Had the van for about 8 months now.. has been working fine. Put a
few thousand miles on it so far.. One day, I went out to drive the
thing and now the thing just gives a loud "click" when you hit the key
to start it. I have replaced the negative battery cable (service
manual said "replace if voltage drop is greater than .2 volts"). I
checked the starter and it works still. I tested the relay -- it
works. When I went to test the ignition switch, i got a small amount
of voltage on one of the legs where it says you're supposed to have no
voltage with the key in the "run" position. The switch has been acting
up for a while (i.e. - the key can be removed while the switch is in
the run position)..
So I'm wondering if that little bit of voltage is telling the brain to
not crank the engine. Does this sound reasonable? Anyone else had this
problem? I'm not eager to go blow $75 on a switch and have it not
I've removed the switch from the steering column and it is dangling. I
took the cover off and used the wiring diagram to figure out which
wire triggers the starter relay... jumping power directly to it still
only makes the thing click... I would think that it would make the
thing crank. But what do I know? LOL
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
BTW - the van has a new battery that is a couple months old. I also
tried another known good battery in its stead and same click happens.
I've turned the engine about 60 degrees with my hands so I'm fairly
certain that it is not locked up and the flywheel is not at a chewn
How exactly did you check the starter?
Is it the 'click' of the relay you're hearing, or the louder 'clunk' of the
solenoid on the starter? If it's the solenoid you're hearing, then the only
problems could be the positive cable from the battery to the starter, or the
Now - if you're just hearing the starter relay clicking, and no action on
the starter solenoid, I'd check the small +12V wire to the solenoid, and
measure there for voltage when trying to crank. If you don't have any
voltage there, troubleshoot the wiring and/or starter relay. If you do have
voltage there, I'd suspect a bad solenoid.
I don't think you're looking at a bad switch. Does everything else power up
with the switch in the 'RUN' position? Radio, blower motor, wipers, etc.?
If if does, you can leave the switch in the 'RUN' position, pull the starter
relay, and jumper the terminals in the relay socket that match up to the
relay terminals labelled #30 and #87. This will energize the solenoid,
which should then energize the starter motor. If THAT works (but I doubt it
will, since you said you hear 'something' when turning the key to START),
but if it does, you then either have a problem with the switch, or a
possible grounding problem. I chased a similar problem on a friend's '98
that turned out to be a loose ground at the engine (one of the power
steering pump bolts provides a grounding location for the wiring harness).
actually, I took the old starter out and brought it to the store and
they tested it... it spun up, but was drawing about twice the amperage
it was supposed to.. I went ahead and bought a brand new (not reman.)
starter. Put the darned thing on and same CLICK of the solenoid on
the starter. So I know it's not the starter.. LOL
For grins I took the old starter apart and the solenoid is pretty
worn, almost to where it won't work any more, but it would still work
in a pinch (or if i renewed the solenoid)
I have not checked the trigger wire for voltage at the starter end,
but i do feel the starter relay click as well as the solenoid when i
hit the key, so i'm assuming it's getting battery voltage.
everything does come on when in the "run" position.. I have not tried
jumpering the wires where the starter relay plugs in... i will try
what really stinks is that i have the factory service manual for this
piece of poop and it still hasn't helped me find the problem! Gives
me great confidence in the dodge dealership here... when i went to buy
the negative batt. cable, i heard the service manager telling someone
they "couldn't find the problem with your car ma'am, but we went ahead
and replaced the battery anyway"... to the tune of $150 plus $50 to
drop it in the cavity.
It's too bad the manual tranny bailed on my '85 Dodge van... that
thing was so much nicer to deal with (slant six with '75 carb and
ignition).. one of these days i'm going to pull that one apart, fix
it, and ditch this new piece of crap!
Okay - then most likely you've got a bad cable from the battery to the
starter. You already addressed the negative battery cable, so I'm assuming
the engine is sufficiently grounded. When the solenoid engages, it closes a
pair of heavy contacts that supplies battery voltage to the starter motor.
The only reasons the starter motor wouldn't be spinning are bad ground or
bad +12V feed.
There's nothing wrong with "this new piece of crap" that wouldn't also go
wrong on your '85. This has nothing to do with electronics. This is a
basic electrical problem that can happen on any vehicle that doesn't use a
hand crank to start the engine.
lol, true enough.. still, the new one is made with thinner gauge
metal and loads more plastic.. and the dashboard is right in your
face, complete with two safety exploders in the dash as well.
I didn't have any notable amount of voltage drop between the starter
and the positive terminal of the battery... and the resistance of the
positive cable was 4 ohms.
Right now I wish it *was* hand crankable..
If you have 4 Ohms of resistance then that cable is completely shot. 4 Ohms
of resistance would limit the current going to the starter to 3 Amps and at
3 Amps, the starter would not even begin to turn.
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
In the front of the Electrical section of my Factory Service Manual
there ia a lot about ohms law and 12 volt electricity. Takes some
reading and comprehension that will serve you well. For openers less
frustration with alternator,battery, starter and battery cable
Well.... this has been a very humbling experience.
After replacing a starter unnecessarily as well as a negative battery
cable, thanks to you guys, I finally discovered the problem. It
should have been obvious, but for some reason i overlooked it.
I checked the resistance of the wire from the starter hot lead to the
positive terminal again this afternoon... only got 1.5 ohms. So...
I undid the thing totally and removed it from the van.. discovered
none other than rust there on the cable. I obviously didn't look
closely enough at the positive connection at the battery. I didn't
notice there was actually a separate wire going to the terminal...
Once I pulled out the trusty swiss army knife and scraped the
terminal, i measured again and there was negligible resistance through
the wire. Connected everything again and heard a happy noise when I
turned the key! LOL
i hate re-learning stuff i learned a long time ago! :)
On Jul 29, 6:47 am, email@example.com (beekeep) wrote:
now i have a new problem... the turn signal isn't working and the four-
way flasher only works when i have the headlights turned off. Also,
the bright light indicator is staying on regardless of high or low
beam. Both the turn signal indicators in the dash are staying on as
I'm hoping this time, it's just because this thing has been sitting
for 3 weeks and maybe some water got in something it shouldn't have..
the thing drove very well though, in spite of the new problems.. lol
Now you messed up some wiring while playing around with the ignition switch.
Check the wiring and connector on the multi-function switch, which is on the
opposite side of the column from the ignition switch.
ran an errand at lunch time and decided to put the switch back onto
the steering column because i was getting tired of using a screwdriver
as well as the key to start the van... whaddaya know.. the switch
needs to be in contact with the steering column .. all the gremlins
went away when i did that.. LOL
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