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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am at my wits end with this problem. My 1996 caravan started cutting out after about 15 minutes. The dash and all electrical systems keep working, radio, wipers, signals, brake lights, fan, etc. When turned, the ignition key produces no starter, no click, or sound of any type indicating the solenoid is kicking in.

Two mechanics so far are stumped. One thought it was a bad computer so I ordered one and had him replace it with no effect. He put the old one back in, the same problem continued.

The other thought it was corroded power cables feeding the power block where the relays and fuses are housed. He replaced it with no result.

Anyone have an idea what could be causing this?

Thanks in advance.

Therrera1550
 

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I could type a book so I'll assume the mechanics tested the start circuit meaning jump the relay to verify the starter turns and verify there's no ground to the starter relay from the PCM (that leads to THE problem). Your no start isn't the problem. It's a symptom of your problem. Testing the starter circuit is just a CYA move.

Shooting from the hip from a thousand miles away it sounds like the PCM isn't getting power. Have they tested the auto shutdown (ASD) circuit? Getting a check engine light and codes?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. Once cool the starter cranks and the engine starts fine. It runs great, no missing good acceleration, etc. All of a sudden while driving it will cut out and you are forced to coast to a stop. Its as if there is a hot short somewhere. After it cools down, it will start right up again and repeat the cycle over and over.

I don't know what circuits the mechanic tested but I'll run it by him to test the pcm. I'll see what he says.

Thanks again,
 

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Well that brings up another possibility. It's an old old problem known to 3rd generation minivans and I wish I had a dime for every time I've brought it up on this and other forums. Cold or cracked solder joints on the instrument cluster circuit board. You're scratching your head. Here's why I'm bringing it up.

Your van has what is known as a CCD data bus. This data bus is used for communications between all the microprocessors in all those electronic modules all over the van. A fault in that circuit can cause seemingly unrelated problems anywhere else in that circuit. The Body Control Module or BCM is the heart of it. It communicates with the cluster and the PCM. Specifically it's the solder joints securing the mail connector on the circuit board. Bad solder connections expand and contract with heat and cold, opening and closing circuits...almost like a switch. Those tiny solder joints can keep the van from starting or kill the engine. Here's a video that shows you how to get at and fix it. No guarantees but it's a good possibility now I know this is an intermittent problem.
 
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