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2014 Ram 1500 3.6L V6, 4X4 Crew Cab: Will not crank even though battery seems to be in good shape

I purchased this Ram 1500 truck about 1.5 months back, from CarMax with about 20k miles. Beautiful vehicle; everything has been great until this morning when I tried to start the vehicle using the remote start feature. Yup, the remote start failed to crank the starter and get the vehicle started. Next, I got into the car and tried starting the car with the key fob. This failed too. Upon trying to start numerous times, I only heard clicking sounds from the engine compartment, but nothing else. Note: all the other lights in the car, including the radio etc. seemed to operate normally. Also, the charging system light and SERV 4WD came on. I waited about 2 minutes and tried to restart the truck using the fob. This time, the truck started! However, the charging system light and SERV 4WD stayed on. Next, I drove the truck around the block just to see if it does so without stalling. That short drive was fine. But when I brought it back to the driveway and turned it off, I have not been able to restart the car since. The AAA guys came to jump-start the truck. They said the battery looked fine but somehow the ignition key was not being “recognized” by the system. Since AAA roadside assistance could not start the car, we towed the truck to our local mechanic.

The local mechanic tried a number of things but was not able to get the car started either. He also indicated that the battery looked fine since the voltage seemed to be at 12. At this point, the mechanic suggested I take the truck to a Dodge Ram dealership. Since then I have had the truck towed to the World Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram, here in Shrewsbury, NJ. So, now I am waiting for that much dreaded call from the dealership’s service department.
It’s a beautiful vehicle; but this is worrisome behavior.

What do you think is going on with this truck? Is this problem relatively common with this make and model year? Appreciate insights and advice. Thanks in advance.

This is under warranty, right? If so, let the dealership fix it.

Bisbonian, thanks for your response. Yes, it should be under basic warranty.

Afermarket or oem remote start? Possibility you ahve 2 batteries?

Concur, best to let the dealership handle this under warranty.

If you’ll allow me to venture a guess on what’s causing this problem, I think you have some issue with the battery or charging system going on. Just b/c the battery measure 12 volts with the engine off doesn’t mean it is working properly. In fact fully charged batteries usually measure between 12.5 and 12.9 volts with the engine off. My Corolla’s measures 12.6 volt with the engine off. The only way to test a battery’s ability to crank the engine is what is called a load test.

With the engine running, the battery voltage should measure higher than with the engine turned off, in the 13.5 to 15 volts range. On some newer vehicles using computerized battery management algorithms, even to 16 volts at times.

If it isn’t the battery/charging system, then next in line of suspicion would be the key fob gadgets or their associated in-car circuitry.

You might ask your dealerhips their opinion on the Service 4WD warning light. I’d be inclined to defer that until the charging and starting problem has been resolved, as that might cause the 4WD warning light to go off.

Usually, if the problem is with the vehicle not recognizing the key fob, the vehicle will crank and start but die in a couple of seconds. I think something else is going on. A fully charged battery measures 12.6 volts; at 12.0 volts, the battery is less than 50% charged.

Barkydog, NYBo, GeorgeSanJose - Thanks very much for all your input. I am still yet to hear back from the dealership. I will get back to all of you with what I hear back. Thanks again.

I don’t know how the security functions on the car so that may be causing the trouble. From the description of the trouble that you stated it sounds like the battery connection to the starter has a problem. There also seems to something going on with the charging system possibly.

Brief update…I called World Jeep service today to check on the status of the truck. They said it is the starter, and it should be taken care of tomorrow. I plan to ask for more details when I am there to pick up the truck. Thanks all.

Barkydog - The remote starter is OEM. Thanks.

Update…Got the truck back from the dealership today. Below is what it says on the invoice:-

“-Starter has internal open.
-Checked for power and ground at starter, both are good.
-Checked for signal from TIPM. Signal was good.
-Starter has internal open, needs replacement.
-Removed and replaced starter.
-Turned key, vehicle started.”

Drove truck back home. It has been about 15 miles since. Things seem to be okay.

Thank you all for your involvement and comments. Let me know if you need further info.


Sounds good to me, We appreciate updates :smiley:

Glad you got your truck back on the road and starting reliably. Did the shop have any explanations for the charging system and 4WD warning lights on the dashboard? I wouldn’t expect a starter motor open-circuit problem to turn on either of those warning lights.

GeorgeSanJose - Thanks for your inquiry. No, the dealer did not mention any of that. However, as you can imagine none of those lights are showing now. Any suggestions what i should be looking for?

The warning lights are tied into the alternator exciter circuit. This is so they can go into a TEST mode when the ignition is turned on. If the trouble comes back then the alternator should be checked out.