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Old 03-16-2010, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 12,899,758 times
Reputation: 1933

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My minivan hesitates to start. At first I thought it was a bad battery so I exchanged the battery at Walmart for a new one. I charged the new battery before putting it in. After I put in the new battery the voltage read around 12.14 Volts. It still hesitated to start and started after a few tries. No constant clicking sound as if from a low battery to starter. Now I think it could be my starter that's going bad.

Has this happened to you? What was at fault? The vehicle I'm having problems with is a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:39 PM
 
3,698 posts, read 9,986,987 times
Reputation: 2593
Take a look at your electrical connections. I had a similar problem and just needed to clean off the connections. It acted like the battery was dead or dying but it was showing the full voltage.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 12,899,758 times
Reputation: 1933
I sanded my battery terminals and the minivan at least started. But when I tried to start it again it hesitated / failed to start on several ignition start keystrokes. So maybe it's a starter going bad / winding short?
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,395 posts, read 42,738,435 times
Reputation: 11475
Is the starter failing to engage, failing to turn the engine strongly, or is the engine spinning on the starter OK but not wanting to start?

Offhand, how long since it's been tuned? Spark plugs, fuel filter?
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 12,899,758 times
Reputation: 1933
It doesn't need a tuneup - spark plugs changed at 93,000 miles now at 112,000 miles. If the starter cranks the engine turns on. I just changed the $10.50 start relay which measured 68 ohms when Chilton's manual said it should be from 70 to 80 ohms New starter relay measured 75 ohms, and after I put it it it starts better but there still is intermitant hesitation on starting. Will check / takeoff my starter once I get it to the garage on Thursday maybe.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,466,140 times
Reputation: 3869
If it's clicking, then engaging, I'd say it's the solenoid on your starter - which means you need to replace the starter.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,395 posts, read 42,738,435 times
Reputation: 11475
Before changing out the starter, I'd try cleaning/tightening the main contacts where the + battery cable connects to the starter (take battery ground off first or be very careful - offhand I would say take the battery ground cable off the battery) and particularly check/clean the ground cable where it attaches to the engine or transmission. That second one is very easy to do and it's frequently a problem area, particularly with you in rust country.

IMHO at 68 ohms your old starter relay is probably OK, put it in the glove box or whatever as it's now a spare. (Does this van really have the same system - a relay operating the solenoid, the solenoid operating the stater itself - as an MG-B?!) (If so, wow, that's beyond retarded - "Hey, Joe, let's copy some old British car electric systems for our new minivan!")

Do you have any way to check the ignition switch itself?
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