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Old October 1st, 2013, 10:40 AM   #1
bjlasota
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Question Jeep starts, then won't start, then starts HELP?

I'll try to write this up and hopefully you don't get bored. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, so any advice would help greatly.

This past Friday(9/27/13) everything was going fine until I tried to start my 2009 Jeep grand cherokee laredo, 4WD, V6, Gas. The car just clicked once and didn't do anything. So I got under hood, battery read 12.4v, horn, headlights and everything worked. Checked all fuses involving starter, and worked fine. Finally hooked up 150A charger, turned down a little bit, and tried to get a little more juice in the battery. The Jeep started right up after about 10 minutes on the charger, which got the battery up to 12.8V. Started the jeep a couple times over the weekend to move it around the driveway for guests, but nothing more than that. No issues. Left Jeep alone for whole weekend.

This morning(9/30/13) got up for work, Jeep started fine, drove 45 miles to work, worked all day, drove about 10 miles to walmart, went in for about 15 minutes, came out and jeep won't start. So here's what's going on in a bulleted fashion:

- Turn key to On position and let sit for a couple seconds. Lights on dash are seatbelt, engine, airbag, oil, and some electrical symbol between 2 backwards parenthsis.)z(
- Also hear fuel pump come on when key is in on position.
- Turn key to start engine and a single click, and radio goes dead. Lights remain on dash for about 5 seconds, then I hear a relay click again and the )z( goes off and the engine light begins to flash. The radio is back on at this point.
- There is no cranking of the starter or turning over of the engine. It's like the computers not even letting the car try to start. A single relay click and nothing happens.
- I took battery into both Walmart and Autozone and both their machines tested it to be ok. It's less than 2 years old.
- Hooked up with jumper cables and got battery to charge up to 13.8v, car goes through same sequence without a start.

- I'd like to avoid a mechanic, but my mechanic believes it's the starter. Somethings I've seen on a couple forums is it is the ignition switch. Is there anything I can test out in about 30 minutes using only a multimeter and some wrenches to pinpoint the issue beyond what I've already done? I've checked all fuses marked ignition. Any others that could cause this issue?
- Does anyone think it still could be a battery issue? When I pull the jumper cables off, the battery slowly drains without any accessories or lights on. But I didn't notice it dropping below 12.7v. Still won't start even with a jumper cable on at 13.8v.
- Another forum suggested it could be a bad key since it's the magnetic kind. I found my spare tonight and I'm going to test that first thing in the morning.

10/1/13 - I took my wifes car to work this morning and on the way, went through the following sequence:
- Used manual key to unlock door.
- Attempted to start car.
- Short delay, long enough to get the F word out, then a click and the jeep started right up.
- Shut off, got out, locked doors with remote.
- Unlocked doors with remote and started right up again.

So now the Jeep has started on a charger, and also with this unlock feature after sitting alone for about 10 hours. Anyone have a clue what may be going on from all the previous information? Is there any other troubleshooting I can do with a wrench set and multimeter, or is it time for this guy to go to a doctor?
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Old October 1st, 2013, 10:48 AM   #2
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I had a somewhat similar problem with my old 89' Chevy.

Truck would start fine after sitting over night. Then after driving and what not, say stop at a grocery store, when I would come back out and start it, it seemed like the battery was drained and it wouldn't want to start. It would crank, but very slowly. Sometimes, not even start. I would have to wait for like an hour for it to start back up. Maybe it had to cool down? All I know is that it was a PITA. I would charge the battery thinking it was that. It seemed like it helped a little, but not much at all.

Anyway, I broke down and got a new (rebuilt AC Delco) starter and after that, everything was good to go. I guess the bearings in the starter were starting to go or something like that. Don't know the full details, but the starter is what my problem was.

Hope that helps.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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ive had crank senors and range selector/ neutral safety switches go bad on the jeeps and not start, or act like dead battery/ bad starter. some place to start. does putting it neutral, then starting it help?
used to see pats keys go bad from time to time when i worked for ford, does the security light flash when it does not start?

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Old October 1st, 2013, 11:18 AM   #4
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these aren't push button start are they?
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Old October 1st, 2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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You may be onto something with the ignition switch. Sounds like MAYBE a bad contact. I'm not an electrician or a car mechanic, so take my comment for what it is. Sounds like you have the right idea of diagnosing before throwing parts and money at it though. Hopefully somebody on here can provide you some good insight and save you some $$$.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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I've cycled the shift lever a few times and nothing. Won't even start in Neutral. After researching a bit more today instead of working, I'm going to swap the starter relay and see if that fixes it, otherwise, hoping that it starts up at Walmart on my way home from work, I'm going to hightail it to my garage and try to get to the starter enough to clean the terminals.

A couple questions: Will a relay completely fail/Completely work, or is it possible the relay is bugged up and sometimes works / Sometimes doesn't?

Also, if my terminals are corroded, could it be that, or if they corroded to a point of not started, it just would never start?
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Old October 1st, 2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjust me View Post
these aren't push button start are they?
Thank God no.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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My guess would be a bad battery cable, or poor contact at the connection.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 03:50 PM   #9
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"
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlasota View Post
Thank God no.
But it is "tip start", the pcm cranks it for you once per key cycle.
next time it does it and wont start, jump the starter relay with a wire.
If it just clicks, its a bad starter, if it cranks its another issue.
My moneys on a bad starter. But after you do the above we can go from there.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:54 PM   #10
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Voltage drop testing the starter circuit is a test you can do with a meter. Search it on YouTube. Jumping terminals 87and 30 of the starter really should also give you an idea of the condition of the cables, connections, and starter if it cranks. Ignition switch failure andor security problems come to mind only after you know the starting circuit is good.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 12:06 PM   #11
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This looks to be the issue, possibly. I've seen a bunch of areas point to this being a HUGE issue with a lot of WK jeeps. The connection may look fine, but where it's crimped is where the corrosion kills the connection. First thing when I get home, I'm cutting this plastic junk off, and putting a female blade connector on, then I'll give it a go and see what happens. Thanks for all the help thus far!
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