Question about 2000 Dodge Caravan

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Wont turn over lots of power just wont ingage the starter tested the starter and it works

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Do you get a fairly loud 'click' when you try to start the engine? If so, the starter solenoid contactor is likely defective. I repaired our '96 Caravan solenoid by building up the worn out bolt head with silver solder--worked great. If you get no click at all, check the neutral safety switch on the transmission. Hope this helps!

Posted on Sep 11, 2010

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2 Answers

Will not turn over! Starter won't engage!!


When you turn the key to on, do the dash and warning lights come on? This would verify power to the ignition switch.

It's like this: you have a positive battery cable with a lot of juice connected to the starter, but not to the starter motor. It is only connected to the starter motor when the start wire out of the ignition switch energizes the starter solenoid, mounted on top of the starter.

So you check the small wire to the starter for power with the key held in start. If it has power then, the starter or the solenoid is probably bad- as long as the battery is charged and the battery connections and starter connection is good.
If you have no power on the small wire in start, trace the start wire back to the ignition switch. You may need a wiring diagram- there is often a start relay, a park/neutral safety switch with automatics or a clutch safety switch with a manual transm., and sometimes a "crank" fuse. All or some may be in the path of the start wire from ignition switch to the starter solenoid. You would need a voltmeter or test light to check this circuit. If you want more help, post back with make, model, year, and engine, and I could look at a wiring diagram for your start circuit, or I could post a link for you to see the diagram.

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Turn the headlights on and watch them while the key is turned to start. If the lights go out, one of your cables or connections at battery or starter is not good. If lights dim a lot but stay on, possibly a bad starter, it needs testing. If lights aren't affected by cranking position, turn lights off, pull the small wire off the starter solenoid, hook up a test light to ground and to the solenoid wire. Light should come on when key is held in crank. If it does, likely a bad starter solenoid. If no light, then the start circuit from ignition switch to starter solenoid is not working. Check for power out of ignition switch on the start wire with key in crank, to begin with. If powered, switch is good, need to check if neutral safety switch is good, and then check or swap in a new starter relay.
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you have the sign of teeth missing off the flywheel, if it spins when you try cranking it over then thats your problem. Could be safety netural switch but rocking it back and forth should not make a difference.

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Either the battery is bad or the connections to the battery are corroded and/or loose. The lights may work but that doesn't mean the battery is good. The lights only draw about 20 amperes, the starter draws from 200 to 400 amperes.

If the battery connections are tight and clean, then most likely you need a new battery. A car battery store can test this for you.

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It sounds like the starter solenoid is bad which if I remember correctly my 1991 Cavalier had the solenoid on the starter.I suggest taking off the starter and having it tested.Most auto parts chains(Pep boys,Autozone)will test your starter for free.I this car is equiped with a seperate starter relay this may also be the problem

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did you turn the key fully to towards the dash? take the steering wheel left and right slowely and at the same time turn the key back and forth several times slowly. there is a detent inside the steering column that allows you to ingage the neutral safety switch. this should help.....please rate this thanks.

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1 Answer

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Could be starter solinoid is sticking and not disengageing your starter new one is $10.00-$15.00 I think, but take it out and have it tested first

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