occasional starting problem - HELP!

I have a very strange problem w/ my 98 Grand Voyager/Caravan. About once every two or three weeks, the car will not start. This problem surfaced for the first time after I came back from a two week trip this
summer, and it has since recurred 5 or 6 times.
Symptoms: I turn the key and the engine turns over and starts like normal, but the engine then abruptly shuts off after one or two seconds as if I had turned the car off manually (i.e. it doesn't sputter and die) I can repeat the above process five times or so, and then turning the ignition does not even induce the engine to turn over. However, all the electrical things in the car still work... windows, radio, AC, lights, etc...
What has worked: The first few times this happened, I was able to jump the car and get it going. This was a little curious because the problem didn't seem like a normal dead battery (because the car would start and run for a brief moment) However, jumping the battery does not make the car start anymore If I leave the car alone for a few hours or even a day, it will magically start like nothing was wrong Today, I had the problem come up, and so I removed the battery cables and cleaned the terminals, and the car started. I'm not confident that bad battery connections were the culprit and that the problem is fixed. Perhaps I reset something in the computer or alarm system?
Anybody have any ideas what is wrong? Somebody speculated that I may have an intermittent or malfunctioning ingnition switch. Someone else thought it could be related to the alarm system.
FYI, this is a 98 Grand Voyager w/ 3.3l V6
thanks in advance.
kev
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the engine controller and by doing that you may have to take it to the dealer or whoever does the repairs on your vehicle. You don't say how many miles are on this vehicle but it sounds like it could be a crank or cam sensor crapping out.
Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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the car has about 115k on it. It had 108 when I got it, and it was fine until I went on vacation and left it sitting for 2 weeks.
kev
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plugs and will eventually need replacing. When they go out they will cause no starts and die outs. But I would check to see what codes are stored in the system if any .
Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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thanks glenn
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I've had other owners tell me that the problem is an intermittent connection on the instrument cluter circuit board.
http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p 15820
http://www.allpar.com/forums/index.php?showtopicD645
sounds like this is it!
thanks, kev
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Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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Yes, this is a strange problem. I had the problem occur again this morning, and I was able to remedy the problem by banging on the dashboard once (as suggested in the two internet forums linked above). Does this make any sense? People have surmised that somehow the bad connection on the instrument cluster circuit board somehow gets recognized by the anti-theft system, so that's why it could cause a no start.
Where are the crank and cam sensors located, and would a bang on the dashboard likely affect its performance.
kev
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crank sensor mounted on transmission, cam sensor just next to the right motor mount

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so, the sensors are pretty far from the instrument cluster. i'm trying to figure out why banging on the dashboard would have an effect on my problem. i'm waiting for the problem to surface again so I can try banging on the dashboard again to see if it was a fluke the first time.
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I bet my money on the fluke!!
Glenn
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