I got a 94 Dodge Shadow, 2.2 liter that was running fine up till
Friday. My mother parked the car, went in the store and when she came
out it would not start. Here are the symptoms:
When you turn the key, the dash lights up and then turns off as it
should when you turn the key, but no click of the soloniod or noise
from the starter. Tried jumping and a different battery and no change.
I turned on the headlights and then tried to start it, the lights did
not dim so it seems that the starter isn't drawing power.
I replaced the starter with a new one and still get the same, no
starter engaging and no cranking. I also replaced the Ignition Time
Delay Relay since that seemed to be the only thing in the fuse box that
had anything to do with starting the car (is there a fuse in thee for
I tried starting it in neutral, thinking the shift sensor may have a
problem, no change.
Thanks for answering. It is an automatic and it is possible that she
hit it. Where she was parked is a low sidewalk instead of a curb. Just
did a quick look and don't see anything knocked off, will have to look
closer. Can the neutral switch be bypassed to check if it is damaged?
I need to pick up a manual on this car showing the electronic schematic
(unless it is available online somewhere) so I can see what parts are
involved in starting the car.
I just checked the neutral switch visually - it hasn't been touched (it
is too high up to get hit by something without hitting the transmission
I noticed something else when trying to start it. As I said the head
lights do not dim when the key is turned to start the car, but the
display on the radio (factory installed) does turn off which I am doing
it. This should mean that the problem is after the keyswitch. What is
next in the circuit after the keyswitch (besides wire)?
No there is no melting on the cover. Speaking of heat, when we towed
the car home, I tried to start it a few more times then I looked for a
fuse in the owners manual, the only thing I could find was the ignition
time delay relay. This was very hot to the touch. I replaced it (but it
didn't help) and now it isn't hot.
I picked up the chiltons manual that has the wiring schematic for the
car. As you said, there is a brown wire that goes from the Starter
relay on the left shock housing to the starter. If I unplug that relay
and apply power direct from the batter it should engage the starter
I don't want to replace parts forever, but out of these parts that are
in the ingition system, which do you think would be the most likely to
fail (I already replaced the starter):
1. Starter Relay
2. Neutral Sensor
Just did some more testing:
Disconnected plug from starter relay, applied power to brown wire,
starter engaged and spun. Starter and wire to it are good.
Used voltmeter attached to ignition wire on starter relay plug and
grounded, turned key, got power. Power from key is good.
Plugged starter relay back in, hooked voltmeter up to neutral safety
switch, turned on key. Got power out of the center plug which the books
says is connected to the starter relay. Wire good.
Couldn't test neutral safety switch, but it is the same switch that
controls backup lights. Plugged everything back in, turned on key, put
in reverse, no backup lights.
Am I right to assume that this means the neutral safety switch is bad?
Hi - after posting I pulled out the neutral safety switch and the book
showed how to test it. It was bad - just replaced it and she started
right up. What could have caused it to go bad and the starter to go bad
at same time (I had them test the old starter and they said it was bad
(unless they lied to me at the parts shop)).
Thanks for all the help!
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