Dodge Caravan Starting Issues

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  #1  
Old 03-18-02, 05:18 AM
nortme
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Question Dodge Caravan Starting Issues

I have a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan that is having problems starting. When you turn the ignition switch it might give a click and then nothing else. You turn the switch off and do it again and it starts up perfectly. Sometimes it takes the third or fourth time to start and sometimes it does it on the first. Is it the starter and should it be replaced or can there be some other issues? Also, how hard is it to replace the starter? I have heard of nightmares of trying to do work in a minivan, I do a decent job of imitating a mechanic but don't care to do the work if I have to remove a lot of parts or if it is hard to get at or maneuver around. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-18-02, 06:01 AM
Joe_F
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Check for loose or bad connections at the starter. That being said, you don't mention the engine size, so it's tough to tell how hard the starter is. Don't think it's bad on most Chrysler engines of this vintage.

Pick up a repair manual to guide you in doing it. Check the links in my signature file below for some more ideas. Likely a bad starter or connection.
 
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Old 03-08-03, 11:47 AM
NLD1220
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I am currently experiencing the same problem with my 98Dodge Grand Caravan. The problem started about a month ago. Not starting right away, but it would eventually start every time. The more I drove it the less I had the problem. If the car sat for a day or more it wouldn't start up right away. This continued until last week when the battery finally died while driving it. The dash board lights were going on and off. The battery light came on, etc. Got it into a shop. They tested the battery and the alternator. They said the battery was dead. Replaced the battery. The van has been starting perfectly everytime until yesterday. Now it is doing it again. Not wanting to start. But after it has been driven awhile it will start right up. I have been told it could be the starter. But wouldn't it just get worse overtime and eventually just not work at all? I am figuring it might be the alternator or an electrical problem now. But could a CD player plugged into the cigarette lighter continuously drain a battery like that? But of course it couldn't be that simple! And what about those darn dashboard lights flashing on and off everytime I start the car? That started when the battery went dead.

Any ideas would be great!

I have already read the Basics and I'm still stumped. As well, the Autolibrary link does not work like it used to.
 
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Old 03-08-03, 05:01 PM
NLD1220
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I have now checked the intensity of the headlights while idling and then revving the engine. There is no change there so the charging system probably is functioning normally. I guess at this point I will test my theory that something must be draining the battery.
 
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Old 03-08-03, 06:19 PM
wtfdissux
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i own an older voyager with a 2.5 turbo ( same animal as caravan) and took in to the garage i work at for same reason 3 times no luck. almost like it had a sense of humer.
finally did a charge test ( test alternator starter draw and battery as well as parasitic draw a good thing to know and cheap under 15.00 where i work )
found out that some starters made by crysler would "over heat " while drivind and as engine cooled down would stick so when you tried them later would click once or twice until broke free then start replaced starter and not a problem since but do your self a favor buy a new not rebuilt
 
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Old 03-08-03, 09:45 PM
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And if the above suggestions donít work you might look in to the fact that if your starter OR flywheel are missing teeth you will get similar symptoms.
 
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Old 03-09-03, 06:56 AM
Joe_F
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Check the links and posts in my signature file.
 
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Old 03-10-03, 02:56 PM
NLD1220
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Angry

Thanks for all your suggestions. I guess I will look into getting a new starter. Is it possible to find out if a starter is defective or not without removing it? Love my van but it has been one problem after another since we got it.
 
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Old 03-10-03, 08:21 PM
Joe_F
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A parts store can bench test it for you.
 
  #10  
Old 03-11-03, 01:31 AM
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Take it out, its not hard, then take it to a store and have it tested. And if it is bad it is allready out so you can trade it in for your core charge. If you know anyone that is good with cars and trucks he or she would be able to tell by listing to it starter and watching it when you turn it over.
 
  #11  
Old 03-12-03, 08:26 AM
SPARKLLE
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I had the same prob!

Make sure its your starter! It is an expensive part. Tap on your starter with a hammer(lightly) when the car doesn't start to make sure that is the prob, if it starts than do the starter, it stinks to have this prob... I know. But I would suggest that, check the cables that connect to your battery, and like was mentioned the wires to your starter. Start small! If you don't have one I suggest buying a handbook for you car, like a haynes book sold at an autozone or checker auto parts(in tucson) or stores like that. They are really helpful and have a trouble shooting area.
 
  #12  
Old 03-12-03, 11:26 AM
NLD1220
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I think I am going to just take it to a shop once I have determined it is the starter. The starter is covered under my warranty (unless I've gone over my mileage! Have to check that.)and the deductible is less than I would pay for the part alone. It is getting harder to start now so I need to at least locate the darn starter and try that hammer test. This is all such a pain for me because even though for a woman I have managed several of my own car repairs (like replacing an alternator) using a manual but this is getting more complicated than I care to deal with. And I don't know anyone in this town to help me out. Ultimately I hate being taken advantage of when I take my car in for repairs or try to buy parts. It's very frustrating. But I appreciate all the feedback. Thanks!
 
  #13  
Old 07-11-14, 10:48 PM
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Cool Starter Click and it wont start

Hello all I am here to tell you what your experiencing.

2 ways to fix it the expensive way or the Inexpensive way the choose is yours.
First thing you need to Know a Starter is a Very durable Motor they will generally out live the vehicle and the life of another vehicle too.
The Click you hear is the Solenoid clicking not the starter.
What has happened over time is the Contacts and the Plunger Contacts in the Solenoid have burned and they are not making proper contact the Solenoid is still good the contact are what are bad.
A lot of starters in vehicles today are Nippondenso Starters and there are Parts & Repair Kits for the Solenoid.
The Inexpensive way to fix is to get the replacement Contacts and Plunger from a Starter Alternator Repair company like ***************
Buy the parts kit for your starter watch the Video and repair the starter for your self for less than $30.00 + or -

Or Do it the expensive way either Buy a new Solenoid and replace the entire Solenoid
Or Buy the entire starter and replace a perfectly good starter paying a ton of money for it and let the rebuild shop put the Contact in it and resell it again.

so any way if your starter Just Goes Click and this can be on many vehicles Click click its bad burned out contact this is normal wear and tear on this component and all the amp's pass through from your battery through the contacts and Ultimately burn them and then you get the click click and the plunger can bounce around till it makes good contact again there by making it a ghost like problem. put in the new contact it will be right as rain for another 100,000 to 200,000 miles BTW again it is very rare that the actual starter is bad they are extremely tough and well built and made specifically for a part like the Contacts and Plunger to go bad there by protecting the tougher part the starter.

Well happy and safe driving. Hope I have helped you all.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 07-12-14 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Advertising not allowed
  #14  
Old 07-12-14, 11:51 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Please note that you are replying to a ten year old posting. The OP has probably sold that vehicle and moved on.
 
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