How To Test The Starter Motor (2001-2002 2.7L V6 Dodge Stratus, Chrysler Sebring)

Testing the starter motor on the 2001-2002 2.7L V6 Dodge Stratus (Chrysler Sebring) can seem quite the challenge (or even impossible).

The cool thing is that you can find out if the starter motor is defective or not without having to remove it from the engine to bench test it.

In this tutorial I'll show you the 3 tests you need to perform to find out.

Contents of this tutorial at a quick glance:

  1. Important Safety Tips And Precautions.
  2. Symptoms Of A Bad Starter Motor.
  3. Tools Needed To Test The Starter Motor.
  4. TEST 1: Applying 12 Volts To The Starter Motor S Terminal.
  5. TEST 2: Verifying The Start Signal.
  6. TEST 3: Voltage Drop Testing The Battery (+) Cable.
  7. More 2.7L Dodge Tutorials.

Important Safety Tips And Precautions

TIP 1: The test in this tutorial are for an on-car test of the starter motor. You don't have to remove it to test it.

The illustrations show it removed only to facilitate the explanation of the test connections you'll need to make with a remote start switch or your multimeter.

If you have removed it, you can bench-test it and the following tutorial will help you: Bench Testing The Starter Motor.

TIP 2: It's important that the battery on your Dodge Stratus be fully charged before beginning the tests. Also, the battery cable terminals and battery posts must be clean and corrosion free.

TIP 3: If your vehicle has a standard transmission, make sure that it's out of gear and in neutral, and that the parking brake is activated/on.

TIP 3: You'll need to raise your Dodge Stratus (or Chrysler Sebring) to access the starter motor. Use jack stands to keep it up. Don't trust the jack!

Symptoms Of A Bad Starter Motor

What you'll normally see, when the starter motor goes bad, is that the engine will not turn over when you try to crank and start it.

This usually happens when the starter motor has fried completely. In some cases, the starter motor will function some of the time but not all of the time. Here's a basic list of the symptoms you'll see when the starter motor is defective:

  1. Jump starting the engine doesn't make it crank over.
  2. The battery has been charged and/or replaced and still your Dodge Stratus does not crank.
  3. When you turn the key to crank the engine, all you hear is a small knock and nothing else.

Tools Needed To Test The Starter Motor

Testing the starter motor, on your 2001-2002 2.7L V6 Dodge Stratus (Chrysler Sebring), does require some basic tools. The cool thing is that they aren't expensive. Here's a basic list of what you'll need:

  1. Remote starter switch.
    1. If you'd like to see what a remote starter switch looks like, you can follow this link: Actron CP7853 Remote Starter Switch.
    2. You can either buy this tool online or you can buy it at your local auto parts store (AutoZone, O'Reilly, Pepboys, etc.).
  2. Multimeter or a 12 Volt automotive test light.
    1. If you don't have a multimeter or need to upgrade yours, check out my recommendation here: Buying A Digital Multimeter For Automotive Diagnostic Testing.
  3. A wire piercing probe.
    1. This tool is not an ‘absolute must have tool’ but I can tell you from experience that it makes it a whole lot easier to probe the S terminal wire for the start signal.
    2. If you'd like to see what this tool looks like, you find out more about it here: Wire Piercing Probe Tool Review (Power Probe PWPPPPP01).
  4. A helper.

As you can see you don't need anything expensive. OK, let's turn the page and get starter with the first starter motor test.