I have a 2000 Dodge Caravan 4 cylinder basic model which won't start. Two days ago, I was driving it to work and only about a minute into the drive, the car was in mid acceleration when it sounded like it lost spark. I stopped the vehicle, looked under the hood to see if anything came loose and tried to start it again. I got a slight kick but never more than a single spark kick. I had to tow it home and again tried to start it and it would just turn over, but no spark or even the single kick I got when it just decided to die. The previous day, the van was driving, but seemed to have much less power and was slower to accelerate.
So, after I got the van home I read some forum entries and decided to make some checks for fuel, spark, etc. There is plenty of fuel getting to the engine, and I even tested that with some spray ether. With no kick at all, I opened the cover for the timing belt and it was still intact and with plenty of tension. I then checked the green/orange wire on the coil and it had no voltage. I got a code reader and got two codes, P0340 and P1391. Based on these codes and forum suggestions, I replaced both the camshaft sensor and crankshaft sensors. This didn't make a difference at all. I also checked all the relays, and unless I'm not sure what to look for they all appear to be good. The fuses are all ok, and none were broken.
The only past events that I can recall that may help in the diagnoses, were several months (up until May) ago the van would stall first thing in the morning when coming to a stop or slowing down for speed bumps in the neighborhood. After it was on for about 1-2 minutes, there were no more problems. This went away when it got hot outside, so I thought it was something to do with the cold weather.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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so what does the scanner show for signal to the pcm from cam and crank sensors. without using a real scanner reading data and seeing what the computer is seeing, all you end up doing is throwing parts at it hoping to fix the problem then after spending a lot of time and money chasing your tail, you end up with less money and no fix
but he said he checked timing belt tension. however that doesn't mean he checked that the cams turned when the engine cranked. it could have sheared the teeth (pretty rare on round tooth belts but not uncommon on the old square tooth.)
Thanks for the replies, will check to see if the cam gear actually turns when cranked in the morning. I don't have a good scanner, only a basic code reader. Any suggestions on checking the PCM with a voltmeter?
I re-checked the timing belt and sure enough the round teeth were missing the entire distance between the two cam gears on top and they didn't move when cranked. Thanks for the suggestion! So, the question now is, can I replace the timing belt without a vibration damper puller?
Thanks for the help everyone, it turned out the timing belt was missing about 10 teeth in a row and caused all the problems. I replaced it myself yesterday along with the water pump and power steering belt. I have a new symptom though, the engine idle's low and will stall when at a stop sign after it is all warmed up. Since I don't see an idle screw or distributor adjustment screw (can you tell its been a while since I worked on cars..), is there another way to adjust this?