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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [1682758851] Buy Used Cars

Dodge Caravan does not want to start

- Dodge-Grand Caravan

Forum Post
07/30/08 20:55

Dodge Caravan does not want to start

When I turn the key the instrument panel lights go off but the engine does not turn. I only hear click sound. There was nothing wrong with the van earlier.
Archived Replies

This post has a total of 146 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: Dodge Caravan does not want to start archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 07/30/08 through 06/14/13, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

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I have a 2002 dodge caravan about one month ago while i was driving all my gauges started going haywire. My radio started turning on and off and the lights on the inside of the car turned off and on while the outside lights got dim. Drove to a safe place and the car just died. Tried to get a jump start on the battery but it didnt work. Come to find out the belt came off the water pump. When the mechanic looked at it he determined that i had a bad water pump and fixed the problem. Van working fine until about one week ago. When I turn the ignition over i hear a click click click noise. I turn ignition off then take key out start it again the gauges go haywire but it finally starts up. It has done this about three times within the last week. Please tell me what this could be I use it to get back and forth to work so need the problem solved asap.
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1998 Dodge Caravan 3.3l

Car would click once when ignition turned and would sometimes start after several tries.

Click sounded like it was coming from the main fuse/relay block under the hood, but it was coming from the starter (yes, I crawled under the car and had someone turn the key). I'm guessing the solenoid.

Replaced entire starter ($79 for a refurb model), and everything is back to normal (for now).

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our 97' Dodge Grand Caravan SE has been acting up for the last two years. Lately with the extreme cold weather, the rpms won't stay above 1000 so it dies again and again unless you rev it and keep one foot on the gas and slowly release the brake while driving, until it stops dropping. Which can't be good for anything. The check engine light has been on forever but each mechanic we take it to charges us a butt-load for diagnostic and then they lie and say they fixed whatever and so we pay and sure enough the check engine light is back on in ten minutes. One guy tried to charge me $1500 cuz , "Your wheels were on backwards. Here let me draw you a diagram.." WTF? When he wouldn't show me on the van, "I said put my tires back on, I'm going somewhere else." The next guy just laughed and said he had no idea what that was about. We haven't had as many gremlin electric probs as previous posts, but rear windows never worked right, or rear outlets. Have to bang on the dash to get the cd's out of the cd player, and the heater doesn't really work well either, unless you let it warm up forever...etc. Any ideas?
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1997 Dodge Caravan. For one year engine light stayed on. Told it was due to gas cap not being tightened enough. Reset, okay for a while then back on. Took van in for new tires and brake pads 2 months ago. Within one week power would stop while driving; lights, etc. still on but no acceleration. First 2 times the engine started again within a few seconds. Third time it "powered back up" on its own and I kept driving. Fourth time died out and would not start, although other electrics all worked. Dealership replaced PCM with used one. Worked for about 4 days, then same thing. Another used PCM. Car ran but blower, wipers, door locks and windows didn't. Dealer put in another PCM and a new starter. Worked for 2 weeks, although the engine light was on all the time. Then blower, etc. started cutting in and out at random. Two days ago van wouldn't start, but lights, gauges etc worked. It's back at the dealership for another starter and PCM. The customer rep. is as frustrated as we are, says it boils down to "bad luck"!! I've noted some of the suggestions from other posts and will pass them on to the mechanic; but we all know they don't like advice from the internet. I'll let you know if something works.
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2003 Dodge Grand Caravan - was driving in alot of snow. Parked the vehicle for about 10 minutes. Went to start it again, would not turn over. All electrical was fine, but would not start. Got it towed into the garage. Warmed up, sat for a few hours, and then it started fine. Any ideas? Read somewhere about possibly a transmission neutral position switch? Battery is fine. Alternator has been tested - fine. No clicking noise from starter relay. Any help would be AWESOME!!! Thanks!
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Battery light came on. stalled when turning a corner. My husband has changed alternator, checked battery, change some sensors not sure which ones. Still van refuses to start its like the battery is being drained alternator is not getting enough power to start the van. Someone told him it might be the computer. Any ideas would be great.Thanks
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Fixed It - My Solution

POSSIBLE SOLUTION - What worked for me - after suffering the same as many of you this is what I found, it was a loose lead (cable) to the battery. This is something you can test with a autoranging multimeter (volt meter). Put the red lead of the volt meter to the positive battery post - lead (metal) knob on battery - and the black lead of the volt meter to the negative battery post. You should have a reading over 12 volts if you're battery is charged and good. Now put the volt meter leads to the cables (not the posts) of the battery, you should get near the same reading. In my case I was getting half... The cable was tight, although I turned it and made it tighter for a better contact after finding it was the problem. You may also have to clean the post, etc. That fixed it for me. I figured out that the jumping will sometimes work, because it may bump/move these enough to make a difference.
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to all those people having the same issue with starting problems, and no power to the instruments. simple fix, make your self a ground wire, about 7 inchs long, with eyelets on each end. next on the bck of the instrument cluster hook one end up to the cluster, only where there is a meta contact, nd the outher end o the ground wire to the fire wall, once this is done. try stating your car, this fix should take care of many starting issues, for outhers most of your problems ar in the instrument cluster, poor design and workmanship. so u may have t mke your self jumpers from the key switch to the starter. with an accessory switch, dont worry if you wire it correctly you will still have to use the ingnition key to turn the power on so no one can steal your car with an accessory switch installed. good luck.
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To all those still haing starting issues, and lose of electrical power. the best fix s to remove the battery, clean all the connections, battry post's both positive and negitive.

the ground wire should be under the batter try itself remove tis and use sandpaper to clean this wire end, then reinstall spraying a battery sealant over it to keep it from rusting again, if u dont have this handy, use grease. next the positive cable is a two part cable, this crodes or rust easily, take it apart and clean it good, make sure the connections ar tight and grease as well making sure these connection dont touch any thing. next hook te cables back up to the battery an this should solve the rest of the staring issues, good luck .

**/**/** **:**

We found our solution and hope this helps others! We have a 2005 Grand Caravan. In August I pulled into gas station, pumped gas and started van. It died. When I tried to restart it I got the famous clock from the fuse box. Blower was stilll working all das lights etc. We changed the starter, the battery. Cleaned all cables. Took the cluster panel out and checked for bad solder spots. Checked the coil for cracks. We tried to bypass with a hotwire with no luck. We tried everything except the computer (bcm, pcm etc.). Finally after this thing sat in my garage for almost 8 months while I was still paying the $350 monthly payment I was readyu to send it back to the bank. Finances kept us from sending it to the dealer for a fix. By the way it would not spit a code either. 2 days ago, our son had it towed to a friends garage to see what he could do to help. SIMPLE FIX: It was a bad fuel pump relay and bad fuel pump fuse. We had both tested before and neither came back as being bad. Put in new ones and it started right up!!! 8 months of nothing and changed these and it started right up!!!! We couldn't believe it!! All the frustration. The guy at the shop owns the same van and said he has to change his on his van about every 6 months. He says when the van starts acting like it doesn't want to start to go ahead and change these out. I really hope this helps someone else who was as frustrated as we are!!! Goodluck to you all!!! So happy to be driving my van again.
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I have a 97 Chrysler Grand Caravan se, 3.0 v6, I was driving home one night, and the gas peddle hit the floor, I guess the throttle? Gave out? The car did not shut off on it's own though, I hit the break, and shut off the van, and attempted to restart it now it won't start! It sounds like it's going to but does turn on, there is no clicking or anything. We thought it may be the fuel pump and changed that, but it didn't help. In addition we've just noticed a Coolant leak....not sure if the problems are related or not....
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carl atkins

i have a 2000 dodge caravan first my collin fan quit working then brakelights quit working about 3 weeks later.then about 2weeks later the turnsignals quit working. 3 days lader it want start it won't click or nothing the gages work fine the headlights works fine i also lost my parklights. i have changed my realays and all of my fuses under the hood and dash.i can't afford to pay for the advice.i am on disability.and i can't hardly pay my bvills. please help me if you can thinks a lot.carl atkins.
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Hi Well I was Driving my son home from a game and we hit a bump then the 2001 Caravan Died it lost all power power steering everything, When we got it towed home I could it it to start then it dies like there is no fuel in the tank. Tried A lot of the fixes on the forum but none of them worked. She start runs for not even a full second then dies. I spend the better part of 3 days trying to get it to start. Relay and fuses all checked out. Does any one have any Ideas The Alternator is new the battery is new so I have ruled them out. Please any input would be helpful
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hello i have a 2001 dodge caravan and it will just not start , but it will turn over do know sparks ? we change the crank sencer , and other sencers and still know sparks ? please help me somebody told me it may be a wire somewere .....Don ....... ps .i fill like burning it lol ....did have the putor change a few years ago ty ...
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The one thing missed in all the posts I have read everywhere so far, for the unresolvable problem would be the cheap plastic ignition switch housing.

The guage problem is real, and will fix many issues, but the ignition switch itself has been consistantly overlooked.

Many of the circuits are completed behind the ignition switch in the housing behind it (on the left side of the steering column). Replacing the lock cylinder only deals with part of the issues with this cheap piece of junk. The real problems lie in the plastic housing on the otherside where all the contacts are.

With the collar removed, if you aren't getting any beep when you insert your key, try pressing the back of the plastic housing to the right and you should get the beep, if your key is turned to acc or run, you may get your dashlights back too.

Let go, and they will go away. This shows that the mechanism is getting worn and loose. This isn't like an old school metal housing, plastic stretches and flexes and stress cracks. And the flimsy contacts inside are probably dirty and partially to blame as well.

Replacement of the entire ignition switch assembly (not just the cylinder on the right) is the only answer to the rest of the phantom no start problems.

**/**/** **:**

Hi, 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan, just started this, cycle enginge over 8 to 10 times turns want start, finally starts runs good. Can turn engine off and back on as many times as you want it starts perfect. Shut off for about 15 minutes it want start again. Changed camshaft, crankshaft and oxygen sensors same problem. Mother in Law cant afford to take it in. No dealer will give free advise please help been working on it a week thanks
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friendly mec

for those the van doesnt start check the crank sensor but sometime one or two if still doesnt stat check th pick up coil is inside the distributor and rotor
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Have 2006 Dodge Caravan Monday night when ready to leave work tried starting vehicle. Lots of power to radio, lights, etc but no pawer to starter relay or solenoid. Power lead to battery and connections at battery are OK. starter checks out ok as do fuses and relays. Sounds like problem may be with the soldering joints on the cluster board. WIll have to check this out


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We have a 1995 Caravan that was running fine but not driven much this winter. My wife parked it after driving and said that the shifter felt stiff and unusually hard to put in the "Park" position. Now, there is no electricity going to the starter. It is completely dead. No click, nothing. It's as if someone cut the power cable to the starter. I cannot move the shifter out of park.

Everything else works. Jumper cables don't help. Anyone ever had this problem?

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danny clevenger

have a dodge 2002 grandcaravan and just had the alternator replaced cus it was bad and this evening went out side and my winshield wipers and a clicking noise frome beside the battery checked to see if the wipers were left on and they wasnt battery was dead any one know anything please help need van to get to work on mon please post on here or e mail me @ thank you for your time p s i think something electracal other then this the van is perfact
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Thank author of this post/comment"Caravan will not start; just clicks!"

First off, I have a bad instrument cluster. I know this will cause electrical issues and has been linked to the clicking by some, but it doesn't necessarily mean that's the fix. Additionally, my van started clicking a few times before it would start and eventually, just wouldn't start (over 12 months time). In no way did I notice an absolute relation between my starter and instrument cluster. Not in MY case anyway.

1. If your 98 or same generation Caravan just clicks and won't start, and has progressively gotten worse, you need to replace your contacts and possibly the plunger inside the starter solenoid. Or just buy a new starter for 60-130 bones, but the kit is less than half that price, and much less labor intensive.

You do not necessarily have to remove the starter from the engine to do this. Just disconnect battery, wiring to starter, remove 3 screws hold solenoid to starter, slide out the plunger assembly and replace parts.

You can buy the kit from O'reilly for 27.99, Advance Auto for 24.99, or from a starter rebuild store (possibly your local hardware/lawn tool shop) for cheaper-by the part.

(I am assuming, like mine, your ignition lock cylinder, general wiring, battery, relay, alternator are all fine. If not, fix what you KNOW is bad, first!)

2. Instrument panel has bad solder joints and may continue to crack if not fixed. Buy a new one or refurbished. Or re-solder the broken joints yourself by removing the instrument panel and visually inspecting them. Only remove old solder if necessary to make repair. That will save you a little time. Used: $13-65, about $90-110 online

I hope this helps. I've been watching these posts on various sites and no definitive answers that were easy to find. I know that these parts are bad on my vehicle, and that they BOTH are very common for the 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan and close year models as well.

FYI - If your ignition lock cylinder is busted and you don't want to buy the $14 dollar cheapo (as opposed to 60-80) a locksmith should be able to fix it for way cheaper.

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Andalusia, Alabama
Thank author of this post/comment"95 Dodge Caravan SE 3.3 wont start"

Hi I have a 1995 Caravan SE 3.3 ltr I was driving it and all good. I parked at home had some supper and went to the store to get a few things only 3 miles away. Anyhow, on the way the check engine light came on. I continued on to the store as the van was drive just fine. When I came out of the store, I checked the oil, water, trany fluid and it was all fine. However when I started the van the check engine light was still on. Well do to the fact Im in a wheelchair I started home, Thought I'd check it more at home. Well, I started out and excellerated on the main hiway and it died all gauges read like they had froze. I coasted into a parking lot and called for help. We determind no spark. And I have half take of fuel. but I noticed the battery was dying and the battery is new. We towed me home and I bought a coil pack as my van does not have a distributor. its all in this coil pack. Well I tried to start with new part and still same thing. Its a 95 so the parts houses dont have a code reader to loan out that will cover the 95 only 96 and newer. Please please if someone can help me figure this out. As stated Im disabled and on disability and cannot afford to start changing parts not knowing if its bad or not. This is my only transportation. please help.
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Thank author of this post/comment"DODGE CARAVAN DOES NOT START"

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Flushing, Mi.
Thank author of this post/comment"dodge caravan no spark."

I have a 99 dodge caravan that stalled out on me and wont start. I checked the distributor and the rotor is not turning any sugestions.

**/**/** **:**
Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Thank author of this post/comment"Common prob"

Really! pounding on a dashboard sounds like a wiring problem to me so has anyone checked where exactly and does anyone have a wiring diagram? checking coil pack and is the company doing anything to rectify the problem?
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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 146 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: Dodge Caravan does not want to start archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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