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We've been having a problem with our 98 Voyager intermittently not starting. I've been reading posts on the problem and a few sound like a similar problem.
At first I thought it might be low battery, bad positive post connection. Cleaned and reseated terminals. Everything seems to come on. The headlites are bright, radio, etc. I'm not getting any chatter from the relays either. All I hear is a click from one of the relays under the dash. The owners manual doesn't identify those relays. Also checked the Starter fuse in the #12 spot and and traded all the relays in the unit under the hood that looked like they might have anything to do with it. My big dread is that it might be something in the ECM, but none of the posts even mention that. Is there anything in the ECM that would shut down the starter? How do I go about checking the ignition switch. Is it a good bet that, in fact, the starter may be on the fritz? Where should I start troubleshooting? I do have a voltmeter but no diagrams to guide me. Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks
Al
 

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We've been having a problem with our 98 Voyager intermittently not starting. I've been reading posts on the problem and a few sound like a similar problem.
At first I thought it might be low battery, bad positive post connection. Cleaned and reseated terminals. Everything seems to come on. The headlites are bright, radio, etc. I'm not getting any chatter from the relays either. All I hear is a click from one of the relays under the dash. The owners manual doesn't identify those relays. Also checked the Starter fuse in the #12 spot and and traded all the relays in the unit under the hood that looked like they might have anything to do with it. My big dread is that it might be something in the ECM, but none of the posts even mention that. Is there anything in the ECM that would shut down the starter? How do I go about checking the ignition switch. Is it a good bet that, in fact, the starter may be on the fritz? Where should I start troubleshooting? I do have a voltmeter but no diagrams to guide me. Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks
Al
did you check the starter?sometime when you start the starter coil does not push out to start,I had that problem before and was thinking about bad battery;relays;fuses...e..c..t
 

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Not yet. It got dark and I plan to check tomorrow. A lot of the posts talk about the plunger and the contacts in the starter relay. Just hope it doesn't have anything to do with the onboard computer.
 

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if when you turn the key from "run" to start position, you hear a click.. that suggests that your starter relay is working..
if you have an assistant, put the parking brake ON, set the gear selector in "park", grab a mid size hammer, have the other person turn the key and at the same time give the starter a couple of hits with the hammer (not hard enough to dent it but with enough force to feel it vibrate..)
or if you're alone, give it a few hits and then try to start it..

Oh, and the important bit, if it starts that way - it would be a good idea to have the starter replaced (or rebuilt) since this trick may not work the next time this happens...
 

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if when you turn the key from "run" to start position, you hear a click.. that suggests that your starter relay is working..
if you have an assistant, put the parking brake ON, set the gear selector in "park", grab a mid size hammer, have the other person turn the key and at the same time give the starter a couple of hits with the hammer (not hard enough to dent it but with enough force to feel it vibrate..)
or if you're alone, give it a few hits and then try to start it..

Oh, and the important bit, if it starts that way - it would be a good idea to have the starter replaced (or rebuilt) since this trick may not work the next time this happens...
Couldn't have said it better. Hammer away. (gently)
 

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If wacking the starter does not help, do you hear this relay click when you turn the key to the "run" position or to the "start" position(thats when the starter would crank)? It is important to know the key position when you hear the click in order to pinpoint the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is to the start position. But all I hear is the click of the relay under the dash not the relays in the box under the hood.
 

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It is to the start position. But all I hear is the click of the relay under the dash not the relays in the box under the hood.
Ok. It sounds to me as though your ignition switch is fine, otherwise you would get no response at all. And the click is a rather "quiet" click? When the starter solenoid contacts are going bad, there is also a click. But it is a rather hash click, almost a clunk. The solenoid is fairly large and really slams those contacts together.

Have you followed the advice of atoman and tapped the starter with a hammer? Results? Thats good advice BTW. You could also open the hood and have someone turn the key. It is rather easy to hear the solenoid "clunking". No mistaking that when up close and personal.
 

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If it sounds like a click in the starter and sometimes it works fine and other times it does this clicking thing, it could be a fouled contact ring in the starter. Inside these starters there is a contact area where the secondary heavy current makes contact when the solenoid throws out the starter gear. I don't know how yours is, but mine had a copper ring inside that had become blackened and pitted from over 100k miles of starting. I took the starter apart (had a mechanic with an impact driver hit it with a hammer and start the big phillips screws that held it together) and filed the copper ring clean and it worked for the rest of the life of the vehicle. If you get in, clean and regrease the starter shaft and gear on the output.
 

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That sounds like a worn starter solenoid. Pull the wire that goes to the starter solenoid and measure the voltage when you turn the key to the start position. If it measures 12+ volts, the solenoid contacts are likely fried. If so, you can either repair the solenoid (do a search here for instructions) or have both the starter and solenoid replaced.

Pulling out the starter is enough of a pain that I just got a rebuilt unit from NAPA and replaced it all at once.
 

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you should try to give the starter a tap and see what happen if it works then replace it as soon as you can don't let it burn,when you start the solenoid goes out and stuck does not get in.It happened to me before when I started I hear a strange noise so I shut off the engine,but it did not shut off even the key is out of the ignition,I open the hood and unplug the spark wires,it's still running until smoke comes up like a fire,I did not have any tool to disconnect the battery.I was lucky that the van did not burn,just the starter,so be careful.
 

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Talk about reviving a dead thread!

Figured this may help someone down the line...

About a year ago I was removing the starter to change the solenoid and ended up breaking the plastic solenoid connector housing that locks it in place. I figured how much vibration could there be to make the connector vibrate loose? Well I found out around midnight 2 weeks ago when I had a no crank/no start. It had been a while since I changed the solenoid so I had forgotten about the connector, it took some time but it did vibrate loose from the male end on the starter.
There is an insulated locking quick spade connector that worked fine for this.
Its available on eBay do a search for Locking Starter Solenoid Plug.
 

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Old, but a common problem, so for others. If like my 1996, the underhood relays are labelled in the cover (most vehicles). Pull the starter relay, which is a standard Bosch type. Jumper terminals 30 (12V always) to pin 87 (to starter solenoid) in the relay box. The numbers are on the bottom of the relay. If that doesn't actuate the starter, you need a new starter, assuming the starter is getting 12 V power and the ground return thru its case to BAT- is good. A multimeter can measure voltage drops to assure that. BTW, stand to the side in case your transmission isn't in P or N since the Neutral Safety Switch is on the logic side of the relay (shorts coil- to gnd). My 1996 has the same starter circuit as my 1965 Dart. I don't think any wires go to the engine controller, but if they do they are likely just for monitoring. I think the controller only knows the engine is cranking from the crankshaft sensor signal.
 
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