Jeep’n Chrysler! Dodge Damn Piece of Fordin’ Chevy

Hard to tell a new client that your a European specialist when there are 3 Chryslers in the parking lot and a Buick on the lift.  I just explain t them that after working on Volvos and Audis, it would be a peice of cake.  well maybe the Buick is, i have learned to hate Chrysler today.

Saturday a 99 Dodge Intrepid comes in with a flashing MIL and a dead miss.  #3 cyl no juice.  scope shows no signal on that coil, so i swap it with another.  the miss doesn’t move.  I pulled the plug out, and it looked like the one the designated spark plug supervisor at the factory put in 110,000 miles ago when he was still married. Now, on this 3.2liter, the only thing in the circuit here is a coil, a computer and a couple of wires.  i popped the plug off the computer and the coil, found no problem with the circuit, and sold the client a new control module.  that was Saturday.  Monday i am greeted by the big box of warning stickers that contains the new PCM.  Inside the shrink-wrapped box under the computer, after you pay for it and the guy leaves, you find the pamphlet that says the computer must be programed by a 3,000 computer that you don’t have. I call the supplier back and he assures me like a used car salesman that there shouldn’t be a need for that, so i put in the new module.  Upon completion, the car starts and dies.  6 times.  then doesn’t start.

So it gets hook dragged to the dealer where they charge us a days wages to reprogram the computer.  The dealer then reports that the mechanic found some other codes in the system and wants us to pay for further diagnostic time.  I politely map out a direction to propel is proposition and pick up the car. It runs like crap. way worse than it did before.  I did a paramater reset, and what do ya know?  car runs great.  I test drove it for 10 or so miles, and call the customer to pick up their horse.

this morning i walk in the door to the phone ringing.  guess who.  car runs like crap again.  i expected to have a million MIL codes and do another reset, posibly waranty the new module.  car runs just like it did saturday,  dead on #3.  I call tech support for chrysler, the guy, ignoring half of what i told him, tells me its  secondary ignition problem.  The 4th time I explain to him what i did, a light goes on and he then tells me that there might be a short somewhere.  Now i checked for this, even though very rarely does a factory harness short out.  people have been making these for years now and have figured out how to do it.  (well except maybe 80s and 90s european cars that made a deal with Crayola Wax for their insulation). Guy tells me that techs are puting a 3 amp fuse on the switch side of the coil driver at the module.  yeesh.  do they use scotch-locks too?

I pull out my scope again and find the dead coil, and look at the signal to the computer.  both sides 12 volts, tiny square wave drop of a volt as the computer tries to colapse the field.  i get agressive and cut the wire of the computer and the plug, and put a meter on it.  2.5 ohms to ground.  an intermiten short. I wanted to throw something, but everything within reach was too expensive.  I bypassed the harness, car now runs great.

I wont get too rash, i was tempted to tell The Man i wernt gona work on no more frikin American plastic then a caravan and a 300m came in.  I tell myself the moisture is sweat, not tears.

2 Responses to “Jeep’n Chrysler! Dodge Damn Piece of Fordin’ Chevy”

  1. This is why the Dodge Incraped I was conned into buying is sitting like a dead duck in my neighbor’s yard, for the past two years. Piece O SheEt.

  2. Maybe that is why the American Car market is so bad. Some people think it is normal, then they buy a Honda and never seem to see a service department again except to change the oil and filters.


Leave a Reply