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2000 Caravan 4Cyl turns over, but won't start

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Old 07-10-2010, 08:19 PM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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Default 2000 Caravan 4Cyl turns over, but won't start

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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Old 07-11-2010, 12:10 AM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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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
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:55 AM
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master tech master tech is offline
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Welcome to DF
Remove the spark plugs and ck compression,You could have lost the timing belt.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:01 AM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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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.)
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:35 AM
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I just did a timing belt on a 2002 PT,with only 92k on the belt.It
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:01 AM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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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?
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:50 AM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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spark is initiated from the crank sensor the best tool for checking it's signal would be an oscilliscope.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:22 AM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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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?
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:25 AM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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you have to pull the crank pulley, there' no way to fish the belt around it. I'd say just rent one.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:07 PM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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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?
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:11 PM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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that means you have one cam 1 tooth off. recheck all markers. it's really easy for one cam to jump while installing the belt. I recommend that when you put it back togther, you rotate the crank a couple turns buy hand to verify that all the marks line back up.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:20 PM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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uggh, say it isn't so! I don't have time to take it all back apart. I had to re-install the belt a couple of times until the marks were all lined up. When it first came on, the engine idled for nearly 30 minutes without issues and at normal idle speed, it just seems to be low after the engine heats up and is in drive. Does this make a difference?
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:25 PM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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no because when the engine is cold, it's running much richer. (could be a vacuum leak but doubtful). just pop off the top cover, remove the #1 plug rotate engine (with wrench on crank pulley) until piston is at TDC and verify the cam marks line up. (having #1 plug out makes it a lot easier to determine the piston is at tdc, I use a screw driver to see it's movement)
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:26 PM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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OK, I went back and re-examined the engine area and found the new camshaft sensor had a small bubble of oil on the bottom. So, let's say this new camshaft sensor is leaking oil. Can this be a cause for poor idle? Does this part need to have sealant?
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:34 PM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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i doubt it. but what ever you try can't make it worse and if it does, go the other direction.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:39 PM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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Ahh, the good old fashioned trick. Yeah, the camshaft sensor seemed like a long shot, but I'm still learning these digital systems. Since you mentioned a vacuum leak, I checked all the vacuum lines and found one is broken that goes into the intake manifold just in front of the coil. I don't know how I missed this before. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Can I use plastic cement or something like that?
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:42 PM
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use a mcdonalds straw or equiv.... some black tape.... a chunk of washer hose. etc etc etc
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:11 PM
neodymm neodymm is offline
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Weedeater fuel line did the trick. Thanks for all the help, and hope this helps someone else in the future.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:14 PM
sapporo sapporo is offline
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now you're your wife's going to be po'd cuz the trimming won't get done.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:04 AM
raysaenz raysaenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neodymm View Post
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?
neodymm:
It is possible that the idle/stall issue is related to the Idle Control Valve which may be sitting by the throttle body. Can see if able to spray clean it with carb/throttle body cleaner, not sure of this particular design, and reinstall.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:04 AM
 
 
 
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