Some 2007-08 Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger, Nitro and Caliber models may suffer from an intermittent no-crank condition.
Chrysler say the problem usually occurs in dry and/or cold weather conditions and is due to static electricity from the ignition key discharging into the wireless control module (better known as a keyless entry module), causing the module to electronically lock up before the key is turned.
To make a definitive diagnosis, connect your scan tool and turn the ignition key on when the no-crank condition occurs.
Now look at the PID for the wireless control module (WCM). If it says "off bus," the module most likely has been zapped, electrically speaking.
Try removing the IOD fuse for 30 seconds, then reinstalling it. If the engine now cranks, you've confirmed the diagnosis.
Replacing the keyless entry module with an upgraded, better insulated design should prevent further starting difficulties. Check with a dealer for the specific part number you'll need.
After the upgraded module is installed, the ignition/transponder keys will have to be programmed to get everything in sync.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].