Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Difficulty starting after a few days of rain

Regarding a '97 Dodge Caravan, after a few days of rain, I’ve been having trouble starting the starter motor. After turning the ignition key, the starter clicks once. After the second and following tries, the starter chatters just like it sounds if the battert connections are poor.

Finally, the starter makes good connection and the engine turns over rapidly. Subsequently the engine starts throughout the day just fine. If the car sits out in the rain overnight and then I try to start it, the same problems repeats. If we don’t have rain overnight, the car starts much faster. If I have several clear days, it starts without any problems.

This problem started when the Bay Area rains started a week ago or so. I personally think that the starting solenoid electrical contacts are getting weak. The engine I have is the middlesized V-6. I’d appreciate any help.

I would have the battery load tested and clean the battery terminals for a start before getting into starter solenoid contacts; which means a starter replacement of course.

Rainy cooler weather means a colder engine, thicker oil, etc. and this puts more of a drain on the battery so eliminate the battery/cable end issue first.