Van won't start, short circuit? bad relay of some kind?

Asked by Jun 16, 2012 at 08:22 AM about the 2004 Chrysler Town & Country Touring

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

i have a 2005 Town & Country that now won't turn over.  When I just turn the key to the on position (not even to start) the gauges flip around, the odo flashes intermittently as if there's some kind of short, and i can hear a regular, repetitive clicking from an area behind the battery that sounds like an electrical relay of some sort trying to engage but failing.  Short history that may be related:  I recently replaced the blower motor resistor since the AC blower would stop after about 10 min of driving.  (Btw, replacing the resistor worked for a while, then failed again, so something else is going on).  I had disconnected the battery when I replaced the resistor and then 5 days later the car wouldn't start.  It's 2 year old battery, so I assumed there was corrosion on the terminal and I had not reconnected it tightly enough.  At that time, a quick jumpstart got it going again. A couple days later, it wouldn't start again, would only "click" when turning the key (e.g. starter solenoid).  Now, it won't even do that, just this repetitive relay sound and the "short-circuit" appearance on the gauges/readouts.  Ideas?  At least it's in my garage!

1 Answer

18,340

Well, Fords are my thing, but I'll add my two cents to get you started. Make sure the battery has the proper charge. Since you had to jump start it once, I'd begin there. I don't know if the clicking noise is the solenoid or not. On Fords it indicates a low battery or bad solenoid. How are the other electrical components of the vehicle working with the engine not running and the key is the accessory/run position. Headlights bright? Radio work property? Horn blows loud? If the battery is bad or discharged have it checked. Then start checking for any shorts you may have caused during service of any area involving electrical connections.

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