Question about 1999 Dodge Caravan

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Starter relay clicks, engine does not start

Followed directions to the letter when replacing the steering rack in a Dodge Grand Caravan 2000, 3.2L. Due to my regular job, the repair took a few days. Torqued nuts and bolts correctly after ensuring that all components were in place. Put the negative cable back onto its post.  Attempted to start the engine...nothing but a single click from a relay that coincided with each attempt (only a few) to turn the ignition. Interior lights, horn, high beams ok. No power windows, low beams,  or power to the CD/radio. Voltage across the battery terminals is about 12.4v. Fuses in PDC are in good condition. Thanks for your help. David G

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  • dave4leah Jan 16, 2009

    After removing the battery to check soundness of wiring around the PCM & PDC, I decided to perform a continuity test between the battery cables while the ignition key was turned. Zero ohms for all positions except position prior to causing ignition. Wheel lock position, first and ignition positions registered zero ohms, second position resulted in about 71ω. 

    Chilton manual specified locking the wheel whilst changing the steering gear. Could faulty ignition tumblers/connections explain the symptoms described?

    Thanks again,


  • dave4leah Feb 01, 2009

    Hello Kileygilley,
    thanks for the information. By removing relays from the PDC, I have been able to start the van, engage headlights etc. This seems to suggest that power is not getting to the PDC. Would a faulty ignition tumbler cause this problem? Which wires beneath the PDC (battery has been removed to allow access) should I test for power when the ignition is turned?

  • dave4leah Feb 03, 2009

    Good morning Kileygilley,
    your input is appreciated. A new ignition switch has been purchased and will be installed today. Just wondering what may have caused the old switch to fail as all systems functioned well before. 
    Thank you.
    David G



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Your problem may be a ignition switch.  This part is inside the steering column.  Your ignition key/tumbler turns this piece to start the vehicle.  I see a lot of these that go bad.  Some are easy and some aren't.  Your Chilton should tell you how to change them.

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

  • Kiley Gilley Feb 02, 2009

    Hello David, I believe that the problem is the "ignition switch".  When you turn the key/tumbler, you are turning a small piece that actually controls what turns on and off via the ignition switch.  This switch distributes the power to the various components like the radio, auto headlights, etc...  The picture below is of an ignition switch from O'Reilly Auto Parts Website.  They are showing the part for about $35 with a Lifetime Warranty. I'm not 100% sure that this is the fix, but I'm pretty sure.  I don't think its the tumbler assembly because the tumbler assembly just holds the key. It really does nothing else except turn the ignition switch.  If your key sticks and doesn't come out that could be the key/tumbler.  Anymore questions feel free to ask.

  • Kiley Gilley Feb 04, 2009

    David G,
    I was just checking back in on your progress with that '00 Caravan.  Is it all working now?  



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SOURCE: turn key, dashboard lights like normal, nothing happens

get a boost... sounds like the battery is run down.... if you want to test that theory... have someone try and start the car while you check hte voltage on the battery.... it may well even need replacement


Posted on Jan 13, 2009

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