Question about 2002 Chrysler Town & Country

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Town and Country starter/solenoid chatters (tries to start) but will not start, instruement console goes crazy

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  • jheneage Sep 01, 2010

    why would the start relay drop in and out? I assume the start relay is activated by the key, the relay then spreads the signals out...you think this relay could be defective? My expereince is that they are pretty reliable as electromechanical devices...however, perhaps it is defective...usually it would not work....I do not have access to a wiring diagram but is there anything that would interlock this relay ? If not then your suggestion is a possibliity...hmmm??? thanks

  • wmstalk Sep 01, 2010

    Have you done a load test on the batery and if so what was the amp draw and voltages before and during the test? I know you have tried jump starting it but it can have a bad cell and still show 12 volts.

  • jheneage Sep 01, 2010

    No, I have not done a load test, this problem cropped up suddenly, I have jumped the battery with a running suburban (huge battery) but this does not help. A bad battery could cause this but with the jump the starter should engage and perhaps turn slowly, a weak battery would probably not drop out the start relay or the starter solenoid...it could...I still think the problem is in the start circuit with some type of interlock??? maybe it is a defective switch that says car is in N or P...??? thanks for your help

  • wmstalk Sep 01, 2010

    Your system has no type of interlock your looking for a componet that isnt there. I gave you all of the system cicuits. A nabd battery will not take a jump start since it pulls the amperage from the other system away from the starter . Without preforming voltage drop test and checking power and relay operation. your just guessing. the simplest way to check if something is kicking the relay in and out as you suggest is to check the opertion of the relay, the top of the realy shows you the terminals check if the input is losing tis signal

  • jheneage Sep 01, 2010

    thanks....I am assuming there is no interlock on the start circuit for the gear shift in P or N? I think there is?

    I will double check the battery later today....but my experience with weak batteries is that the starter just turns slowly....

  • jheneage Sep 02, 2010

    thanks....I have verified that 1 the starter is ok, 2 the battery is ok, and I am wondering if the starter solenoid is suppose to have 2 or 3 wires. I readlly need someone wiht a wiring diagram to look at this. A starter solenoid normally has two coils, a pull in and a hold in coil, once the starter engages, the pull in coil is normally de-energized and the hold in coil remains energized. The key is how these two coils are wired. On a new starter I bought but do not need I see evidence of 3 wire connection, I currently only have 2 wires to the solenod (main heavy battery and a solenoid wire, but if I am suppose to have 3 then I need to find the 3rd wire??)...it acts like the pull in coil engages, but the hold in coil is not engaging...that is why I have the clatter...does anyone know if this starter circuit has 2 or 3 wires? thanks

  • jheneage Sep 02, 2010

    The battery is OK< the starter is OK, the problem I am suspecting is the pull in and hold in coils of the starter solenoid. the pull in coil engages and then drops out as the hold in coil is not being energized. The two coils can be wired internally or externally on most solenoids. I need someone to look at a T

  • jheneage Sep 02, 2010

    In my last post I was wondering if a wire had fallen off he starter solenoid, after thinking about it some more I realized that it had not, the solenoid does have only 2 wires, but there are 2 coils in the solenoid. The pull in coil is in serices with the starter motor itself...so when 12 V is applied to the solenoid, there is a high inrush current which causes the solenoid to pull in while the motor starts to turn, as the solenoid moves in (fraction of a second) the large contacts in the solenoid close and short the pull in coil, the output contact to the motor itself is where the hold in coil lead is landed, so the hold in coil then becomes energized and the large contact allows large current to flow into the motor, so not sure why I forgot this but in any case the starter is fine. Another respondent suggested that the problem is in the starting circuit (which I have been discussing), either the starter relay (???) or a BCM or other module (??)...more later thanks for your help.

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HI this sounds like you havea low stae of charge on the batery. You may want to check the battery and have it charged. Good luck

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

  • 4 more comments 
  • jheneage Sep 01, 2010

    Thanks...it is not the batterey (jumped battery still have problem, battery is fully charged), for the heck of it I replaced the starter after I took the origianal one off and tested it...the original starter worked fine, but I figured maybe the motor was defective so I put a new starter on...same problem...it acts like some sort of interlock problem, tries to start then something opens the start relay, then the start relay closes again and you get this chatter on the starter solenoid...wonder what interlock this could be?? thanks for your help

  • wmstalk Sep 01, 2010

    Have you checked the starter relay? It is located in the engine compartment fuse box. A quick
    test to see if your relay is kicking in and out is to attach a volt metter to the start wire on the starter and crank the engine if the voltage doent stay at 12 volts replce the relay. You may also want to do a voltage drop test of the positive cable to the starter. this will tell you if your maintaining 12 volts while crank. Any other questions just ask. thank you

  • wmstalk Sep 01, 2010

    The relay is a low amp circuit that activates a high amp circuit.and there is nothing reliable about these relays they are over worked for the size and amount of uses they are demanded to do.

  • jheneage Sep 01, 2010

    no the battery is not the problem...I have it fully charged plus have jumped it...the starter solenoid chatters (pulls in then drops out), indicating the start relay is chattering...so the culprit is whatever is causing the start relay to chater...someone who has a wiring diagram could look at this...thanks

  • wmstalk Sep 01, 2010

    The componets in your starter circuit are the ignition switch, the starter relay, the starter, the park neutral saftey switch, and the PCM. Thats why its importan to check if the relay is working then you know if it has proper voltage and if it is getting to the starter Solenoid.

  • jheneage Sep 02, 2010

    In my last post I was wondering if a wire had fallen off he starter solenoid, after thinking about it some more I realized that it had not, the solenoid does have only 2 wires, but there are 2 coils in the solenoid. The pull in coil is in serices with the starter motor itself...so when 12 V is applied to the solenoid, there is a high inrush current which causes the solenoid to pull in while the motor starts to turn, as the solenoid moves in (fraction of a second) the large contacts in the solenoid close and short the pull in coil, the output contact to the motor itself is where the hold in coil lead is landed, so the hold in coil then becomes energized and the large contact allows large current to flow into the motor, so not sure why I forgot this but in any case the starter is fine. Another respondent suggested that the problem is in the starting circuit (which I have been discussing), either the starter relay (???) or a BCM or other module (??)...more later thanks for your help.

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The "clicking" is usually the starter solenoid chattering. This can be caused by:
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I only hearaclick when I try to start it


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