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Q: Lights come on and minivan turns off

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This problem is occurring every 700 miles. I was going 30 mph the first time it happened. All the lights came on and the minivan turned off. When I tried to start it, the lights came on and the engine cranked but it didn’t catch. I was thinking that there was a problem with the fuel pump, so replaced that. But it’s still happening, except there are times when I have to wait about 2 days until it will start again with no problems. When this happens, there are no codes that appear. It has happened a total of 4 times. I have replaced the crankshaft sensor and the camshaft sensor. No change - problem still exists. The only solution seems to wait for 2 days until it will start. Usually when trying to start it, the lights do come on, the engine turns, but minivan won’t start. Then when it truly does start, all seems fine - car performs well - drives well - and no lights appear. I had a third-party remote starter installed, but I don’t think that has anything to do with it. What is your assessement of the problems?

A: It sounds like a bad electrical connection ...

It sounds like a bad electrical connection is causing a loss of power somewhere. It can be very challenging to catch when it occurs so intermittently. Check the basics first. Test to verify a known good battery charged to at least 75%. Test alternator output and be sure the diodes are not allowing AC voltage leakage. Inspect integrity of the battery cables and grounds and make sure they are clean and tight. Look closely at electrical connections at coil pack for loose or corroded terminals. When it doesn’t start, it must be tested to determine if that is due to no fuel or no spark. If you are still having trouble, I recommend having a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your car’s home or office to diagnose your starting issue and the electrical issue with your light.

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