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Electrical system on ignition of handicap vehicle

Our son has a Dodge Grand Caravan modified vehicle. At times when he uses the switch for ignition, it does not start the car. We think there is an electrical problem somewhere. Can this be true? The battery is 75% charged. We don’t feel it is the battery. Thanks for any thoughts. Elizabeth

If the charge on the battery is really only 75% that is a problem and you should find out what is causing that trouble. There could also be more electrical problems with the starting system if the engine doesn’t crank at least a little bit. Unless someone knows how to work on these issues you should have a shop look into the problems. One of the most common causes of these problems is bad battery connections. Cleaning the connections may be all you need to do to solve the trouble.

Are you running the ramp out with the vehicle off? If so, don’t. It’s hard on the battery.

When you say “he uses the switch for ignition” does that mean that the vehicle does not start with a regular key, but has an accessible ignition control? If so, that’s most likely the problem. The conversion company will probably have to fix it.

Also, when you say it doesn’t start, you don’t say whether it cranks or not.

Thank you. we will check this out. Elizabeth

Our son is disabled and uses the modified vehicle. When he gets into the car in his wheelchair. He needs to get in before he can start the motor, therefore the motor isn’t running at that time. When he leaves the car, he leaves the motor running until the ramp is down.

Since he has limited dexterity, he uses a switch instead of a regular key. Yes he has accessible ignition control. That’s why we feel he has an ignition problem. The conversion company is IMS in Farmington, New Mexico. We looked to find a mechanic here who has a specialist who works on the Dodge conversion with the electrical system. We can see him about it. The car does not make any noise when the switch is used or when we use the key to start it either.

When looking into problems like this it is a good idea to eliminate the simple things first. Cleaning the battery connections should be the first thing to do in my book. Even if they look ok there can be a problem with the connections.

IMS has a good reputation. You should give them a call. They can probably point you to someone where your son lives who can look at the problem. Some of the conversion companies will even send a tech out to look. From your description, it sounds like a pretty simple loose wire in the accessible ignition module.

Since we live in Ohio, I don’t know that IMS is readily accessible. I will look it up though. Thank you for your help.