What Causes Dodge Ram 1500 Starting Problems? How To Fix?

Monitoring the Dodge Ram 1500 starting problems is important to improve your vehicle’s performance.

These malfunctions often originate from various reasons. Luckily, most can easily get a proper fix for enhancing the engine’s function.

Let’s continue reading this article to know the potential causes of your Dodge Ram not starting. Also, see what you should do to fix them without hassle!

What Causes Dodge Ram 1500 Starting Problems?

dodge ram 1500 starting problems

If you’re encountering problems causing Dodge Ram won’t start, it may be due to a dead and weak battery, interrupted power supply, faulty fuel pump, poor engine oil, or bad alternator.

Besides, damaged solenoids, broken motors, poor spark plugs, bad fuel injectors, or malfunctioned relays can also be culprits of these problems.

Let’s look at each cause to understand how they make your Dodge Ram 1500 hard to start.

Weak & Dead battery

One of the common triggers leading to the difficulty starting in your Dodge Ram 1500 is a weak and dead battery.

I have used my old battery for more than 3-5 years in my car, and this is to blame.

Or, you don’t use your battery for a long time, so it malfunctions and fails to start your vehicle.

Apart from using an old or weak battery, I also faced the low cold cranking amps of the battery because of the wrong battery type or improper charge.

Cold cranking amps are critical when your Dodge Ram 1500 will not start. Besides, your battery can get corrosion resulting in power loss, so it can not ignite your Dodge Ram.

Interrupted Power Supply Due to Corroded or Loose Connections

Another reason your Dodge Ram wont start is an interrupted power supply due to loose connections or battery terminal corrosion.

If you ignore these root causes, your Dodge Ram 1500 will get serious problems when starting. You can tighten the bolt if your battery has a loose terminal connection.

Regarding corrosion, I usually clean the car’s connector and battery terminal for proper function and connection while igniting my engine.

Clogged Fuel Lines & Poor Fuel Pump

Your vehicle can be hard to start if the fuel lines or tank get condensation or a fuel pump is faulty.

Your Dodge Ram starting failure can stem from its poor fuel system if the battery condition is still good.

This also helps you find the right answer if you still wonder, why won’t my Dodge Ram start? 

Particularly, clogged fuel lines can hinder your car from starting. I found the problem worsened in cold conditions, with condensation building up and clogging fuel filters, pumps, or lines.

The blocked fuel filter or pump can require more expensive repairs. Thus, you must test this failure in the fuel pump by priming the car’s fuel system before you want to start your vehicle.

I did this test by turning the car’s ignition key to the position “On” three times without starting my car.

If the car starts its engine without trouble after this test, the problem can be due to the fuel pump.

Faulty Engine Oil

When you fill your car in the cold, the engine oil thickness or viscosity can go wrong. You need to replace the motor oil with the recommendation of your manufacturer’s manual instructions.

Also, you must know that the engine oil is necessary for your Dodge vehicle’s proper operation. So, using engine oil with the appropriate thickness and viscosity is critical.

The engine oil’s proper thickness supports it moving efficiently through your Dodge Ram’s engine, even at low-temperature conditions.

Note that your Dodge Ram models, such as the 2011 Dodge Ram 1500, can require the engine oil of SAE 5W-20. The “W” in this code abbreviates winter.

The number “5” indicates that this engine oil type is thin, especially if it’s cold.

Frozen Coolant

If the coolant helping protect your vehicle from overheating gets frozen, it will be the recipe for your Ram 1500 not starting.

Despite being rare, frozen coolant can appear in the cold winter with low temperatures.

Apart from the weather condition, adding the improper coolant mixture to your vehicle can also be the main cause.

Thus, you must warm up your engine to thaw the frozen coolant out.

Do not drive the Ram if you suspect that the problem is due to a frozen coolant. Moreover, an overheated engine can lead to a series of costly and more problems.

I usually use a heater or drive in the sun to better defrost my car.

Bad Alternator

ram 1500 wont turn over

The bad alternator is another reason why your Ram 1500 wont turn over but makes a repeated click when the ignition switch is on.

A good alternator can generate power for your vehicle while it is running. Failure to do so may result in low battery power and vehicle starting problems.

If your alternator fails, you must give it a replacement with a new one to eliminate your Dodge Ram starting problems in the future.

Broken Solenoid

Solenoids are a not-to-miss culprit; your Dodge Ram 1500 can encounter unexpected problems if it may click one time and then doesn’t start at all.

The solenoid may stop working because of dirt, moisture, or high voltage inside the car’s circuitry.

Contacting the dealer is easier if your vehicle is under warranty. Otherwise, I suggest you contact your local mechanics to resolve the problems faster and better.

Damaged Starter Motor

A bad starter motor also explains why a Dodge Ram 1500 only clicks once and refuses to ignite.

Many drivers think that starters’ improper function doesn’t suddenly happen, but they can get failure whenever you can’t foresee. 

In addition, the clicking sound when you start your car can be a deadly rattle.

Thus, if you hear a clicking sound, you should contact a professional to diagnose the damaged or burn-out starter in your vehicle and swap the faulty one for a new one.

Malfunctioned Fuel Pump Relay

If you wonder why my Dodge Ram 1500 won t start, the malfunctioned fuel pump relay can be to blame.

When your car has not run for a long time, the fuel pump relay may be faulty owing to no use, also causing an ignition problem.

Poor Fuel Injectors

It’s unlikely you have an injector issue, but it may be the culprit behind Dodge Ram 1500 starting problems.

If multiple cylinders aren’t igniting, this problem may lead to ignition failure. Also, the truck will just click repeatedly without turning on.

To solve the problem, you should take your car to an auto shop to ask for the help of a professional mechanic.

Low Transmission Fluid

Starting can become difficult if your Dodge Ram 1500 gets low transmission fluid or engine oil.

You can recognise this problem through various signs of damage, including sluggish acceleration, which can also be why your car won’t turn over when the ignition switch is on.

While not often related to starting problems, low fluid levels have caused my car to stall and not to start several times before.

Faulty Spark Plug

The faulty spark plugs also contribute to your Dodge Ram 1500 starting problem. If spark plugs fail, they can make your car won’t start after one click.

Repairing this problem is expensive and necessitates an expert mechanic.

If you’ve tried a few times to start the car without success, take your vehicle to an auto shop for professional mechanics to diagnose the root cause and do the best repair.

How To Fix Dodge Ram 1500 Starter Problems?

dodge ram won't start

Below are 2 tricks I often applied when I’ facing problems with starting your car.

One of the easiest ways you may do is to insert the key in the ignition, turn it over, and leave it in place within a few seconds. Next, you will start your vehicle after a while.

Normally, your car should be on and operate for about 15 seconds, but sometimes it takes about 30 seconds or even one minute before the engine can start as usual.

Another method you should turn to if your engine is hard to start is to get the complete inspection, fix, and proper replacement at a trusted auto shop with expert mechanics.

What To Do If Your 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 Wont Start In The Cold?

If your Dodge Ram doesn’t start on a harsh winter morning, follow some simple tips below to solve the problem.

1. Consider the problems with the battery. The battery issues can result in most Dodge Ram starting problems.

Thus, you can fix this issue by warming up your battery. To implement this, remove the vehicle’s battery and bring it inside to warm it up within a few hours.

2. Install and use the engine block heater to warm your engine in cold weather.

Investing in an engine block heater is worth it, especially if you’re living in a region with a colder climate.

You may plug this gadget in overnight to keep your car’s engine warm the next morning. Also, it may improve fuel economy for the engine system.


The Dodge Ram 1500 starting problems can stem from various causes, such as a bad battery, inadequate power supply, bad connections, frozen coolant, poor alternator, and broken solenoid.

The list of culprits doesn’t stop there. These causes have severe impacts on your engine’s function and performance. So, you should act soon once you notice the sign of hard starting.

You must take your vehicle to the automotive shop for a professional mechanic to check and fix it best to avoid the worse and more costly consequences.

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