QUESTION: I have a 2005 grand caravan that suddenly would not start. When i try to start it there is a clicking sound under the EATX Shut Down Relay fuse in the fuse box under the hood. When I remove the fuse it stops but when I replace it with another fuse it clicks again...it still clicks after i remove the keys but the door is still open. In the past month it has stalled on me twice while driving but will restart after a few minutes or so. I have been having issues with my blinkers for about a year...they blink when they want to and sometimes when I switch the turn signal to go right...it will blink left. I am unsure if it is all connected but i feel that it is. I read one of your previous answers and jumped the van, because it will not start unless it is jumped and is even shaky after it starts. I then tried your turn on-off-on-off-then on and leave to see if there was a code to send to you and "don.E" popped up in the mileage area. I tried it twice to make sure and it was the same the second time.
Please let me know what you suggest.
ANSWER: Hi Jen, I am confused about whether the clicking is from the autoshut down relay, the etax relay, or the starter motor relay, and as well which fuse is nearest the clicking. I suspect that the clicking is actually one of the relays, probably the starter relay, as inside each relay is a spring-loaded set of electrical contacts that click both when turning on and less so when turning off. So feel the relay surfaces to find which one is clicking. Usually when clicking occurs when trying to start the vehicle it is due to the fact that the starter motor draws so much current when initiated that if the battery is weak the voltage output of the battery decreases simultaneously which causes the starter relay or the solenoid switch at the starter motor to release and thus the battery voltage rises again and the points close and you go through a repetitive close-open cycling while you have the key in the start position. The first thing to do then is recharge the battery with either a plug in charger or take the battery out and have it charged. If it is near the end of it s warranty life then it may very well need to be replaced, but try the charger if it is a relatively new battery. I don't comprehend what would be clicking when the key is out of the ignition switch and the door is open but again it could be a different relay in the box so touch all the relays to find the one with the most obvious touch-click. Stalling while driving could be any number of things but to then restart after a few minutes may be an indication that one of the two engine rotational sensors (one on the cam- the other on the crank-shaft) is beginning to break down when it gets warmed up, and then it recovers after it cools. But ideally a code would be set for which sensor is doing it. So next time it happens do the key jiggle and see if you can get a code # rather than a 'donE' which basically means there are no codes stored at this time. Blinkers are a separate issue from the above. I prefer to work on one problem at a time so take your pick, though clearly the starter motor/battery issue has to be resolved to go anywhere. Ideally we can resolve that and in the meantime keep checking for codes that may help on the other problems. Please 'rate' my answer (see below). Thanks, Roland
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QUESTION: The clicking is clearly under the EATX Shut down Relay in the fuse box under the hood. When I remove it...it stops but when I place another fuse in it it starts clicking again.
Hi Jen, The manual describes the etax relay as the 'control relay' rather than the 'shutdown relay' but setting aside that confusion are you then removing fuse 23 (10 amp) next to it to stop the clicking? And did you feel the relay to ascertain it is the relay that is clicking, because I don't believe there is any component that clicks 'under' the relay. And finally, does the click start when you turn the key to 'run' or only when you turn the key to 'start'. I presume that the clicking stop when you turn the key off, save for some clicking that occurs if the door is open, correct? Let me also say that I do believe the battery is weak, or possibly that you have a short circuit in the system that is dragging it down. But we have to be sure that the battery is charged and capable of putting out 12.5V and sufficient current to operate the starter motor before considering other possible explanations. So see what you can do for that issue. Perhaps a neighbor will have jumper cables and will jump power from their car's battery to your battery while their engine is running and you can then see if your starter will work or not. That would be another way to evaluate your battery situation. Roland