Dodge Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
My Dodge Grand Caravan won't start. You can hear the relay clicking when you turn it over. The other thing I noticed is my steering wheel is not locked into position like when you turn it off. What could it be?
The engine doesn't crank over when you turn the key correct?
Have you tried jump starting the engine?
No I have an after market alarm system and we have checked all that.
Just don't know why the steering wheel is not in locked position.
Yes the battery is good. My husband is so upset that he can't figure it out. He is going to try some other things. Brand new battery. You can hear the starter relay click when you turn the key on to try and start it.
The next thing to check is to see if getting power to the small wire on the starter when the key is in the crank position. Tell your husband to hang in there we will figure it out!!
I think that is one of the things he is going to try.
We tried the small wire with me turning to crank no power. We also tried starting the van in neutral. No go when you put the gear shift back to park the steering wheel does not lock like it is supposed to.
OK hold the key again in the crank position and remove the starter relay and tell me which terminals have power with the key in the crank position.
30 had power 85 dead 87 dead 86 power. Hope this info is what you want.
We have already tried that
It turns over but won't start
OK. Have you tried to start the vehicle in neutral?
Yes he tried and it just cranks
Yes it turns over in neutral also
No it turns over in park and neutral
I don't really know what my husband was referring to when I told you that. I guess he was under the van and was trying to maybe cross it like you used to do to older vehicles just to see if it would start. He is totally lost and so am I. Do you have any idea why the steering wheel is not locked as it should be?
When you try to start your van, does the starter engage and crank the engine over and just not fire up and start?
Did the van quit on the road and wouldn't start after that?
Yes that is what it does. Cranks but does not fire and start. We pulled into a parking lot to eat lunch with his parents. I have an after market alarm on it and so I opened the door and put the key in the ignition and it wouldn't start and that's when I noticed that the steering wheel was not locked.
Was the the alarm system armed when you left the van? The only way it would arm is if you locked the doors!
When you came back to the van did you unlock the doors with the key or a remote transmitter?
Yes to locking when we went into eat. Used the remote to unlock the van
Did the van start and stall a few times then just crank over and not fire?
What kind of aftermarket security system is installed in your van?
I need to have correct info in order for me to help you!
I need you to put everything back to the way it was before the problem happened. So put the relay in and everything else you may have removed and answer my question again.
Ok, can you get your husband to pull the steering column shroads off the steering column. They are the pieces that go around your key. Then look at the wires below the column to see if you can see a break in the wires where the tilt wheel would cause them to bend when you tilt your steering. The wires that break are usually a pink/white
- white/violet - black/white or a gray/red. These are small wires that you will see when the shrouds are off. Let me know if you have a break in anyone of those wires. thanks, Richard
Ok thanks! I need to know if the terminal directly opposite of that 85 terminal has power when the key is in the start position. You tried this before but I would like to know for sure. Here is a diagram of a relay and the terminal opposite from 85 is 86. Also I would like you to make sure you were just checking 85 by looking at my diagram. Let me know, thanks!
Yes you did that right! I forgot to mention to change your test light lead to the negative when testing 86 oops!
I am going to research the security system you have installed to see if it is hooked into the starter relay driver in any way.
So, basically here is what is happening to your van. The starter relay has to have power to 86 when the key is in the start position and has to have a ground on 85 in the start and run position. The 85 feed circuit is not providing a ground to operate the starter relay. The PCM controls the ground by receiving inputs from the transmission range sensor, ignition switch and sentry key immobilzer module and if there is an input telling the PCM that something isn't right it won't allow it to turn the relay on. I will get back to you after some research, thanks!
Can you locate the transmission range sensor connector at the driver front side of the transmission above the oil pan. The connector plugs in from the top side of the transmission and it is a rectangle connector towards the driver side of the van. I need you to hook up your test light alligator clip lead to the POSITIVE terminal and probe the yellow/dark blue wire when it is in park and let me know if the test light illuminates. Then put the trans in reverse and test it and let me know if it illuminates. Thanks!
No it can't cause it to fail but a factory alarm system can cause it to lock up when there is a problem with the bus communication or another module! I am not sure how your aftermarket alarm is tied in, I could not find a install manual. Did you find that wire and test it?