Mechanics

DODGE DAKOTA STARTER PROBLEM

1992 Dodge Dakota • 249,000 miles

Hi parked my truck went to start it the next morning nothing, you can hear noise coming from the starter but engine not turning over checked battery and cables what would keep the starter from not kicking engine over? We also checked the starter relay, checked to see if it would start in gear thinking maybe neutral switch was bad any ideas that I can check next
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Guest
October 30, 2012.



What kind of noise? Spinning/whirring? Starter drive/engage likely has failed.

Tiny
Fixitmr
Oct 30, 2012.
Starter drive on starter

Hmac300
Oct 30, 2012.
Thanks for the replys I took the starter off and took it to a place and had them test it they said it passed would there still be a problem with it? If not where do I go next in my mystery

Tiny
Crickett
Oct 31, 2012.
I'm not aware of any PLACE that tests a starter drive, only the starter electrical function. But you can ask them.

Tiny
Fixitmr
Oct 31, 2012.
You're forgetting about the most common problem if this is the little silver Nippendenso starter. Worn solenoid contacts. You'll get one rather loud clunk each time the ignition switch is turned to "crank", but it won't spin. The clue is it WILL crank eventually when you cycle the ignition switch enough times.

The starter will likely work off the engine because they draw so little current then that the worn contacts can handle that. Testing off the engine is never a reliable test.

There's four different contacts available for the solenoid. The "battery" contact is the same on all these starters on Chryslers and Toyotas. There's three versions of the "starter" contact and there's no way to know which one you have until you pop the cover off and look. I buy them from a local rebuilder for $3.00 each, and if the contact disc / plunger is needed, those are about 15 bucks. We have a local farm supply store that stocks the kits now with the plunger and all four contacts for 12 bucks. There's three different plungers too in those kits. Those you can determine from the parts books by the year of the vehicle but that's assuming you still have the original starter. If it was replaced it could be from a different model year. The Chrysler starters all interchange. There's two plungers that were used on Chrysler starters. One is about 1/4" longer than the other one. The Toyotas use a much longer plunger. Those have to be purchased from the Toyota dealer. So far I only HAD to replace the plunger once. On all the others it was just the contacts that were worn. If you're smart enough to remove a starter, you're smart enough to replace these contacts. Heck, even I can do it.

What you should do first though is to reinstall the starter, then use a test light to measure the voltage on the large battery cable right where it bolts to the starter. Keep watching the light while a helper turns the ignition switch to "crank". If the light goes out, there's a high resistance connection in that cable. With Fords it's commonly corroded strands of the copper wire hidden under the insulation right down there by the starter terminal. For other brands it usually bad connections at the battery. The clue there is the head lights and / or dome light will go out too when trying to crank the engine.

Caradiodoc
Oct 31, 2012.
I took it to o'reillys you know like autozone they said it passed so that was the electrical part but the starter could still have something wrong with it? We are going to test the wires today thanks for the info

Tiny
Crickett
Oct 31, 2012.
Yes it could still have something wrong with it. Just because it passed their test doesn't mean that the starter drive actually works. Because there is no load being pu t on it. Beleive people who actually work on these things and fix them for a living, not a parts counter person. All they know how to do is replace wiper blades, and do small tests like you had done besides sell parts.

Hmac300
Oct 31, 2012.