Where is the 2008 Dodge Caravan starter relay location?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: Where is the 2008 Dodge Caravan starter relay location? We will explain what the starter relay is, what is its primary function, how to test and repair it if needed. 

Where is the 2008 Dodge Caravan starter relay location?

The location of the starter relay on a 2008 Dodge Caravan is in the fuse box of the vehicle, below the engine, mounted on the transmission housing. If your 2008 Dodge Caravan starter has been causing problems (or it doesn’t seem like working at all), you can change it yourself or you can take your car to an authorized mechanic. 

How does the 2008 Dodge Caravan starter work?

When the driver activates the car’s key switch in the start position, it sends an electrical voltage to the starter motor. This voltage, via the solenoid, establishes the main power supply to the electric motor through a large section cable (16 to 35 mm2) connected to the battery.

As the starter begins to rotate, the solenoid parallel actuates the fork in translation, causing the movement of the freewheel and its pinion, which meshes with the teeth of the flywheel, integral with the crankshaft. The heat engine is driven.

Focus on the starter operation. The starter is an auxiliary electric motor whose role is to drive the engine to start it. The starter can be broken down into 3 functional groups:

  1. The main electric motor is the main and imposing part of the device, it is this which drives the thermal engine of the car. To ensure the rotation of the motor at a minimum speed of 300 rpm, it is oversized and consumes a lot of energy: it absorbs an electrical intensity of 300 to 600 amperes for a light vehicle;
  1. The solenoid is a specific integrated relay which enables the remote starter to be activated by the key switch.
  1. The mechanical system consists of a fork integral with the solenoid, actuating a freewheel on the starter shaft attached to a pinion (a system similar to the rear pinion of a bicycle).

Faults in the vehicle starter relay

The starter relay is one of the most important parts of cars. Its function, as an electrical part, is to redirect the energy from the starter battery to the engine so that it begins to rotate. In good condition, this part completes the circuit that allows a vehicle to be turned on and off by turning the key.

Given its importance, it is unlikely to fail but, like all vehicles, it is prone to wear and tear and should be treated or replaced with care. It is not advisable to leave their care to a mechanic who is not a professional.

Here are some symptoms that this part is failing:

  1. The car won’t start. When this happens, the most obvious thing is that the starter relay has a problem in the circuit that connects the part. If it is not completely malfunctioning, a click will be heard when turning the key or pressing the Start / Stop button.
  1. The starter motor keeps turning after the machine is started. After turning the key or pushing the button the circuit is supposed to be closed, if the starter remains on after the engine has been started, the main contacts on the starter relay have most likely been soldered together at the closed position. This must be remedied immediately or it could cause premature wear to other engine parts.
  1. Intermittent start-up. This part can be damaged by excessive heat and dirt, causing the engine to not start until a second or third attempt. Many times this problem is due to a bad connection between the cables or because they are making good contact due to debris.

How do I know that my 2008 Dodge Caravan starter is failing and how to fix it?

Here’s how to test a 2008 Dodge Caravan starter:

  1. Identify starter failure symptoms. A failure that could result in the starter may show the following symptoms:
  • The engine speed at start-up is insufficient
  • The battery is insufficiently charged or defective.
  • The electric starter motor is damaged or its contact brushes worn.
  • Starter makes only a click

If the starter is the cause, its solenoid is defective.

  • There is no motor rotation and no audible noise
  • The solenoid power supply is faulty (see the key switch and the power wire).
  • If the battery indicator light weakens, the responsible party may be the starter motor, the battery or the starter motor power cables (the cable of the battery’s + terminal, not forgetting the earth cable connected to the body and to the engine unit). box).
  1. Check the battery. Before pursuing further investigations, checking the battery is the first operation to perform. Using a multimeter connected to its terminals, read its voltage, which should not be less than 13 volts. Otherwise, charge or replace it.
  1. Check the solenoid power. Connect a warning light between the arrival of the power wire at the solenoid and a previously tested ground (motor body or battery ground terminal). Activate the ignition key. If the light remains off, the starter is not the cause of the failure. Check the power fuse, key switch and power line (there are often intermediate connectors on this line that may be the cause). If the light comes on, the starter motor, or its main power supply, is the cause.
  1. Check the main power supply to the starter. Check the condition of the battery terminals and, if they are sulphated, clean them with water and scrape their surface using a metal blade or a specific tool of cleaning.

Check the tightness and condition of the positive cable connection to the solenoid. Check the ground line: in an automobile, the return of current is through the structure of the vehicle (hence the expression “ground”). The powertrain, a source of parasitic vibrations, is connected to the car’s chassis by silent blocs which electrically isolate it.

There are therefore braids or earth cables that connect the engine to the battery and to the body. It is therefore important to make sure that these lines are in good condition, which guarantee the correct operation of the starter. If these checks are good, consider removing the starter.

  1. Remove the starter and validate your diagnosis.  Before replacing the starter or disassembling it, test it once it has been removed (immobilize it by putting its nose in a vice):
  • Connect jumper cables between the battery and the starter (+ on the solenoid connection and – on the starter earth).
  • Supply the + of the solenoid control by a jumper wire connected to the battery.
  • You should normally see the same malfunctions as with the starter in place on the vehicle.

Conclusions and final advice

Consult your owner’s manual for the location of your starter relay. It can be attached to the fender as well, or on a bracket mounted somewhere near the battery case. Some relays can be wired into the main panel of the fuse box, and they will be identified by a diagram marked on the inside of the fuse box cover. 

Disconnect the relay and spray carburettor cleaner at the contacts, then reinstall it. If it is still not functional, use another relay from the fuse array that has the same slot setting and amperage, or install a new relay in the socket slot. If the vehicle starts, the relay is short.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ about the 2008 Dodge Caravan starter relay

How to know if the starter relay fails?

Here are some symptoms that this part is failing: The car won’t start. When this happens, the most obvious thing is that the starter relay has a problem in the circuit that connects the part. If it is not completely malfunctioning, a click will be heard when turning the key or pressing the Start / Stop button.

What if the relay fails?

If you try to start your car and the starter does not engage instantly, but you turn the key switch one more time and it works, it is most likely due to a problem with the relay.

What is the relay in a car?

The relay fulfills an essential function in the electrical system of a vehicle. The relay is a switch that controls the passage of electrical current, thus allowing the various car accessories to work only when necessary.

What is the lifespan of a relay?

Typically, in electromechanical relay catalogs, manufacturers indicate a contact life of 10,000,000 operations, but this number of operations refers to no-load use.


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