check engine light won't even come on-car dead

Shannon01September 27, 2005

I have a 1995 Chrysler Cirrus. One day I got in and got to intersection. It idled really low and died. It restarted so I drove home. Next day, she won't start. Dh notices check engine light does not come on for few seconds when he tries to start car. He checks sparks, timing belt, etc. We get a code reader and it cannot make link. We try to get codes doing the on/off thing with the keys, no code is given. We try reader on our truck and it works no problem. So reader is not defective. Bulb is fine for check engine light. Cables appear fine.

We are thinking the computer is bad. In last month I had to jump the car twice due to interior light being left on. It took a while to keep charge. We have heard that can cause computer to short out.

So we are thinking if the dealer looks at car they are going to try to pull codes. It won't do it so they will put in a new computer to see if that works.

Do you think we are heading down right path on this computer thing? Is that first thing to suspect when light does not come on when starting car? Dh cannot find anything mechanically wrong.

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jemdandy

These ideas are shots in the dark. I don't have enough information (or smarts about your car) to give a good diagnostic.

You did not mention the condition of the battery. If the battery is very low or dead, you can not read any codes.

If the cranking voltage of the battery is too low, there will be no ignition, therefore no start.

Check the quality of the battery cable connections. The connectors to the battery may seem sound, but can present too much resistance and need cleaning. Also, in rare cases, the connection to copper cable cable inside the cast lead connector can go bad.

If you have an anti-theft system, it may have been inadvertently triggered disabling the fuel pump.

If the tachometer sensor failed while the car was running, the engine will contine to run using default settings and readings from the remaining sensors, but once the engine is stopped, it will not restart until it sees a tach signal.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 3:37AM
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john999

That thing - car runs slow/rough then dies at intersection - has happened to me when the regulator/rectifier has gone on the alternator.
The battery is also flat then because the car runs all the batteries juice out before it dies.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 4:43AM
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earthworm

Agree with John and Jem; the battery fails its load tests, and the alternator must be checked out..
At ten years of age, the car is way overdue to have its cables and connections inspected and cleaned.
But this lack of voltage(if this is true) will not cause the computer to short out....

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 12:05PM
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Shannon01

I guess there are two kinds of testers, OB 1 and OB 2. In 1996 new cars were all OB 2. Mine has an OB 2 computer but the connector inside the car is an OB1. We forked out the money for the OB 2 because it reads ones like mine. He tries it on our new truck and it works fine. But on the Cirrus it still cannot locate link to computer. We are going to replace the computer. Some say that jump starting can damage the computer and I fried my battery twice in one month. All indicators point to the computer being dead. In the end we will have a code reader for when other things come up on cirrus. And it will work on truck if it ever codes. It cost us 350 but we would have spend almost the same on tow, diagnostic, and tow back home (they would have told us computer was dead and we would have towed it back home to repair ourselves).

We have decided battery is fine. When battery is low or dead nothing works on car, not even horn remote. Everything works on this car, except the check engine light won't come on and engine won't fire up. Battery is doing it's thing, we think computer is preventing it from doing the rest.

It is on order, I will let you know when it is installed.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 12:42AM
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Shannon01

Update. We went to local store to order a new computer after they said they could order it. Got there and of course they cannot- love that consistent crappy customer service. Guy tells my dh as he was leaving of an online place we already saw online. So dh ordered it Wed night, it got here this morning. Talk about great service. We get a core refund upon return of old one. I heald my breath as dh installed it. I actually hid in the house fearing I would hear nothing happen. Then our whole weekend would be ruined again. That car turned over like nothing had ever happened. Thank the heavens above. I start a new job on Monday and really thought it would be nice to arrive in a car.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:15PM
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gary__

Good deal!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 11:18AM
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piebaldd2

I also have a 1995 Chrysler Cirrus (2.5L 6). Today I got into work fine. At lunch the car failed to start. No problems with cranking. Car sometimes turns over, but after 5 seconds any positive signs disappear and car dies. On top of this, nothing other than "oil" and "abs" lights show any indications on instrument panel. Odometer (which has been flaky for a while) is blank, tach shows 0 RPMs while engine cranks, and fuel gauge registers no fuel. I added 3 gallons to the tank from gas cans so fuel is not the problem. I am suspecting a bad computer due to the cumulative symptoms. Was wondering if "Shannon01" also experienced any of the same symptoms, and if that user could supply me with the name of the online firm where I could find a replacement computer.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 4:25PM
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earthworm

As was with the previous poster, check the battery/charging system. The cars computer needs 12.0 volts - at least - to function properly...
Read the OBD I codes as necessary.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 10:34PM
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earthworm

Another nice thing about an American car (and I am guessing) is that their computers are "inexpensive" as compared to the imports..
I imagine that a unit for a Saab 900 or a Honda are in the $$$$ range....but then they seem to last forever???
People do not seem to be very open with durability and cost figures...

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 1:20PM
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luisxbeltran_gmail_com

Same thing that you just explained happened to my Eclipse 2001..
And I think its my computer aswell...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 5:14AM
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TDREALTOR_AOL_COM

I HAVE A 1998 THAT WONT START WITHOUT JUMPING IT, I DROVE THE CAR AND THE ABS LIGHT WAS ON THEN THE BATTERY LIGHT CAME ON THEN THE OIL LIGHT AND CHECK ENGINE THE CAR STARTED SHIFTING BAD I DROVE IT BACK HOME AND TURNED IT OFF AND IT IS COMPLETELY DEAD NO SOUND IF YOU JUMP IT IT STARTS ANY IDEAS??? THANKS IN ADVANCE

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 9:25PM
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blogofcarl_gmail_com

Hi Guys, have your tried some led strip lights for cars ? I bought some from the HERO-LEDStore.com as audi a4l headlights,they look really awsome,ultra bright in 7000k cold white and high lumen output. I especially like the side-emitting version led strip.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 8:33PM
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