When you turn the ignition on but your Dodge Charger won’t start, it can be very frustrating.
There are two possibilities. One is that you turn on the ignition but the engine does not respond. Or the engine might respond, but it will not fire and you have to restart it. If it doesn’t fire again, you may wonder what to do next.
Should you check if it is low on battery? Should you take a look at the engine to see if there is oil running along the ground? Or if it’s the spark plugs, should you try tightening them again?
- Starter Issue
- Bad Alternator
- Fuel Pump Failure
- Does Not Start Only Cranks
- Red Lightning Bolt Light On
- Cost Of Repair
Dodge Charger Won’t Start Causes
We go through all the possible causes in this article, so if you face this problem, you will know what to do. There are also some tips to fix some of the easy issues so that you don’t have to visit a mechanic.
1. Dead Battery
There are many reasons why a Dodge Charger won’t start, especially in cold weather. One of the most common reasons is that the battery has died. The best way to tell if this is the issue is to look at the vehicle’s battery lights.
If they are on, then it is likely that there is a dead battery and you need to jump-start the vehicle.
What Could Cause A Dead Battery?
If it is a dead battery issue, there are a couple of things to check before taking the car to the mechanic.
First, make sure the cables for your battery are securely connected. Next, try turning on your car’s ignition to see if the lights come on. If they are not coming on at all, you may have blown fuses or a faulty starter. Otherwise, your alternator may have failed.
The battery may have been drained from leaving your headlights on too long without starting the vehicle. Start by checking the battery voltage with a voltmeter. If the voltage is too low, it’s time for a new battery.
How To Fix A Dead Battery Issue
Once you are sure that the battery is causing the issue, you could jump-start the engine. This is to be done only in case of an emergency, as it is not always recommended by automotive experts. Sometimes, it can damage the vehicle’s electrical components if you jump-start it.
The long-term solution would be to replace the battery with a new one. But do this only after a mechanic has confirmed the battery issue.
2. Battery Wires On Your Dodge Charger
The battery connects to the alternator, converting current into energy. This in turn charges the battery. The battery cables carry power from the battery to the electrical system.
Common Battery Wire Issues
- Corrosion damages the cables, apart from bad connections and wear and tear. Therefore, replace any damaged cables.
- Corrosion can occur when water gets in contact with metal. The passing of electric current may cause rust to form. Rust breaks down the cable’s metal component.
- Cleaning the corrosion is very easy. Disconnect the pole cables first, starting with the black cable. If needed, use metal pliers to remove it. Then remove the red cable from the positive pole. Clean the battery and then reconnect it to the terminals.
3. Weak Key Fob Battery
If the key fob has a weak battery, it might be the cause of the car not starting. The battery signals the car to lock or unlock. If it is too weak to pass the signal, then the car will not start.
How To Fix A Weak Key Fob Battery
The workaround for this problem is to place the key fob as close as possible to the start/stop button. Then try starting the engine. If you have a second key available, then it is time to use it.
4. Dodge Charger Starter Issue
Another reason could be a broker starter, caused by a starter relay. The starter helps turn the engine so it can start. A relay allows energy to move from one circuit to another. If the power is not able to go through the circuit, then the car will not be able to start.
This happens when there is a short in the wiring of the system. One of the wires may be wrongly connected or damaged. In the case of a starter issue, the car will not start at all. The only solution is to replace the starter with a new one.
5. Empty Fuel Tank
The engine will be unable to generate enough power unless there is enough fuel in the system for combustion. With no fuel in the system, any air that enters the engine will be insufficient for combustion.
You may be unaware that your gas tank is empty and drive for a long distance without stopping to refill it. It is always better to refill when it reaches a quarter of a tank or so.
6. Clogged Fuel Filter
A clogged fuel filter can cause the Charger not to start. The fuel filter cleans the gas. With the fuel filter clogged, it will not function.
The buildup of dirt on the outside of the filter restricts the flow of gas through it. This stops fuel from reaching an engine and will result in lower engine performance.
7. Dodge Charger Won’t Start Due To A Bad Alternator
The alternator provides power to the vehicle’s electrical components. It ensures that there is enough charge to start the vehicle.
A drained battery will use power from the alternator for components until recharged. The alternator may not be able to provide the engine with enough power to start. The alternator must be running and producing current for the car to start.
8. Blown Fuse
A blown fuse can occur for various reasons, such as power surges and defective wiring. Replace a blown fuse before attempting to start the car again.
9. Defective Spark Plugs
A defective spark plug can harm the engine. It could cause problems such as misfires or sparks, resulting in the car not starting.
Spark plugs are responsible for the ignition of the internal combustion engine’s fuel. They provide electric current to ignite the gasoline vapor in the engine’s cylinder. Starting up an engine will be difficult if any plug is missing or not working.
10. Dodge Charger Won’t Start Due To An ECM Issue
There could also be an ECM issue. Engine Control Module failures are rare, but they do happen.
The ECM gets damaged by water intrusion or an electrical short and tends to fail sometimes. It is possible that one of the cylinders on the engine is misfiring due to an ECM issue.
A faulty ECM could cause other problems too. These could pertain to the engine, air conditioning, lights, door locks, or brakes.
11. Security System Issue
The security system sends a signal to the car’s computer, which controls important parts of the car. This includes the cylinder that releases the fuel. The air mixture makes a combustible combination as per the signal. A security system issue can stop this from happening, and then your Dodge Charger won’t start.
12. Fuel Filter
A fuel filter issue may result in an interruption of gas flowing into the engine. This happens if dirt or other particles get into the fuel. A small piece of dirt blocking it would mean that enough gas is not getting into the engine.
13. Oil Level
The Dodge Charger has a high-performance engine to move it quickly and smoothly. But, if the oil level is low or something jams up the oil pump, you will have problems starting your engine.
It is possible that you are using the wrong type of oil for your engine. The lack of lubrication causes slippage within the engine. This leads to major damage to the pistons, rod bearings, and valves.
Engine oil creates lubrication at all times for optimal performance. If it gets too low, the pistons will cause excessive friction against the cylinder walls. This will lead to significant wear and tear of the piston rings.
14. Ignition Coil
A defective coil or an issue with the wiring of the car may damage the ignition coils. This could cause some or all of the ignition coils to short out. Due to a faulty wire harness, the ignition coil may not be producing enough power to turn over the engine.
The ignition coil is located near the engine. It sends current from the battery to the spark plugs to ignite the air-fuel mixture. If an ignition coil is faulty, it cannot send out a strong enough current from the battery to the spark plugs. This could be another likely cause of a car not starting.
A car’s engine is fueled by a mixture of air and gasoline. The mixture must be just right to provide the power necessary to move the vehicle. If the carburetor is not opening and then closing, the engine will not start. This can be due to a clog, rust, or other issues with the carburetor.
The fuel system of the Charger can become clogged. This clogging can cause the car to not start, as the car will not have enough fuel to power it. The culprit is usually a faulty carburetor, which can cause problems for your fuel system.
A faulty carburetor restricts airflow into the car’s engine. Restricting airflow will lead to insufficient fuel combustion. This leads to an engine misfire.
16. Distributor Cap
The distributor cap handles the distribution of power to the spark plugs. Without this, there would be no spark at all. The cap also protects the delicate coils inside against wear and tear. It helps in sending the power from the battery to the engine.
Depending on your engine, you will have one or more caps inside. The distributor cap is part of the ignition system, which also includes the spark plugs. Through a set of contacts, it distributes the power from the battery to each cylinder in turn.
What Happens When A Distributor Cap Fails?
When a distributor cap fails, it causes high resistance, which can keep the car from starting. The most common cause of this issue is when the contact surface becomes pitted. Extreme temperature changes or environmental conditions could cause wear or corrode it.
When a distributor cap does not work properly, one or more cylinders will not receive enough power to ignite when they should. As a result, when you try to start your car, it won’t turn over.
The distributor cap may have been blown out due to an external shock, causing an electrical short. This makes it useless, so there will be no spark going to the spark plugs.
17. Fuel Pump Failure
The fuel pump circulates and pressurizes the fuel. The fuel moves into the engine and is then combustible. However, if there is a problem with the pump, it cannot circulate and pressurize the fuel.
When the engine doesn’t have enough fuel, it shuts off and will not start again. When a fuel pump fails, it cannot push gas into the engine. The engine might start, but it will eventually stop because it doesn’t have enough fuel. There cannot be a spark without getting any power from the fuel.
18. Timing Belt
A timing belt is a rubber belt in an engine that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft. The timing belt keeps these two parts in sync so the pistons and valves work at the same time. If the timing belt breaks, it can cause an engine to not start up.
A timing belt is a crucial part of a car’s engine. It consists of a loop of rubber that synchronizes the movement of valves in an engine with the pistons. These are connected to the crankshaft.
When it begins to stretch or fray, it can cause the crankshaft to scrape against the head. When this scraping becomes too extreme, it will cause the engine to stall.
19. Engine Failure
When a vehicle doesn’t start, it could be due to a problem with the engine. Sometimes the engine will not be able to produce enough power for the car to start. This could be due to various reasons, like a faulty starter, fuel pump, or ignition system.
These engines are designed with some reliability to allow for a long lifespan. But it can be difficult to sustain a healthy engine when used for extended periods of time.
20. Camshaft Position Sensor
The camshaft position sensor tells the computer when each of the cylinders is firing. It is responsible for optimizing the ignition timing according to engine RPMs. If it malfunctions, engine performance will decrease along with fuel efficiency.
A camshaft is a device that tells the engine when to open up the valves. If the camshaft position sensor is not working, it will confuse the car’s computer and will not know which cylinder to fuel and when.
It may need to be replaced if it is not able to read the signals generated by the crankshaft of the engine.
21. Crankshaft Position Sensor
The crankshaft position sensor is on the front of the flywheel of an engine. It measures the speed of the engine’s revolutions per minute. When you start your vehicle, this sensor sends a signal to the engine control module. This activates the fuel injectors to position them in time when needed. If there is an issue with this sensor, it would cause the vehicle to not start.
The crankcase position sensor tells the engine when to fire up, and if it doesn’t work, then you can’t start your car. This information is critical for ignition timing and fuel delivery. The sensor monitors the timing of the engine to ensure proper operation.
A faulty sensor can cause a loss in timing and prevent the vehicle from starting.
22. P0562 Error Code
You might get the error code P0562 when you use an OBD scanner. The PCM controls the charging system through a circuit inside the alternator’s voltage regulator. When there is a low voltage, this code will appear.
When this code appears, it usually indicates an electrical issue.
23. Push Button Issue
When you press the push button, a cog inside gets engaged to rotate an internal mechanism. The push-button start system may fail to properly engage the ignition coil. It could be due to an electrical issue or a bad battery.
Defective wiring or circuit boards could cause a push-button start issue. Replace the battery to give the car the power it needs to turn on. If there is no change after replacing the battery, you may need to replace the starter motor.
The push-button switch has a ball on the end that turns one way for off and the other way for on. When this button breaks, then your car will not start.
Dodge Charger Won’t Start, Only Clicks Heard
This can mean that the battery is not powering the starter. The solution is to check the battery and recharge it.
Other reasons are that the starter could be failing if it is not a battery issue. The charger may have an electrical issue that prevents it from starting.
Recharge the battery or replace the starter.
Dodge Charger Won’t Start Not Starting, Only Cranks
Sometimes your car will not start but only cranks. This can be caused by a variety of problems. These include fuel level, ignition timing, and the coolant temperature sensor. You might get a diagnostic trouble code from the engine control module.
It indicates issues with the fuel system or electrical system. The ignition system is not supplying enough power to the fuel system or spark plugs. The charging system fails and cannot provide enough power to start the engine.
Dodge Charger Won’t Start, Why Is The Red Lightning Bolt Light On?
A red lightning bolt symbol on the dashboard means a non-functioning electronic system. This could be a serious issue, so take it to a mechanic for a thorough diagnosis.
A clogged fuel filter, faulty fuel pump, or leak in the fuel line could all cause the fuel flow to be clogged. The problem could also stem from an air leak in the intake manifold, a bad ignition coil, or faulty spark plugs.
One way to resolve it is to first turn on the ignition. Then press the gas pedal fully, and release it slowly.
Your Dodge Charger Was Damage By Pests And Rodents
Rodents and pests can do significant damage to cars to prevent them from starting. A common example of this is rodents chewing through wiring, which will keep the car from starting. Rodents can also chew through engine hoses or fuel and brake lines.
Dodge Charger Won’t Start Repair Cost
The cost may vary depending on the cause. A rough estimate may be around $150. A mechanic could evaluate the problem by looking for any loose connections. It could be corrosion or water in the electrical system.
He will inspect the starter and battery terminals for corrosion and proper connection. Then the mechanic will determine what needs to be repaired or replaced.
The repair could be more expensive depending on what else needs to be done.
Dodge Charger Won’t Start – Conclusion
The most common reasons why your Dodge Charger won’t start are a low battery, a starter, or a fuel system issue. It could also be something to do with the engine.
If you are a new driver, you may find it difficult to pinpoint the right cause. This article gives you all the possible causes before you decide on your next step.
While some issues can be fixed by you easily, others may require you to visit a mechanic or service center.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.