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This morning my 2001 wouldn't start. Never had a problem starting before. Starter clicks, battery is good, all lights flicker when trying ignition, locks, A/C work, etc. If it sits for awhile, it will try to turn for a second then just clicks and clicks.....
 

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Thanks for the reply Bernard, but how can it be the battery when everything in the van works on battery? The radio, lights, locks, seats, etc. all run on battery. Again, When I turn the key, the starter sounds like a machine gun, but won't turn over.
 

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Everything on your van works until you turn on the starter, right? The starter draws much more current from the battery than anything else does. The high current draw caused by the starter is lowering your battery voltage. Since your solenoid is voltage sensitive, it goes on and off due to the lower than normal battery voltage. (it makes the clacking noise)

Your problem is probably one of 3 things.

1. Bad connection at the battery terminals. (corrosion)
2. Bad Battery. ( a cell or two has shorted out)
3. Bad Alternator. ( believe it or not)

Good Luck!
 

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Jump start it using jumper cables. If it starts right up it's another sure sign you have a problem with the battery or loose/corroded battery connections. Have your battery charged on a charger then have it load tested. I believe Autozone does it free. If they say the battery is good and a few days later it's dying again, you may have a parasitic circuit drain.
 

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Thanks everyone (especially Bernard...), I've never had a situation where the battery ran everything but wouldn't start the car. It's painful to tell my wife she was right.....

:)
 

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Possible Bad Starter

Do all of the above and then check the voltage at the battery terminals. It should drop from around 14 volts (battery full charged) to something less than 12 volts. If it drops why down, say 8 volts, its most likey a bad battery. Note, battery voltage varies with charge, 2.1 volts per cell so it will be over 14 volts for a good, fully charged battery.

I had the same problem with my ‘02 a while back and had to replace the starter. Had something over 90 thousand miles at that time.


'08 Town and Country Touring M Package
Brilliant Silver
MyGig, NAV, VES, Trailer tow, Swivel n' Go
Rear Hatch Scooter & Lift

‘02 Town and Country LXI
Light Blue
Trailer tow
 

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Do all of the above and then check the voltage at the battery terminals. It should drop from around 14 volts (battery full charged) to something less than 12 volts. If it drops why down, say 8 volts, its most likey a bad battery. Note, battery voltage varies with charge, 2.1 volts per cell so it will be over 14 volts for a good, fully charged battery.

I had the same problem with my ‘02 a while back and had to replace the starter. Had something over 90 thousand miles at that time.
FYI: The more you stress your starter trying to start on a weak battery, will actually cause your starter to fail soon, as well. If you've gotten 80k+ out of the starter, it would be "pro-active" maintenance to replace it NOW, than later.
:headbange
 

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Had similar problems with my 01. Autozone tested the battery once. It was fine. Tested again after lengthy trouble-shooting, bad battery.

With me I started with the jump start. It did (not the starter).
Then started it up and tested voltage while running, not running, etc. (found out not the alternator).
thus ... battery! Changed it, all is well.

Oh, and mind the ground wire connections when you hook the new one back up. (I didn't). My ground was loose off the negative terminal, and I had to diagnose transmission probelms, etc. etc. until I finally figured out it was just the stupid ground wire. Cheap solution ... but frustrating! (and humbling).

Best of luck!
 

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Thanks everyone (especially Bernard...), I've never had a situation where the battery ran everything but wouldn't start the car. It's painful to tell my wife she was right.....

:)
In "modern" cars, the symptoms of a dying battery are much different than they used to be. Tell her she was right and you were wrong. You'd be amazed how good you feel afterward. :D
 

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My guess is that the battery is the original one and is on its last legs. My rule of thumb is when a battery is five years old, it becomes a liability, and should be replaced.
 
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