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Discussion Starter #1
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2001 Chrysler Town and Country LXi 3.8L
This cost me a $140.40 wrecker bill and a starter. It ruined the starter, which I replaced. It starts and runs fine now. No Brake or ABS light. Only code is P0456 (EVAP). I haven't figured out what caused this although I suspect something with the ABS might be involved.
It did this momentarily at a slow speed (~25mph) in 2018. It did not ruin the starter that time. Both times when it has happened all the accessories (gauges, dash indicator lights, radio, etc) went out/non-functional (for about 2 seconds) except for the red 'Brake' light and yellow 'ABS' lights came ON during this 2 seconds. At this time the engine lost power and the van "fell on it's face" like the ignition switch was turned off, but it wasn't. Last time it happened (2018) I replaced the Electronic Brake Control Module (CAB) and all was fine for a while (~9 months). Then occasionally the yellow ABS light started coming on temporarily then go off, usually before my next drive cycle. No ABS code is displayed when pulling codes. Yellow ABS light has been coming on occasionally (maybe once every 2 weeks) since then but has had no effect on drive-ability otherwise.
Any ideas?
What could cause the starter solenoid to energize / loosing power and all instruments/ dash lights etc (except for 'Brake' and 'ABS') while driving 55mph down the interstate?
 

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Drivin' Maniac
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1,804 Posts
Didn't have your symptom, but this is worth checking:

We found that the wire harness to the front of the engine was chafing on the subframe, just to the center near the transmission solenoid. We slit a piece of coolant hose and zip-tied it to that area to insulate and hold the harness away from any metal.
 

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Super Moderator
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22,920 Posts
Do you have remote start? If so, where do you keep the remote.

Something is energizing the relay for your starter.

Do you have a bunch of keys hanging off the ignition switch?
 

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--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
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10,618 Posts
Do you have remote start? If so, where do you keep the remote.

Something is energizing the relay for your starter.

Do you have a bunch of keys hanging off the ignition switch?
Even if you try hard, the starter shouldn't engage if:

  1. Engine is running.
  2. Transmission is in gear.
You can try, is not going to engage.

On the old days, when that happen often was due to a bad starter relay.

So, it might be a weak starter relay.
 

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2,634 Posts
During normal starter operation many electrical things are shut off. See if you can determine what they are, and if it matches what has happened to you, which might lead you to the electrical portion of the ignition switch, which shouldn't be too hard to replace.
 
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