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  #1  
Old 07-20-2011, 01:07 PM
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Cool Want to confirm for Dodge Caravan

Hey Guys,

I am 99% sure, but I wanted to get some confirmation. My wife's van is having trouble starting. When you turn the key it clicks like the battery is dead, but then if you turn the key back and then try it again it will work. Also, if you just keep the key turned after the clicking it will struggle to start, but then does. I had the battery tested and it checked out fine. I figured it is not the alternator cuz this has been going on for a few weeks and it has been starting and runs with the lights on. The van has power everything so if the alternator was bad I would think the battery would have worn down already again. I did have some crud on the terminals, but I cleaned that off. I was going to replace the terminals, but the bone heads at Autozone (closest to me I think) did not have them or did not want to get them and gave me the wrong ones.

I was going to order the starter and replace it myself since it sounds pretty easy. I just want to make sure I am not missing something. Some other electrical thing...

Thanks,
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:49 AM
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find the correct terminals, and make sure that they're on securely. I've had issues in the past with a vehicle starting intermittently due to bad terminals.

they're a lot cheaper than a starter, and they're a lot easier to install. I don't believe that it's your starter (I could be wrong) as most of those either work or they don't. I personally have never encountered a starter that will crank slowly--- every one I've seen fail just simply stopped working all together.

good luck

Exco
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:28 PM
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Cool Terminals helped...

I replaced the terminals, but that only helped a little. It does not take as long to start, and I do not get the clicking as often, but it still is hard to start. I was thinking that maybe the cables got corroded inside the plastic. I know I ran into that with a different car. I am not sure if I should replace the wire, or go with the starter. I could always just take the starter out and get it tested.

I just do not have time or a great place to work on my vehicles. I will post once I get it resolved once and for all. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it.

Thanks,
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:32 PM
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Did you check the connections at the ground and starter? Those also will need cleaning or replacement (if corroded) from time to time.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:00 AM
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Sounds like the starter-solenoid is going out. Will only be a matter of time before it dies altogether. Go ahead and replace it now, in some cases its cheaper/easier to just replace the entire starter w/the solenoid at one time.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:47 AM
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Cool replaced starter, still acting up

OK, so I thought the terminals had corrected the problem. It did for a few days. then it started doing it again. When you turn the key, you get click like the battery is dead, then turn it again and it turns over a couple of times then it starts.

I went ahead and replaced the starter since the terminals only helped for a little while. After replacing the starter, it turned on just fine a few times, then it started doing it again. It starts a little faster, but I still get the clicks like the battery is dead. SO I guess now I am going to have to replace the cables. I tried cleaning them, but it has not made a difference. I cannot really clean on the inside of the shielding which I think is where maybe some of the cable got corroded. I know the negative terminal was really gunked up and the terminal itself was really bad.

Any advice? Should I just try to cut the ends off and get some new eyelets or should I just switch terminals completely. The caravan has some funky terminals that I had a hard time finding. I ended up drilling out the eyelet to accommodate the larger bolt on the new terminals.

Everything is tight!

any suggestions?
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:30 AM
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I had this exact same problem on my wife's '06 Grand Caravan. It ended up being the terminals. I pulled them on and cleaned them real well and made sure it had a great connection when I put them back on and haven't had an issue since. I've never had this issue with any vehicle before but it sounds exactly like the problem you are having.

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:07 PM
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Cool Finally put this thread to bed!

OK, I have not updated this in a while, but I wanted to just post the last chapter of this damn saga! This is what I did and the order I did them. I know not all Autozones are the same, but most of the time these guys do not know much. I just wish they would admit that to themselves!

1. Had battery tested (Autozone said it was good, both times)
2. Replaced terminal connectors (could not find OEM ones so I had to put some cheap ones that fit, first mistake!)
3. replaced starter (probably did not need to, but did not bother to test after I got it out. Since I could not return it I did not really care about it not being bad or not)
4. cleaned terminals and connectors (again and again)
5. Replaced terminal connectors (this time I ordered OEM replacements, dealer wanted $15 each I got them from O'Riely's for $10)
6. To appease my wife I took it to the local place I get my oil changes and tunes up at. Oh and where I throw away a couple hundred bucks a year on PA and emissions inspection! At least it reminds me to replace my wipers once a year! They said it was just the battery! (really did you see #1)

So maybe the battery went bad after all this other stuff, or maybe it was bad from the get go? Not really sure, but the fancy testers at Autozone said it was good. Twice! I am sure they pushed the right buttons. I mean the instructions are written there on the plastic sheet hanging right next to it!

So at least now my wife's van is starting up every time. It has been a good van so I cannot complain too much.

What I learned from this? Don't second guess myself, after all I am a pretty fart smeller! Oops I mean I am a smart fellar!
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:26 PM
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I wish I had seen this earlier, went through the same thing with the battery in my wife's Town and Country, autozone said it was good, still having issues decided to try an old battery I had in the garage worked fine, so I went to pepboys and bought a battery, that autozone gets no more business from me.
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