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2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting

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Feb 28, 2010, 12:29 PM

Post #1 of 6 (2794 views)
2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting Sign In

     I have a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus LXi, 2.4 L with 147K miles.

The car will start and run fine most of the time. However, some times it wont start at all (or die after a short period of running, 5 minutes or less). It will still turn over fine. Sometimes it will attempt to start, a consistent boom (sounds maybe like one spark plug is firing) is heard 2-3 times per second. I can hear the fuel pump turn on as well. It failed to start a while back and I towed it to the shop suspecting the fuel pump had gone out, I hadn't listened for it before this. They said it was the battery (they would not listen to me, I told them it was still turning over) since it was frozen, it had froze after sitting outside for a month. Other than that, it started fine.

After the shop, it ran fine for a few days, maybe 200 miles. It died after 5 minutes of running yesterday as i approached a stop sign and wouldn't start. After another 5 minutes or so of attempting to start it, it slowly started then ran just fine back to the house. I am to the point where I am looking to start replacing the coil pack, spark plugs, others in the electrical portion. After hearing the fuel pump turn on, I have jumped to the electrical system. Also, after seeing the prices of some of these parts, I'd like to get some advice first as these are pretty expensive. It's hard to troubleshoot it when it is intermittent. I can only drive it til it dies then go from there.

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nickwarner profile image

Feb 28, 2010, 8:23 PM

Post #2 of 6 (2782 views)
Re: 2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting [In reply to] Sign In

Do you have a tach? If so, when it won't fire and you are cranking look to see the reading. If the needle is still then you have a crank sensor going out. Also, when was the last time you changed the fuel filter? Do you have a reading of the fuel pressure? Is the engine light on? If so, what codes come up? You're being smart to ask here before throwing parts at this car. Like you said, it adds up to a lot of money if you are just guessing at the cause. Get a solid diagnosis before replacing parts that may be unneeded.

New User

Feb 28, 2010, 8:44 PM

Post #3 of 6 (2781 views)
Re: 2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting [In reply to] Sign In

I do have a tach. If I remember correctly, the tach did come up a little and hold for the duration while it was cranking. I do remember that when it was starting to fire (the consistent "booms") the tach would jump for a split second then come back down before the next "boom". I have only had the car since the summer, so I haven't changed any parts (fuel filter) and cannot say for sure when it was last changed out (if ever). If the filter were clogging, would it be intermittent or would it just flat out not start? When it runs, it runs perfectly. There is no engine light either, that'd be too easy! I went out to start it today, and of course, it started fine. The one chance I have some time to mess around with it. Where is the crank sensor and how is it to change out?

I caught another post that had similar symptoms in the engine troubleshooting system (It was called starts when it wants to). That guy changed out all the parts I was looking at changing to no success. I wish he would have posted a the result! What test equipment is required to test the fuel pressure and how is this done? Also, to check for spark, I take a spark plug out and lay it on the engine block and turn the ignition. Is this correct?

Thanks for the help!

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nickwarner profile image

Feb 28, 2010, 10:57 PM

Post #4 of 6 (2779 views)
Re: 2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting [In reply to] Sign In

I need to know what motor you have and I can guide you from there. I'm guessing you don't have a lot of tools or the desire to buy specialty ones, and thats ok. Many major parts store will rent tools like fuel pressure gauges and such to you for no more than a refundable deposit. As far as checking spark, go to sears and get a spark tester that plugs into the wire and then plugs on the plug. with a helper cranking the motor for you it will strobe every time a spark is made on the cylinder you are on. Leave the plug where it is and use the tester. You said you don't have the history of the car. I'll tell you what I'm used to seeing at my shop. NOBODY ever changes the fuel filter unless it gets towed in because of that $10 trinket. Assume the last owner did no preventative maintenance and be proactive. Check your spark plugs and wires. Hint, if the wires say Mopar on them they are original and should be in the dumpster. The plugs should have .050 gap. This isn't a sure thing to solve the problem you're having but will save a lot of trouble in the future. Can't tell you for sure where the crank sensor is without the engine size, but usually its bolted into the trans where the engine and trans meet, as it gets its signal from holes in the edge of the flexplate. But if the tach moves the crank sensor is OK and the problem lies elsewhere.

New User

Mar 1, 2010, 5:58 AM

Post #5 of 6 (2774 views)
Re: 2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting [In reply to] Sign In

It's actually the V6 2.5, not the 2.4 mentioned earlier. I'll see about picking up a spark tester today and find out about renting a fuel pressure gauge. I'll keep you updated.

Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Mar 2, 2010, 12:48 AM

Post #6 of 6 (2766 views)
Re: 2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting [In reply to] Sign In

Chrysler is pretty good about having a schrader valve in plain view on the fuel rail that needs no adapters. Probably a black plastic cap that screw on it like an oversized tire valve stem cap

2000 Chrysler Cirrus Intermittent Starting

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