Why Won’t My RAM 1500 Start?

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The Ram 1500 is one of the most popular trucks in America, with its bold looks and all-around capabilities.

It is a workhorse and is perfect for heavy hauling and off-roading. This truck has been around since 1981, and it keeps getting better.

Although there is no doubt that the Ram 1500 is a great truck, it is filled with issues too. One of them is the truck not starting up, which has frustrated potentially thousands of owners.

They have often wondered, “Why won’t my Ram 1500 start?”. Fortunately, I have the answer. Let me list down the most common reasons before we get into the details:

  1. A Dead Battery
  2. Loose Or Frayed Cables
  3. Corrosion On The Terminals
  4. Faulty Starter
  5. Malfunctioning Alternator
  6. Issues With The Ignition Switch
  7. Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor
  8. Fuel Pump Failure

You may be overwhelmed after seeing so many reasons for preventing your Ram 1500 from starting. Well, don’t worry.

All of them will be discussed in proper detail. All you need to do is read through the entire article. Let’s get started!

What Would Cause A Ram 1500 To Not Start?

Learn why is your Ram not starting through my guide

As was stated in the introduction, there can be many reasons why the Ram 1500 refuses to start.

They have been listed above, but you may need to know more about them.

This section will be doing exactly that.

1: A Dead Battery

If you’ve tried to start your Ram 1500, and having some problems in starting then a few things could be going on.

The first possibility is that your battery is dead. If you haven’t driven your vehicle in a while, or if it’s been in storage for an extended period, the battery will die.

To fix this problem, you must get a new battery and install it yourself or take your vehicle to a mechanic.

But hold on! Replacing might not always be the solution. It could just be that the battery is drained to the point that it cannot power the vehicle.

Now, if that is the case, then there are several things you can do.

What Should You Do About It?

  • First, ensure the battery is charged and has enough power to start the vehicle.
  • In case it doesn’t have enough juice, you may need to take it to a mechanic who can give it a jump or use an appropriate charger to get the levels back up.
  • If that does not work, replacing the battery is the only option.
  • Fortunately, new batteries are not that expensive. You will have many options out there but go for reputable brands only.
  • A new battery should also have an AGM design, as it is not only the latest and greatest but is also maintenance-free. This makes it perfect for the long run.

2: Loose Or Frayed Cables

A loose or frayed battery cable can cause your Ram 1500 starting problems.

This is because the cable will not be able to transmit the necessary amount of electricity from the battery to the starter, so your engine won’t crank over.

This applies to both scenarios. There is not a strong enough connection for a high enough voltage to be transmitted for the engine to start.

So, it may crank or click, but it will not start. You may also see the electronics of your truck fluctuating due to the unstable connection.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If the cables are loose, there is an easy solution. To fix this issue, simply tighten the bolts for each battery cable.
  • This will ensure that there isn’t any looseness in them, which could prevent them from transmitting voltage to the truck’s electrical system.
  • With frayed cables, the solution is a bit different. To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace your battery cables.
  • This can be done by disconnecting them from their terminals and installing new ones onto them using a pair of pliers.
  • If you don’t have experience working with electrical components, we recommend that you have a professional do this for you so as not to damage anything else in your truck or yourself.

3: Corrosion On The Terminals

Corrosion on the battery terminals is perhaps the most common reason.

If you’ve been using the Ram for an extended time, the battery terminals may have become corroded, and they may be unable to connect properly with the battery post.

When this happens, there’s no power flowing to the starter motor, which means that it isn’t able to turn over your engine. This is common, and fortunately, the fix is easy to implement.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you find corrosion on your terminals, a few different options are available.
  • Cleaning them off with an acid-based cleaner like vinegar or lemon juice will work in most cases, but if there’s more than just a little bit of corrosion, you may need to replace the battery.
  • Another way to deal with this problem is to use a wire brush to clean off all corrosion.
  • Once you have cleaned off all the corrosion, try starting your car again—it should work now! If it still doesn’t, you may have to replace the battery.

4: Faulty Starter

A faulty starter can cause some problems too in starting your Ram 500.

The starter is responsible for rotating the engine’s crankshaft; when it’s not working correctly, that process can’t happen. This results in the truck not starting.

If you hear a cranking sound when you turn the key in the ignition, it’s likely that your starter is defective and needs to be replaced.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The only possible solution is to replace the starter altogether. The replacement will cost you around $500, which is expensive but is the only way to get your Ram 1500 back on the road again.
  • You need to ensure that you get the work done by a professional, as this is something that amateurs cannot do.
  • I recommend that you get this done by an authorized mechanic, as he will already have experience in this arena, which is needed in such a replacement.
  • You may need to tow your truck to the mechanic because it is unable to start.

5: Malfunctioning Alternator

If your Ram 1500 having starting issues, it could be because of a malfunctioning alternator.

The alternator is responsible for keeping the battery charged and ensuring that your electrical systems are working.

If the alternator isn’t working properly, you may experience problems starting your truck.

Alternators typically fail because they’ve been exposed to too much heat, damaging their internal components.

The best way to determine whether your alternator needs service is by having a qualified mechanic inspect it.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you do find that your alternator needs to be replaced, there are many options available on Amazon and other online retailers.
  • You can also purchase one from an auto parts store if you prefer to avoid ordering online.
  • However, before replacing an aging component like an alternator, it might be a good idea to take your car to a mechanic first so they can inspect it further before making any repairs or replacements.
  • This way, you can be sure you are not spending your money replacing the wrong part. Believe me that is pretty common.

6: Issues With The Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is crucial to your Ram 1500’s engine. It’s responsible for starting the car, turning on the lights and gauges, and much more.

If your Ram isn’t starting, your ignition switch could be a problem.

If you are stranded on the side of the road, you may need to call a tow truck to haul your Ram 1500 to a nearby mechanic so your switch can be replaced as soon as possible.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The only way to fix a faulty ignition switch is to replace it. A replacement switch is not too expensive, but you must ensure that you order the correct one.
  • Or else you will run into compatibility issues. You can order the switch online.
  • If you don’t want to wait a few days, you can visit an auto parts store and easily purchase the required switch.
  • Replacing an ignition switch is relatively straightforward—you have to take out a few screws, unplug some wires and push in a few clips.
  • You can find instructions online if you’re unsure how to do it yourself, but don’t be afraid. It’s not as scary as it sounds.

7: Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor

The Ram 1500 has a crankshaft position sensor that is located on the engine block.

The sensor is used to determine if the engine is rotating or not, which allows it to know when to start and stop fuel injection and ignition.

It is connected to the ignition system so it can send signals to the PCM (Powertrain Control Module).

When the PCM receives this signal, it activates the fuel injectors and spark plugs so you can start your engine. If this sensor fails, it will prevent the truck from starting.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you believe your problem may be due to a faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor, then there are two ways for you to go about replacing this part: either take it to a mechanic or do it yourself.
  • The first option is easier because they’ll do all the hard work for you – however, if you’d rather save money by doing everything yourself, then you should follow a guide on YouTube to make sure you don’t mess something up.

8: Fuel Pump Failure

In case if your Ram 1500 have some starting problems then the most likely cause is a fuel pump failure.

This is because the fuel pump is responsible for pumping fuel from the tank to your engine and making sure it reaches all of the proper components at the right time.

Unfortunately, this is one of the more common issues with Ram 1500 trucks, especially if they have been driven for an extended period of time.

The pump is not meant to last forever, and it may fail after a few hundred thousand miles of driving.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The only thing that can be done is to replace the fuel pump entirely. Now, new fuel pumps are not cheap, but they are an extremely important part of the vehicle.
  • If you don’t replace the pump, you will not be able to drive your truck. This is because there will be no fuel reaching the engine.
  • There is also no option to repair a fuel pump. Even if there is, I would advise you to avoid it as the chances of a second failure will become pretty high.
  • You should get the new fuel pump installed from an authorized workshop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start With New Battery?

You may be wondering why a new battery did not solve the problem of your Ram 1500 not starting.

If you did not diagnose the issue first, then another part may be at fault.

The starter may be malfunctioning or the fuel filter could be clogged, preventing the engine from turning on.

Q2. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start Even With A Jump?

If your Ram 1500 will not start, even after a jump, then it may mean that some other part, that is essential for the starting process, is at fault.

It could be the alternator or even the ignition switch. You should get the truck inspected by a professional before you spend money on new parts.

Q3. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start But Lights Work?

When your Ram 1500 engine isn’t starting and all the lights are working, there’s a good chance that you have a blown fuse or relay.

Your best bet here is to go ahead and change all of them at once—fuses are cheap and easy to replace.

That should get you all sorted out. If that does not work, then you may have a faulty starter or alternator.

Q4. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start But Cranks?

If your Ram 1500 does not start but cranks, the problem is likely a faulty starter motor.

Starter motors are responsible for turning the engine over and getting it up to speed so that it can turn on.

If your starter motor is faulty, it will not be able to get the engine going, resulting in a truck that won’t start but cranks.

Q5. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start Just Clicks?

The most likely issue is that either your battery or your alternator is not working properly. One way to check this is by trying to charge the battery with a portable charger.

If it charges, then you know there’s a problem with either the alternator or something else in the electrical system. A clicking sound can be produced by either two.

Q6. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start In The Cold Weather?

This problem is common in Ram 1500 trucks, and it’s usually caused by a faulty battery.

The reason your truck won’t start when it’s cold out is that the cold weather makes the battery less capable of providing enough cranking amperes.

You should purchase one that has at least 800 CA so you don’t run into starting issues in cold climates.

Q7. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start After I Get Gas?

If you can’t get your Ram 1500 started after filling up, it’s likely that the fuel filter is clogged.

The fuel filter keeps dirt and other contaminants out of your gas tank, so if it gets clogged with debris, your vehicle won’t run.

You can clean the filter easily, but it is recommended to replace it altogether. The new ones are pretty cheap.

Q8. Why Won’t My Ram 1500 Start But Radio Works?

The battery is the first thing to check if your radio is working and your Ram 1500 is having starting problems.

The battery has to be able to hold a charge in order for the Ram 1500 to start. If the battery is too low, it won’t be able to provide enough power to turn over the engine and start it up.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The RAM 1500?


Don’t worry—if your Ram 1500 is having starting issues, you’re not alone! There are many causes of this problem, so I’ve outlined the most common ones above.

If you have not yet experienced this problem and are just preparing yourself for the future, you will not have to ask yourself, why won’t my Ram 1500 start?

There can be many different reasons for something like this happening, but there is a very high probability that it is one of those that have been listed in this article.

I hope you got the information you were looking for, and I hope you can get your truck up and running in no time.