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[3rd Gen : 96-00]: 2000 3.0 No Start condition

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[3rd Gen : 96-00]: 2000 3.0 No Start condition

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Old 06-14-2019, 10:48 AM
osageMI
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Default 2000 3.0 No Start condition

Warning: Long explanation of problem.

Problem: 2000 Dodge Caravan 3.0 liter engine NO START condition.

This problem started 50 miles from home. When leaving gas station with large pool of water in driveway, which hid large hole in pavement, which right front wheel dropped into, car slammed up to bumper, barely made it out.
Drove to store to pick up wife, turned engine off. Wife came out and I started engine which immediately started running rough. Noticed engine temp was fairly hot. Opened radiator cap with engine running. Foam and bubbles were forming at the filler tube. Couldn't see fluid level. Walked across street and bought a gallon of water and filled it till I could see fluid. Bubbles still forming. Decided to try and make it home. Felt like it was misfiring on one cylinder.

5 miles from hometown, engine started running normally. First thought was I needed to change plugs etc. Decided to check plug wires for spark. Made a tester from old spark plug, and checked all wires. All checked good, but decided to replace them anyway.

Next day, I drove to town to get new plugs, wires and distributor cap. Car ran normally, until, on the way home it started running rougher than before. Barely made it home. Proceeded to replace plugs etc. Started with rear bank. After replacing rear bank plugs, started engine. Still running rough. Replaced front bank plugs/wires and restarted. Now it barely ran, and had no power.

Started doing a long series of tests I found online, on various sensors, distributor, etc. Everything checked out. I even bought a digital multi meter and cheap code reader, which I never got to use. By this time, engine wouldn't even start.

After exhausting options of causes, I visited a few online repair sites. Finally, a guy told me to do a cylinder compression test, as the cause may be a worn/slipped timing belt, which made sense to me. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't have a compression tester, and no transportation to get one. That's when I decided to bite the bullet and dig into this timing belt replacement nightmare. Found a 7 part series on Youtube that showed precisely all the steps it takes to do this. Also to replace water pump, front seals and belt. Absolutely no fun.

Unfortunately, when I started this process, it was late October 2018 in Michigan. I barely got the front engine mount removed when the first snow hit. Couldn't return to it till May 2019, and weather still prevented me from continuing till now. Just removed the last part to inspect the timing belt. *sighs*

Well...it looked like new. And all timing marks were aligned. Someone must have replaced it shortly before I bought the car. Which means... I don't have a clue how to proceed. I am going to replace the water pump as I noticed it had a small leak. Also replace crank and camshaft seals as I don't want to do this job again. Unfortunately, I only receive a minimum SS income, so there is no way I can afford to put this in the shop. I need this car, but I don't know what to do once I've completed this job. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

Last edited by osageMI; 06-14-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:01 AM
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1. Did you reinstall the plug wires correctly?
2. Given the issues started after hitting a pothole, check electronic connections.
3. If you got it hot, it's possible you blew the HGs, which will cause it to bubble coolant and run rough.
 
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:22 AM
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Hi smokesxt. Thanks for replying. Yes, I double checked the plug wiring sequence. Just so you know, I'm the son of a pro mechanic. While I don't claim to be a pro myself, over the years I have gained enough insight into car repair to fix most things. However, modern digital electronics on cars is beyond my knowledge base. In that light, what does "HGs" refer to?

Also, after reading a bunch of stuff,, I believe I may have a bad fan control switch, as the last time it was running I noticed the fan wasn't turning. Whether or not this has anything to do with the whole problem, I don't know. So many things I don't know about modern cars, especially the digital control modules etc. But here's the thing. In the last few days, after crawling under the car, I've decided just to junk it out. I'm in Michigan, and this car is so rusted out, it has become apparent that it's not worth putting the time and money into it to repair everything. Rusted out muffler, brake lines, brackets, power steering pump, oil pan... on and on. I absolutely abhor Michigan roads in winter. I see almost new cars around here that are already rusted out from the salted roads. Makes me sick. Anyway, thanks for your reply. I've already contacted a junk yard. Just going to bolt up the engine mount and be done with it. Thing is.. my local zoning bureaucrat issued me a citation two months ago for having a car jacked up on blocks for more than 15 days. A**holes. It's been this way for a year and now they threatened to tow it off if I don't get it fixed. That's why I decided just to junk it. Better $50 than nothing. Ok, thanks again.
 
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by osageMI View Post
Hi smokesxt. Thanks for replying. Yes, I double checked the plug wiring sequence. Just so you know, I'm the son of a pro mechanic. While I don't claim to be a pro myself, over the years I have gained enough insight into car repair to fix most things. However, modern digital electronics on cars is beyond my knowledge base. In that light, what does "HGs" refer to?

Also, after reading a bunch of stuff,, I believe I may have a bad fan control switch, as the last time it was running I noticed the fan wasn't turning. Whether or not this has anything to do with the whole problem, I don't know. So many things I don't know about modern cars, especially the digital control modules etc. But here's the thing. In the last few days, after crawling under the car, I've decided just to junk it out. I'm in Michigan, and this car is so rusted out, it has become apparent that it's not worth putting the time and money into it to repair everything. Rusted out muffler, brake lines, brackets, power steering pump, oil pan... on and on. I absolutely abhor Michigan roads in winter. I see almost new cars around here that are already rusted out from the salted roads. Makes me sick. Anyway, thanks for your reply. I've already contacted a junk yard. Just going to bolt up the engine mount and be done with it. Thing is.. my local zoning bureaucrat issued me a citation two months ago for having a car jacked up on blocks for more than 15 days. A**holes. It's been this way for a year and now they threatened to tow it off if I don't get it fixed. That's why I decided just to junk it. Better $50 than nothing. Ok, thanks again.
Sorry to hear. I would think any scrap yard would give you at least $150-200 for it, $50 seems extremely low.

When I said HGs I was referring to head gaskets, a notorious failure point on 3.0s. Depending on how they fail, bubbling coolant and lack of fan operation can be common symptoms before any other signs are noticed. This is due to the system getting pressurized and aerated by the blown head gasket, the aeration causes the coolant sensor to read incorrectly, causing the fans to quit working.

I live in WI, so I know about salt/rust, regular cleaning/washing deters it heavily. My daily driven 1994 is almost totally rust free, despite being a WI vehicle its whole life.
 

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