Dodge Grand Caravan Won’t Start

A Dodge Grand Caravan that won’t start refers to when the minivan engine will not turn on and begin to work. Thankfully, a non-starting engine is usually a minor fix rather than an indication of serious internal engine problems.

The best way to fix a Dodge Grand Caravan that will not activate and start running is to pay close attention to the nature of the symptom. A symptom is a feature or sign of a particular condition and it can indicate the problem source.  Common no crank no start symptoms include:

  • Engine cranks slowly. Rapid clicking noise.
  • Engine cranks but won’t start up.
  • Engine will not crank at all.

Below are some common causes for a Dodge Grand Caravan that will not start and its corrective action. Identify which symptom best describes your specific starting issue so that you can quickly get your Dodge Grand Caravan minivan back up and running again.

Engine Cranks Slowly – No Start

Condition Possible Cause Corrective Action
Engine cranks slowly, with or without clicking noise. Rapid clicking noise: Starter motor not getting enough electricity. Charge battery.
Faulty battery. Replace battery.
Battery terminals preventing minivan from starting. Clean and tighten battery cable connections.
Battery is discharged. Recharge battery.
Alternator failing to charge battery. Test alternator. Replace if necessary.
Condition Possible Cause Corrective Action
Battery state of charge cannot be maintained for more than a few days. Defective alternator. Test alternator. Replace if necessary.
Short circuit causing parasitic battery drain. Trace and repair short circuit.
Bad cell or damaged battery. Disconnect and replace battery.

An engine that cranks slowly is a sign of a weak or dead battery. If the minivan cranks and then a rapid clicking sound is heard, that is a sign of a weak or dead battery. It also suggest corroded or loose battery cable connections.

It could also mean the alternator has failed or is failing to charge the battery. To fix this, bring the battery to a local auto parts store and have them test the battery. They will test cranking amp capacity and check for voltage drop.

If the battery is fine, and the cable connections are not loose or corroded. Test the alternator.

Dodge Grand Caravan Cranks But Won’t Start Up

Condition Possible Cause Corrective Action
Engine cranks but won’t start up Weak battery. Check battery state of charge.
Insufficient fuel pressure. Dirty fuel filter or restricted fuel lines.
Faulty fuel pump, wiring or relay. Repair or replace if needed.
Bad fuel injector. Replace injector.
No spark. Defective coil or control unit.
Bad crankshaft position sensor or camshaft sensor. Test and replace sensor if necessary.
Cylinder compression too low. Perform cylinder compression pressure test.
Fuel system contaminated. Flush fuel system and clean fuel tank.
Broken ignition key. Start van with a spare key.

Some people spray starter fluid into the throttle body while the engine is cranking. If the motor turns over for a moment, the starting issue is fuel related. Do not spray starting fluid on the MAF sensor. Keep in mind that the fuel problem could be due to a broken ignition key (anti-theft protection). Try starting the minivan with a spark key.

Power Distribution Center Fuel Pump Fuse Location.
Power Distribution Center

Check the fuel pump fuse inside the Power Distribution Center, see illustration above. If the fuel pump fuse is not blown, check fuel pressure. If fuel pressure is insufficient, suspect a bad fuel pump. Test the pump before replacing.

Dodge Grand Caravan Will Not Crank At All

Condition Possible Cause Corrective Action
Dodge Grand Caravan won’t crank at all.

Dead battery. Charge or replace as necessary.
Faulty alternator not charging battery. Replace battery.
Faulty starter. Replace starter.
Engine hydrolocked, seized block. Repair or replace engine block.
Catastrophic damage. Internal engine component failure.

It’s frustrating when your Dodge Grand Caravan won’t start. The good news: It’s probably nothing major. Pay attention to the minivan no-start symptoms. A symptom is often an indicator of what’s wrong.

For example, if you hear a rapid clicking sound it’s probably the battery. But the battery could have died because the alternator is bad. Before you start wasting money changing parts that don’t need to be changed, test the part first.

Model, Year Application

No start, no-crank information on this page is applicable to the following Grand Caravan models. It is also applicable to Dodge Caravan and Chrysler minivan with similar model year.
YearVehicleTrimEngine
2001Grand CaravanSE, Sport, SXT, ES2.4L, 3.3L, 3.8L
2002Grand CaravanSE, Sport, SXT, ES2.4L, 3.3L, 3.8L
2003Grand CaravanSE, Sport, SXT, ES2.4L, 3.3 L, 3.8L
2004Grand CaravanSE, Sport, SXT, ES2.4L, 3.3L, 3.8L
2005Grand CaravanSE, Sport, SXT, ES2.4 L, 3.3L, 3.8L
2006Grand CaravanSE, Sport, SXT, ES2.4L, 3.3L, 3.8L
2007Grand CaravanSE, Sport, SXT, ES2.4L, 3.3L, 3.8 L

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