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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

88 Dodge Mini Ram Van, Battery Problems
Q: I stopped to pick someone up, turned off the engine on my '88 Dodge Mini Ram Van and turned on my four ways but when I tried to start the van, it wouldn't start. So I got someone to jump start it, but once I let off the gas, the engine died and would not restart. So the guy left the cables on and let it "charge up the battery" and it started again with the same problem except it would start again each time but would not hold the charge. So I took the battery out and recharged it on my battery charger but it wouldn't start the van when I hooked it back up. Someone told me it could be the sensor, the battery, the alternator or the alternator belt. Jeez, I am confused. Can you tell me what it could be by my description of the problem? I don't know whether to buy a battery, alternator or what else. Any help would be greatly appreciated......Signed Baffled and Confused

A: It doesn't matter whether your vehicle was built and 1938 or 1988, a sound battery and electrical connections are what's needed to make a starter work. Once the vehicle is running it is up to the charging system to replenish the battery and maintain the vehicle's electrical system. You may have two different problems, a battery problem and charging system problem. But never jump to any conclusions. Replacing parts on a guess nowadays is too expensive. Be sure the battery that you are installing is fully charged and that the connections to the starter are clean and free of corrosion. If the vehicle still doesn't start, you may be better off having a technician diagnose the condition so you can perform the proper repairs. Once the vehicle is running have the condition of your charging system checked.

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