Dodge Challenger Won’t Start


Today I tried to use the remote start and my Dodge Challenger but the engine would not crank over and turn on. The key FOB unlocked the doors but when I went to start the car the motor would not fire.

It sounds like the starter activates because when I attempt to start up the vehicle I hear a clunk sound. The overhead lights turn on but the gauge cluster intermittently illuminates or flickers.

The battery in the car is the factory stock battery. I believe it last like 5 years. It measures 12.3 volts. I tried to jump start the Challenger but that didn’t work either. What are some things that would prevent a Dodge Challenger to start up and begin to run?

I have a 2017 Dodge Challenger R/T Coupe with 8-cylinder 5.7-liter engine.

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Vernon 3 years 2021-01-21T19:05:25+00:00 6 Answers 4130 views Beginner 4

Answers ( 6 )


    Dodge Challenger Won’t Start

    Dodge Challenger has been around for seven decades and represents the epitome of American ‘muscle car’. Given its legacy, Dodge Challenger is a reliable car. Industry experts have hailed its built quality and drive. But the complex mélange of moving parts and an intricate web of connected mechanisms sometime fizzle the optimal operation of the car. This article list the most commonly-faced issues of the Dodge Challenger pertaining to its starting; their diagnosis and a few simple tips and tricks to fix those.

    Starting issue can be as simple as a dead key fob and as complicated as an engine failure. Let’s go through the problems in order of their complexity so that you can get a complete idea as to why your Dodge Challenger won’t start.

    Weak Key Fob Battery

    Newer models of Dodge Challenger come with a key fob and a start/stop button. The key fob battery weakens with excessive usage and fails to disable the immobilizer. You’ll have to open the doors manually but what about starting the car with a weak key fob battery.

    You can start your Challenger by placing the key fob as close to the start/stop button as possible. The immobilizer is signaled by a passive transponder, which doesn’t need any dedicated power source. By keeping the key fob closer to the start/stop button, the passive transponder has a greater chance to catch signals from the key fob and disable the immobilizer.

    Weak Battery

    If your Challenger keeps cranking but doesn’t start, it probably has something to do with the battery. The 12v battery is usually a trustworthy companion but can enervate over time. If your Dodge Challenger is new, its battery may have yet to reach its full capacity. This isn’t alarming as it takes a fair amount on mileage on the odometer to get a fair amount of charge in the battery.

    It is always appropriate to test the voltage on the battery. This can be done so using a multimeter. Set the voltage range on the multimeter and connect it with plus and minus nodes on the battery. If the reading on your 12v battery returns with 12 to 13 volts, it signifies that the battery has enough charge to crank start the engine. If it isn’t i.e. below 11.5 or higher than 13.5, then you may require expert evaluation of the battery.

    Meanwhile, you can jumpstart your Dodge Challenger. Jumpstarting requires jumper cables and a healthy battery from another car or a battery booster. Jumpstarting is a fastidious routine, so you’ll need to be particularly careful. Connect the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of your Challenger’s dead battery, then to the positive terminal of donor battery. Next, connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of donor battery, then to the bare metal in the engine bay of your Challenger. Start the donor vehicle and then your Challenger. Once your Challenger revs into life,  start removing the cables in reverse order.

    Corrosive Battery Connectors

    Corrosion, carbon and chalk deposits on the battery connectors tend to reduce current flow. Check for corrosion or white or silvery deposits on the connectors and clean them with a brush. Start by removing the cable from the negative pole. Use rubber-grip pliers if it is too tight. Then, unplug the cable from positive pole. Once the battery is disconnected from the circuit, start cleaning the corroded poles. Don’t use a liquid for cleaning; however if you do, let it dry before reconnecting the cables with poles in the reverse order.

    Defective Starter Motor

    A starter motor starts the massive engine on your Dodge Challenger. It should last around 125,000 miles depending on how frequently you start the engine. However, rough use and elements can impair it. This necessitates a new starter motor to be installed. You can check whether the starter motor is working correctly by keeping an ear on the clicking sound when you turn the key in ignition switch. It you hear that; it means the starter motor has malfunctioned.

    A temporary fix to this defective starter motor would be to poke the starter motor with a metallic tool while turning the key. This may start the engine but remember, it is a one-time fluke and a more permanent solution would be replacing the starter motor with a new one.

    Busted Alternator

    The alternator generates electricity to charge the battery. If the alternator on your dodge Challenger is busted, it’ll run down even a brand new battery. Usually alternators are very robust and last a lifetime, but it can submit to rough use. An alternator can be repaired but doing that would require an expert with an unfettered deadline, so it is advised that you replace the alternator with a new one.

    Jammed Fuel Filter

    The fuel filter, as the name suggests, filters fuel coming from the fuel line into the engine of your Dodge Challenger. It is a guarded component but over time clogs and chokes due to dirt and leakages. This affects the permeability and pressure of the fuel sprayed into the compression chamber. If a jammed fuel filter isn’t addressed in time, the engine performance may lag to a eventual halt. A fuel filter is a meticulously-crafted part and the only solution to a jammed one is to replace it.

    Busted Fuel Pump

    A fuel pump regulates the flow of fuel into the injection system of engine. A busted fuel pump usually takes time and miles to reveal its flaws and faults and hence allows you the time to make necessary fixes. Wear and tear is the main reason behind a busted fuel pump, and just like the fuel filter, it needs to replaced when it malfunctions.

    Electrical System Issues

    Your Dodge Challenger, like all modern cars, is a cobweb of intricate electrical systems, wiring and components. Many of those are directly linked with the starting mechanism of the car. Any one of these can run down owing to usual wear and tear or spike in current.

    The first part you should look into is the ignition fuse. A blown fuse can render the whole system obsolete. Check for fuses in the fuse box. Be careful while handling these. Replace fault fuses with new ones.

    Secondly, check the spark plugs. While the spark plug is made of tough alloys, the connectors on the tail can present a bit of a challenge. These connector nodes are delicately calibrated to an exact distance and if that distance is disturbed, they may not perform optimally. The spark plugs may loosen, and a quick tightening can fix the issue. However, if any spark plugs shorts, the only solution left is to replace it with a new one.

    Apart from these, there can be a host of other problem that may cause your Dodge Challenger to stop starting and stall. A log of these errors can be accessed and addressed from the On-board Diagnostics (OBD). The OBD is located under the dashboard and once connected can list all the malfunctions and repairs that your Dodge Challenger may require. After connecting the OBD with the computer, do not attempt to start the engine as it can affect diagnosis report. For exactitude, be very precise about the information you put in when prompted by the OBD.

    A Dodge Challenger is an enthralling ride and considerably simpler to mend. But it augurs well if you have knowledge of its operational mechanism. That can give you the freedom to do-it-yourself the issues and problems with the starting. For more complicated issues, it is advisable to consult a licensed maintenance and repair mechanic.

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    Best answer

    Dodge Challenger Engine Will Not Start

    This troubleshooting guide is straight from the Dodge Challenger factory service manual. It pertains to Dodge Challenger engines that will not turn on and begin to work.


    If your Dodge Challenger will not start be certain to check the park/neutral position contact as it could be faulty. The vehicle should start when in Park and Neutral. If the engine starts in one position but not both then you might need to adjust the gear shift cable.


    What if the Challenger engine cranks normally but it will not start? What are things I should check that are specific to that symptom? My car will not start with continued cranking.


    Challenger Cranks Normally, But Won’t Start

    Glow plugs are not operating Inspect glow plug system
    Glow plug control not functioning Check glow plug controller
    Fuel is not entering into cylinders Check if fuel injectors are working
    No fuel to injection pump Check fuel delivery system
    Fuel filter blocked Replace fuel filter
    Fuel tank filter blocked Replace the vehicle’s fuel tank filter
    Fuel pump is not functioning Check if pump is operating, replace if necessary
    Fuel return system blocked Inspect fuel system and eliminate any restriction
    No voltage reaching fuel solenoid Check solenoid and its connections
    Fuel contamination Replace fuel and clean tank if necessary
    Incorrect injection pump timing Adjust pump timing
    Low cylinder compression pressure Inspect pistons, rings and valves
    Injection pump malfunction Check and/or replace injection pump

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