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1998 Dodge Avenger will not crank?

already replaced the starter relay will not crank from the key but even when i jump the starter the car still wont start and the switch is in the on position i checked all the fuses and replaced the ecm any body have any ideas

Take a hammer and bang on the starter and then try starting the engine.

If the starter operates, the brushes in the starter are probably worn out.


Could be a bad ground either at the battery terminal, or where the cable attaches to the frame or motor. Could be a bad cable, easy way to check is to measure continuity from the battery post to the ground of the engine. Olden days the solenoid for the starter was a separate piece of hardware, could be a possibility, one can also have the starter bench tested.

First confirm that you have 12VDC on the starter assembly. Then, if the solenoid clicks when you turn the key but the starter motor never turns over, suspect the contacts first and the motor second.

When the solenoid activates, one of the things it does is close two contacts that enable the starter circuit. Every time it does this, a small arc occurs. Over time the contacts can fry (coat with carbon) and no longer be able to enable the circuit (turn on the starter motor). This entire assembly (generally referred to as the Bendix assembly) can be removed and readily bench tested. If on the bench you have no continuity or high resistance to the motor with 12VDC applied to the assembly, the contacts are cooked. If you do have voltage to the motor, the motor itself is shot.

Motors are not designed to be shop repaired, so at that point you need a new motor. Possible modes of failure include worn out brushes/scored armature segments, failed and shorting coil winding insulation, and worn out bearings. IMHO it’s foolhearty to attempt to rebuild a motor this old in the shop. You should be able to get a “core charge” from the parts supplier.

We know that the starter motor cranks the engine because when we jump the solenoid it will turn it over. We in this with the key on the on position and the car would not start. The ignition switch is working because when we turn the key to the start position we can hear the starter relay will click.

"when we jump the solenoid it will turn it over"
Perhaps when you’re jumping the solenoid you’re also jumping the contacts in the Bendix assembly and that’s what’s bad. My guess is that the contacts in the assembly are fried. I suspect that clicking is actually the solenoid activating rather than the starter relay.

I can put my finger on the relay as I turn the key because it is right behind the radio. Plus with the key on and me jumping the starter the car should start but it does. It will just crank.

“car should start but it doesn’t”

I respect that English may not be your first language, but please understand that I’m having difficulty understanding your descriptions. I ask your tolerance.

It sounds like you may have two problems.
(1) the starter doesn’t turn the crankshaft when you turn the key, and
(2) if you “jump” the car, the starter will turn the crankshaft but the engine doesn’t start.

Is this a correct description?

Remove the starter relay and check for power to the relay on pin 30 as shown on the top of the relay or in the image below.

Is this auto manual transmission?

I am sorry MountainBike for the bad english but busy running a shop no time to check for correct english. I would have assumed that if I say the starter is turning over it would be turning the crank also since this is a car talk and we all should have the sense to know how starters work. I am modifing your number 2. When I JUMP the STARTER meaning I jump the ignition wire to the positive on the solinoid on the starter turns and also turns the WHOLE engine over. This is all done with the ignition in the on position. But still will not start.

I will check that out Nevada and get back with you. This is an auto and have already checked the neutral safety switch if that what you were thinking.

I am sorry MountainBike for the bad english but busy running a shop no time to check for correct english.

Not an automotive repair shop I hope.

I’d go with bad ignition switch.

I see now why I never use these kind of sites. Just a bunch of critics and no real ideas. Do not think I would have been on here if it was as simple as an ignition switch. Thanks though.

Actually the folks on this board have plenty of good ideas on car problems. First, they must understand what the problem is. And, we didn’t until a recent posting.

I find in my own life that at times I will think I am making sense, and don’t. No insult intended by anyone here as far as I can tell.

If there is no power at the starter relay on pin 30 check the cartridge fuse #3 (30A) in the fuse box next to the air cleaner.

If there is power connect a jumper from pin 30 to pin 87 (pin 30 to pin 87A for those with a manual transmission, this is why it is important to know the engine/transmission configuration). If it will crank the relay failed. If it won’t crank test for power to the starter solenoid.