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Dodge Repair/won't crank over: '01 Durango


QUESTION: i just bought a 2001 durango.started it several times before I left with it. drove it home shut it off. later went to leave in it. and turned the key and everything lights up but won't crank over and battery got good charge on it

ANSWER: Hi Mark,
I assume you mean by "crank over" that the starter motor won't work. Try moving the gear shift lever slightly off center detent in both the P and N neutral position. Also, have a helper try the same thing while you listen at the power distribution box in the engine compartment to determine if the starter relay will click or not click. Try tapping on the side of the starter motor if the relay is clicking when helper tries the key. Check wiring at the starter motor. Those are the main areas to check out. Let me know what you find.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: now i went out this morning to work on Durango to check on what you said to. first thing I did was tried to start it and it fired up after sitting all night. drive it around some then parked. now an hour later tried to start it and nothing again what could it be

Hi Mark,
Do you hear only a loud click coming from the starter motor? If so, then either the motor is worn out, or the fat red wire from the battery that goes to it is not tightly connected, or the battery is too weak. If you don't hear the loud click:
Try the things that I suggested. The gear shift lever slight move to either side of detent will check for the park/neutral safety switch being slightly out of adjustment. Listening to the starter motor relay to click will verify whether the safety circuit up to that point is working or not.
If you get the loud click: Use a hammer to tap on the side of the motor while a helper tries to start it will check for a warn starter motor brushes problem. Check the fat red wire from the + battery post to the starter motor will check for a loose/corroded connection at either end or defective wire itself.
If the relay clicks but you don't get a loud click from the starter motor then either a yellow/gray wire from the relay to the starter motor that could be loose and that would be best verified with an ohm meter/continuity tester, or the solenoid switch on the starter motor is defective. You could check that by jumping a wire from the fat red wire on the motor to the smaller yellow/gray wire on the starter motor. If that causes the motor to activate then that smaller diameter wire from the relay to the starter motor is "open"
Those are the things that could cause an intermittent starter motor problem.

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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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