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1997 Dodge Grand Caravan relays clicking but no lights, horn or ignition

akc2akc2 Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I bought this car last week from a pvt. party and took it to mechanic for diagnostics. The can needed front brakes and also the power window(Driver side) was not working. He changed the power window motor. Everything was fine till yesterday, this morning the van won't start, as soon as I open the door the relay in the fuse block starts clicking. The instrument panel is not lighted, again when i try horn, one of the relay in fuse block started clicking. SAme thing when i used the power lock.

I tried to jump start the van but nothing happened. I am frustrated as I bought a used car and then paid 650 doolars in repair of window and brakes. PLEASE HELP ME.


  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I haven't had a Mopar since the slant-6 was retired, but virtually everything made now has an additional underhood fuse box with larger "maxi-fuses" providing safety for many subsections. these are a lot nicer than having a bunch of "fusible links" which are small sections of thinner wire, much harder to repair than a fuse replacement.

    if you have a maxi-fuse that keeps blowing, there is a serious short in some wiring. you can narrow it down by identifying which sub-systems the maxi-fuse protects, and pulling their fuses one at a time to see what allows you to stop replacing those two-dollar maxi-fuses.

    the relays are on a smaller and separate control circuit... they switch the power circuits coming off whatever 12 volt bus is dead due to an open wire or a dead maxi-fuse.

    if the owners' manual doesn't provide enough help in chasing it down, one of the $20 parts store manuals for your model car ought to. alternatively, if you are wrench-challenged enough to require a mechanic to replace light bulbs, telling a mechanic this much ought to cut the cost of diagnosing the issue quite a bit.
  • cutehumorcutehumor Posts: 137
    do you know when is the last time a new battery was put in? corrosion on the terminals maybe?
  • vpeevpee Posts: 1
    I bought a toyota and my problem was a little similar to yours, except EVERYTHING came on at the same time.

    But we found out my relays were burnt. Maybe you should get them checked.

    This may not apply to you though.
  • You said: "The car hesitated when ignited for the past 2 days, but usually able to start after 2nd try.
    Same thing happen today when started, but there's an additional noise. I turned off engine but the starter (the belt) just keep running (chugging), and smelling pretty bad. I unscrew battery to make it stop, and a lot of smoke were coming out with very bad smell. The smoke came from between radiator and engine. Please help.. also, is this car ok to be driven to the mechanic ?? Thanks so much."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Oh, you have what is called "post-ignition" or "run-on", wherein the gas is still being ignited even after ignition has been shut off.

    This could be a timing problem, an overheating problem, maybe a leaking injector along with a high-carbonization issue in the cylinders. It is certainly correctable, and I don't think it harms anything to drive to a shop.

    Often you can stop the post ingition by flooring the gas pedal after you've shut the engine off, OR...just put the car in gear with the engine off.
    No need to disconnect the battery.

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  • now the car won't start at all, do you know why ?? 2 weeks ago when the car was inspected, the alternator was replaced and charging systems was checked, does it have anything to do with that?? we purchased the car just 3 months ago, so hopefully the shop is willing to cover if not all, maybe some of the cost (same dealership company). can you give a ballpark how much it will cost ? thanks again
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you need to have this evaluated by a competent shop at this point. your modern alternator and/or regulator doesn't like that 1961 diagnostic technique.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Could the problem be that the starter relay stuck in the "start" position and kept cranking the engine and then the starter burned up? I believe the starter is located in front of the engine behind the radiator, which is where the starter is. I still believe the problem may be solved with a new starter, but without seeing it myself,this is only a guess.
This discussion has been closed.