2002 TC Question

My sister-in-law has a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country with the 3.8l V6. Lately her gauges have been going crazy, and it won't start. It will take a
jump, but if I take the battery cable off after the engine starts, the engine dies. Is this an alternator problem or coil??? The vehicle has almost 100,000 miles on it and we don't want to put too much into it.
Thanks in advance.
Scott T. Indresano
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1. How old is the battery? They don't last forever, and a dead or dying one can cause all sorts of weirdness. 2. If the battery is totally dead, it will prevent the car from running, with or without a jump start. 3. As an experiment, try disconnecting the van's battery altogether (*both* cables) and connect a known good battery (you can just sit it on the ground and connect it with jumper cables). If all the weirdness goes away, you have your answer...
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The battery is a year old, Wal-mart brand EverStart. Funny thing is, we had the same battery go bad on a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan. Strangely, Wal-Mart does not carry that model of battery anymore, so I ended up picking up an Everstart Maxx for $25 more.

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Don't forget that a starter can cause the same thing. Do a current draw test on the starter.
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Battery and alternator test good... now there are no dash lights, other than the odometer. When the headlights are on, there are no backlights.

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It is not a coil problem.If it was the vehicle would not start.You need a battery and possibly an alternator.Put in a new battery and check the charging system. .

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The vehicle starts just fine, just all the dash lights, radio lights, etc do not work when the headlights are on. The dash odometer display, clock, station, etc are working.

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Could be a ground, spray them with WD, that always helps atleast complete the contacts. if it starts working ok, you will know its the ground.

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