Car wont start - any suggestions on what it could be?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ReanimationLP, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #1
    My Dodge Caravan SE from 1993 will not start all the way up.

    The engine rotates, but it doesnt actually start up or kick over. When you crank it, sometimes it will crank kinda slow.

    I'm not very good at cars, and I cant afford to take it to a mechanic, so does anyone have any suggestions on where to start? I have the repair manual for it, and am quite good with my hands (I have done some work like replacing parts and such on it)

    Please help. o.o' Its getting really inconvienent.
     
  2. ozontheroad macrumors 6502

    ozontheroad

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    #2
    it could be that your battery is losing its charge

    "sometimes it will crank kinda slow" this is why i think that the battery might be the culprit.

    PS. I'm no mechanic so I could be wrong :D
     
  3. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #3
    Check ignition.
     
  4. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #4
    yea...prolly the battery. What you'll want to do is jump it and let it charge for a bit.

    take it over to your local Advance Auto Parts (I think AutoZone can help too) and tell them you want the battery and the alternator checked. No dis-assembly required, and they'll do it for free.
     
  5. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Check battery, if not the starter is acting up.
     
  6. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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  7. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #7
    ah...with respect, I'd have to disagree with it being the starter, at least in the way the problem has been described. If the engine cranks, then the starter's ok. If the engine doesn't crank at all or only cranks intermittently, then the starter might be (likely is) the cause.
     
  8. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

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    #8
    have you ever replaced the fuel filter or possibly the fuel pump
     
  9. climhazzard85 macrumors member

    climhazzard85

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    #9
    I really doubt that he's not getting fuel, that wouldn't make the engine crank slowly, it just would not fire. Try jumping the battery.
     
  10. ReanimationLP thread starter macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #10
    I recently replaced the pump, but theres no leaks.

    Kinda hard to take it to the auto parts store... as it wont move. :mad:

    I tested the ignition cap and rotor, and they're working fine (Got a nice buzz too)

    I'm suspecting the battery too. >> <<

    F***ing Walmart batteries.

    The fuel pump I'd like to be the absolute last thing on the planet to try. As the damned thing costs 175, then about 300 dollars in labor to have it installed. <<'' My familys not exactly going to be hitting the lottery any time soon.
     
  11. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #11
    Don't suppose you're in luck with any warranty still on the battery? Are the cells dry? If so and you haven't tried it, you might refill and have someone jumpstart and see if it'll hold a charge.
     
  12. ReanimationLP thread starter macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #12
    Still under warranty.

    I swear to the guy upstairs, Walmart batteries can suck my butt.

    This will be the 3rd replacement in less than two years.
     
  13. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    #14
    One good check to see if it's the battery are your headlights. Are they at normal intensity, or dimmed? Do they dim real bad when you try to start it? If either of these two, then the battery may need a charge. Get a cheap charger - Walmart again! :eek:

    If that cures the problem, charging it, then you either have a bad battery, or as someone above mentioned, the alternator is not charging it and that's your bad part.

    My best guess and my nickel's worth of advice.
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #15
    Maybe that will teach you not to buy a car battery from Walmart, go to Sears and get a DieHard. They will also prorate the battery.
     
  15. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816

    Bobdude161

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    #16
    Don't forget to change out the headlight fluid. Last time I forgot, my car exploded. :(
     
  16. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

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    #17
    WTF? headlight fluid. :confused:
     
  17. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #18
    *Laughs*

    I think his brain exploded at the same time no?
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19

    I think you just answered your own question. This is a common occurrence, then. Expect this to happen again in like 8-12 months time when you go to Walmart and get another free battery replacement.
     
  19. ReanimationLP thread starter macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #20
    New battery installed, cranks much, much faster, but still wont kick over.

    Post some more suggestions and I'll look at it tomorrow morning.

    I really appericate all your help. :)
     
  20. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #21
    What kind of sound does it make (if any)? Have you any reason to suspect the Starter? Fuel line/vapor lock? It does have gas in it, right? Change in temp/humidity recently? Does pumping the gas pedal prior to start do anything? Any leakage on the floor/under car? Were there any warning lights on the last time it was running?
     
  21. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #22
    sounds like it's not getting any (or enough) gas. When's the last time you replaced the fuel filter?

    question: from an electrical point of view, everything else is in working order, right? All fuses intact?

    anyway, if it's not the filter and assuming it's a fuel issue, it's likely the pump. You can replace the fuel pump yourself, though it's a big pain in the @ss. One thing you might want to check first is the fuel shutoff switch. It may have accidentally tripped (it happens), so have a look at it and make sure it's ok. The manual will tell you where it is.
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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  23. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #24
    Again: check ignition.

    I'm betting you wouldn't have bought the battery if you had. New cap & rotor would have been cheaper, too.
     
  24. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #25
    My guess is the starter. My friend's car had the same symptoms and that's what ended up needing to be replaced.
     

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