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Dodge Repair/'07 Caliber: starter motor won't operate


My 2007 dodge caliber se 2.0 will not start at times. Just had new battery and starter replaced. The car will not turn over but lights come on, radio plays and dash instruments are normal. Last time I tried to start it the anti theft system activated. I have pulled the ign fuse out and put it back. HELP!

Hi Wallace,
The starter motor circuit is a bit complicated and obscure as this is a newer vehicle. The motor itself has 2 wires: a fat red one from the + post of the battery, and a yellow/gray wire that comes from the power box where the fuses are located. You can check the fat red wire to be sure it is attached tightly (but be careful to not short it as it is connected to the battery so you might want to remove the - post clamp of the battery for safety). Also the battery should be not near the end of its warranty and should be charged up.
The yellow/gray wire comes from the power box, and if you look at the back side of that there are a number of plugs including a gray color one that is in the middle of box and has space for 8 wires, but only has 4 wires. The yellow/gray wire is on pin 8 of that plug. So if you put a volt-meter on that wire (probing through the insulation) it should show 12v when you try to start the motor. It will only do that if the gear shift is in park or neutral, so if you don't get 12v then there is some sort of a problem with getting the OK from the electronics to do so. You could jump a wire from the battery to that same pin 8 of the grau central plug which should then cause the starter motor to turn. If not, then either the battery is too weak, or there is an issue with the yellow/gray wire not getting to the starter motor.
The best way to check further the electronics is with a fault code reader box that plugs into a socket under the dash by the steering column. If you can do that and get a fault code number then you would have a clue as to what is wrong with the control circuit for the starter. Let me know the number and we can go from there.
I wish I could be more specific but as I said being so new a model it has the most complicated electronics.
You mentioned the theft system but that does not prevent the starter motor from operating. Instead it shuts down the engine after 2 seconds rather that preventing one from starting the engine.
Let me know what you learn.
PS: Thanks for the rating and nomination. By the way, the theft/security system will not impact the starter motor circuitry directly (see above).

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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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