Author Topic: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting  (Read 6171 times)

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2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« on: January 11, 2010, 12:10:11 PM »
I have a dodge  caravan that I am having problems starting. It is a 6 valve, 3L, auto trans with 60,000 miles. I began to have difficulty starting my car. It took a couple of turns of the key for it to turn over.. I live in the Northeast and it is very cold. I assumed it was the battery and replaced it(it was due). Now my car will not turn over after a couple days with the new battery. I do have electrical power to the radio and all the lights. My question is do I need a new alternator or could it be something else? Thanks.

Linkback: http://www.trustmymechanic.com/forum/b1/2000-dodge-grand-caravan-starting/23471/

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 12:53:37 PM »
Could be the alternator or loose starter wires.

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conniecartech

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 01:30:43 PM »
Quote from: "john69"
It took a couple of turns of the key for it to turn over


does this mean it would crank but not start at first? or it wouldnt crank till u tryed it a couple times?

if it aint cranking will it start with a jump? u should check the connections at the battery terminals and the other ends of the battery cables to make sure there all clean and tight. this is especialy important in cold weather.

the next thing would be to get a load test on both the alternator and the battery. just cause the battery is new dont mean it aint defective. if u wanna do this yourself with a dvom let us know and we'll tell u how. or u could pull them both out of the van and take them to autozone or another parts stores that does load tests for free.

if all this checks out u could be looking at bad battery cables or a 'parasitic drain.' let us know if your still having problems after looking into the above, and we can advise u from there.

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 02:07:18 PM »
Before I bought my new battery when I put the key into the ignition and turned it the engine seemed to turn over like halfway. I would turn the engine off and wait a second and turn it again. Upon the second turn it seemed to turn over a little more. Then I would turn it off and wait a little longer. On my third try it would turn over and start.

I am semi mechanically inclined and have changed starters and alternators on other cars so I am sure the battery wires are connected properly.

From past experience with cars that will not start I am pretty confident that my car will start with a jump. My only problem there is I have to wait until evening for someone to come home to give me a jump.

I do have a volt meter that will allow me to check the charge on the battery and alternator but I do not know exactly what I am looking for. I assume it will be a D.C. reading. This would be done while the car is running?

I am pretty sure it's the alternator but I want to be certain before I jump in.

thank you for your advice.

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 02:34:24 PM »
I would turn the engine off and wait a second and turn it again. Upon the second turn it seemed to turn over a little more. Then I would turn it off and wait a little longer. On my third try it would turn over and start.

This tells me you got a fuel pressure problem. It's takin time for the static fuel pressure in the lines to build to the point where you got enough pressure and volume for the van to start.

Has the fuel filter been changed recently? Check the connections at the fuel pump. They gotta be on tight and free of any dirt, rust of corrossion. Make sure you're gettin a solid 12 volts at the pump and you got a good ground.

If you're gettin 10 volts at the pump then the pump is workin at too little a voltage and it's not gonna pump fuel at the right psi or volume. The check valve in the pump could also be defective. If it is then static and residual fuel pressure are bein lost. If the check valve is defective then you gotta change the pump.

I lent out my Moper CD to a friend of mine. I should be gettin back in less than an hour. When I do I'll post the fuel psi readings for you. Just remember that you gotta check the fuel psi with a fuel pressure gauge.

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conniecartech

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 02:46:07 PM »
there could be a fuel pressure problem like 68z said, depending on exactly what its doing. but its easy to load test the alternator and battery with  dvom. before u do that tho double check the cables to be sure there clean and tight like i said earlier.

u gotta start with a fully charged battery which is around 12.6 volts. put your dvom leads on the battery terminals with the engine off and check the voltage. if its below 12.6 use a external charger to bring it up to that.

then put your leads on the terminals and watch the voltage as someone trys to start the car. if the voltage drops below 10 volts with the key in the start position the battery is bad. if its ok, next step is to check the alternator.

the engine has to be running for this. if it wont start on its own try jump starting it. at idle with all electric stuff off u should see around 14 volts. have someone turn on the high beams, a/c blower to high and windshield wipers while u watch the meter. the voltage should drop a bit then come back up. do these tests again wth the engine around 1500-2000 rpm, again u wanna see the voltage drop some then come back up.

if it fails any of these tests the alternator is bad. if u aint sure post all your readings here and we shuould be able to help u with it. let us know if this helps.

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 02:59:30 PM »
I think you might be on to something. Having this car so long you become familiar with what it sounds like when it starts. When I started having trouble I did notice that the air intake that I hear when I start it seemed weaker. I do know it has been over a couple of years since the filter has been changed.

Right now my car does not start. It won't turn over at all. If I jump it and it starts would this mean it is not a fuel pressure/filter issue? If it won't start from a jump does it mean it more likely is?

Thank You.

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2010, 03:17:51 PM »
If it starts with a jump then you gotta find what's drainin the battery. Go to this website and follow the instructions step by step.

http://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Parasitic-Battery-Drain

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conniecartech

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 03:23:43 PM »
if u turn the key and it dont crank but it does start right up with a jump, its gonna be electrical not fuel pressure.

if it cranks but wont start, it could be a fuel pressure problem. could allso be something else but fuel pressure would be the place to start in this case. cranks but wont start would probbly rule out the battery and possibly the alternator.

so see what happens with trying to start it and thatll send us down one path or another  Very Happy

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 03:48:14 PM »
Right now do nothin. Let the van sit overnight till tomorrow morning. Tomorrow do nothing but open the hood and with a voltmeter set on any scale higher than 12 volts put the meter across both battery terminals (CABLES OFF THE BATTERY) and tell us the voltage readin you're gettin?

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2010, 04:09:01 PM »
I will do this. It is dark now and really cold. I will wait till morning. Thanks.

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 08:06:50 AM »
Here are the results.
First thing in the morning the reading on the battery is - 12.40
With the key turned on in the ignition but no start - 11.86

Took some doing but I got the car started with a jump, idle - 14.50

first test with wipers, brights, heat on full - 14.39

does not go back up to 14.50 during idle.

second test same as first but at higher rpm - 14.40 to 14.48

idle after tests the reading hovers around 14.40

after sitting at idle for 10 minutes the reading now is between 14.25-14.30

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conniecartech

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2010, 08:18:18 AM »
ok, them numbers tell me your alternator is good.

but u still need to 'load test' the battery with the key in the start position. testing it with just the key on dont put enough of a load on the battery.

again put the dvom leads on the battery terminals and watch the voltage while someone trys to start the engine. it dont matter if it dont start with out a jump. u still need to have the key in the start position for this test.

if the voltage drops below 10 volts the battery is toast.

let us know how this one turns out.

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2010, 01:01:34 PM »
Sorry for gettin back to you so late but the shop got really busy yesterday. I got the fuel psi readings and I'll post the soon for you. You said you bought a new battery recently but you didn't tell us the CCA of the battery. That mean's COLD CRANKING AMPS.

Even though you van doesn't call it and alot of guy's would argue that it's over kill but in my opinion you shouldn't go with a battery that's less than 800 CCA.  

Anything thing is that you mentioned a few times that the van starts right up with a jump. Well alot of times that can be as sign of a compression loss in one or more cylinders. The additional voltage from the jump gets the motor spinnin faster. That can cause compression to build faster so the van starts.

Posting the results results of a compression test would be a good thing. Cool

Fuel pressure with ignition key on and engine off (50-60 PSI).

Fuel pressure at idling at normal operating temperature (50-60 PSI).

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Re: 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan - starting
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2010, 01:56:31 PM »
The battery was 12.48 cold.
I turned the ignition on and it started. The lowest number it read was 11.11 but it went up to 14.60 with the car running.

My battery is CCA @ 0 degrees F - 500
                   CCA @ 32 F -625

I have not yet checked my fuel pump because I am not sure exactly where it is. I think I may have to get to it from underneath. i do not have a chilton book(yet)

Could my problem be with my starter?

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