Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Won't start, so many possibilities can't figure out why

asked by on

So I was given a 1973 dodge tradesman 300 maxi, 360 engine, it's a camper van and it's my home. It didn't start when she gave it to me, but it didn't even have a battery She told me she had friends that said it could be the carb needed to be rebuilt or a blown head gasket. I put the battery from my old van in and as long as I pumped the gas while I started it it would start....sometimes....sometimes I had to put her in neutral to start...other times it would just click, and if I used a different battery it would click or not make any noise but never start. So I only use my old van battery cause it at least started sometimes...it's brand new battery so go figure. I put a splice thingy on the positive cables because they were all over the place so I thought shotty connection and it started up a bunch of times in a row. Replaced the spark plugs and wires a few days later...plopped the battery back in...NO START. cranks and sounds ready to start first couple cranks but never turns over...
My car has an automatic transmission.

It is quite likely that the old battery was too weak to turn the engine over which is why it just clicked when trying to start. The new battery has plenty of power to turn the engine over which is why it started when you installed it. Now that you have changed the spark plugs and the engine does not start, be sure you have the spark plug wires properly connected and pressed down on the tops of the plugs. If these are not properly connected, this will cause the spark plug not to ignite the fuel in the motor when trying to start it. As a result, this will cause the motor not to fire at all. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your no start problem.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Won't start, so many possibilities can't figure out why

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Noise after the car is turned off, car idles rough - 1973 Nissan 240Z

Hello. It sounds like the starter relay might be bad and is causing the starter to stay on, which is the clicking noise that you are hearing. There could also be a problem with the starter solenoid. The problem you...

Q: I purchased a new computer for it does it need programed

You would need to have it programmed to your VIN. Have the computer scanned to see if you have a good crank shaft signal first, before replacing the ECM. You may not need the ECM replaced; you may have a...

Q: I have a 2003 Dodge Durango with a 5.9L. It is trying to run hot. I have replaced the thermostat because it looked like it was leaking there.

Hi there. The coolant would be leaking from the heater hoses. Check the clamps to the heater hose clamps and make sure that they are all tight. If the clamps are tight and the hoses are still leaking, then I...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...