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Chrysler 300M Starting/Stalling problems



  • tangomiketangomike Posts: 5
    Thank you, and I really appreciate the expanded information, but the problem I reported has nothing to do with stalling. It's an intermittent condition in which the engine cranks strongly but won't fire, then about ten minutes later starts as if nothing had happened. Problems with batteries and cables and alternators don't fix themselves by waiting ten minutes. Only time will tell whether replacement of the sensors has fixed the problem.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited June 2013
    Absolutely , the cables that are connected to the battery , and how they send current to the PCM , are all effected by the battery itself. These types of things occur also , when the engine is hot , or after a running period , where the battery cables have been heated. Many times , just changing the cables has produced temporary results , as the battery is the source.

    You could also have a fuel problem , where the fuel filter (in the tank) is dirty. I usually use some gasline antifreeze to determine "if" an improvement can be found after adding it. It will penetrate any water buildup in the tank etc. without damaging the filter , or further dislodging any more dirt in the filter or system. And I always avoid adding anything else , because the filter can be dissolved partially by stronger injector cleaners and such , being added to the gastank. Plus , the fuel pump itself could be wearing out. Gasline antifreeze is a tool I use , to see if any change occurs there. I appear to be repeating myself , as these problems - whether they be : starting / stalling / running or faultcodes , they are all associated with the same system functions.
  • A perfect example of what I am saying is : If you are having a problem with an electronic device , where it is malfunctioning somehow - simply changing the battery can resolve the problem. And definately , being that the PCM is responsible for things like : engine spark and timing etc. , such is the case.
    IE : sometimes spark occurs , sometimes it doesn't. And the waiting part , is part of "powerflow" or connection.

    In this case , since there is no distributor , nor distributor wires , the PCM sends power to the coilpacks on each sparkplug directly. Without the PCM , there is no spark. Not to be confused by the PDC , which is the Power Distribution Center (the engine compartment fusebox , if you will).
  • refer to the information I gave : tangomike
  • psycholpsychol Posts: 1
    I found this message and boy does it give me some insight to what might be a problem with my 2005 300. I recently had the water pump and timing belt changed. However, now the car doesn't want to go into overdrive or downshift. It also drains the battery overnight. The mechanic said his work is done right and is timed. I checked the code and it gave a cam positioner switch code that supposedly says it's out of time. BUT, one time it ran perfectly, then later after I cranked it up again, it began not running right. I am wondering if the alternator could be causing this problem because my son said he replaced the battery just two months ago because it wouldn't hold a charge. Your forum explaination on this similar issue says that if the battery is not working properly, it could be the cause of the phantom code reading and timing issues. Is this correct? If so, what would be my next step? Thank you very much!!
  • jillbrooke55jillbrooke55 Posts: 2
    edited June 2013
    Hello pitmanoeuvre, I am having problems with my 99 chrysler 300m and I was wondering if you would be able to send me a copy of that tech manual. If you can do that, please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated. My car has had the camshaft sensor replaced and it is still just dying with no warning what so ever. The check engine light will come on and it says the camshaft sensor, but the light will then go right back out and the car will run fine again. I know that this part has just been replaced, so I don't understand why in just a month, it would need a new one. Is something causing it to go bad?
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited June 2013
    I think you firstly need to consider whether the waterpump & timing belt needed to be changed - and why that was a consideration. "If" your car's engine is overheating , it is an absolute "red flag" to a owner , if a dealership mechanic or shop , immediately suggests that a waterpump / and or timing belt is the needed repair , when they don't firstly consider the coolant fill (measure the coolant protection) , and the possibility that the thermostat needs to be replaced. IE : fluid check / fluid flush & refill with proper type coolant / thermostat replacement - and then , move on to waterpump. Any time a waterpump is done , it's a good possibility that the thermostat is also old and in need of replacement.

    I say , start there - because , any good shop will not jump to costly repairs that require alot of labor , especially where the vehicle might return for other repairs. Which means , that if the waterpump and timing belt were replaced - due to overheating unrelated overheating problems , you might be dealing with a disreputable or unknowledgeable mechanic or shop. Certainly , I will always avoid pulling off the waterpump / hoses and draining the fluids - when I could just pull out the thermostat and change the fluids. And then , while it is basically unrelated , would I also pull off the entire fan assembly , the front timing cover etc. and replace the belt? NO. If the engine was running , and there wasn't a problem with the timing belt , then I definately would be questioning whether the thermostat was working first. But , I also suppose that a mechanic might determine that this camshaft position sensor problem could be resolved by changing the belt. But wouldn't you change the camshaft position sensor first?

    If these things don't add up , unfortunately - it is time to get the vehicle to a dealership or good shop , where a good diagnosis will be done of the vehicle's present situation. Then you can decide on what to do at least without wondering about it.

    The reason I am thinking this , is because transmission problems can be related to wiring errors or mistakes while doing repairs - such as waterpump or timing belt etc. If you aren't careful when doing more major repairs , you can short out , or damage adjacent wiring within the wiring harness / power distribution center and alike. What I'm saying is that : if a mechanic misdiagnoses , or intentionally does repairs that are unrelated to the actual problem , there is a good chance that if other problems develop after the repair is done - that the proper work was not done in the first place.

    Car batteries don't normally discharge overnight on their own. But , the battery can be discharged by running the engine without a good alternator which keeps the battery's condition at a set level while the engine is running. Basically , it sounds like the engine was running strictly off of the battery itself. So.. the answer to your question about the alternator is : yes it sounds like the alternator is not working. In a case where the alternator is not working , the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) will not be able to regulate the non-existant power from the alternator to the battery. In a case like this : the PCM should register a code or it should trigger the ASD Relay (Automatic Shutdown Relay) due to inadequate voltage [you would think] , but not necessarily.

    Because the alternator might still be working , but the cables are corroded which connect the battery , the grounds , at the battery and whereever else they are connected , this could cause the engine to run strictly off of the battery. From there on unfortunately , a fairly new battery can be damaged (creating further problems). Batteries that have run car engines by themselves will evaporate due to overheating. This means the fill of the battery will have to be checked afterwards. With these things in mind , the alternator cannot fill the battery fluid levels , so it can't correct the amperage. Which means everything is all mixed up now.

    I would start by checking the battery fill level. Check the battery cable connection conditions , at the battery and at any point where the cables lead to. Check for any plug in connectors that look like they may be incorrect , not fully plugged in , or damaged (burned or broken wires). Make sure that the alternator connections are good by removing the plastic covers and inspecting for corrosion / broken / burned or disconnected cables and/or wires. It is possible , that the battery may need to be replaced because it doesn't take much time for a battery to be ruined when it is solely supporting the running of an engine.

    IE : I had a 2 week old (Sears DieHard Premium) battery installed. I was driving my car and the voltage regulator wore out. My lights went dim , the engine stuttered , the signals didn't work , etc. I drove the car a couple of miles only before it stalled , and when everything was said and done after replacing the voltage regulator with a new one and got the car home - the new battery was almost 1/2 depleted of it's fluids. You could see this through it's plastic casing , and is definately not a normal condition. That would mean that I would have to have the battery refilled. But , what condition the battery's inner plates were in , is the question. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how hot that battery got. It had to be replaced.

    It sounds like you may be a victim of the "labor scam" , which is where a mechanic / shop asks you for money for labor , where the repair is unwarranted. IE : the waterpump was working , and the timing belt was adequate. Since I don't know why you decided to allow the waterpump and timing belt to be replaced , it's hard to give you any answers. Basically , you would only work on those 2 parts if it is absolutely necessary. And when it is absolutely necessary to replace those parts , the vehicle is usually not in any condition to drive at all , or much further than a few blocks. And now you have battery problems and transmission problems? It sounds like you got ripped off.

    Clue : You drive up to a service station , and see that the bays are empty , the lot is virtually empty. This could be because the garage is not reputable or wanted by anyone. Plus , it has alot of customers that have had bad experiences (shared them with other people in the area) , and nobody will deal with them. As opposed to driving up to a busy service station , where it appears to be a pain to even speak to someone*. This is a telltale sign that the garage probably does good work and has alot of repeat and loyal customers to deal with on a daily basis. Allbeit frustrating to go to a reputable garage , it pays dividends if your vehicle is OK , and you got what you paid for. Just like a grocery store.

    I think you need to explain why you had the waterpump and timing belt done - and go from there.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited June 2013
    I can send you a copy of the service manauls for the 300M . All you have to do is send $6 to my Paypal address : . Once the payment is made I receive a message and send the disk out the following business day. Also send me a seperate email to the same address which contains the address you want it sent to , as some Paypal addresses are not up to date or correct.

    It is a misconception to think that when the "check engine light" comes on , that there is something wrong with the engine itself. INCORRECT. The service manuals refer to the "check engine light" as : [MIL] - Malfunction Indicator Light. This means that : any time the battery or wiring is unsufficient , the electrical system is malfunctioning as well. The dying part is probably the ASD Relay doing it's job , while the engine timing is thrown off because the PCM (which controls the power to the spark plugs and also regulates the firing / timing etc.) is not getting sufficient connection of power from the cables etc. There is no distributor cap , spark plug wiring or rotor , the cables that connect the PCM , allow the PCM to do this electronically. This is also why , replacing the crankshaft or camshaft position sensors does nothing , but re-confirm incorrect timing etc. The PCM is like a flashlight (in this case) , where the batteries are worn out or corroded , and the bulb of the flashlight will not work. No point replacing the bulb , when the batteries or the metal connections are the problem. This is why I always start at the battery.

    This all makes sense , as : the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) is also connected to your transmission sensor. The transmission sensor sends a signal to the PCM to tell it what speed the transmission is spinning at (RPM's) and what gear the transmission is in. When your engine slows down , the transmission sensor should send a signal or calculation (speed) to the PCM which coincides with the engine speed signal. During a calculation of both , the PCM (and the actual transmission speed) will determine any downshifting. If these signals / rpm's or calculations are incorrect (from or to both components - [engine or transmission]) , the PCM cannot register or use these to determine a "correct calculation". In other words : the PCM has no idea what to do , or at what mode etc. it should be in. This could make upshifts and downshifts impossible , harsh , clunky or generally bad , while any Overdrive state of the transmission will not occur.
  • cindykay1 : It was a bad idea to allow a parts counter employee , or even a seasoned veteran mechanic , to tell you that you should try a chemical additive in your fuel tank - when the engine is not starting correctly , or it is suddenly failing to perform. In most cases , it is a step by step process to correct the problem (which is not necessarily permanently corrected by changing sensors of any type). The first thing to do is to see what sparkplugs are in the engine , and replace them if you are unsure of their age , and especially change them to the correct sparkplugs for your particular engine / year etc. There are many 300M etc. owners who have made the mistake of trying out (or allowing a garage mechanic to change to untested , or not manufacturer suggested sparkplugs , in lieu of having the correct ones or the time to order them). This will lead to hard starting , poor performance and many other related problems within a couple weeks of installation or earlier - depending on your daily driving needs / usage. If changing spark plugs to the correct ones , does not correct hard starting or sudden stalling characteristics , you should be looking at the condition of your main wiring connections / battery etc. But , I always add gasline antifreeze to determine if the gastank has accumulated water (through condensation or otherwise) , so that I can rule that out. This will not harm your gastank , the fuelpump or the intank fuel filter - so it is 100% safe , and useful - as opposed to pouring strong chemicals into an older vehicle which many become worse , due to dislodging or damaging components within the gastank /gasline/fuel injector system. Which is what has happened to your car.

    I did post somewhere that I did not recommend ANY chemicals to be added to gastanks , unless you are prepared for any possible problems which may arise from doing so. Whenever you add these strong chemicals to your gastank , there is a possibility that some hard particals may be dislodged and moved to your injector spray nozzles (which are very fine openings) , and can become gummed up or even blocked. If this happens , the best thing to do is to add premium gasoline to the gastank and attempt to run the chemicals out that way. Or - you may need to replace your entire set of injectors , or have your gastank and fuelpump serviced (drained / cleaned and refilled). Just because a label on a product makes claims of some sort of guarantee , that is not enough.

    Also , before you have any fuel problems , it's a good idea to refuse to fill (or partially fill) your gastank from a service station which looks as if their tanks may have been in the ground for 20 or 30 years. This can make it so that the very bottom of those pumptanks are contaminated and/or have alot of sedement / water or otherwise "bad fuel". Plus - these days , some service stations run out of fuel completely. And anybody knows better than to run their gastank to it's final ("out of fuel") condition. All it takes is 1 trip , you stop at an unfamiliar gas station , and you have engine problems afterwards. It's best to top up some when you see a good gas station to avoid having to desperately fuel up somewhere when you absolutely have to. Even the gas station near me , which has recently been fully replaced , ran "out of fuel" , 1 time when I stopped there for gas as I usually do. This tells me that their tanks were almost bone dry - simply because of a delivery or problem with their usual fuel purchasing etc. For whatever reason , it is a no-no. And I seriously can't remember the last time I allowed any of my vehicles to run completely out of gas - knowing the fuelgauge had been showing EMPTY. Who does that?

    In consideration of you pouring fuel additive into your gastank , you'll firstly need to add a good amount of the highest grade fuel you can find (say $15 worth) , and have your engine oil changed as well (including a new oil filter) - as those chemicals will also be in your oil , because they entered the cylinders (where the piston rings drag oil up and down the walls of the cylinders from the oilpan). After about 10 minutes of idling , those chemicals begin to show in the engine oil. Attempt to flush the system using a fresh oil filter and fresh oilchange , while premium fuel supercedes the fuel additive. Just let the engine idle without driving it to see if the problem is being corrected or not before attempting anything else.
  • I bought a 2001 chrysler 300m today and it seemed o.k. on the little test drive around the block. I checked the engine oil and it looked good. I ran the a/c while driving it and it still ran o.k. No really loud noises or anything. Well, when I drove it home it stalled at the stop lights and when I got it home it was making loud noises like it had no oil in the engine. No dummy lights came on during the drive home but the oil light was flashing off and on but never stayed on completely. Any suggestions? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!It would be greatly appreciated.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited September 2013
    littlemikey : These are probably the reasons why the seller was selling the car , but they never mean that the car is no good at all. Sure , it's a real letdown , but all you have to do is begin a process of ellimination to bring the engine back to it's former self. Judging by the fact that you said you drove it around the block or so ( I would always insist on driving the vehicle on a highway or subhighway to see if the engine performs as normal at higher speeds) , chances are the engine is in need of either a crank sensor or a cam sensor - if either one of these is not functioning correctly , the engine will run rough and present stalling characteristics. But , before considering these sensors , make certain that the engine has the correct sparkplugs for the car (no aftermarket types). Many owners have fallen prey to the aftermarket sparkplug manufacturers , and found that their engines will not run correctly (only to expect to return the plugs to a parts store). So ... checking which plugs are in the engine is paramount. Especially (as is in my case with my 2002 300M Special) , if your engine requires Laser Platinum Sparkplugs.

    After confirming which plugs are in the engine , you must also consider their age. The Laser Platinum Plugs are supposed to be good for 60K miles , but they should be replaced within 3~4 years of use. Once the plugs are OK , the first safe thing to do is to pour a small amount of gasline antifreeze into your gastank - as this will mix with any water droplets which cling to the insides of the gastank inner walls , which makes them get burned through normal flow. Hopefully you don't have injector problems , as some owners will pour in any type of solution that a label states is guaranteed - yet they may find their engine not running , and have no success getting the advertised guarantee looked after. Then they sell the vehicle in frustration.

    Since it appears that the engine was OK when it was relatively running at a moderate temperature in a short slow speed drive - there could be a problem with 1 or more of the sparkplug coilpacks (which each sparkplug has instead of a single coil that feeds all sparkplugs). This is something to consider where electrical faults can cause incorrect readings to be sent to the computer or other related modules etc. (and cause a flickering or on off condition with a "check engine" light etc.)

    If you find that it appears that there is no such problems , you might seriously want to check the main battery cables that go over the rear of the engine and rest upon , or are mounted to the transmission case for wear. In some cases I have found that both the positive and the negative cables go over the transmission together in a single sheath. Through time , chaffing of the cable insulation can occur , and cause intermittent shorting. This shorting can make it so that the starter is not reliable , the lights flicker or don't work all the time , or they can even cause the engine to be effected by intermittent power connections to the battery - because if you take a battery cable off , the engine stalls. Not everybody checks this. And it is not uncommon to find as much as 2" of area where the cables are both bare , causing a random or semi-random short (such as when they heat up).

    So... you have to do a few things to find out if you can resolve the running problem/s. The blinking oil light , may be because of a faulty oil sensor , and it could also mean the oil pump is worn out. The only things you can do to resolve that is to firstly , change the oil and filter (check if light comes on or not) , and if it does - then change the oil sensor , and check again. If all fails , the oil pump may be gone. Ticking sounds coming from the upper portion of the engine are usually worn or sticking tappets/lifters , which can be changed by removing the valvecovers. But , if the oil is dirty , has not been changed regularly , they become sticky from carbon etc. Hopefully they haven't started ticking because the owner had a very heavy foot or drove the engine to it's maximum at all times etc. If so , you will need new lifters on both sides of the engine , which is not really a cheap job when done at a service station - because the whole front cover has to be removed from the engine as well etc.
  • Hi there again. I changed the oil and oil filter and filled it with new oil. Then I started the engine up and there is still a loud ticking noise coming from the top of the engine. When I rev up the engine it gets louder. I read in one of the forums that there could be build up on the end of the tip of that goes inside the oil pan ( sludge ) keeping oil from being sucked up to the top of the engine. Is this possible? It looks like the tube that goes inside the oil pan is like six inches above where you drain the oil. Do I just loosen the nut that secures around the tube and pull it out and check for sludge build up? How can I tell if the oil pump is no good? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again,
  • I would take this to a place that
    rebuilds engines and let them listen.

    This sounds ominously like your engine
    sludged up around one of the bearings
    and the bearing has overheated and
    deformed. The deformation of the bearing
    makes it harder for the engine to spin at idle
    once it's up to speed/temp.

    This happened to me and I had to replace
    the engine. You can also have it rebuilt
    for about $3k.

    Has the engine overheated recently?
  • The big question and possibly the clue is that when you first drove this car , there wasn't a problem with loud ticking coming from the heads or thereabouts. I guess I can rule out that you immediately took this car for an all out racey spin - where you dropped the hammer and buried the needle sort of thing right after you were the owner. This type of thing is the worst thing you can do when you buy a used/older vehicle. You have to assess it's condition etc.

    Being that it wasn't doing so , makes me believe that the problem can't be major - as 99% of the time a damaged engine will repeatedly show it's condition full time. Something happened between the time you test drove it , and the time you drove it home. With these things in mind , it sounds alot like the oil pickup tube (sump tube) is being blocked by something that is moving within the oilpan. The oilstick check tube is not part of the oil pickup tube , so the only way to determine if the oilpan pickup tube/sump pump tube is periodically being blocked/restricted - is to remove the oilpan from below. This can be done on the 300M's , but each year is different , and - you may have clearance problems , if you are not inclined to reach inside a tilted oilpan and unbolt the mounting bolts that hold the pickup tube (which has a ladel type/sump type attachment that resides near the bottom of the oilpan when suspended in position). Let's just say , you take the transmission / oilpan support bracket off , and you unbolt the oilpan. You might find clearance problems and not be able to see quite clearly inside the oilpan enough to see that the shape of the oilpan dictates the size/length of the pickup tube , and it's "end cup". But - if you reach in and feel the whole thing , you can determine if the cup has seperated into 2 pieces (which it can do). It is possible , that the cup bottom has come away from the top section (which the tube is part of , where it extends upwards and bolts to the engine block inside the pan). With some mechanical fortitude you can feel if this has happened and know that it will only take a few bolts to release the whole part (sump pickup tube).

    I have done this a few times , and once found a Toyota that had a loud knock at initial startups (but ran fine after I tuned it up) - so I pulled the oilpan out by removing the crossmember bolts and dropping the crossmember. Low and behold (as I suspected) , a small 1" piece of (what was part of what is called a "driptray" , was constantly lodging itself right under the sump pickup tube. Each time the pump sucked oil up , it immediately went right to the end of the tube , and blocked oilflow. A oilpan driptray is a skirt that surrounds the sump pump cup , and prevents oil from dripping off of any moving parts above from creating bubbles in the oilpan while the engine is running. But - a portion of the skirt / driptray was no longer welded to the inside of the oilpan , AND , this small but strong piece of metal broke away from a sharp hanging corner of the front of the driptray. I replaced the oilpan , set everything back in place - and that car ran for over 2 years , started fine in winter , and never knocked again. In fact it sold in about a week , after the owner I fixed it for bought something else. This Toyota was painted by a mechanic friend who painted the entire sealing of one of the GM plants , after I did the engine and bodywork , which was extensive - but simple , by standards.

    It might be a good idea to take your car to someone who can check the oilpan pickup tube , and it's assembly before you take it to an engine rebuilder , because - most engine rebuilders will take the opinion that the engine is gone/has major internal problems etc. In effect , by going through the oilpan - "is" , checking the other end of the oilpump , because where the oilpan pickup tube attaches to : is the oilpump draw tube or the oilpump itself / or it's connecting area (every time). Basically , you are doing what most won't. BUT ! You know the car was fine for a little while , so that should tell you (as I said) , it is NOT MAJOR.

    So ... basically , what you may have , is a engine with a defective sump pump cup - while "this is a big deal"? I don't think I would spend thousands for a loose piece of metal inside the oilpan - before I asked a mechanic to check to see if that apparatus is OK. Especially when the service manuals show that the engine oilpan can be removed without much trouble (although this varies with model year and possibly type : IE - Special etc.) In your case I think it is especially important to remember that the engine was fine , and know that as you speed the engine up , more and more oil is pumped upwards through the engine block. This increases the oil pressure : and very well - CAN dislodge any loose pieces of debris or metal from within the oilpan. That is a fact.
  • hi there again. I changed out the spark plugs and I changed the oil and oil filter but the car is still making loud knocking at the top of the engine when you start it up and let it run. It gets louder when you rev up the engine. any suggestions? is this a process of elimination? thanks again.
  • So are you saying that the problem im having is occuring because of the timing? So i need to check the timing belt or chain or whatever it has.
  • sounds like possible timing belt, get check out ASAP car has 0 clearance heads, possible smash up valves if driven like that too long and if that happens car engine is scrap..
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited September 2013
    It is a process of elimination , since when you bought the car and drove it for the first time - none of the noise was there. As I said you have to start with the rudementary things unfortunately to determine what you'll have to do. OK , so you checked the oil and filter , and the sparkplugs (no joy) , what about the coolant (it could be as old as the vehicle) , AND - it must be yellow in colour for the all aluminum engine. Coolant does apply since you drove it a bit , and then had later problems at the lights , and sudden ticking or loud noises. Knocking is a very bad sign though - as that could mean main bearings or connecting rod bearings are worn out. But , knocking as I mentioned before can be due to a "no oil" or low oil pressure condition. It is possible as well , that the seller put some kind of thick oil additive in the engine so that this ticking or knocking would be limited for a short period of time. (Always drive the vehicle on a major highway when you buy any vehicle - if the seller says no , or makes excuses that this is not possible , that is a sign that there may be something wrong with the vehicle's engine).

    At this point , I am still of the opinion that such serious knocking or bad ticking problems cannot be hidden completely simply by doctoring the oil. And these types of overnight problems when buying are 1 of 2 things. The seller knew about it and did something to hide the fact - or - the engine is not getting proper oil at all. Even if I was completely incorrect - that would mean you need another motor. It's much better to spend $200+ on finding out - than to scrap a perfectly good engine , that may have oil pan / pickup tube or oilpump problems. So... after the coolant check , you'll have to pull the pan down and hope and pray that you find some sort of debris or loose pickup cup in the oilpan. Most people just give up , after they have a few diagnosis' - that the bearings are gone etc. Which can be a costly mistake , as rebuilt engines don't necessarily mate perfectly with automatic transmissions. And - we are talking about a used or remanufactured engine being bolted to a worn transaxle transmission that works far differently from inline transmissions on front wheel drive vehicles where both the engine and transmission are mounted from side to side. The 300M is mounted like an 8 cylinder motor - straight in. I'd be doing everything I could , including reaching into the oilpan and pickup tube setup before I spent any other money on , what is , if you get another engine , just a frame and transmission.

    This all hinges on the fact that you bought the car , and found it to be OK. You trusted your instincts , and the vehicle was OK - so I have to say that you should stick to your guns for the time being , until you absolutely know whether or not you simply have an oilpump or oil related problem. As far as timing belt etc. goes at the front of the motor , that , along with any sort of coilpack problem should be ruled out - because , if an engine has timing belt or coilpack problems - they are always present (at all times) , whether the engine is cold / warm or hot. You have , what I call : "a changeling" , first it didn't have problems , and then it did. I'd be thinking about that until I had the oil sump pickup in my hands to confirm the oil pickup was OK , and there wasn't anything in the oilpan that could have caused a temporary or intermittent oiltube blockage.

    If you are so inclined , you could also pull off 1 of the valve covers and run the motor without it on - to confirm a dryrunning (no oiling) condition. This would be simple enough. If it appears that no oil is getting to the top of the motor , then the lifters will click loudly. If oil is sqirting all over the place , then you know the oilpump is good , and not restricted.

    So , basically , I have suggested a top to bottom check (in that order). If you have the valve cover off , and start the engine while no oil appears anywhere across the cam or valves , then YOU DO HAVE A OIL PICKUP TUBE RESTRICTION. Firstly , a piece of something was able to move around and periodically come in contact directly at the pickup tube end (some have screens) , but at this point it would be clear that the piece has now permanently lodged itself in front of the pickup tube. Just like when you have a vacuum cleaner hose , and you put something in the path of suction. It will remain there as long as there is suction , but if it's lodged there , it will not let go when suction stops. Which would mean you have found your parallel (first the piece was not in direct contact with the screen or pickup tube , and then it somehow was). This is possible , and highly likely if there is no oil getting to the top of the motor. Ask yourself how the motor ran at all without any noise again (if no oil was ever getting to the top of the motor). Which brings up another possibility. The previous owner had this problem , and poured oil directly into the valve cover , just before you went to test drive it. Which would - drain to the oilpan eventually (and the top of the motor wouldn't have enough oil circulating again) , which is when you noticed the noises , and stalling. You'll have to judge , by whether it is running dry , or with just a few specks of oil now and then , which is very inadequate. It must be squirting repeatedly to keep the valves and the cam lubricated.
  • mvtimmmvtimm Posts: 4
    2001 chrysler 300m with 150,000 miles. Last January (10 months ago) my daughters car wouldn't start. All I heard was the starter solenoid click. So it sat in my driveway 3/4 days til the weekend. I went out and it started right away. A week later it did it again so I put it in the garage and pulled starter. Cleaned it and wires up and had 3 shops do there free test on it and it was good. Replaced it and no problems til yesterday. Then the solenoid will click 10-15-20 times and then start. Before this all happened the battery was replaced nov 2012 and the positive battery cable to the jumper from battery was replaced October 2012. Cleaned any connections I could and don't see any thing loose. Not sure if moisture has anything to do as don't remember weather last winter on that day other than being cold but it was raining pretty hard here in northern Wisconsin yesterday when it started again.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited October 2013
    This sounds like the exact symptoms of battery cables which are contacting each other inside the sheath that covers the battery cables together where they go over the transmission. This can be a bit difficult to determine because what happens is : the 2 large cables rub themselves on each other from vibration , and the friction wears away the black cable insulation. Which , if this is the case - you can't see any damage to the sheath. Sometimes both the cables and the sheath are worn through somewhere behind the throttlebody assembly , and down on top of the transmission casing - behind the engine , closest to the firewall. It sounds like it would be a good idea to cut the sheath off , and inspect the battery cables for wear / contact / short. This would explain the intermittent short , because if the cables have bare wire showing , they will corrode (because of arcing as well) , but when the car is warm/hot or moving - this wears clean areas at the exposed areas , which makes the short reoccur. Once an old exposed area starts to short again - proper connection to the starter , which is where the cables are going , fails.

    It is probably too late now but , I usually fully check the entire lengths of each battery cable (remove all sheaths / covers etc.) , whenever I have a starter out. While it is easy to slide the sheaths over the small end connectors of battery cables. Any hidden areas where the battery cables go are suspect and should be inspected/cleaned , at least. Several times I have found positive battery cables hanging on by just a few strands of the entire cable - even at 2 points on the same cable. This explains a loss in current flow , and possible or intermittent shorting. In today's vehicle electrical systems , this will cause the computer and it's modules to get incorrect readings/voltages , and react incorrectly , or in an odd way. Plus , the ASD Relay can be triggered or fail to allow connection. The : Automatic Shutdown Relay protects the electrical system from overload , when it is tripped by overcurrent. But it also requires a minimum of voltage to allow the vehicle to start or run. This occurs when the key position is in the "run" position , just before you turn the key to the "start" position.

    Battery cables of this sort on the transmission casing or other aluminum parts are like this because aluminum is not a good conductor of electricity , as opposed to steel or copper. So... they are intermittent and low level shorts , which may only spike or become a problem (or conduct enough) sporatically/seldom. IE : after running the car on the highway , or when alot of extra electrical systems are being used : like a combination of windshield wipers/high beam headlights/heater/rearwindow defroster and the heated seats in winter conditions.
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