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98 Caravan - Key needs to be turned multiple times for engine to start

nyc_caravan_98nyc_caravan_98 Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Dodge

Turning here to see if this is an issue anyone else has faced before I go it at the mechanic for a few days. Looking to get an idea of possible causes, what was needed to fix the problem and rough estimate of repair cost.

1998 Dodge Caravan 3.3 liter.
140,000 miles

When I get turn the ignition key to "Start" position the car doesn't. I hear a loud "click" but nothing. Engine doesn't crank. When the key falls back to the "on" position the gauges comes on along with the radio and ac/heat of they were left on.

I'll have to move the key back and forth between "On" and "Start" either a few times or for a few minutes. Most time I hear that loud click. Sometimes I'll get a weak crack or two and finally the thing comes to life.

No issues driving. Not having the thing die on me but I'm terrified of just going shopping.

So, anyone experience this kind of thing? If so any info could help so I don't get reamed when I go to the mechanic.

One other thing I should point out. The key need to be tapped while in the ignition to move the key out of the "Lock" position. Lightly tapped. This has been a situation for the past year where sometimes it would happen. Read it was due to a build up of dust and what not in the lock mechanism. A few light taps with my Leatherman on the key when it's fully seated in the ignition tumbler frees up the thing just fine. It's been a minor problem over the past few years but over the past few weeks (same times period as the cranking issue) it's been a much more regular occurrence.

Let me know if you need any other info.

Thanks for any and all help.

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