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Intermittent no start issue - failing electrical part?

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Old 28 Nov 2011, 05:24 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5
Cool Intermittent no start issue - failing electrical part?

Hi Everyone! I'm a new member..lots of good info here

I've read through numerous posts and see a number of similar scenarios as mine but not the exact same problem. Here goes...

I'm having a 'no start' problem with an 2004 PT 2.4L Auto. At first my PT did not start. All the dash lights were on, headlights, all normal just nothing when the key turned to start. There was the sound of the fuel pump but no click of a solenoid or starter motor spinning. Everything else seemed to work it just would not start. After 30 minutes I disconnected the battery terminals, reconnected and it started numerous times as if nothing was wrong. I arrived home 30 minutes later and it wouldn't start again. The next morning it was fine again. This pattern has continued, more or less, for a few weeks.

Now (3 weeks later) it takes 2 hours and sometimes longer before it will start. The battery has been tested, the starter works, all relays are working, no security issue (according to dealer the coded key feature will shut the engine down after running for a few seconds if the key code doesn't match), all power connections to the starting circuit cleaned. There are no error codes present at the odometer or code reader.

When the system is in a no start mode the starter relay does not 'click'. When it's in start mode the starter relay 'clicks' and everything runs as per normal. I've swapped the relay with a known good one - same outcome. All relays 'click' when activated. Replaced cam sensor 2 months ago. There is now a full 1 second delay from when the key is turned to when the starter fires up (this seems new)

Being in the computer field this reminds me of an electrical intermittent failure due to a slight crack in a component that expands (breaks connection) when heated up. This could explain the reason for a no start when the vehicle is hot (normal) and the start when it's cool. Example: I was out this morning and the vehicle successfully started 3 separate times (within 1 hour) and each time the operating temperature was below normal and had not reached full operating temperature.

My most recent mechanic suggested replacing the PCM, I'm just not sure that is the problem and don't want to spend a small fortune replacing all electrical parts one at a time.

Any ideas are appreciated!


2004, 2.4L, Auto, 110,000 m
new plugs and cam sensor (2 months ago)

Last edited by ptpc; 28 Nov 2011 at 09:17 pm.
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failing electrical part, intermittent no start

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