Have you tried starting your Dodge Ram 1500, and all the dash lights came up bright, but no starter turnover? You put the truck in automatic trans (neutral), yet nothing happens.
Starting problems with your Dodge Ram 1500 can be caused by several issues as long as your truck is not out of gas.
In this post, we’ll look at the reasons your Dodge Ram 1500 won’t start. You will also discover how to fix these issues, so you no longer experience starting problems with your truck.
Reasons Your Dodge Ram 1500 Won’t Start (Plus Fixes)
1. Drained Battery
One of the most common reasons your Dodge Ram 1500 fails to start is when your battery is drained.
When you hear clicking sounds when attempting to start your Dodge Ram 1500, it shows the battery has little power, which is insufficient to run the starter.
Your vehicle’s battery drains easily when you leave the interior lighting, parking lights, radio, or any other consumer of electricity on for too long. When the battery drains beyond a particular point, it will no longer have the energy required to power the starter and crank your engine.
Therefore, recharge the battery using a charger, a pair of jumper cables, or a battery booster.
If you have done this, including turning every power drainer off, and still discover your battery keeps draining, it could only imply that the alternator has failed or a power leak exists within the system.
You can solve the power leak problem by getting a certified electrician to fix it. If the fault is from the alternator, you can change it easily at home, especially if you are a DIY enthusiast. If not, get a mechanic to swap the failed alternator with a new unit.
2. Bad Connectors and Corroded Terminals
Battery connector clamps could be secure and look fine at first glance. But corrosion may have formed between the clamps and battery terminal, resulting in a circuit break. You can restore the connection by cleaning off the deposits.
Start by removing the connectors, first the negative and then the positive. Check for grain deposits and green dust that may have accumulated on the connectors and battery terminals.
Get sandpaper and thoroughly clean the terminals and connectors until there are zero grain deposits or green dust. Then, reconnect the cables and try to start your Dodge Ram 1500 again.
If the starting problem persists and the connectors look worn out, replace the connectors.
3. Fuel Pump Issues
A leaking fuel pump or one that makes weird noises is about to fail. A defective fuel pump will not create the pressure required within the fuel system. This causes the engine to lose power suddenly or prevent your Dodge Ram 1500 from starting.
The faulty fuel pump may also cause the check engine light to illuminate your dash. But, again, you can confirm the condition of your fuel pump by getting your mechanic to check it out.
If your Dodge Ram 1500’s fuel pump is faulty, replace it immediately to restore your truck’s starting function.
4. Loose Battery Cables
Another reason you’re experiencing starting problems with your Dodge Ram 1500 may be due to loose battery cables. If your battery cables are loose, the connection will no longer be sufficient for transferring power, even if the battery is fully charged.
If you suspect the issue may be related to your battery, pop the hood of your truck in order to check the cables. Hold them and try to pry them off the terminals. If the cables move easily, it implies the connection is not secure.
Get a classic wrench to tighten the screws onto the terminals until they are no longer loose. Then try to start your Dodge Ram 1500. If your truck starts easily, you have solved the problem.
5. Ignition Switch Failure
Your Dodge Ram 1500 may not start due to ignition switch failure. The electric portion of your truck’s ignition switch may fail. When this happens, your vehicle will intermittently or permanently lose power to specific components and systems, depending on the ignition key’s position.
Accessories, such as the air conditioner may not turn on, and most importantly, your Dodge Ram 1500 may fail to start.
You can solve this problem by replacing the ignition switch as soon as possible.
6. Bad Starter
If the starter is bad, you will find it difficult to start your Dodge Ram 1500.
It doesn’t even matter if your vehicle’s battery is fully charged. A starter is an electric motor that utilizes electrical current, which causes the engine to get going. The engine runs fine when the fuel-air ignition occurs.
You can get your starter working again by using an unconventional method. Get a hammer and carefully tap the rear of the starter. This light action pushes the starter back into position, helping it to regain functionality.
However, it is not 100 percent guaranteed that this method will work. Therefore, replacing the bad starter with a new unit is the best way out.
7. Faulty Camshaft Position Sensor
When your vehicle’s computer senses your engine is out of time, it automatically switches on the check engine light. If the sensor is faulty, the truck’s engine will fail to start or even stall if it is in motion.
Even if your Dodge Ram 1500 runs, it will run poorly, and fuel mileage will be very poor. Replace the camshaft position sensor to eliminate your truck’s starting problem.
8. Defective Alternator
When a vehicle engine runs, the alternator takes over and recharges the battery. However, although this rarely happens, alternators can also fail. When this happens, you will start driving your Dodge Ram 1500 on power only.
In some cases, you may not notice this problem and even reach your destination with seemingly no issues aside from the check engine light illuminating your dash. But when you try restarting your vehicle, the battery no longer has enough juice to charge.
The best way out is by changing the alternator. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task, especially since you need to remove the serpentine belt. The latter is not easy to adjust, especially in modern automobiles. It will also require just the right amount of tension in order to function appropriately.
Leave the task to a certified mechanic who knows what they are doing and can replace the alternator with a brand-new unit.
9. Dead Key Fob
The Dodge Ram 1500 key fob, otherwise known as a hardware token, can become dysfunctional. As a result, it will no longer start your truck.
However, a compartment in the back of your key fob houses a traditional ignition key. Take the key and hold its bottom end against the engine ignition button. Next, press the brake and press the ignition button with the key.
Your Dodge Ram 1500 will recognize the key and start up immediately. You can replace the key fob battery and use the fob if one is nearby.
Different things can cause your Dodge Ram 1500 not to start. Fortunately, solving this problem is equally easy. Follow the suggestions highlighted in this article, and your vehicle will be as good as new.
However, if your Dodge Ram 1500 won’t start even after trying all these suggestions, get your vehicle to a certified mechanic to run proper diagnostics.