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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Master Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 12728
Experience:  ASE Master Tech, 32 years Diag/Electrical Specialist
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Have a 1998 dodge ram 1500 won't start. Turn the key and all

Customer Question

Have a 1998 dodge ram 1500 won't start. Turn the key and all i get is a knocking sound from starter. If i try jump starting sometimes truck will start. If i shut it down and try to restart all i get is that knocking noice.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 months ago.

Hello, what engine do you have? have you done or tried anything? can you describe the noise different? hard not being there listening.Is everything else working ok?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No i do not know the size of engine , only thing i have done is clean off some corrosion of of positve battery cable. The noice is a quick click, click , click sound that comes from starter area. Lights on dash and dome lights work fine.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 months ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** the classic symptom of a bad starter, Not the starter solenoid but the starter motor, Though, the solenoid is mounted to the starter and you will get the solenoid when you buy a starter, what you are hearing is the solenoid clicking rapidly , trying to energize the starter motor but is not doing so thus the noise, Now. the jumping and it works sometimes?, that is very common, By jumping you are sending more amps to the starter than normal and a weak starter can in fact come back to life when you jump it like it has for you, Now, you still need to go back to basics, be 100% sure the terminals are clean and tight, Be sure battery is holding a good charge. One way to check is turn everything on and if anything dims are runs slow? you could have bad cell in the battery. I have to mention all of this, otherwise? you have a failed or failing starter

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
A few weeks ago had problem with truck not starting no noice at all. Ended up being the positive battery cable came loose off of battery connector put it back on and was fine until now
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 months ago.

well, again, I mentioned the terminals, Even a bad connection at one of them can cause the rapid clicking from the solenoid as not enough amps to the starter. You may want to consider cutting both battery cables near the battery, putting on universal terminals all parts stores sell. They are only a couple dollars, at least rule that out, If problem persists? then back to the starter. I have to list the possibles in effort to help guide you and of course I want the basics done first