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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

Ď88 Dodge Caravan, Stalling
Q: Hi! I certainly hope you can help me! I have an Ď88 Caravan that stalls all the time. I just put almost $1000 into this van in 3 days, got the van back and it stalled again the next morning. The van will jerk a couple of times, like it is missing, then the RPM meter will go down to zero and then the car just shuts off. Sometimes it starts again and sometimes it doesn't and I have to be towed. I have had new MAP sensor, shut down relay, ignition coil, computer and oxygen sensor put in this van. I need to keep this van running for awhile longer. Can you help? Thanks so much....Kathie..

A: You didnít say which engine was in your van, but from your complaint Iím willing to bet coffee that it is a 3.0 liter V-6 engine. In the distributor of your vehicle there is a Photo Optic Sensor (a.k.a. ignition module). This unit is small enough to hide in your hand, yet can easily cause a pile of towing bills. The information provided by this module allows the computer to calculate when to send spark to a spark plug and when itís time to open a fuel injector. This information is critical to the computer, if it goes amuck the vehicle just stops doing anything useful and blocks traffic. Then it gets real fun because the electronics in the module will wake-up and act as if there was never a problem. This transpires usually after the module has had a good rest, while your vehicleís being towed. Just to make things more interesting to the technician diagnosing, the computer will have no information to indicate that there was ever a problem. So, before any more parts are installed have your tech look closely at the Photo Optic Sensor.

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