2000 Chrysler Town and Country Van wont start w/o a jump.

Tiny
LOUISE62602
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 10,800 MILES
My van will not start without having it jumped. If it's jumped it will be fine through out the day while driving, I can turn it off leave it for a few hours and then start it again. It only happens if I let it sit without driving it for a longer period of time. If I drive it around all day but get home around 4pm and don't drive it again until the next day it will not start in the morning! I've had the battery, starter and alternator all check and they say those 3 things are fine. What else can it be?
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Sunday, March 7th, 2010 AT 7:29 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What does it do when it doesn't start? Do you hear one loud clunk from the starter or no sound at all?
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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 AT 1:56 AM
Tiny
LOUISE62602
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It depends on how long I've let it sit, if ive let it sit for say 2 days it wont make any sound at all. If let it sit for less than that it will making a clicking sound.
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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 AT 6:18 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
One single kind of loud clunk from the starter each time you turn the ignition switch to "crank" is usually worn contacts in the starter solenoid. They can be replaced, but most people just replace the entire starter. This always starts out being intermittent and will crank the engine eventually if you cycle the ignition switch to "crank" enough times. Sometimes a jump start will help enough current get through the worn contacts and the engine will start, but that won't help for long.

A rapid, repeated click, click, click indicates a run down battery or loose or dirty battery cables. A jump start can overcome either of these problems. To find this, measure battery voltage while the car sits for a long time. A fully charged battery will measure near 12.6 volts. If the voltage slowly drops over time, there is something draining the battery.

If the battery voltage is always down to around 11.0 volts or less, one cell is shorted and the battery must be replaced.

After the engine is running, measure the battery voltage again. It MUST be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, the alternator is not recharging the battery. This often starts out as an intermitent problem so having the alternator tested just means it was working when it was tested. It can fail one minute later.

When there is no sound after sitting for two days, do any other lights or functions work? If the headlights and dome lights are nice and bright, that leaves out a battery problem. If no lights or other functions work, the battery likely has been drained. Look for cell phone chargers, aftermarket radios, trunk light stuck on, or anything else that is staying on. Proof that a drain is causing the problem can be found by disconnecting the black negative battery cable when you park the car, then letting it sit for two days. If it starts just fine after reconnecting the battey cable, something is draining the battery.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 AT 11:28 AM
Tiny
LOUISE62602
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Thanks so much for your help! I will be checking everything you talked about. :)

Stacey
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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 AT 3:24 PM

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