Dodge Journey Won’t Start: What Could Be The Problem?

WVDOT Automotive is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Dodge Journey is a crossover SUV that has been in production since 2009. It has received critical acclaim from critics and owners alike for its high level of comfort and refinement, making it an ideal family vehicle for road trips or daily commutes alike.

So, if you want a midsize crossover SUV, a very small number of alternatives can challenge it. Have you ever wondered why your Dodge Journey is unable to start? Have you thought of everything and still don’t know what to do?

If you are reading this article, then you certainly have! Well, you’re not alone. This article is aimed at owners that cannot figure it out and those who ask themselves the question, “Why won’t my Dodge Journey start?”. Well, there could be many reasons.

The most common ones are:

  1. Drained Battery
  2. Corrosion On The Battery Terminals
  3. Failing Spark Plugs
  4. Clogged Fuel Filter
  5. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump

I know that this list might have added more to your frustration. I suggest you take a deep breath, relax, and start reading this article. I promise you that by the end, you will at least know a path you can pursue to fix your Dodge Journey.

What Would Cause A Dodge Journey To Not Start?

The introduction stated five possible reasons that are preventing your Dodge Journey from starting. This section will dive into their details, so you can know their severity and how to fix them.

1: Drained Battery

If you’ve been having trouble with your Dodge Journey not starting, or if it seems like it won’t turn over, check your battery to ensure it is holding a charge.

Its health can also be confirmed by attaching a multimeter to measure the voltage. If it is lesser than 12V, then the battery may very well be dead.

The battery of your vehicle has been designed to last for 4 to 5 years. After this period, it stops holding a charge. If the battery does not have a charge, it could either be due to a faulty alternator or some electronic accessory being too heavy to handle.

What Should You Do About It?

  • First, you can try charging the battery.
  • To do this, you’ll need to remove the battery from your vehicle and hook it up to an external charger—something from a local hardware store will work just fine.
  • You can charge the battery by keeping it in its place but make sure to disconnect the terminals first.
  • Once your battery has been charged for at least 6 hours, try turning on your SUV again.
  • If it still doesn’t hold a charge, it may be time to replace it with a new one.
  • When choosing a replacement battery for your Dodge Journey (or any other vehicle), make sure that it’s an “AGM” or “Absorbed Glass Mat” model.
  • These batteries are maintenance-free and are more durable than standard lead-acid ones.

2: Corrosion On The Battery Terminals

Corrosion on the battery terminals is one of the most common reasons your Dodge Journey can cause starting issues. The corrosion builds up over time and is something that happens to all lead-acid batteries.

When you have corrosion on your battery terminals, there’s a buildup of minerals and metal particles on top of the metal connections. This layer acts as an insulator, preventing electricity from flowing through the connection.

When your SUV tries to start, it won’t be able to get enough current through those connections to turn over the engine.

Fortunately, this problem is not difficult to solve. Read below on how you can clear up corrosion on the battery’s terminals to get a good connection.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’re having issues with corrosion on the battery terminals on your Dodge Journey, you can do a few things to get rid of it.
  • First, clean the terminals using vinegar and baking soda solution.
  • Then use a wire brush to remove any remaining corrosion.
  • You may have to repeat these steps several times before all of the corrosion is gone.
  • Yes, it is true that, in some cases, corrosion is too strong to remove.
  • If these steps don’t work, it’s possible that your battery needs to be replaced.
  • As only the terminals cannot be replaced, you will have to settle for replacing the battery instead.

3: Failing Spark Plugs

If you’re having trouble starting your Dodge Journey, it could be because the spark plugs are failing.

Spark plugs help ignite fuel and air in the combustion chamber, which means that if they aren’t working correctly, you can face some starting problems. Spark plug failure is common, but starting issues are not the ones you should be worried about.

There is a high risk of the SUV stopping in the middle of the road if a spark plug fails. This can result in a serious accident, something I know no one wants.

You can narrow down the source of the issue to the spark plugs by listening for a distinct cranking sound. This sound is produced when the engine cannot ignite the fuel.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’re facing a failing spark plug, there are two things to take care of.
  • First, replace all of them at once. The life expectancy of your spark plugs is similar across the board: they will fail after about 30-40,000 miles.
  • If you have one that’s failing, then it’s likely that others are too—and the longer you wait to replace them all, the more costly it will be in terms of time and money.
  • Second, make sure you get iridium or platinum plugs only.
  • These are the highest quality options for Dodge Journey owners who want to get their SUV running smoothly again without breaking the bank.
  • They’ll last longer and perform better than any other plug out there!

4: Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter is located in the fuel tank and filters out dirt and debris from the gas before reaching your Dodge Journey’s engine. If the filter is clogged, your engine may not get enough fuel or run properly.

Apart from starting issues, a clogged filter can cause poor performance or stalls if you drive at high speeds. Just as with a failing spark plug, if the fuel filter is clogged, the engine will produce a cranking sound whenever you try to turn the ignition.

This sound occurs only when combustion cannot take place properly. So, if you hear the sound, it could be that the filter has finally been clogged enough that it is not letting fuel through.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You might be tempted to just clean it out. But that’s not always the best idea—sometimes, a clogged fuel filter can be fixed by cleaning it, but other times, it’s better to just replace it entirely.
  • You might think you may save some money, but a cleaned-out filter is not as effective as a brand-new one.
  • As I said before, the best thing to do is to replace the fuel filter. This is an easy job that takes about an hour.
  • All you need is some tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, and sockets.

5: Malfunctioning Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is responsible for supplying fuel to the engine, so if it is not working properly, it can prevent your Dodge Journey from starting.

The problems that come with a faulty fuel pump can be much worse than starting issues. Even if it works, it may be hanging on by a thread. This means that it may be able to start the engine of your Dodge Journey up, and you may even be able to drive around.

But if you step on the accelerator, the engine will stop working due to the pump being unable to meet the demand. This issue is serious, and you must fix it as soon as possible.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’re having problems with your Dodge Journey fuel pump, don’t panic! The first thing you should do is contact your local mechanic and ask them for advice.
  • They’ll be able to tell you whether or not the issue is something that can be fixed on its own or if it will require a new part.
  • If it’s just a small problem that needs some tweaking, they may be able to help. But if your car needs a new fuel pump, get an exact model number before ordering one online.
  • Otherwise, you might end up with a part that doesn’t fit properly or isn’t compatible with your car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start With New Battery?

If you have recently installed a new battery, but your Dodge Journey is still not turning over, it could be that the starter is bad.

The starter is responsible for sending power to the ignition system. If it has failed, your engine may crank but not start up.

Q2. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start Even With A Jump?

If your Dodge Journey is not working with a jumpstart, then there is likely an issue with one of the electrical components inside the car. This could include a faulty starter, a bad battery connection, or frayed wiring in the electrical system.

Q3. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start But Lights Work?

If your Dodge Journey refuses to turn over, but its lights are working fine, then there may be an issue with something else entirely.

The most common culprit here is a problem with either the starter motor or the alternator. The alternator may not be charging the battery, which may result in its losing its charge over time.

Q4. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start But Cranks?

There are a few things that could cause this issue, but the most likely culprits are faulty spark plugs or fuel pumps.

You need to get them all checked, so you don’t spend money on parts that do not need to be tinkered with. The fuel filter could be at fault too, especially if it has not been changed for over a year.

Q5. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start Just Clicks?

A dead battery or a faulty starter connection is the most common cause of this issue. Check the connection between your starter and your battery with a multimeter to see if there is power.

If your Dodge Journey produces a clicking sound but does not start, check the battery and ensure it is charged.

Q6. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start In The Cold Weather?

The battery in your Dodge Journey is powerful enough to start the car in warm weather, but it may not have enough cranking amps (CCA) to start up in cold weather.

A good rule is that a battery needs 800 CCA for a reliable start-up in cold weather. So, if you live in such an area, you may need to invest in one.

Q7. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start After I Get Gas?

If you have recently bought gas and are having trouble getting your Dodge Journey started, it is possible that the gas station you filled up has dirty fuel or something wrong with your fuel pump.

The most likely cause of this problem is a faulty fuel pump or clogged fuel filter. The latter has a lower chance of happening.

Q8. Why Won’t My Dodge Journey Start But Radio Works?

If your Dodge Journey radio is working but you are not able to start then it might be because your battery has died.

If this is the case, get a jumpstart from another vehicle or call a tow truck to bring in a new battery for you. The latter should only be done if you are completely sure that the battery is dead.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Dodge Journey?

Conclusion

If you’ve been having trouble starting your Dodge Journey, I hope this guide has been helpful. There are several reasons why your car may not start, but the most common ones have been listed here.

So, instead of asking yourself, “Why won’t my Dodge Journey start?” you should start figuring out what is wrong with your SUV. If you cannot identify the symptoms, you should contact a mechanic as soon as possible.

Make sure to get a proper diagnosis instead of jumping to conclusions. I hope you can be on your way as soon as possible.