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Chrysler Repair/02 Caravan no crank


I have checked your site for years. Much thanks.

Had trouble turning key to start. One day away from home, key turned but motor would not crank. Got it started after a few tries. Once home, never cranked again.

I thought it was key lock cylinder. Replaced and coded to original Dodge key. Key turned fine in cylinder and vehicle cranked and started, ran for longer than the 20 second anti-theft shutdown period. I shut van off, tried to restart, and it has never cranked again.

Anti-theft system red light does not flash on dash, alarm system seems to work normally, no OBD codes set. Starter relay does click and we do have power to the starter, so I assume that means anti-theft is not the issue. We also switched three relays and a fuse with another similar van, and nothing changed. The plastic housing around the power wire that goes into the solenoid/starter is loose, unlike the other van we have where that plastic housing is firm.

After apparently misdiagnosing once, I am double checking here. Is the starter the problem?

Hi Dan,
If the starter relay is clicking when you try to start, then either:
fuse 9 (40 amp),
the points inside the starter relay,
the yellow/gray wire from the relay to the starter solenoid,
or the solenoid/starter itself are defective or,
the fat red wire from the battery to the starter is poorly connected.
You could try jumping a fat wire from the battery to the starter motor and try to start it.
Then jump a regular thickness wire to the solenoid switch, and finally to the middle pin of the relay socket either of which should cause the starter to work.
If you have voltmeter or 12v glow light that would be a way to trace the circuit without a jumper while using the key to initiate the voltage.
I believe that you will be able to isolate exactly where the pathway is open or conclude that the starter itself or possibly a badly discharged battery is the reason.

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Roland Finston


Get a 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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