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HOw to start my car without the key

I have a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country that will not start - the battery is fine but the darn thing won’t turn over and start. I have read how to hotwire and would like to try starting my car that way but am worried that I might make the situation worse. Is it possible to hotwire a 2002 model by connecting the “red” wires and then touching the “brown” wire to that connection or does it have too much anti-theft stuff on it. I just want it to run a little longer before I get rid of it so I don’t want to pay to get it fixed.


sounds crazy to me. How can you move the shift lever or the steering wheel without the key?

I think he means he has the key, but it won’t crank and so he wants to hot wire the starter. On an older car, this can be an okay diagnostic technique (and I’ve owned a car or two with funny start buttons in lieu of bad ignition switches), but I think even without considering the anti-theft system, it’s asking for trouble on a newer car. There’s safer ways to diagnose this problem and any I have a feeling that the loss in resale value due to Mickey-Mouse starting setups will exceed the repair costs of fixing it right.

If it is indeed the case that you can turn the key, but the starter wont engage you could try jumping the solenoid. You do this going under the hood and finding the starter solenoid, and connecting a jumper from the positive battery terminal to the hot lead on the solenoid. You have to be careful that the vehicle is in park/neutral (if it’s manuel). This will not work if it has anti-theft cause the fuel injectors won’t turn on. In summery: Turn the vehicle to the on position with the key and then jump the starter. Be carfull of moving parts. You may want to use an alligator clip on the starter, and just touch the other end to the battery. Good luck. Post back if you have any more questions and to let me know if it worked.

You may damage the ignition switch. It is easily replaced. Try tapping the battery cable ends or try to turn them at the battery. If they move, it might be enough to make the engine turn with the key. If the battery terminals are dirty, there may still be no power at the starter even if you hot wire. Cold wire?

How can you jury-rig a two-part system (the starting system) when you don’t know which part isn’t working ---- the starter MOTOR circuit, or the starter SOLENOID circuit?
Hot-wiring involves bypassing the section of the circuit which isn’t working, and you don’t know WHICH that is. Is it the ignition switch? The neutral safety switch? The starter relay (if it has one)? The anti-theft system? The starter solenoid? The starter motor?
You have to know WHERE to break into a circuit, and where to bypass, to hot-wire the starting system.
You could (I mean, one could) find where the circuit if faulty by just replacing parts, or using a multimeter and wiring diagram. One way is expensive and time / labor intensive; the other is expedient and (relatively) inexpensive.

No, you’ll need to find out the real problem. You need a voltmeter, and start checking out where you do and don’t get 12V when you try to start.

I always get a laugh out of all the ‘hot wiring’ on TV shows these days, just rip some wire out from under the dash, touch a couple together, and off you go! No problem with the steering column lock, etc, etc, etc…