Van running doors locked no key in ignition

came home after a run to mcdonalds in my chysler and the 1997 dodge caravan that we own was in driveway running with parking lights on the van doors locked.

Must be a goblin practicing for upcoming Halloween!

Seriously, either someone else – do you have kids? – who has a key forgot to turn it off. Or if you have an electronic gadget that starts the car, rather than a normal key, something with all that is on the fritz. Be sure to keep it parked outside – or remove the battery connection – until this is resolved.

Was it raining? There have been stories of water somehow getting into a starter relay and shorting it out, causing a start.

@GeorgeSanJose has a good point. If it is equipped with a remote starter, that could have malfunctioned. Did you buy the van new or could a previous owner have made that addition? Or perhaps you know of that addition, and it just messed up.

If it is running because of a remote starter issue, get into it and step on the brake without turning on the key. If it dies, that’s your problem.

@wentwest: If the starter relay shorted out, the starter might run until it burned out or the battery ran down, but the ignition system, fuel pump, etc. would still have to be on for the engine to start.

Earlier this morning I read a news story of a teenage girl found dead in a locked BMW. Apparently the automatic locks had actuated and could not be released from inside the car, trapping her to die in the heat… And we are supposed to feel more safe and secure due to having those remote control door locks.

Even my latest model year vehicle, a 2012 Odyssey, has manual overrides for the locks. I wouldn’t want something completely dependent on electronics to open from inside.Think collision, loss of power and fire…

Dodge/Chrysler has had a record of ignition malfunctions on thier cars and trucks made around this time. Finding it running without a key is one of the better malfunctions. Many have been found on fire, including a friend of a friend who’s van caught fire in the garage.

My daughter moved and forgot about the garage door opener in her glove. When she returned from out of state after a year or so, she would hit the button every time she drove by her old house- must have driven them crazy! could be someone with a simillar model remote, even though there are supposed to be millions of codes, my brother once got in the wrong 62 powder blue dodge dart wagon, started the car, drove away, and realized he was not in his car!

@oblivion I stand corrected. It was a shot in the dark. Living in Oakland, CA, there’s a lot of that going around here.