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Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

 
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Old 08 Sep 2019, 12:56 am
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Mesa, AZ
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Question Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

Having this problem for months, intermittently.
Turn ign. on. Instead of P (park) in display having box lit up around it,
ALL the gear position indicators (R,N,D,etc) have box highlighting them, while
the car is in park. Most times this means the starter will just click, the display will dim a little, and no cranking will happen. Earlier this week the boxes lit up,
but it started normally, and the next day, the display and starting were normal
again.
Today, the problem recurred after lunch with friends. We tried to jump start, but it would not turn over, still a click and no movement. That has never happened.
We put a volt meter on it when it was in “start”, but no drop; it held at 12.6 V.
It was very hot here today. I left the car at the restaurant, and will try again
Early tomorrow.
The battery is a month old and the ground and + wires are clean. It could be
the starter or solenoid, but wtf is up with that display?
Has anyone ever seen that?
Thanks
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Old 08 Sep 2019, 06:22 am
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Location: Lake Wales, FL
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

Have you tried to start it in neutral? It sounds to me like the parking pawl is not engaging the neutral start switch, but I'm not a mechanic. Have you tried taking it out of park and jamming it back into park? Maybe try just holding it forward as tight as you can in Park and try starting it. Maybe someone who knows will answer you.
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Old 08 Sep 2019, 08:04 am
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

What chuzz said is what I would try.

You could try starting it while wiggling the shifter in Park and Neutral, just be prepared to shut the engine off if it ends up in gear. If it tried to start, that could indicate a mis-adjustment of the neutral safety switch.

I have a manual transmission, so no experience, but... It sounds to me like the switch or sensor that "tells" the computer what gear it is is in could be a problem (assuming the computer drives the indicator lights) . If the switch or sensor wasn't reporting the transmission was in Park or Neutral, the computer may disable the starting circuit. The clicking you report leaves me scratching my head a bit. Let us know what you find.
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Old 08 Sep 2019, 07:36 pm
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

You might also simply try removing and cleaning the ground cable on the battery. Not just the battery terminal, but the clamp too. Check it for the much hated green corrosion under the covering too. And remove the air box and check the grounds on the inside of the drivers fender. This is a commonly known problem area for grounding issues.
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Old 09 Sep 2019, 07:49 pm
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

chrysler shift displays will light all with boxes around them if the main plug for the transmission shift solenoid pack is disconnected. try it.
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Old 09 Sep 2019, 09:37 pm
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

I would check the PCM plug contacts with the wires coming from the transmission first. If the transmission range sensor loses contact or has a intermittent wire it might also cause the squares around the PRNDL display on the dash. As mentioned already by a previous post check the contacts on the solenoid and look at PCM before looking at the transmission range sensor.

Check for transmission codes at a transmission shop. The code scanners we normally use only reads generic transmission codes.

Sometimes if the problem is the PCM it will do it more often when it is hot outside.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 09 Sep 2019 at 09:46 pm.
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Old 09 Sep 2019, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

So you guys are saying a transmission problem could prevent the starter from engaging?
Its probably not the battery or starter, but the connection between a trans solenoid and the PCM?
Really good thinking.
I replaced the PCM about 18 mos. ago. Had car at the dealer after that
for trans re-learn procedure. They said something about solenoid packs and that
I needed a whole rebuild ($4500+), which I declined. The trans shifts fine still.
Should I take it to a diff. dealer, or a trans. specialty shop?
Thanks so much for your ideas.
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Old 09 Sep 2019, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffz View Post
So you guys are saying a transmission problem could prevent the starter from engaging?
Its probably not the battery or starter, but the connection between a trans solenoid and the PCM?
Really good thinking.
I replaced the PCM about 18 mos. ago. Had car at the dealer after that
for trans re-learn procedure. They said something about solenoid packs and that
I needed a whole rebuild ($4500+), which I declined. The trans shifts fine still.
Should I take it to a diff. dealer, or a trans. specialty shop?
Thanks so much for your ideas.
I replaced transmission solenoid packs before, this solves most transmission problems with the electrical end. There could be a breakdown in the connection inside that module. The P/N switch circuit would go through that module as well and may cause phantom starting issues.

A new shift solenoid costs about $100 on rockauto and can be accessed from the bottom of the transmission once you remove the pan and valve body assembly.
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Old 10 Sep 2019, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

From looking at the schematics for the solenoid pack, it will not be the cause of a no start.

The Trans Range Sensor is what contains the neutral safety switch and is independent from the solenoids. The TRS is directly connected to the PCM. Replacing your solenoids will have no effect by itself, but the unplugging of wires and then re-plugging them again after the job is done, especially on the TRS, might.

Check all of your wiring and connectors and fuses both inside and under the hood. To me, I would be inclined to suspect either the wiring/connectors, faulty TRS or possibly a faulty PCM.

I can't remember what was wrong with your previous PCM, but, if you still have it, and the car still ran with it, you could potentially rule out a PCM issue if you were able to swap in the old one and see if the problem still existed.
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Old 10 Sep 2019, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Weird display, no crank. Computer problem?

My 06 had a no start, no cranking. If I would continually cycle the key to try to start it, once in a blue moon the starter solenoid would engage the starter for a split second, then back to nothing. I eventually purchased from the same car a PCM, SKIM module and Ignition Key with cylinder.. Hit the starter and like I never had a problem. Mileage was correct. No Programming. (Not a refirb)
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