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Chrysler Pacifica Starting and Stalling Problems



  • A bad ground could cause those problems. However, the flashing check engine light is a good indicator that you have a significant problem. If the light is illuminated, you typically have a emissions related failure that will not affect the car's ability to drive -- like an O2 sensor. If it flashes, there is something more significant wrong that requires immediate attention. The car stores codes for the reason the check engine light is on and will tell them which component is providing a fault. The fact that your Check Engine light came on is a good thing. The car will tell the mechanic what is wrong with it. The check engine light will not come on for an engine harness, but a bad connection within the harness gives the tech a good clue as to why your car is having problems. Any good mechanic will use an OBD-2 tool to determine why the Check Engine light was flashing and work from there. For that matter, Autozone or Advance Auto Parts will scan your car for free and print out the stored codes. Once you know the faults, you will be better prepared to decide which mechanic you find to fix it. It could be anything, but things like the MAF sensor or something in the fuel injection system, or even those grounds could cause problems that you are seeing. It could be the harness, but a good tech should be able to tell you what is wrong with it. Good luck.
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    Your car is telling you what the problem is. It is not in park.

    It is a very important safety interlocking that the car will not start, i.e. won't even turn engine over with key in start position if gear selector is not in park OR neutral. Obviously you have an issue with park/neutral switch not reading park or neutral when you are trying to start it.

    It also makes perfect sense that when tow truck guys just move it for position to tow it away it suddenly wants to start. This is because the park / neutral switch is so very close to work and moving the car gives it a "bump" and helps the switch in correct position to be able to start the car.

    You could try to move your gear shifter to neutral position next time it will not start in park position. Also, as you mention playing around with gears helps 80% of time it is a clear indication of the park / neutral switch problem.

    When you take your car to a dealer they easily tell you that you need a new switch. Well, this most likely is not needed but can be the case. Park / neutral switch in cars that I have worked with have adjustment built into it. It most likely is that your switch needs an adjustment made to it so that it is aligned properly with gear shifter in park position.

  • 2005 Pacifica : Read all the suggestions listed. Called to have tow truck come. Told mechanic what was possible causes. Car fixed and on the road quickly. Problem: Loose wire at the starter making poor contact. ( Just another thing to look for - Overall, this is the first problem in 4 years we have had with this car. ( 40,000 miles and enjoying this car ! )
  • texan9texan9 Posts: 4
    68_bullitt thank you again for your reply I took my car to a second mechanic and he found six bad codes. The ignition coils. Now today I have my car at a third mechanic. This morning when I drove it stalled and I turn off the key and started it right back. The oil light went off but the check engine light is still on. Thank you for your help.
  • No problem. If your check engine light is still illuminated and not flashing, it isn't something that urgent, however, if the coils are bad and not firing the plugs properly, this could start a chain-reaction of codes. So as an example, if this happens, it could throw a code for the O2 sensors. Once the first problem is fixed, it is likely a few of the other codes could go away. A good honest mechanic should be able to fix it. Too bad you aren't in Cincinnati. We have a very honest family friend with a shop who would treat your right. Good luck getting it fixed.
  • tobeahalltobeahall Posts: 5
    Could not get the car to start from Tuesday to Wednesday. Had to tow it back to the dealer I got it from ( which is not a Chrysler dealer ). The car still did't start. They gave the car a jump... it started. So they said I just need a new battery then it would not start again.They put the car up on the wrack and saw that it needs motor mounts. So, this is their diagnosises.......the motor is shifting on take off,which is pulling the wires apart. Thats why the computer is not reading the gears correctly ( not in park,vehicle memory disable....etc ). Which made the car not start, then when it was tow or moved about the wires would touch then it would read correctly then start. :surprise: Hopefully problem solved... I will update you'll when it get out the shop.Fingers Cross!!
  • madmommamadmomma Posts: 4
    It's the wire that goes from the engine to the transmission. We spent about 6 months and a few thousand $ trying to get it fixed. Finally my husband and his uncle figured it out. I think it's called the ground wire or cable... Not one problem since we replaced it.
  • tobeahalltobeahall Posts: 5
    The car is out of the shop and running good. We didn't pay an arm and an leg, it was only in the 500 hundred range. I hope this helps somebody, good luck. I will keep you'll updated. ;)
  • lashalllashall Posts: 3
    I am having the exact problem and no one can tell me what the problem is. Please tell me what they did. Was it a ground wire as said in the posting before your update. I could really use your help. I am a single mother and i have replaced the battery and the starter. I have been told to change the ignition switch, change the idle air control valve. I don't know what is next. Please help. I am afraid to drive it. :cry:
    thank you.
  • tobeahalltobeahall Posts: 5
    Did you read my post # 217 ? It tells what the problem was and what they did to fix it. What is your car doing?
  • lashalllashall Posts: 3
    Car won't start. it took 30 min to get it started yesterday. I turn the key and it clicks everything in the car works fine. I also have the stalling when it does try to finally turn over. I have also had the problem of the car telling me that it is not in park when i try to press the memory to set my seat and i have the car in park. I have replaced the battery, the battery cables, and the starter. It worked fine for about 2 weeks after changing the starter and now it is getting worse. I wanted to be able to tell the repairman what it may be when i take back this week.
    thank you for your help.
  • taloncctaloncc Posts: 1
    As I have read from past post, it seems like some of us share the same problems. I recently started having problems with my 05 Pacifica AWD Touring Edition with 47000 miles. We love this car, just are getting tired of the run around with the local dealers. Recently my car has been stalling when slowing down when coming to a stop. Also the fuel gage has been erroneously reading how much fuel. I have been using the trip meter. At a price of $650, I can't spare that kinda of money to replace the tank sending units. The two are related. It seems like after a fill up, I can get around 100-200 miles before my car wants to stall. When I fill it up, it doesn't. I can help but think this has to do with the F44 recall, but the dealer says it is not associated with the recall. BS! That is why the recall came about was to due unforeseen vehicle stalls causing accidents and injury. I have filled two complaints with NTSA, and will be contacting the dealer again. I will be deploying again and don't want to leave the family with a vehicle that is not reliable.
  • lashalllashall Posts: 3
    There are lot of cars here having the same problems. I am going to try to replace the idle air control valve to see if it helps with the stalling. I have read here that this may be the problem. I found the part on line at napa and advance auto for under 100 dollars. i have filled complaints also. hope you find the true answer. be safe and thank you for your service.
  • arriearrie Posts: 312

    I have an '06 Pacifica Touring but it is not an AWD. I have not had any problems with my Pacifica so far with anything, knock the wood, but have been following this tread some as it is important for reliable driving.

    One thing I understand from reading the posts earlier is that an AWD model Pacifica has a fuel tank with two sides. It has a "tunnel" in the middle of it for the drive shaft to go thru to the rear differential. For this reason the AWD models have two fuel pumps. The primary pump feeds the engine and the secondary pump moves fuel from secondary side to primary side for the car to be able to use all fuel in both sides of the "tunnel" built in the tank.

    If the secondary pump fails and if the fuel level sending unit is on the secondary side the condition you explain can very well happen, i.e. there is nothing wrong with your fuel level sending unit.

    If the secondary pump fails meaning that fuel level on secondary side stays high it means that your fuel gauge is reading fuel in the tank as the level on secondary side is not going down. At the same time engine is using fuel from the primary pump side and draws the tank on that side empty causing the car to stall.

    You say you can drive the car without problems after you fill up for about 100 - 200 miles. Were you able to run about twice that much before problems started with a tank of gas?

    The fuel tank will fill up both compartments when you fill it up because the top of the tank is higher than the top of "tunnel" in the middle of it. It just is that when you drive and fuel level goes down to the top of "tunnel" level you start using only primary pump side of the tank and your mileage is limited to about half of full tank of gas. Fuel level is shown high as secondary side level is high.

    Above writing is based on assumption that fuel level sending unit is located in the secondary tank side and based on your writing it very well might be.

    It seems your problem probably is failed secondary fuel pump.

  • My wife's '04 Pacifica would not crank this morning. Tried to jump start it and after several tries, it cranked. I then unhooked the cables and it stayed cranked about 20 seconds before it cut off and wouldn't turn over. It acts like a dead battery, but the battery is not that old (1-1/2 to 2 years). The odd thing is that when I first went outside to try and jump it off, I noticed a light blinking on the front (fog light) as though the turn signal or hazard lights were left on. When I checked, neither the turn signal or the hazard lights were on (I didn't know if this was some kind of warning or problem indicator). I guess my first thing to try is a new battery, but I wanted to ask here first to see if anyone had any insight into any other problem before I spent the money on a new battery. Any guesses?
  • I have a 04 Pacifica that without any notice quit starting. That means that you only get a click if you are lucky. I'm and experienced mechanic and traced it down to an open ground going to the engine block. You can hook a voltmeter fromt the - on the battery to the engine block and get 0 volts. Then when you try to crank, you get 12v. I verified the problem by hooking a jumper cable from the - on the battery to the block.

    The problem is that I can't see where the ground on the engine is. The wiring is all inside a rats nest loom and without peeling the whole loom apart, I can't seem to see where it goes. Can any one enlighten me where on the block the ground hooks up. Is this a common issue?

    Alldata does not show where the grounds are.
  • tc1956tc1956 Posts: 2
    My 2004 AWD Pacifica has been suddenly going dead as if the battery was discharged but have had the battery checked and it is OK. It has happened several times and I have confirmed that no electrical components have been left on to drain the battery. When this happens, as the key is turned on in the ignition, the dashboard lights flash and I hear a clicking sound that eventually disappears. Can anyone provide insight to this problem?
  • I have a problem with my fuel gauge; When i fill it up with gas it is no problem it will stay in good but it get to the half point it will just drop down to the empty i just want to know what is the problem with it and i want to find a solution to it
  • I have 04 Pac 2wd with stalling at red light 3 miles from home or stalling while making turn. Had tsb done this week. Will see what happens.
  • You describe our former problem with our 04 Pac to a T. After having diagnostics done which revealed nothing ,we had the battery cables replaced and it worked like magic, no more stalling. Good luck. :)
  • My 2004 Pacifica will not start. The car shifter is in park, the steering is not locked and the key will not turn. :cry: Any help would be greatly welcomed.
  • No problems in 4 months since tsb.
  • tobeahall,

    What came of your issues last summer with your Pacifica? We have had the exact same problems that you described and it turned out to be oil releated. Currently our engine is being replaced due to premature oil consumption damage. There are at least 133 other posts on this web site all dealing with premature oil consumption issues. Please let me know if you got your car fixed and what the issue was? There is much talk about a class action lawsuit against Chrysler related to the oil problems. it sounds like your issues could be related to that too.
  • Read post 217, it explains the problem, and how they fixed it. The car had not had that issue since, but now my gas gauge is dropping to empty and the sometimes stalls. Other than that it run great.I hope this helps good luck!
  • MY '04 Pacifica continues to use oil excessively. There is no oil on the garage floor and no smoke coming from the car. Every service center is puzzled by the amount of oil the car is going through (I put very few miles on my car ~500/month but my dipstick is bone dry when I take it in every 3 mo for the oil change). Never had any problem with my previous car (96 Caravan).
  • In the end, my problem was a battery. It was a little older than I thought, but still within the warranty period. Got a new battery, and it has been fine since. Thanks for the warning about the oil consumption, I will keep an eye on that.
  • I have a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica touring wagon and I have owned the car 3 weeks and it has broken down twice already. The car will drain the battery in matter of hours while parked with nothing on. The dealer replaced the battery, but has yet to find what is draining the battery. Any experience this problem?
  • I can sympathyze with you on the fuel problem. For months my 2005 Pacifica has been going straight from 1/2 tank to empty, but when I go to put fuel in it, it will only take a couple gallons. We have replaced both fuel pumps, an electronic module, and now they are saying it needs a wire cluster in the dash. $1200.00 and it still does not work! I am so frustrated.
  • fhronfhron Posts: 1
    having a problem with a #3 misfire. i moved plugs and coils to another cylinder and still same problem, I am guessing a fuel injector problem.
    How hard are thet to change? It's a 05 touring with a 3.5 engin.
  • lukiluki Posts: 1
    yoo. i have a bit of a problem with my 07 Pacifica. Everytime i turn off the car, everything just resets. Radio, heat ect... maybe someone knows whats goin on there>?
    appreciate for help
  • litterillalitterilla Posts: 1
    I was just given a 2004 Crysler Pacifica, 3.5 L and was told it occassionlly had starting problems. If it did not crank right up, just wait a second or two, turn egition a few times and it will start. That lasted about a week. We had the starter , alternator checked, and a new battery put in. The last time this happened I really laid into the egnition switch. Now all the lights light up, bells and dash lights are stong, even put a 200 amp charger on it. Not a sound from the starter. What could this be?
  • masowardsmasowards Posts: 1
    We have had this happen 4 times in the last 3 months, Car is completely dead nothing. We charge it for a while and the car clicks like its the starter. We've had the battery replaced, the starter replace. The car is dead then all the sudden starts up. Wow I will never buy a chrysler again or recommend one to anyone. Still have not been able to fix or find problem. So much fun having a car that looks good but you can't rely on. :confuse:
  • tc1956tc1956 Posts: 2
    Just experienced this problem last weekend for the first time. Jumped it and it started but prior to that, it was dead as a door nail. Another little wrinkle that has arisen is that the fan is permanently on (when the ignition is "on"). Strange. Anyone with clues on any of this, I'd love to hear. Like others, never again will I buy a Chrysler product.
  • dalep2dalep2 Posts: 2
    we were pulling out of a 7-11 store onto a main road and our pacific shut off. it doesnt appear to be the battery or altenator because the car wants to fire but it isnt getting past turning over. i have it at a dealership now and they cant seem to pinpoint anything yet. they said the timing is reading 39 degrees on the diagnostics and it should be around 2-3 degrees. is this something like a bad cam/crank sensor sending faulty reading or is there possibly something more major? anyone ever run into this scenario?
  • brogfordbrogford Posts: 1
    I would check the recall website and find out if your chrylser is affected by the poistioning sensor recall the way mine was. Same senario, I was pulling acrossed four lanes of 50mph traffic when my vehicle shut off. Luckily I had enough momentum to coast out of the path of danger. I took it to the dealership after doing some reasearch and found that they had recalled a bunch of Pacificas for this exact reason. Turns out the positioning sensor was bad, dealership replaced it for free and I havent had a problem since.
  • We had this problem as well. The local Chrysler dealership told us forever there was nothing wrong with the battery. Then we convinced them to give us a new one and we still had dead batteries especially if we had a tripped planned and was opening and closing doors a lot to load it. We fixed the problem by putting a bigger battery (or maybe more powerful) in it. Also I don't use the automatic lights and when I need to load things I just open all the doors at once and leave them open. We haven't had a dead battery in at least a year.
  • thoustonthouston Posts: 2
    There is a common problem with a bad ground cable from the battery to the engine block. Use a set of jumpers and connect the (-) ground terminal on the battery to the engine block and see if it turns over.
  • bob1012bob1012 Posts: 1
    I have a similar issue with a 2004 pacifica. The car will "click" like the battery is weak, but when I put the jumper cables on, it still won't turn over. I was just looking at it today and used the remote starter to start the car. When I put the key into the ignition to turn the car off, it said that the key was not programmed. The car finally timed out and shut off. When I tried to start it again, I got the "click" from the starter. It finally turned over the third time I tried it. I was wondering if there is a problem with the remote starter? I don't think this answers your post, but maybe it will shed some light for someone.
  • I have recently had a problem similar to what I am reading about here with stalling. The gauges on my 04 pacifica will all fall to zero, all dash lights will come on for a few seconds, I hear the warning "ding", then the car stalls. The gauge issue started early this year and seemed to be corrected when I replaced a cracked battery. I took the car to a Chrysler garage and they could not find anything wrong and said they have never heard of this happening. Sears actually found the crack in my battery and I purchased the replacement from them. But now, the problem is back and with it, the stalling problem. I also have had the oil use problem I've seen reported here. No leaks, but I run 1 - 2 quarts low withouth a warning light long before my 3K mile oil change is due. My 04 has 109K miles and I have had very few problems with it. Any input and/or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  • I had read a few weeks ago about 2004 Pacifica starting problems. The engine would shut down after a few seconds. The dealer also suggested replacing the battery. The power of the battery was down to half of its original power.

    We continued to have problems with the car not starting properly after the new battery. It would start and then shut off. I did remember seeing a post regarding reading the manual so I looked into the courtesy lights mentioned in other posts and then came across the section about the Sentry Key on page 10 of my users manual and I quote:

    "The Sentry Key Immobilizer System prevents unauthorized operator of the vehicle by disabling the engine. The system will shut the engine off after 2 seconds of running if an invalid key is used to start the vehicle."

    This made me think that maybe something may have happened to the original keys electronic chip transponder so we switched to using the spare key. No problems starting for the past 10 days even after a fill-up.

    Thanks to the person who suggested reading the manual.
  • have you had this fixed im having same issue.. please email me [email protected] please please i just bought a pacifica a week ago and mine is doing same thing... should i return it... whats wrong with it... so they will fix it fee
  • I posted a while ago (post #154 in April '08) about my gas guage suddenly dropping to empty then jumping back up with the accurate reading. I've been reading posts here every so often and thought I would update. My '04 Pacifica was driving me nuts! I never did do anything about exploring the gas guage problem-- I justed lived with it for a while (mine never stalled out, however). I experienced this problem for only a few months and it suddenly went away. Never had it in for repairs but I came close to disconnecting the chime (or wanting to wear earplugs!). Since my car never stalled out, I'm wondering if others should just try to "live with it" for a while to see if it resolves itself like mine did. Just a thought--- Also, I'm STILL having problems with oil consumption. :(
  • am1am1 Posts: 1
    I have an 05 Pacifica. My battery is one year old. In November my voltage warning light came on. Took it in for an electrical system check. They could not find a problem. The light did not come on again. A month later, yesterday, the ABS and Brake warning lights came on. Today, the car would not start. I got a jump. The car started, however, once I made it home, turned off the car and attempted to restart it, it would not do anything. Does anyone have a clue what is going on here?
  • Mine has been doing this for a year and a half and gradually getting worse. Have changed both fuel pumps and multiple other things to no avail.
  • We had a problem with out 04 Pacifica just going dead while driving and particular when making left or right turns. Same thing nothing came up with the computer diagnosis. We changed the battery cables and haven't had a problem since. We were investigating the Lemon Law :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: which at that time we could have pursued . The car has been a dream car ever since. :D Good luck.
  • I had the battery replaced and have not had any more trouble. For me, it was simply a battery problem.
  • altonsaltons Posts: 1
    Went to start my Pacifica the other morning. The interior lights came on but the starter wouldn't turn over. I ruled out the battery because it is new and fully charged. I attached one end of my jumper cable to the neg post of the battery and the other end to a bolt on the block. Tried to start the car but only got a click from the starter. Felt I was heading in the right direction. Next move was to connect the other clamps on the jumper cable to neg and to another bolt. (doubled up). This was the fastest the engine turned over in months! The problem was that the ground cable was only held on by a couple of strands near the transmission. I attached a temporary cable to the block for now. A repair shop told me it is a 4 hour job to replace the ground. It is part of a wiring harness. If your Pacifica cranks slowly and you know the battery is good, its only a matter of time before it will fail. I hope this will help solve your problem.
  • we had the same experience just last weekend. We used the second key but to no avail. The dealership could not reprogram the keys because the transponder is not working. I think this rarely happens because they did not carry the item in stock. Now, $500+ dollars later, I am scared this could easily happen again. The battery was at full power and even had a jump start. It started for 2 seconds then stopped. Everything worked except could not get the car to turn over. I thought it may have something to do with the security ignition switch, but it was not...sometimes I think I am taking advantage of.......
  • Well the key switch lasted for a few months and then the starting problems persisted randomly. Put some fuel injector/dry gas in the gas tank and it progressively got better. We have been free from starting shut off's for most of the winter. Knock on wood!
  • jtg61jtg61 Posts: 43
    I had a similar problem with my '05 Pacifica 3.8L not wanting to idle. It would start and then die after about 2 seconds which gave the impression that it was the theft prevention system. It turned out to be the throttle assembly was dirty and sticking. This seems to be a common problem with the Pacifica. It accumulates gunk over time and then it won't idle. It has to be cleaned annually. Other people have posted how to clean the throttle assembly yourself or you can have your mechanic clean it. This could solve your problem. Good luck.
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