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Old 12-01-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
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Starter or Battery?


2005 Dodge Caravan, 3.3 L V-6. Turn the key it just clicks, Turn on the lights (seem bright) turn the key, lights go out. Starter or battery? If starter, how hard are they to change?

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Old 12-01-2010, 06:09 PM   #2
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Starter or Battery?


Sounds like battery, have you tried jumping it yet? Could always remove it and take it to autozone or something to load test it.

Or, slip under the van and bang on the starter. If it fires after that, it's the starter.

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Old 12-01-2010, 06:16 PM   #3
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Starter or Battery?


Probably pull the battery in the morning. It's dark, cold and windy here tonight. That's what ithought, I'll take it to Autozone in the morning.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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Starter or Battery?


Starter solenoid.

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Old 12-01-2010, 07:28 PM   #5
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Starter or Battery?


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Starter solenoid.

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Where is the solenoid on a Dodge. I followed the wire from the battery to where it goes under the motor, no solenoid there. Is it on the starter?
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:34 PM   #6
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Starter or Battery?


Yup, mounted to the starter.
They're usually (starters) pretty easy to pull and test though if need be.... however....
have you tried the the ol' "screwdriver across the terminals" on the starter? That'll tell you if it's the solenoid or not.

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Old 12-01-2010, 07:38 PM   #7
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Starter or Battery?


No, my daughter's van. When she called me it was already dark. It's in the 20's and windy. It'll wait til tomorrow.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:42 PM   #8
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Starter or Battery?


don't rule out the alternator. if it's not charging the battery it won't give you enough juice to start the car. Because lights go dim when you try to start it, i think it's either battery or alternator.

did you try jumpstarting? if you jump it, and it starts, you'll know it's either battery or alt.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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Starter or Battery?


Another thing that causes the same symptom (clicking) is corrosion on the battery terminals.
I guess that should be the FIRST (and easiest) thing to check (and clean.)

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Old 12-01-2010, 08:04 PM   #10
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Starter or Battery?


could always try tapping the starter with a hammer. Sometimes there develops a deadspot, and will cause a "no start". That might get it started, and if it does, starter should be replaced.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:43 PM   #11
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Starter or Battery?


Autozone doesn't show a starter solenoid for that van. Hope I can get one if I need it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:53 AM   #12
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Starter or Battery?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Another thing that causes the same symptom (clicking) is corrosion on the battery terminals.
I guess that should be the FIRST (and easiest) thing to check (and clean.)

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You can bet it's a bad connection at the battery.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:09 AM   #13
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Starter or Battery?


If lights go very dim (or go out) when you turn the key, check the battery (and its connections) first.

If the battery is dead and you have time, charge the battery using an external house current charger before deciding the battery needs replacement.

Probably not the alternator at that moment but if the alternator is not charging the battery, of course the battery will go dead very soon.

If your car has a voltmeter, after charging the battery and cleaning the connections (or getting home after a decent trip and the alternator is orking) turn on the headlights and turn off the engine. After ten minutes if the voltmeter is noticeably below 12 then the battery probably needs replacement.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:32 AM   #14
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Starter or Battery?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
Autozone doesn't show a starter solenoid for that van. Hope I can get one if I need it.
I bet if it is a frount post battery . I bet the terminal will just come off in your hand. those are the worst battery's . just my opion
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:42 PM   #15
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Starter or Battery?


It was a bad battery(whew, no way I wanted to change that starter). And it's a top post.

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