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View Full Version : Electrical No Start Condition - Instrumental Cluster?


jmaier
05-20-2019, 03:54 PM
Hey all! I have an interesting problem I am having trouble diagnosing and thought I'd put it out into the forum to see how the group does!

Info on van: 2006 Dodge Sprinter 2500. approx 260,000 miles.

Recent work (done by myself so please consider any potential issues that I may have caused..):

-Removed and tightened bolts on high pressure fuel pump
-New Starter
-New fuel filter
-New battery
-Terrible rust around windshield to the point of no replacement possible. So Duct taped around the windshield to prevent leaking into the cabin..

All of these were over 5K miles ago

Problem statement:

I had a no start condition about 6 months ago. Traced it to the electrical starter system (turned key with interior lights on and saw dimming). When I checked the electrical system wiring, I found that the ground strap was very corroded. I cleaned it up, along with the ground points next to the strap and the ground points next to the battery. Car started right up. I ordered a new ground strap and installed it. All good for about 2K miles.

Then the problem happened again. No start. Thought it might be the battery, but the battery had a full charge. Though it also appeared to have a parasitic drain. Roughly 150mA. Traced the draw to the instrument cluster fuse (#13) under the drivers seat. When I removed the fuse and turned the key, the instrument cluster started flashing super quickly, so I assumed there was a crossed wire somewhere. Removed the cluster and cleaned the connections, never really found an obvious cross. Also cleaned the ground points near the battery terminal again. She fired right up. Good for about 2K miles.


Then the problem happened again. Decided to just clean the ground terminals near the battery and she fired right back up.

So it appears that the ground point near the neg terminal of the battery has some problem. Though it seems odd to me that it keep corroding enough to not start the car? It is possible that the resistance at this point throws current back into the instrument cluster causing it to flicker? Could resistance at this point present as a parasitic draw?

Any ideas about solutions would be super helpful.

Thanks in advance

Jason

Forest
05-20-2019, 05:22 PM
Have you checked the engine relay socket in the main fuse box? This problem drove me crazy for a couple of years. It's the middle relay socket.... not the relay itself. You can test by next time it happens wiggle the relay and try again. If that's what it is you replace the whole fuse box. That sounds bad but it is literally a 20 minute job and the new box comes completer with fuses for around $140.

vanski
05-20-2019, 06:31 PM
So it appears that the ground point near the neg terminal of the battery has some problem. Though it seems odd to me that it keep corroding enough to not start the car?
Jason

I've seen a perfectly good looking negative ground strap cause no-start issues. Once replaced, no more issues. Given it's only like a $10 part, I'd recommend just replacing and moving on.

calbiker
05-20-2019, 07:33 PM
Yes, I've also had no-start issues that were resolved by hitting (with screwdriver & hammer) that connection while traveling.

Are you sure about the instrument cluster parasitic draw? There's a timer within the IC where the current is higher until it turns off. It may be a 10 second duration. In any event, I would wait a minute before taking a current reading.



So it appears that the ground point near the neg terminal of the battery has some problem. Though it seems odd to me that it keep corroding enough to not start the car? It is possible that the resistance at this point throws current back into the instrument cluster causing it to flicker? Could resistance at this point present as a parasitic draw?

Jason

autostaretx
05-20-2019, 09:20 PM
The canonical "sleeping" draw is about 30 milliamps. But that is after a minute after key off/key removed.

There are opportunities for other cross-currents ... the "brake bulb poorly inserted" or "license plate light shorted to frame" (both of which can cause "engine still running when key off" symptoms) come to mind.

The cluster also has the "field/monitor" (DF) wire to the alternator ... it's possible something weird in the regulator could be affecting the IC.

--dick

MarkMaxPayne
05-21-2019, 04:18 PM
On my Sprinter it was a bad sensor/circuit inside transmission case. No click no crank. As though key wasn't being turned to start. Unit was lying and telling computer that the trany was in gear even though another part was telling it to display P for park on the display. Was very frustrating to diagnose as it was very random and usually after running for a bit then sitting off for 2-7 mins before trying to crank again. Even the diags claimed it was in park but for some reason this circuit wins regardless of what is on the can bus. Good luck!

Best,
-Mark