Crossfire starting problems

June 1, 2016 | By Staff


I have a problem starting my 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Convertible. Most of the time the problem occurs when it is cold and the first start of the day. I belong to the Crossfire Club and was told that it is a common problem, but they offered no advice as to how to fix the situation.

It has a six-speed manual transmission and the computer does many things that are controlled.

I am from the old school and this is beyond my level. The clutch has to be pressed down before you can start the car. Could there be some sort of adjustment or fuse that can cause this? Everything else works. Is there somewhere that you can recommend to take it so that I can get it fixed? I am leery of bringing it in to the dealer. Hopefully, you know the answer to this problem. I would like to enjoy driving my car!


As you know, a lot of things can cause hard-starting when an engine is cold. However, the 2004-05 Crossfires do have one peculiar problem unique to them. I did a little research and discovered that there is a clear how-to video on You Tube by Paul Diguer in Ottawa that outlines what you need to do. You can access it on the Internet at: com/watch?v=K6EExH8L_NE

The problem is that three little pins on the relay control module (RCM) were not soldered adequately when the module was assembled. And when there is a fault with a mass-produced automobile it often gets reproduced thousands of times before it becomes apparent. That seems to be the case with your Crossfire.

The RCM is located in the computer box on the passenger side at the back of the engine compartment near the firewall. First disconnect the battery to avoid turning your circuit board into something resembling a pizza with extra cheese if you slip with a screwdriver. Then pop open the plastic box and lift out the RCM board. Then pull off the connector terminal at the lower end, (there are three and they are all different, so you can’t confuse them.)

Use soldering flux and clean the pins, and then re-solder them securely. That should do the trick. But as we said earlier, there are other things that could possibly be the problem too, although the RCM repair is the most likely cause of your starting issues. So, try the pin soldering trick first and then start the car. If it does not respond, check out your ignition switch and the crankshaft position sensor down on the driver’s side in the engine compartment. These components can be problems occasionally too.

I doubt seriously if the clutch switch is the issue. As for the computer, if the above fix does not do it, you could purchase an OBD2 scanner for as little as $35 that will diagnose the engine only, or spring for the full zoot model that will diagnose everything from air bags to ABS, EPB, TPMS, RCM and all the other alphabet-soup components. It plugs into an HTML port under the dash, and will tell you the code for what is malfunctioning, and give you a complete health report as well.

As for a place to take the car: I would imagine that, now that you know the most likely cause, you could do the job yourself, or go to anyone who is handy with a soldering iron. An auto electrical shop could do the job, or a good electronics repairman could tackle it. The charge should be minimal, because it would only take half an hour at most, start to finish.