. Not sure if that is called jerking - caused by engine stalling.