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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [3973860755] Buy Used Cars

Dodge Caravan does not want to start

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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 If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.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 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan that won't start with the clicking everyone is describing. Replaced battery, and still have problem.

I noticed that if the interior lights are on (5-7 seconds after shutting the doors), I get the clicking when trying to start. However, when the interior lights shut off, the van will start.

Anyone think this could be the instrument cluster? The starter turns over just fine once it gets the juice.

Also, I had the battery charger connected. It shows a significant load when the interior lights are on, but reduces the load greatly once the lights shut off.

Any ideas?

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THis is the most help on this topic i have found anywhere!!! My husband and i (well mostly me) drive a 98 dodge caravan. First the gauges didnt want to work... think it happened in the summer some time. Found the sweet spot!! (anyone ever hear that cracky noise in there that sounds like tiny mice fighting??) Been using the 'spot' off and on for a year or so. For the Last 6 months at least 4 out of 6 panel buttons under the radio will be flashing & for a while it would hezitate to turn on, but it did. Totally figures about a month after a tune up (we have 166000 miles on it). Just didnt want to turn on anymore, just the click click click thing. We discovered that the only thing that would work is jumping it every time with an emergency charger thingy. I really like to see if i can fix things myself first, so after reading this whole page.......

i dont have a soldering gun (but would love to try those spots when i do)

i hope i have the time and money some day to fix the chip in the pannel (that would be fun)

the van STARTS so it couldnt be the starter, and it wouldnt do ANYTHING at all if it was something MAJOR , i figure......

so we just took the old battery out, and my husbands big honking truck battery in. whoo hoo!!!! starts up like a charm!!!!! I love my minivan!


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i have a 1999 dodge grand caravan i have put in a new battery new starter when we put in the key it clicks and then it clicks when key is pulled out could it be mystarter relay
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Nick Sharma

I have a 99 Dodge Grand Caravan with less than 90, 000 miles on her. Let me explain what happened... I went to start it and first it would just click like there was something wrong with the key. On the third of fourth turn it started but the starter would not disengage. So I turned off the key and the engine stopped but the starter kept going. I took the key right out of the ignition but the starter would not stop. I turned the ignition on and the van started up but again the starter would not disengage. I turned it off and removed the key and all of a sudden I see smoke pouring out of the engine at the starter. So I disconnect the battery and the starter finally turns off.

I have the van towed to a garage where I replaced the starter, the wiring harness was not damaged.

So now I reconnect the battery, turn the key and the gauges go crazy. I crank it and all I get is "click". I hear a clicking noise under the hood that turns out to be a relay in the bank of relays. I replace it and the van cranks but does not start. I turn it off and the van refuses to start. I wait and move the gear shift to different positions and no difference.

I wait and try it again and I get one quick click and nothing else. The van was running perfect until this problem and the battery is fully charged.

Sounds like you have the expertise hear so any suggestion you have other than a steep cliff would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time in reading my long email.


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My grand caravan 2005 just don't want to start once in a while , no reason apparent except the battery is low , il charge it and it start o.k. !!!!!!!

my dodge'mechanic dont't find anything wrong !!!!!

it's not normal to have a battery charger near at all times in my van !!!!!

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

What should compression be on a 1997 doge caravan 3.3
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i was driving along yesterday and the car started to shutter a little and as soon as i turned the corner my van just died on me. i tried starting it back up and it ran for about 3 seconds then died again. tried starting it again and wont turn over at all.... tried starting it again today and it tried turning over and i noticed the oil light was on so i put more oil in the car and it still doesn't want to start. i tried starting it and it sounded it was working for like 5 seconds and then died again and wont even turn over at all now. what could be wrong?
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chasity ware

i have a 98 dodge grand caravan....i have the same problem..but it happens often..when i let it sit and go to start it it turns over but stalls out and it will do that for about 5 trys then wont turn over at all...was told it was an instrament cluster...and expensive to fix....also at times the gauges will quit working everthing on dash shuts off except for check eneige, abs and alarm light, it depends on how long it wants til it starts anywhere from 1/2 hour to hours....HELP this is sooo freaking annoying
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LAughing HArd



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I have a 2001 Dodge Van. I got in started fine drove 1 mile down the road to get mail got back in turned key over it clicked 3 times and then abosolutely nothing no lights or anything. Any Suggestions?
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my van doesent always start but everything is working tryed easy start but nothing if i let it sit for days sometimes it starts can you help me
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I have a 2002 caravan that just today at lunch would not start. When you put the key in and turn it to the aux spot the panel goes crazy. The speedometer needle turns right 360 until it hits that little piece of plastic that prevents it from going all the way around, then it will go down and back up. The heat sensor needle will wildly go up and down, the gas needle goes up and down. Every once in a while the rear wiper will start up and wipe once or twice, and when you try to start the engine all I get are clicks from the fuse box.

I am going to attempt disconnecting the batter later, unless it starts up.

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

OK...a couple years ago I experienced with a 98 Grand Caravan (3.8L) what many of you did when trying to start the vehicle. Car tries to start a few times and then click, no nothing, as if a security system is totally shutting you down. I also experienced the occasional gauge freak-out where you're driving and suddenly the gauges just stop working for a time and then they wake up all of a sudden. And like others, if I experienced the problem, I could rap on the plexiglass in fron of the gauges and the car would start for me.

Of course the dealer didn't have a clue the first or second time. The 3rd time I took it to them, I also brought research I had done, and sure enough they found and fixed the problem.

So what is the fix? I've seen it written before. It's the cluster circuit board, people. There are bad solder joints on the cluster that cause a grounding (or lack thereof) problem. And yes regardless what one poster stated, it is causing both of the above problems. So I got a new cluster board installed at the dealer (yes, expensive but done right) and have not had either problem since. And it has been a couple years now.

If your car is clicking when you start, this is not your problem...more likely insufficient charge in your battery, bad starter, corroded battery cable connections, or dirty starter solenoid contacts. I've also heard about possible problems with ignition switch. But if you are experiencing the situation I described where you get absolutely nothing after a couple of false starts, then the cluster is your likely culprit.

Good Luck.

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Have exactly the same problem with my 98 3.8L Dodge Caravan. Started for 2 seconds, died! Started again for 2 seconds, died! Third time, nothing. Full Battery, Starter O.K. Noticed that Fuel Gauge wasn't working with ignition on!

Turns out to be bad solder joints in the instrument panel cluster. You can fix it for a while by banging on the instrument panel and engine will start. Works only for so long. Details on how to repair it can be found on: photos/ landar/ show/ with/ 3474557830/

(Undo spaces in link. Had to do it, otherwise it wouldn't post here)This is very detailed but you have to go to the end of the slide show and run it backwards to show it in the right sequence.

More details about this problem can be found on the following thread:

http:// www. automotiveforums. com/ vbulletin/ t480027.html

(Undo spaces in link. Had to do it, otherwise it wouldn't post here)

This is where I found the slide show.

Good Luck!

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jose lito

engine running fine 2001 grand caravan 3.8

replaced gas filter still the same turns on after three tries somtimes alot of cranking give it gas wont start dont give it gas then it starts not always very annoying, everybody even mechanics give me differnt advice, , , my odometer reads done sometimes

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I have a 1997 dodge caravan and then check engine light came on two days ago. yesterday it left me broke down the engine cranks but will not start. does anyone have any advise on what can be wrong?? please and thanks
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I have the same issue as Amanda. Drove to work just fine, drove to store, turned in the drive and it died. It turns over but won't start. Timing belt is fine, has compression, just WON'T start. After a few days of sitting the oil light remains on. It has oil, all fluids are fine. Any ideas?
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Amanda...see if you can't get the engine codes read by your local parts place (like Advance Auto Parts, Autozone, etc.). They usually can do it for free. The last time I had issues with the van not wanting to start very well, the codes led me to a bad EGR valve which I replaced and had no further problems.

Honestly, at this point it could be any of a number of problems, but the code associated with the check engine light will usually give some great guidance on the finding the particular problem.

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

I had a similar issue with the starter solenoid on a 98 3.3L automatic. Usually after a few tries it would start and then at one point it just shut down at my house and would not start again. So, I tried a few things with the starter and noticed if I take my own jumper wire from the positive battery post and connect it to the control terminal on the starter solenoid that it would start on the first attempt. So, I just got a new connector for the control wire for the starter and it solved the issue. There is the main positive battery cable connector which is held on with a bolt, and theres a control wire I just put a new connector on the control wire. I hope this helps some.... now about a month later it wont even click... the instrument panel will not light up. The windows roll down fine and the radio runs fine. Thinking about having the instrument panel/cluster replaced.

email me please with suggestions at highswordsman at Hotmail

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For the person up there with the problem about not being able to go uphill, try replacing the fuel filter. My uncle had the same issue and then replaced the fuel filter and it solved his problem.
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have a 2006 Dodge Caravan. Engine light's been on for a few days, but haven't had time to get it in yet. Last night, i accidentally tried to start it when it was already running. Realized my mistake immediately and shut the car off completely, then tried to restart it but now I get just a clicking instead of starting. Did I damage the starter irreversibly or can I do something if it's just seized up?


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

DO NOT replace your starter motor - try this $20 solution instead!

I have the answer...if you get a click to start your high mileage Caravan. After replacing the ignition switch and the key switch, several starter relays and the neutral-park range safety switch with no real luck, it was the contacts inside the solenoid next to the starter motor. In my case, a 3 liter V6, there was 248, 000 miles of wear on the contacts. Get a contact repair kit, raise the front of your van, disconnect your red battery terminal (then wait a few minutes), detatch the starter motor wires, take off the 3 bolts that hold the starter/solenoid on, go in your shop (or kitchen), take off the 3 little bolts holding the casing of your solenoid together, slide out the plunger and spring and replace the (obviously worn down) contacts. Put it all back together. Now start, drive and be happy. In my humble opinion, this is THE solution if your starter has been on your vehicle for over, say, 180, 000 miles.

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I put in a new alternator and then a starter and the van still won't start. Then when i went to start it all I heard was a clicking noise is the starter and flywheel not engaging This was the second starter I put in thought it was the starter but we checked that out its not the starter
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Cynthia and Anthony

our 98 Dodge Caravan was running perfectly without incident until Monday. On Monday, we were driving down the highway and we heard a pop, the motor shut off, and the engine would turn over but not run. The distributor, fuel filter, and rotor were replaced. Tested the fuel pump, it is fine. Did the thing with the wire and spark plugs but, no spark. Any suggestions? Coil?
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Some who call themselves mechanic should be ashamed. After being told the timing belt was on and I just needed a new engine, I got a second opinion. Glad I did. Found out the timing belt was the problem after all.

However, now there's a new issue. Van dies when going less than 10mph or at a stop unless it's in neutral(that's iffy) or I have a foot on the brake and on the gas. Throttle control sensor was replaced and that helped a little, but it still dies when in gear. Cuts out at about 40mph, and idles rough in park or neutral.

Shows NO codes on the computer.

Any suggestions?

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