Solved. A solution for a dodge that will click but won’t turn over.

Problem Description

The dodge W-200 wouldn’t turn over after turning the key, you would hear one click of the solenoid, then nothing. After turning the key 20-30 times, it would finally catch, and the starter would engage and the engine would turn over.

After that point, as long as it was warmed up, it would start normally. It seemed to be at least partially temperature related, since it was fine in the summer, but became an issue when the temperature dropped below about 25 deg. F. The colder it got, the more key turns it would take to finally ‘catch’. One time it was about -10 F, and it must have required over 100 tries…

The things to check:

  1. Starter connections.
  2. Battery.
  3. Grounding Cable.

Starter Connections

The starter is about a year or 2 old, so I didn’t suspect that to be the problem; however, I did check all the connections to the starter to make sure they were tight and not all corroded. Those looked fine.

I then moved on to the battery.


The battery is at least 4 years old, so this was perhaps suspect. The only thought I had here was that once it did catch, it would start without issue. The battery seemed more than capable after that point.


I checked the battery clamps. They looked solid and relatively clean, but there was a bit of corrosion.

I removed them and cleaned both the battery terminal posts and the cable clamps thoroughly with a wire brush and some sand paper.

Ground Cable

The ground cable, running from the negative battery terminal to the engine block, is very important. If this cable gets broken, corroded, or otherwise has poor continuity, this will have a negative effect on the ability to start the vehicle.

So I moved on to checking the grounding wire. This area was suspect, since the point where the ground cable attaches to the engine block was all oily.


A big red flag…

The cable connection was removed, and both it and the engine block connection point were thoroughly cleaned with a wire brush, some sand paper, and a rag.

ground wire cleaned

Then everything was re-assembled.


The engine started on the first crank. I believe the source of the problem was the compromised grounding cable connection at the engine block due to the excess oil in this region.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, I hope you find this helpful.

Check out this post on how to replace the starter in a Dodge 318.