In this article, I am going to talk about the common causes of a Dodge Ram 1500 turning over but not starting, and how you can fix this problem. let’s get to it.
What It Means When Your Ram 1500 Turns Over But Doesn’t Start
In order for your Dodge Ram 1500 to start, it needs fuel, compression, and spark.
If your Dodge Ram 1500 turns over but doesn’t start, then you have a problem with one or more of these things.
It could be that your engine is not getting fuel, a spark problem, or a compression issue.
Below, will list the most common causes after working on a lot of Ram 1500s.
What Causes a Dodge Ram 1500 to Turn Over But Not Start?
From my personal experience as an auto technician, Here are some common causes of a Dodge Ram 1500 turning over but not starting:
The list below is from the most common to the least common.
1. Bad Starter Relay:
The most common cause of a Dodge Ram 1500 turning over but not starting is a bad starter relay.
The starter relay is responsible for connecting the battery to the starter motor when the ignition key is turned to the start position.
If this relay is bad, it may cause your Dodge Ram 1500 to turn over but not start.
This relay can be tested by checking the continuity between each pin and ground with an ohm meter.
If the relay shorts out when it is tested, then it needs to be replaced. 2. Bad Starter Motor:
2. Faulty Starter Motor:
The second most common cause of a Dodge Ram 1500 turning over but not starting is a bad starter motor.
If this happens, you will typically hear an audible clicking sound from under the hood when trying to start your vehicle but the pickup doesn’t start.
The starter motor is the device that spins your Dodge Ram 1500’s engine over when you try to start it.
The starter motor can wear out over time, or it may be damaged by some other incident.
If the problem is caused by a faulty starter then I recommend you to have it replaced by a qualified mechanic.
3. Bad Fuel Pump:
As I mentioned above in order for your Dodge Ram 1500 to start, it needs fuel.
If your fuel pump stops working, then you won’t be able to get any gas into the engine. A bad fuel pump can cause this problem.
The first thing I recommend that you do to check if the fuel pump on your Ram 1500 is working is to listen to the fuel pump when you turn the key on.
When you turn the key, you should hear a pump cycle noise that comes from the fuel pump.
If you don’t hear anything then it is likely that your Dodge Ram 1500 has a bad fuel pump.
If the pump is bad, the fix is to get the fuel pump replaced. This is a relatively easy job that you can do yourself.
4. Bad Crank Sensor:
The Crankshaft position sensor on your Ram 1500 is responsible for sensing the crankshaft position and relaying this information to the Electronic Control Module (ECM).
The ECM uses this data to determine if the engine is running or not.
If there is a problem with the crank sensor, it can cause your Ram 1500 not to start but turn over.
Since the crank sensor needs to operate at 100% capacity in order for your truck to run properly, you will need to replace the faulty sensor instead of attempting to repair it.
5. Low Battery Voltage:
The fifth most common reason why your Ram 1500 will not start is due to low battery voltage.
Since the battery has the role of supplying the starter with the required electricity to turn over the engine.
A high amount of Voltage is required when starting your Pickup.
If it is not charged or has been damaged due to age or use, it can cause your Ram 1500 to turn over but not start.
The Dodge Ram 1500 battery typically lasts anywhere between 3-5 years and if yours has been in use for more than 5 years, it is important to get it checked.
If the battery has reached its life cycle, you will need to get it replaced with a new one.
6. Worn Out Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are critical to your Dodge engine and their role is to ignite the fuel in your engine.
Over time spark plugs can become worn out and need to be replaced.
The lifespan of spark plugs varies depending on how often you use your Dodge Ram 1500 and other factors like driving conditions, but they usually last between 30,000-60,000 miles.
If the spark plugs are worn out or damaged due to age or use, they will not be able to carry out their function effectively and this can cause issues with starting your pickup truck.
The recommended way to check if your spark plugs need replacing is to check the gap in between the electrode and the ground electrode.
If the gap is too small, you will need to replace the spark plugs.
7. Bad Fuel Pump Relay:
The fuel pump relay is a small device that is located near the battery and it supplies power to your Dodge Ram 1500’s fuel pump.
If this relay has failed, you won’t be able to start your vehicle.
This relay can fail because of age or use, so if yours has stopped working, you will need to replace it.
If the fuel pump relay is bad then replacing it should solve the problem.
8. Failed Ignition Control Module:
Another reason that a Dodge Ram 1500 won’t start is that the ignition control module (ICM) has failed.
The firing of the ignition coil/s is controlled by the Ignition Control Module in order to generate the necessary voltage for the spark plugs to ignite the air/fuel mixture within the engine cylinder.
If the ICM fails, then the engine will not start.
The Ignition Control Module can be difficult to find. If you suspect that your ICM has failed, then you should have it tested before replacing it.
9. Failing Distributor Cap:
The distributor cap is a crucial component of the ignition system.
It distributes the high-voltage current from the coil to each spark plug at precisely the right moment, so that they all fire simultaneously.
If your Dodge Ram 1500 won’t start, then it may be because your distributor cap has failed and needs replacing.
Fortunately, the distributor cap can be rebuilt. if the distributor cap/rotor is damaged then you can save by having it rebuilt by a professional.
10. Bad Automatic Shutdown Relay (ASD)
The final reason why your Dodge Ram 1500 won’t start but turns over could be a bad automatic shutdown relay (ASD).
The function of the ASD relay is to provide the necessary 12-volt power to activate the vehicle’s injectors and ignition coils, which are responsible for fuel delivery and spark production.
These are common problems on Dodge Ram 1500s, and the relay can fail due to age or moisture intrusion over time.
The symptoms of a bad ASD relay are similar to those of a dead battery, as both can prevent your vehicle from starting.