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Chrysler LHS



  • Check the engine codes.

    I had that once and it totally puzzled me. For some reason I checked engine codes. The code was for a bad vacuum line. I found the line and replaced it and the horn stopped going off!

    So there must be an interaction deep in the BIOS of the computer board between some codes and the alarm.

    That is one of the weirdest problems I ever encountered on a vehicle.
  • I am posting this way too late. Sorry it took me so long to get back.
    The solution to my car not starting was a bad starter, but it was also the one wire that clips to the starter solonoid with a little clip that kind of looks like a speaker connector, just bigger. I actually could not find a replacement connector that was good. I went to a couple junk yards but they didnt have the starter or wiring harness. I called the Chrysler dealership and they said that they didnt sell that little clip by itself, but you could buy the entire wiring harness for about 400.00. This is the clip that hooks to the solonoid next to the battery cable. I think it goes to the ignition. What happend is that it got hot and melted a little and with some oil from the engine, the connector went bad. I found a 90 degree speaker connector and it fit perfectly. I did use some zip ties and criscrossed them to help hold the connector on. its been on there for about 6 months and holding now.
    I hope this post helps someone even though its way late.
    I will try to keep up with the posts better.

    anyone know how to get scratch's out of a windshield from the windshield wipers?
    their not real bad, just drive me crazy after a while.


  • I just purchased my 2001 LHS a month ago, and I'm already having problems. I was driving on the interstate, and all of a sudden the car overheated and died. I had the car towed to a mechanic, and they told me that the timing belt needed replaced, along with the water pump and the tensioner pulley. $547 later, I had all this replaced and I thought everything was going to be fine. The day I took it home, the check engine light started blinking on me. I noticed that when I was in park or stopped at a light, the car would start shaking a little as well. When I got out of the car, I smelled a very faint burning smell as well. I plan on taking the car back to the mechanic, but it's Friday and the shop doesn't open again until Monday. Anyone have any ideas as to what could be wrong?
  • It needs new intake manifold and fuel rail gaskets most likely. It is also possible because of the overheating there are cylinder head gasket problems and possibly cracked or warped heads.

    This vehicle will need very careful assessment. Over heating is a very serious problem in modern vehicles since going from cast iron to aluminum heads.

    When a modern vehicle over heats, there is usually another shoe to drop and often a closest full of shoes to fall.

    Timing belts and water pumps need changing preemptively. For that vehicle every 90,000 miles.
  • The mechanic checked out the head gaskets and said that everything was fine in that department. I don't really know much about cars, so I'm just trusting what he has told me. He said he checked the engine for internal damage when he was replacing the timing belt and everything else, and he said that everything looked fine. Is this something that is separate from the engine? Also, should I avoid driving it until I can get it to the shop on Monday?
  • I don't know how you would check those sort of things out before changing the timing belt and pump. You have to have a working engine.

    My guess is the water pump leaked, but it is disturbing it got hot enough to shut the engine down. A timing belt braking just shuts the engine down, it does not cause over heating.

    When you change a water pump on these cars you always change the timing belt and if you change a timing belt you change the water pump.

    Now the intake manifold gaskets on these engines are made of a nasty plastic that gets brittle and fails. All these engines have this happen. Mine did. Over heating would certainly hasten this process along.

    Replace the gaskets with better quality after market ones. I did mine myself.

    I would not drive the car.

    Have your mechanic do a test for exhaust gasses in the coolant. If there are, then there is a bad head gasket and or a cracked head from the overheating.

    If there does not seem to be a problem there, and hopefully there is not, then turn attention to the intake manifold gaskets.

    In these vehicles intake manifold gasket failure manifests itself in a unusual way, that stumps a lot of good mechanics.

    It results in a lumpy idle. There is a strange irregular miss, that rotates around the cylinders. What is confusing is that as you pull plug leads, or injector connections one by one, there is no drop in rpm.

    This leads mechanics on an erroneous search for valve timing problems!

    Usually intake gasket problems result in engine loping, but not these!

    Have your mechanic run the engine at idle, and hopefully it is shaking like mad. Then have him squirt carb cleaner under the plenum, just above the thermostat housing.

    If the idle smoothes out as he squirts the cleaner, then the intake manifold gaskets need replacement. The fuel rails have to be removed so he needs those as well and a thermostat and EGR return gasket. It is quite a big job.
    It took me two days, but I took it steady and I'm not a pro.

    The other thing that makes this confusing, is that it generally does not show as a vacuum leak in the engine code, but it can. Mine did not, which really confused me.
  • amgpamgp Posts: 5
    Great advice by tuscanskipper. With his excellent instructions, I replaced my intake manifold gaskets a couple of years ago. Like he said, the original gaskets on these cars are horrible.

    Another thing to check out is your spark plug wires (also called ignition wires). My engine was running very rough, and it made the whole car shake. It turned out to be bad spark plug wires. I could actually see burn marks with small holes in the boot near the plugs.
  • diciembresdiciembres Posts: 5
    edited March 2011
    The car isn't shaking really terribly; it's just a slight shake when the car is idle. As far as the flashing engine light is concerned, I only noticed it happening when I turned the headlights on, which I neglected to mention in my original post. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, he checked the other things out for me once the engine was working again. He told me if I had any problems to stop back by on Monday, which I plan on doing, but I was just curious as to what it could be in the meantime.
  • Spark plug wires or plugs are a possibility. However I was trying to tie this into the overheating.

    I should reassure the owner, that these are very good vehicles and well worth the trouble and expense to set up properly.

    There is no perfect vehicle. All vehicles become known for certain problems.

    These vehicles are known for certain problems, and a lot less than most.

    Problems: -

    Intake manifold gasket problems top of the list.

    I think the front ends are a little weak. In the 100,000 miles I did on my vehicle, I replaced the tie rods, ball joints and control arm twice. Now Minnesota roads have more than their share of potholes. However I always drove the vehicle with respect. The engine is a pretty heavy weight right over the front end.

    Ignition switch problems. I never had that, but it is related to the high current required by the blower motor. You can mitigate this, by running the HVAC on auto. The the fan will have delayed start, rather than it blasting at start when there are a lot of high current demands from the ignition switch.

    Water pumps prone to failure, as I suspect yours did. I never had this problem, but replaced mine on schedule with the timing belt. I replaced the tensioner pulley bearing also. I think this water pump problem is most likely related to setting the timing belt tension improperly at the time of replacement. Any belt too tight will take out bearings. If it is a water pump, it will cause a leak.

    Trouble with the HVAC control unit. I did have this. When it fails the failure default, is heat full on at the defroster, fan speed max. This is a problem, as Chrysler charge a fortune for a new one. I ordered a rebuilt on line, but this had a different problem. Since electronics is my major hobby, I took a look at my unit and was able to fix it. It had a bad voltage regulator. However this is not a repair the average DIY mechanic would solve, or almost all professional mechanics. If you do have to service this, disconnect the battery, otherwise you risk deploying the air bags!

    The only other major problem I had with the vehicle is that the air conditioner compressor ceased. My vehicle was 1994. That was before lubricants were available to add to SARN 5 refrigerant. After replacement it had lubricants added and the refrigerant drained off every two years and fresh refrigerant and lubricants added.

    Those were the only problems I encountered from the time I bought the vehicle with 69,000 miles on it and sold it with 165,000 miles on it. That is a really good record. The vehicle drove like brand new at the time I sold it, a perfect drive and zero rattles.

    So what should you do to set up your vehicle.

    First sort out the current problem.

    Put in long life platinum plugs and new plug wires. This will give you good performance for 100,000 miles

    Do a thorough brake inspection and service as required.

    Change serpentine belt if it needs it.

    Service the transmission. Now here is another unusual thing about these vehicles. The differential is not in the automatic transmission case and is a separate service item, with its own fill and drain caps. A lot of mechanics and lube shops miss this and have trouble finding this gear case, but find it they must.

    Once you set it up do regular maintenance.

    I used synthetic oil, 5/30 and changed it every 7,500 miles. I never had to add oil between changes. The oil came out clean. With the oil change rotate tires and and inspect brake pads, and replace when necessary. Grease the greasers on the front end at this time.

    Every 30,000 miles service transmission and diff case. Flush and change radiator fluid.

    Lubricate doors and locks once or twice a year, and put a little graphite oil, on throttle body cables, hood and truck release cables.

    Every 90,000 to 100,000 miles, replace timing belt, water pump etc, plus plugs and wires and use the highest grade platinum plugs.

    I bought my vehicle in 2003 for $5000. I put 96,000 miles on it before selling it in December of 2010. I sold it for $2000 in ten minutes.

    Now that was really cheap motoring. All the problems I had are listed above. The rest was expected maintenance. The ride was comfortable and quiet always.

    So why did I sell? Well I'm now of an age, where I did not feel like doing the next 100,000 mile service. I did it last at 90,000 miles, the vehicle had 165,000 on it when I sold it.

    The vehicle was just starting to bubble the paint over the rear wheel arches. Now this was a Minnesota vehicle 18 years old at sale, and it was in darn good shape compared to the competition.

    I live in rural Minnesota, and I want to preserve my 1988 Suburban 6.4 liter diesel as a classic and keep it out of the salt as much as possible this winter. It now sports collector plates.

    So I wanted an AWD vehicle. I can tell you I had a really hard time finding a new vehicle that was not a step down from the LHS. I finally settled on a 2011 Chevy Equinox LTZ. I really like it, fit and finish are superb, and this was the only vehicle in its class that had a quieter ride than the LHS.

    However it only has just over 5000 miles on it. The Equinox had a completely new engine and power train in 2010. The 2006 to 2009 vehicles are grief. So I took a chance on this new platform. Only time will tell what these vehicles become known for.
  • I appreciate all your help. I am a little discouraged, as I just bought the car a month ago and I've had to sink $500+ into it. I am a college student, so I don't have much to really spend on my car, so it's kind of putting a strain on things.

    What do you think I should do next? The mechanic has assured me that everything is okay with the head gasket, so I know that's not it. Should I have the spark plugs checked? Would that cause the check engine light to come on? And should I avoid driving it altogether until I can get it looked at again on Monday?
  • You are young and have lessons to learn. When you buy a used vehicle, setting the vehicle up after thorough inspection and doing all required maintenance is part of the cost of buying the vehicle.

    Unless you have proof to the contrary always assume the previous owner was an idiot. Assume needed maintenance has not been done. Bite the bullet and do it. A rule of thumb when buying a vehicle of that age is that the purchase price will be around half your cost.

    So for your vehicle, go right ahead with brake and under body inspection and do what it takes.

    Do a transmission service and engine oil change if not already done. The coolant will have been changed changing the water pump.

    Knowing that vehicle, it is likely you will have to replace the intake manifold gaskets.

    Put in the best grade platinum tipped sparking plugs and change the plug wires.

    Apart from odds and ends and routine maintenance your vehicle should then be set for the next 100,000 miles.

    If you don't get a vehicle optimized when you first buy it and do scheduled maintenance on time, then your motoring will be very costly and you will always be poor.

    By the way I should mention those vehicles require gasoline of 91 octane minimum. It is a very potent engine and is not designed to run on regular gas. I'm already missing the talk and raw power of those 3.5 liter engines. Well set up they are very easy on gas by the way.
  • Sorry, I should have said 89 octane for the gasoline grade, not 91.
  • I will get all the other stuff checked out as well. What should I do with the current problem in the meantime? Should I avoid driving it until I get the current problem taken care of?
  • I would not drive the car until it is thoroughly checked out. In a vehicle that has been over heated an abundance of caution is required.

    By the way print off this thread for your mechanic.
  • jlhumbertjlhumbert Posts: 3
    I am having the same issue with my 2001 Chrysler LHS. The radio doesn't work, and the lights on the radio blink. My dash lights flicker from bright to dim. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this?
  • kovykovy Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 LHS 3.5 liter. It died so I replaced the crank and cam sensors. It started instantly but ran bad. Only 2 cylinders were working, it would run with only 2 coil wires plugged in (limp mode.) No 12 volt power to any of the green wires at coils with key on. Bypassing ASD relay gives power to them for a second then kicks out. Yesterday I accidentally left the cam sensor unplugged and it now runs great! Plug the cam sensor back in and i'm back to 2 cylinders. I realize the computer is guessing when to fire the plugs and it's doing a pretty good job. Has anybody come across this? Do I have a short somewhere or did I get a bad sensor? Thanks.
  • wiegerswiegers Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 LHS and am having electrical problems. The other night it hesitated to start, but did on the second attempt. That night I went out and it was like the entire battery was dead. Got a jump and got about 3 miles, then it just quit...not even flashers! I got it home and put the battery charger on and the battery is fully charged. The strange part is that the seat belt and interior light are very dim and constantly flash. Yesterday I went out and it started.. cool I thought! Then this morn.. totally dead again...HELP!!
  • 2000lhs2000lhs Posts: 1
    My 2000 LHS has 233,000 miles. It has overheated a number of times. I had the radiator and both hoses replaced two months ago. All of a sudden the car overheated again. I pulled over waited for the car to cool down. I noticed all the coolant was in the back part of the reserve. Refilled the reserve. Car was fine for about two minutes, the needle was slow to get to mid point on the gauge, then all of a sudden straight to red again. All the coolant was still in the reserve. I also started hearing a sound just about where the water pump is, sounds like "popcorn popping"this would happen after the car warmed up. I would then turn the car off. Last week I started it again, heard the "popcorn" sound for about 30 seconds, then the engine quit. Now it just cranks without starting. Thinking it's ready for the junk yard. they will give me $400.00. I am thinking it's the water pump and timing belt. Got estimates of $500.00 to fix. The head gasket has a small leak, and the car was always blowing white smoke. The car was a gift. No cost to me. Any ideas what happened? worth fixing? Thanks
  • I want to start by saying I am amazed by all the posts on here and how many very good answers I have seen.
    I want to see if anyone can help me with a couple questions about my 1994 lhs.
    low miles 71,000
    interior and exterior in excellent shape{slight problem with molding. lol.}
    motor and all electrical working
    drives like a dream EXCEPT when it goes into limp mode which is the main question I am posting this.
    It seems as thou everyplace I have taken it they have said to replace tranny but why on earth would I do that when it passed inspection with flying colors.
    It is something that is sparatic and after it warms up or I stop and turn it off and then restart it it works just fine.
    I am kind of at a loss and am not sure if I should take it to a dealer or a reliable mechanic and let them put it on reader because I cant get any codes to come up on display.
    I know I probally am asking to much but I just want to get this annoying problem fixed.
    I am sure there are numerous things I can do including checking/changing sensors but I want to try and do most of work myself. Thanks in advance for any and all help
  • I had this problem with my first 94. The wiring harness for the wires running to the top of the tranny was part of a recall to keep them off of the top tie rod on the passenger side. The repair had been done on my car but, Chrysler's are knownfor not having the best covering on their wires and on a couple of my wires the covering had cracked and fell off causing bare spots. These spots would randomly touch causing the car to go into limp mode. I taped the wires with black tape and never had the problem again.
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