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Chrysler Repair/Starting issue: solenoid clicks but no action


QUESTION: MY 05 PACIFICA 3.5 will not start just makes a clicking sound from the starter, so I replaced the starter and it does the same thing. I have a car charger as well still just clicks plus I ran a new ground wire just in case but that didn't help. Any ideas?

ANSWER: Hi John,
The click, if it is fairly loud and coming from the starter proper, is the sound of the solenoid switch which is what connects the fat red wire from the battery to the motor windings and should cause the starter motor to then rotate. If it doesn't then either the battery is weak, the fat red wire is not well-connected to the solenoid, the other end of the wire is not connected well to the + post of the battery, or the fat wire is damaged and not conducting the current as needed. So check those possible causes.
The only other possible cause is that the engine is mechanically "locked up" and the starter can't rotate the crankshaft. See if the crankshaft will turn using a socket on the bolt at the cranks shaft pulley.

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QUESTION: Hello, sorry it took awhile to get back to you but I did run a new hot wire from the starter to the battery and it still just makes a clicking noise. I have a car charger hooked to it would it help if i switched the battery? Im out of ideas.

ANSWER: Hi John,
Do you have a voltmeter to measure the voltage of the battery? Or how old is the battery compared to its warranty life?  
Did you check to see if you can rotate the crankshaft my means of a wrench/socket?
Those are the possible remaining reasons for the new starter not to respond to a solenoid clicking.

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QUESTION: I do not have a voltmeter but I do have a car jumper hooked to it and when I set it 12v and 125amps to start it still clicks. So do i still need to check the battery? Could it be the igntion switch? I will be seeing if its locked up tonight.

Hi John,
The battery when charged is at 12.6 volts and the starter usually draws 150-200 amp. So it is possible that the bettery, even with the addition of the "car jumper", will not be enough to power up the starter motor but it is close. Do you have a jumper cable set that would allow you to get a jump from another vehicle?
The fact that you are getting the loud click from the starter solenoid switch says that the issue is not the ignition switch as that has the purpose of activating the solenoid which is happening. So see if the crankshaft will turn and/or a jump from another vehicle will make the starter motor activate.  The crank should rotate clockwise when viewing from the front of the engine.

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Roland Finston


Free fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

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