Dodge Journey Won’t Start: Simple Guide to Causes and Fixes

Your Dodge Journey won’t start because it’s experiencing faults such as a clogged gasoline filter, a failed spark plug, or other car issues.

Dodge Journey Won’t Start

In this complete guide, you will learn why Dodge vehicles may not start when the ignition is turned on and how to fix the issue, so let’s start with the causes!

What Are the Reasons Why Your Dodge Journey Won’t Start?

The reasons your Dodge Journey won’t start are a damaged car battery, a failing alternator, a defective starter, a corroded battery, and a clogged gasoline filter. Other possible causes include a faulty pump, a blown fuse, rodent damage, and bad spark plugs.

– Damaged Car Battery

Your car won’t start if you have a damaged or dead battery. If you have a dead battery, you won’t hear any sounds when you use the key normally inside the ignition. In most cases, weather-related issues drain a car battery. If the car battery is affected by extreme heat or cold, it can destroy or kill the battery and prevent your vehicle from starting.

Once you suspect the battery may be damaged or dead, you should confirm by testing the battery. Use a multimeter or hydrometer to check the DC voltage of the battery. If the reading is less than 1 volt for a 9-volt battery, it means the battery is dead.

– Failing Alternator

If you have inspected the battery and discovered that it isn’t the source of the problem, the next component to check is the alternator. The alternator is an integral component of the vehicle’s internal combustion engine that charges the battery while the engine runs. The alternator converts chemical energy to electrical energy for charging and replenishing the vehicle’s battery and other electrical components.

Thus, if the alternator stops working, the battery will eventually die. You can test if your vehicle’s alternator works using a multimeter to measure the battery’s voltage while the engine runs. If the multimeter gives a low voltage, the alternator is not working correctly.

– Defective Starter

Another reason why your car will refuse to start is if the starter is defective. The starter is the component that turns the engine over when you use the ignition. Although the average lifespan of a starter motor is between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, it can break down if the vehicle has been used for a long time.

Causes of Dodge Journey Won’t Start

You can test if your starter is in good condition by using a multimeter to measure the voltage of the starter with the key in the start position. If the multimeter reads a low voltage, the starter is failing and should be fixed soon. Also, you can detect a bad starter if the key makes a clicking sound when you turn it to start the engine.

– Blocked Fuel Filter

The gasoline filter is the vehicle component that prevents dirt and rust particles from mixing with the fuel so they don’t damage the engine. Although the filter doesn’t wear out like other mechanical parts, it can become clogged by dirt, dust, or airborne particles. When these materials block the filter, its permeability will drastically reduce. Thus, the fuel pressure will reduce as well.

While the engine can still work if the gasoline filter is clogged, there is a stage where the filter gets too dirty and the engine won’t function correctly. A dirty filter often causes ignition difficulty because it depletes the fuel supply going into the engine. In some cases, the blocked gasoline filter will cause the engine not to start when the key is turned in the ignition.

– Defective Fuel Pump

The fuel pump of your Dodge vehicle is responsible for conveying the right amount of fuel to the engine at a certain pressure. So, if the pump fails, the engine will not start. One of the common causes of pump failure is wear and contamination. Also, if a power contact is broken or the pump lever is damaged, the pump will malfunction.


However, before the pump stops working, it will give you signs. Symptoms like the engine breaking down regularly, the car experiencing difficulty starting, and the engine jerking indicate that you have a failing pump, which you should fix immediately.

– Corroded Battery

If there is corrosion on your battery’s contacts, it can lead to loss of contact and reduced current flow, affecting the engine’s operation. The engine will no longer start properly when a battery has become corroded. Corrosion on the battery can prevent the engine from starting when the key is turned in the ignition.

Corroded Car Battery

To test if a corroded battery is causing the vehicle’s starting problems, you should investigate the battery’s contacts. Next, raise the rubber covers on the battery terminals and check for signs of corrosion. If you see white or silvery-green deposits on the terminals, that strongly indicates corrosion.

– Defective Remote Car Starter Battery

If your Dodge Journey uses a push start/stop button to turn on the ignition and is not starting, the problem may be due to a weak key fob battery. A weak battery renders the key fob inoperative and cannot start the vehicle. More so, if the battery is weak, the door will stop opening or closing at the push of a button.

Nevertheless, you can still start the vehicle because the battery only transmits the signal for locking and unlocking. The car must be started manually using the key, and the same applies to the doors.

– Damaged Fuse

Sometimes, a damaged fuse could be why your Dodge Durango is not starting when you turn the key. If one or more fuse inside the box is blown, the engine will not start. This is because fuses limit the electrical current flowing through wires to protect specific components. In other words, the fuse box protects the electronics within the vehicle.

If the fuse has a problem, it could affect the ignition relay, which is located inside the fuse box. The ignition relay transfers electricity from the battery to the ignition components so that you can start the car quickly, so it would help if you inspected all the fuses inside the fuse box for signs of damage.

– Bad Spark Plugs

Spark plugs provide the spark of electricity that ignites the combustion needed to start the vehicle. If the spark plugs are inoperative or damaged, the car will not start. Typically, the spark plugs are not affected by a defect. Instead, the problem lies with the plug connections on the ignition system.

If any plug connections come loose, the vehicle will not start, and the only remedy is to tighten it. Defective or failed spark plugs will prevent the car from starting, so they should be fixed.

How To Fix Your Dodge Journey’s Starting Problem?

You can fix your Dodge Journey’s starting problem by changing the alternator, installing a new battery, cleaning corrosion from the battery, and changing the starter. Other remedies to the problem are cleaning the gasoline filter, replacing the filter, and installing new spark plugs.

– Change the Alternator

To fix a defective alternator, discard it and replace it with a new one. First, disconnect the battery and loosen the bolts that hold the alternator in place to replace the failing alternator. Take out the old alternator and install the new unit in its place. Then reconnect the battery and start the ignition to check if the alternator works correctly.

– Install a New Battery

If your car battery is dead, jumpstarting won’t work. Your only option is replacing it with a new battery. You can carry out the replacement yourself by using a socket wrench set and screwdriver. First, locate the battery under your vehicle’s hood to perform this operation.

Solutions for Dodge Journey Not Starting

After that, disconnect the negative and positive cables from the battery’s terminals. While doing this, ensure both terminals don’t touch each other because it will cause an electrical spark. Next, gently remove the old battery then install the new unit by connecting the cables to the battery. Test the battery by starting the engine.

– Remove Corrosion From the Battery

To fix a corroded battery, you will have to remove the corrosion from the battery. This will require you to remove the poles from the battery. The first step is to unplug the black cable from the negative pole and remove the red positive pole cable. After removing the battery, you can start cleaning the terminals.

As a precaution, when using metal pliers to remove a cable from the pole clamp, ensure you don’t touch any other vehicle parts. Once you clean the terminals, reconnect the battery and test it.

– Install New Spark Plugs

You’ll need to replace bad spark plugs with new ones for the engine to start. To replace the spark plug, first remove the plug wire and the coil-on-plug (COP) attached to the spark plug end. Next, unscrew the plug with a spark plug socket. Put the new spark plug in place and reconnect the plug wires and COP. Start the engine to test the spark plug.

– Change the Starter Motor

If the starter is the reason why your vehicle is not starting, then you should replace it with a new one. You will need a socket set and ratchet to remove the starter from the car. The first step is disconnecting the negative battery cable so you won’t experience any electrical shock while working on the starter. Then locate the starter, usually near the front of the engine on the passenger side.

After locating the starter, use the socket to loosen the two bolts holding it. Then carefully pull out the old starter from the engine and install the new starter in its place. Retighten the bolts to secure the starter and reconnect the negative battery cable. Test the new starter by turning the key in the ignition.

– Fix the Gasoline Filter

You can fix a dirty gasoline filter by cleaning it. To clean the filter, you must first locate it because the location varies for different vehicles. Also, ensure no fuel is exposed to the spray by using a clamp on the hose. Place a container under the filter to catch all the remaining fuel.

Insert a hose inside the detached filter and spray it with a special liquid so everything inside flows out. After spraying, dry the filter for about an hour, then install it back into position. However, cleaning is no longer possible if the filter is fully clogged. You will have to replace it.

Frequently Asked Question

– Can a Dodge Journey Be Manually Started?

Yes, a Dodge Journey can be manually started if the fob is dead. Turn the fob over to reveal a latch at the top back of the fob. Slide the latch to the side to remove the key and use the key you removed to unlock the door.

After that, place the key’s fob on the start button. Push the key in and press the brake to start your vehicle.
When it comes to resetting your Dodge vehicle, turn the key inside the ignition to the on position and, within ten seconds, press down the gas pedal three times. This will clear the warning message and reset the vehicle. Be careful not to press the brake pedal while performing this operation.

Dodge Journey Not Starting Solved

Can a Powertrain Malfunction Cause My Dodge Journey to Not Start?

A powertrain malfunction can indeed prevent your Dodge Journey from starting. Whether it’s due to a faulty transmission, engine, or other powertrain component, fixing powertrain malfunctions is crucial to restore functionality. Proper diagnosis by a qualified mechanic is necessary to identify the root cause and undertake the appropriate repairs. Don’t delay getting professional help to resolve the issue promptly.


Having read through this guide, you should know why your Dodge Journey refuses to start and how to fix the problem.

Here’s a summary of what we have discussed:

  • The remedy for a dead or damaged battery is to replace it with a new unit.
  • A failing alternator will keep the vehicle from starting, so you should replace it with a new one.
  • A defective starter will cause the vehicle to produce clicking noises when the key is turned in the ignition, and it should be replaced with a new one.
  • You can fix a clogged gasoline filter by cleaning out the dirt or replacing it with a new unit.

With the tips we’ve covered, you can fix any of these common issues and help your Dodge Journey start today!

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