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Chrysler 300M Starting/Stalling problems

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  • mvtimmmvtimm Posts: 4
    I will check the cables this week. I replaced the starter relay as a cheap check but didn't help. The positive cable I replaced last year was only holding together by a few strands. I'm also am thinking electrical not starter because I had starter out already and it worked after I put it back in thinking I corrected a loose connection. I will put it up on ramps tomorrow and see what I can find. Why would this be happening so far apart by months?
  • This could be a ground problem , as there appears to be some confusion or errors in the authentic service manuals that show where a ground cable should go directly from the battery negative terminal to the engine block itself. This is the norm , but my 2002 300M Special has no such animal attached to the engine block. I will be adding it just to be on the safe side even though there are no problems. Also : my 2001 Dodge Durango SLT 4.7L V8 Magnum has a couple points at which the negative battery cable bolts directly to it's cast iron block. The 4.7L has aluminum heads , and a cast iron block , but the 300M's have an all aluminum engine. So... while grounding to aluminum is already limited - attaching a ground cable directly from the battery to the aluminum engine block may help. Intermittent power is one thing - but intermittent ground is like having a loose component or connection.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited October 2013
    Another reason you could be having starter problems , could be due to a faulty transmission range sensor (TRS) or a bad park/neutral position switch. What I am suggesting is that there may be a problem because the vehicle is not actually in PARK , to allow the starter to turn the motor freely. If you had this problem , and the solenoid connected the starter (clicked) , it wouldn't be able to turn both the engine and the transmission (considering the transmission is not fully in neutral , or PARK .)

    To check if the transmission is not fully going back into PARK , while attempting to start the car , rock the car back and forth to see if it actually engages the starter at some point. If it does , that doesn't necessarily mean it is electrical. Because the 300M transmission also has 2 other variables to consider. 1 is that when the vehicle is in PARK , you are not supposed to be able to depress the shifter button and move the transmission out of PARK , unless you press the brake. This is a safety feature. If you CAN move the shifter without pressing the brake , the system is not set correctly , and can cause starter engagement problems , and/or shifting problems. 2 is that the transmission also relies upon the correct setting of the shifter , and it's relationship with the brake pedal setting. It is possible then , that if the brakes were worked on , that the brake pedal setting is a bit off , which can cause these starter problems - because of both mechanical and electrical appartuses not working correctly together.

    At the shifter , it must remain set correctly , and at the brake pedal , it must be set correctly for the system to function properly. This is what can throw off the sensors as well , when their signals are not correct.

    When the engine is not starting of course , this is a bit difficult to determine - but if you can get in the car and move the shifter out of park without touching the brake pedal - that is part of the problem. And if you do get the engine to start , check the brake pedal interlock first thing , to see if the setup is correct. That the shifter should refuse to move out of park , until the brake pedal is pressed. If this is OK , then you should look at the electrical portion/s at the transmission. IE : Transmission Range Sensor (TRS) , or PARK/NEUTRAL POSITION SWITCH. These send signals to the Body Control Module (BCM) , and if any one of them is not doing so - then the system is not recognizing that the vehicle is either IN PARK , or NOT IN PARK or NEUTRAL respectfully. If you have invalid fault codes - then you have transmission sensor problems. When invalid fault codes are present , the sensor is not functioning properly , as opposed to a determinable fault code , that pertains to a faulty transmission sensor of some sort.

    One such example of causing simple problems that become major : is when somebody changes the shifter in the center console. They might alter the setting of the shifter linkages etc. and not know that this will adversely effect the system on the 300M. IE : the shifter is not sensed as being in PARK , the signal sent to the BCM is invalid or incorrect (Reverse) , so the starter will not reliably engage. Because you must be in either PARK or NEUTRAL to start the engine , while the signal is incorrect - the actual transmission's mechanical position can be just a bit off , to where a small tab or locking pin etc. may be unable to engage (lock). When you rock the vehicle , it may go in or lock.
  • mvtimmmvtimm Posts: 4
    checked all cables i could and they looked ok. Couldn't see behind motor by firewall. There are no fault codes for transmission and will not move out of park without brake depressed. Just got it to start again for first time in 4 days and put it up on ramps. am going to remove starter again and go from there. might borrow ohm meter to test power at starter. Where do the pos and neg cable run to from the 2 jump start blocks above the hidden battery. And on the ground wire there is a mesh wire running from neg jumping block on passenger wheel wheel to the block. looks ok also.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited October 2013
    So far so good , but you have to dump the idea/s that an ohm meter will tell you if there is a problem with the 2 cables (that are sheathed together) , that go over the back of the motor/transmission , near the firewall. Reason being , as the cable might only be shorting when there is vibration from either the engine running , or when you hit bumps in the road etc. You have to physically eyeball the insulation on both of those cables. Chances are they have at least 1 area where they are able to touch each other and/or the aluminum transmission casing. The 2 cables are going to the starter , where the ground cable attaches to 1 of the starter bolts and the aluminum transmission casing at the same time. This provides a poor placement for a reliable grounding to the engine , because it is so low and open to corrosion - plus in this case , it is being relied upon for engine ground? It is much better to attach a cable directly to a point on the engine block itself that does not corrode easily for ample ground (then you only have to check/recheck your positive battery cables for corrosion etc.). If you don't want to remove the starter and it's cables , you can always carefully cut the wide covering sheath , (check it) , and then ziptie it back together etc. As far as how the wiring goes as follows , according to the 2001 300M Service Manual : positive battery terminal mount has 2 cables attached. 1 goes to the positive jumper block , and the other goes across the front of the motor to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) [Transmission Module] & Power Distribution Center (PDC) - which is where there are wiring harness connectors attached to lines that go directly to the starter solenoid. From the positive jumper block , the opposite side of the jumper block cable goes into the sheath at the rear of the motor ( along with the fender mounted cable that comes from underneath the negative battery jumper cable mount). Which means there are actually 2 negative cables that are at the negative jumper fender mount. 1 goes from the battery to the fender mount , which has a permanent type (notched) negative cable that comes from the sheath.

    The rudementary diagram shows how there is a positive wire that goes from the #87 portion of the starter relay to the starter. But this is actually a cluster of wires that have connectors on them that snap onto the solenoid plug-in's. These would be the starter switch etc. Ground is connected to the BCM , Body Control Module , so... when you turn the key to the run position , the BCM is already supposed to be grounded , or ON. This is how you get your dash light indicators. If the ground has a short , any number of problems can occur. When you turn the key to the start position , you have switched the starter switch to enable the starter power wire through the #87 portion of the starter relay. While the service manual definately shows that a ground cable is connected as I said , to the rear of one of the starter bolts.

    As I said , if the 2 cables that go over the transmission are bare and touching each other intermittently , the BCM /PDC/PCM and other modules are all effected. They are respectfully : Body Control Module , Power Distribution Center & (most importantly - the Powertrain Control Module). If the Powertrain Control Module is effected , it will not recognize the PARK position and allow the starter to power on or turn. All battery outputs , of both negative and positive are monitored before any activity is allowed to occur. This is how the ignition occurs , with no distributor , but is safegaurded/calibrated & repeated (which creates an electronic rotation).

    Not that I like to repeat myself but : any time there are electrical related problems , I always check the battery cables (especially to include the portions where there are 2 battery cables coming together) first. Because any diagnostic device can also be effected by this type of short. It is a "source short". Misdiagnosis can repeatedly occur on any metering device if you don't - and many good electronics parts can be repeatedly replaced for no reason as well , along with other repairs that are still effected by this type of shorting. Sometimes there are spacers at these areas where you can clearly see their condition - but as soon as I see any areas where I can't see them (their overall "dual setup") , I remove whatever is in my way to see them - and I usually find bare wires. While the service manual will only include that you "check the battery cables" , where a starter motor is going to be tested / has problems etc.
  • mvtimmmvtimm Posts: 4
    I checked as much of the cables as i could and they looked good.After talking to a few people that had starters tested and put back in thinking they were good only to replace them and problem solved I removed it again.I had it tested at 2 different places and was given the green light at both auto parts stores. Auto Zone even gave me a printout of what to check which contained alot of what you have said. I purchased a new re-manufactured starter and it has started the ten or so times I tried it. Going to cross my fingers because thats what the old one did when I pulled it in january and it worked after reinstalling it for about 9 months. Thanks for your help!
  • I have spent over 3 hours searching the internet for the cause of my problem. My 01 300m will run great, but when it warms up it will stall when coming to a stop, especially after highway driving (over 45mph). I was ready to throw the whole works at it; crank sensor, cam sensor, IAC motor, Map sensor, EGR valve, torque converter solenoid, etc. But I was pretty settled on it being the IAC motor. I've had these go out on a few other cars before. I decided to humble myself and take it to my mechanic (not dealer) and he hooked up the Snap On scanner and noticed that it was very low on vacuum. He knew to unplug the map sensor that is on the plastic intake on the top of the motor on the drivers side, and it died. He then plugged it back in and guess what?? It started right up and idled fine! It was giving the computer false info and was dumping way to much fuel at it. It was enough to stall the car at low speeds and make the car idle rough. Sometimes it would idle fine, others not. Please try this. It is an $80 part. Well worth it! BTW. on a different note, please check all tie rod ends on this model! They go bad easily. jack up car and feel for any play when grabbing the tire and turning the tire left and right. It should have none.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited October 2013
    I would agree with what you've done , as there appears to be some discrepencies in the service manuals (all I have checked) with which MAP Sensor should be used on each vehicle. The problem is in their physical appearance , as well as : how many wires go into the inlet plug. For example : you have a 3 wire Map Sensor installed , while the manuals or other informations show a physically different shape of map sensor (which only has 2 wire connectors in the sensor , while there are 3 connectors on the intake).

    Physically , the plastic moulding mount is different. If I remember correctly , some have 1 screw and a slot , while some clearly have 2 mounting screw holes in them. The main thing is that you match 3 connector types , with 3 connector intakes / plenum. I believe the 2 wire/pin types are for the 2.7L engine. But , like I said , I found that out when checking mine. Different , non-OEM parts may also be the problem , where the mounting is different , or the wrong part number is being used etc. This is why MOPAR suggests using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts only. Some aftermarket parts makers may confuse you or sell you a conflicting part - if you don't pay attention to : how it mounts , and/or how many connecting pins must fit into the intake or receiving end. It's best to bring the part with you when buying , or checking a new part. In other words : it is possible you may have MAP Sensor problems , because the wrong part was installed. They will all fit.

    To test your MAP Sensor : with the engine idling normally in PARK , while the engine is at normal temperature (not right after you get off the highway) , you fill a clean spray bottle with water : and spray around the MAP Sensor mount , to see if there is an airleak. Sometimes the gasket is hardened or cracked , which will make it so that you are loosing vacuum there. This can cause rough idle , and stalling. This is the service manual suggested procedure to physically test a MAP Sensor , or to quickly confirm a proper vacuum within the plug-in connector. If the engine stalls while you are spraying a fine spray of water to the mounting area seams - you have a vacuum leak. No air should be drawn from the outside air , into the intake.
  • pitmanoeuvrepitmanoeuvre Posts: 68
    edited October 2013
    This is not always the best way to diagnose stalling problems , because there could also be a problem at the throttle body intake / clogged air filters / leaking tube joints from the air filter inlet - to the intake throttle body , and other improper parts installations : such as - aftermarket , non-OEM sparkplugs , where there is a claim that they are superior. The engines are all tuned and calibrated to the OEM spark plugs , and if you think - buying suggested superior spark plugs is equivalent to being in a position to professionally ; manufacture / tune & calibrate the engine to a set of spark plugs. You might have problems , as many other 300M owners and others have found out in less than 1 month of driving.

    If you unplug the MAP Sensor on any vehicle , the engine will stall or idle rough until it does. Plugging the MAP Sensor back in and restarting , could only produce results because the entire system was reset to a start condition. I am not saying that MAP Sensors are not the culprit , but there are many other things that can increase the MAP Sensor's ability to keep it's signals regular or within the calibrated range needed for proper idle / acceleration / deacceleration and air fuel / etc. mixture. Because all of them play a major role in sending signals to a computer etc. - which calculates and regulates the entire system. This applies to spark/timing , fuel and air intake as well. Usually , when you stop an engine , remove a part you suspect was not working , and replace the same part - and it appears the part is working correctly after restarting : that means the part was OK. But not always. All other possibilities must be checked , or else the problem will come back in a short period of time. This happens because the newer part is more efficient or better - but NOT the problem entirely , or at all. Incorrect sparkplugs alone can send you on a quest within the engine compartment , that leads to 12 or more parts being replaced / suspected , or unnecessarily tested. Engines without a distributor are very reliant upon the correct parts. So... why would you trust [E-best] [double spark] [wide ground] or any other nefarious sparkplugs , where PREMIUM LASER PLATINUM SPARK PLUGS ARE : OEM tested and calibrated to your specific engine?

    In these categories alone , there is : Premium (above normal) , Laser (as fine and sharp a spark as you can get) , Platinum (durable & repeat performance) : and only available in this grouping from : (IE :NGK). 3 levels , where anything less can be detrimental. Air may not have anything to do with it. Excess fuel could be present because the wrong sparkplugs are installed. Unburned fuel = flooding/stalling/rough idle & poor fuel mileage. Notice also , that the BIG 3 dealerships , don't offer a multitude of aftermarket sparkplugs. The reason is clearly because they can't back up their use. And if you read your 300M owners manual - it suggests that the OEM sparkplugs are usually good for 60,000 miles or 100,000km. If this doesn't suggest to you that the OEM sparkplugs are good or a top performer for the said vehicle , then what will? While the 300M engines are : an all aluminum construction throughout the block and heads - don't you think using too hot or cold a sparkplug can cause engine damage? It can , and it will. It requires the correct sparkplugs , more than a cast iron block & head combination , of yesteryear engines.
  • fredl56fredl56 Posts: 1

    I have a 2001 300M It starts fine every day.

    After driving for a while and the car is warm and I stop and turn it off for approx 15 minutes and go to start again it sputters and most times it just dies. It takes a wait of about 10 minutes before it will sputter and start. After getting the rpm to about 2000 rpm it will run smooth and when I ease off the gas it runs fine.

    It does not do sputter any other time. I had a mechanic plug his gizmo in and said the fuel pump showed no apparent problems and no sensor problem code came up?

    Any ideas?

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