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Is It Easy to Install Auto Start on a Dodge Caravan? How Is It Done?

Dodge Grand Caravan parked on the street.

It is easy to install auto start on a Dodge Caravan, and you can do it yourself in one afternoon. An auto-start or remote starter is an excellent tool for Dodge Caravans that will help you to warm up or cool down your vehicle and seating prior to heading out for the day.

My quotes for installation costs have run as high as $400. However, you can perform the installation yourself in very little time if your vehicle has an automatic transmission, remote keyless entry, and does not require a push button to start the car.

Related: Is it Easy to Install Auto Start in a Toyota Corolla?

Starting Your Starter Installation

MPC Complete Remote Start Kit for 2011-2019 Dodge Grand Caravan -Plug & Play -Use OEM Remotes - Firmware Preloaded

 

Most auto-start installations appear to be plug-and-plays and this can be the case with the auto start for your Dodge Caravan. In most kits, you will find an ignition harness, the tip start, and a parking light output. You will need a screwdriver. You’ll use this to take the starter panel off by just popping it out with the screwdriver.

This panel is typically located at the bottom of your dash, directly above the pedals.

You may need to pop two sections of the panel out by prying the panel off with the screwdriver. Pull it down and pull the clips away if the panel is clipped in the back. That should show you the headlight switch. Unplug the harness switch now.

Managing the Wires

Man managing electrical wiring in car.

The wiring of the auto start for your Dodge Caravan can be the trickiest part of the setup. You are going to be looking for wires now. The first one you will want is the white and brown wire, but there might be a light green wire.

You might only have one wire of either white or green, so it won’t be difficult to determine which white wire to use. There are different colored wires here, but there will only be white or green to work with in this step.

Check the installation guide for your auto start, and it will show you what wire and pin to start with. Each wire is plugged into a pin on this section of wire. Now you are looking for the ignition harness inside this panel, and you will be replacing it with an auto-start.

There might be a metal panel in front of it, and you may have to take it down to reach that.

That should be connected to the white round wire. Unplug that, and push down on the tab that is on the top of that harness. You’re going to install your own ignition harness onto that tab. Yours will insert directly into that.

Think of these as male and female parts, as mechanics do. This is what the kits mean by plug and play. The factor connect will plug right into your new ignition harness, which is the female connector. The male of the auto-start ignition harness will plug into the ignition switch at the top.

The Parking Light Activation

The parking light activation is the next step. Mark the white and green wire with a clip or crimp. The parking light output will have a plug that will plug into the headlight switch. You’re going to plug that in with the tab on the headlight switch facing down. That should only take a few seconds once you have located that.

Starting the Car

Man starting the car's engine.

You won’t need the key yet but have it with you as you are about to test your installation. There will be a blue connector on the vehicle that you are going to plug into your own module. When you do that, you should see a light or indicator on your own auto start kit that will be your sign that the installation is going well.

Put the key into the ignition and you are programming the starter. You may see the light indicators on the starter module you just installed, and they may change to green light or orange. Turn the ignition on, wait for the light indicator to change, and turn the ignition off again.

Press the unlock icon on your auto starter now, and you should see the module turn green or to its on the indicator. Follow the instructions on your installation guide, and press the lock button 2 or 3 times, depending on what the guide is telling you. You might hear your horn beeping as it normally would when you do that.

Test the auto start with your key fob for the auto start, and your vehicle should now auto-start for you remotely, with your parking lights running at the same time.

If the installation has not been successful, retrace your steps, starting from the beginning again. Use this guide and the installation guide that came with your kit to double-check your work and see where the wiring or plug-and-play went wrong. It is easy to make a mistake with this.

Don’t rush, but take your time. If this is your first time, you might run into a problem. Just walk your steps back and try it again. If you are careful, this should only take about an hour or so.

Get an Auto Start

Interior of a Dodge Caravan focused on steering wheel.

You can save yourself hundreds of dollars and time with a lost vehicle at the shop, by installing your own auto start. The key here is all about patience, and, although it may sound cliché, believing in yourself. Don’t let the machine get the best of you.

They call it plug-and-play because it actually is. Locate the male and female parts on the car, and on your installation kit. Then, breathe, and follow the steps.

You may become so good at it that your friends ask you to do the job for them in time. This is a bragging point if you have never done it before. Get your autostart today, and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t get it done yourself.