98 town and country lx 3.8l: no starter/no fuel supply

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:47 PM GMT


QUESTION: i have a 98 t&c lx 3.8 ithas not been running, figured it was simple the instrument cluster needed to be fixed. replaced it and the problem still exist's which is: when i try to start the car i get nothing only te radio and lights work. i have been reading that it miht be the alarm. can the alarm cause it not to work at all i et power to the plug of the ignition switch which is brand new just bought. i changed the relays in the pdc box under the hood changed all those fuses and checked the fuses in the junction box.i did read the post about the alaarm and wires but i dont fully understand it all the way. also i wanted to know since the panel for the junction box is not there what relays are in that. my brother had the car and it died but since he does not know about cars he canged the transmission control moduel and gave up. when it did this at first it was hard to start then the dash was going on and off he would bang it and then it just died.

ANSWER: Hi Michelle, The problem then appears to be that the starter motor doesn't respond to your request to do so from the ignition switch. That is a fairly simple circuit so we should be able to figure out what is wrong. If the fuses are all good as well as the relay, we need specifically fuse 23 in the box under the hood and the starter relay (5th counting from the rear of that box on the long row closer to the fender), and fuse 10 in the box under the dash, then there are only a couple of other causes: the park/neutral safety switch that prevents starter unless in one of those two gear positions could by out of adjustment, so try putting the gear shift lever slightly off the center detent position on both of the those settings and see if that might bring it life. While you are doing that have a helper touch/listen to the starter motor relay to see if it clicks when you try the start position with the key. It should do so. If not then we have to do some electrical checks with a volt-ohm meter. It it clicks: Then we need to verify that 12V is getting to solenoid switch at the starter motor, using a voltmeter/listening for a loud click from that switch (which it appears you don't hear). If it doesn't get there then the wire between the relay and the solenoid switch is compromised or the battery is too weak to operate even that switch. If it does click loudly, then either the battery is too weak to engage the motor, or the starter motor is flakey, or the main fat red wire from the battery to the starter motor is compromised due to corrosion at the battery + post clamp or loose where it attaches to the solenoid switch at the other end of the fat red wire. If the van hasn't been driven for weeks then you will probably need to re-charge the battery. It can run the radio and the lights but may well be too weak to turn the starter motor. Do you have a battery charger, or perhaps a second/neighbor car that you can use to jump start the battery? If a jump start doesn't work then have a helper tap on the side of the starter motor with a hammer while you try the starter switch using the key. So try as many of those tests as you can and let me know the results. The theft system does not impact the operation of the starter motor. When it is in play its effect is to shut down the engine after it has started and run for a couple of seconds. The relays under the dash are all related to body functions (door lock/unlock, turn signal/emergency flasher, courtesy lamps, rear window defogger, fog lamps, radio speakers if deluxe system). So don't worry about those being involved. So focus on the starter circuit and get that working and ideally the motor will catch and run. Please 'rate' my answer (see below). Thanks, Roland

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QUESTION: I have tried a new battery fulled charged,i have power going to ignition switch light tester goes on and off when i turn the key, no power to the starter or the injectors and the dasboard still is not working. i jumpe a wire from battery to starter it will crank oveer if i spray starter fluid in the throttle body it will start up for a couple of seconds and stall out. withpout jumping the starter i get nothing when you turn the key nothing happens at all you hear a click but nothing else. i tried the shifter already first thing i thought of was nutral safty switch. i have not changed it though my brother in ny who is a mechanic said no its not that. i keep getting its either the pcm or the alarm system.

(note: everything said on here is from my husband but he dont like computers so i have to do it.)

ANSWER: Hi Michelle, Which click does he hear? The relay in the box and/or the solenoid switch? Check to see if 12v appears on the brown wire at the starter motor solenoid switch when you try the key. It should or the wire is 'open' (if the relay clicks and its a new relay). On the fuel injectors, check the positive temperature coefficient #1 (looks like a fuse, located in the row directly under the 4 plugs in the box under the dash) and also check out fuse 16 in the box under the hood. Do you hear the fuel pump run for a second or so when you turn the key to the 'run' position? It should do that. On the participation by your husband in these questions, try to have him verbalize them while you type them. That way we might not miss some details. Please rate my answers. Thanks, Roland

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QUESTION: ok i will check this. husband wants to know which one he needs to check. there is a row running left to right 1 looks like it is missing and 1 looks like it was jumped out he does not know if this is suppose to be like that. they are small and yellow with what looks like strap across them looks like it is holding them in. also will check the volt and where clicking coming from.


On the PTC devices, these are supposed to 9 amp items in positions 1,3,7,8,9 with 1 being the one that is needed for the fuel pump to operate. Does the fuel pump hum for a second when you listen back at tank location when the key is turned to the 'run' position? If so then the PTC has to be ok as does fuse 16. Let me know what else he learns. If you would be so kind as to 'rate/nominate' I would be most appreciative. PS On the starter motor, try jumping a wire between the front pin and the rear pin socket of the starter motor relay's socket. That will test the circuit from the relay to the starter motor. If a jump worked at the starter motor it should also work from the relay socket.


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