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Problems with jeep starting . . . . many clues . . no answer

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jet_pilot_18
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Joined: 26 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:24 pm    Post subject: Problems with jeep starting . . . . many clues . . no answer Reply with quote

So I am sorry that I have no posted here before and my first post is asking for help from the members here but I am beyond confused on why my jeep refuses to start.

So I was stranded last Sunday in the rain when my jeep would not start. It all started a while back when my car did the exact same thing and I had taken off my starter to get it checked by autozone. They checked it and they said it was fine. So, I go home throw it back on and it starts. Maybe a little rough and long but it starts. A few days go by with no problems. Well last sunday it did not work and I tried everything I could in a parking lot to get it to work.

Here are the clues . . . .

1.The battery still puts out 12 volts.
2. Oil was dripping down the side of the wirring but everything was cleaned up as nice as possible.
3. Starter still recieves 12 volts according to the voltmeter however when someone turns the key the volts shoot down to less than one volt and then back up to about 4 volts immediately.
4. I do hear a click when I turn the key and I even feel the relay click when I touch it and someone tries to start the car.
5. Battery is fully charged.

What should I do next?
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JeepinNH
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:29 pm    Post subject: starting Reply with quote

So are you saying the engine will not turn over? By the sounds of the voltage drop explanation you may have a bad battery terminal.
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Mike

Present: 99 Cherokee
Past: 86, 87 Cherokee; 94 Grand Cherokee
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jet_pilot_18
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Joined: 26 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: starting Reply with quote

JeepinNH wrote:
So are you saying the engine will not turn over? By the sounds of the voltage drop explanation you may have a bad battery terminal.

Well I did get a new battery just to get a new one in there since the last one was in bad shap. I also replaced the sleeve which fits over the terminal as well. The engine does not try to turn over at all. All that I hear is a click when I turn the key. The voltmeter also reads a 12v steady charge from both the terminals bare and the bolts that come off the starter itself.
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yankeeboy
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Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Location: Pasadena

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just to make sure we got this right. Are you getting only one click when you turn the key switch, or multiple (like the sound you get when your starter is going out).
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jet_pilot_18
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Joined: 26 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yankeeboy wrote:
just to make sure we got this right. Are you getting only one click when you turn the key switch, or multiple (like the sound you get when your starter is going out).

Just one click . . . .
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LicKwiD
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Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Location: Bethlehem

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:48 am    Post subject: coil Reply with quote

Hello, so far you have checked & replaced the batt, and the started tested fine. Have you done any other tune up maintenance? Distrib cap & rotor, spark plugs & wires? There are 2 things needed to start a vehicle. Fuel and Spark. One way to check for spark you pull a plug wire up and stick a screwdriver into the spark plug end, then lay it near, but not touching, about half an inch away, a convenient ground point and have someone crank the engine. look for an arc to ground. if you don't see one then take the dist cap off and make sure the the rotor button is turning when the engine is being cranked if no spark is being had it could be your electrical system. if the rotor does not spin could be a bad distrib. Could be the coil or ICM in the distributor. if it is a fuel problem, possibly a new fuel filter could be in order? your fuel pump could have dirt, corrosion, rust build up from inside the tank and may need replacing. Fuel inj. could be clogged, run some fuel inj. cleaner in your gas.

Another way of testing if you have spark is taking a multimeter to the coil itself and testing the coil to the - & +. Im not sure what the resistance should be at for the jeep coil, should be around .06-.1 ohms. this info can be found in a manual.
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JeepinNH
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: starting Reply with quote

Seeing the motor doesn't turn over you need to figure out why not. This item you listed confuses me:
3. Starter still recieves 12 volts according to the voltmeter however when someone turns the key the volts shoot down to less than one volt and then back up to about 4 volts immediately. You should not have voltage on the starter until the key is turned unless you mean the main power that connects to the solenoid on the starter. If the main one drops to 4 volts when the solenoid is engaged then you either have a bad 12v cable or ground to the battery. Narrow this down by putting the volt meter ground wire straight to the battery post. If it still drops at the starter then it's the 12v side. If it doesn't drop then you have a bad ground. If the ground is bad then move to the 12v side of the battery post and step back towards the starter on the ground side looking for where the voltage loss is. It's still possible that your starter has a bad spot but it sounds like a wire. I hope this post was understandable. Very Happy
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Present: 99 Cherokee
Past: 86, 87 Cherokee; 94 Grand Cherokee
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jet_pilot_18
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Joined: 26 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject: Re: starting Reply with quote

JeepinNH wrote:
Seeing the motor doesn't turn over you need to figure out why not. This item you listed confuses me:
3. Starter still recieves 12 volts according to the voltmeter however when someone turns the key the volts shoot down to less than one volt and then back up to about 4 volts immediately. You should not have voltage on the starter until the key is turned unless you mean the main power that connects to the solenoid on the starter. If the main one drops to 4 volts when the solenoid is engaged then you either have a bad 12v cable or ground to the battery. Narrow this down by putting the volt meter ground wire straight to the battery post. If it still drops at the starter then it's the 12v side. If it doesn't drop then you have a bad ground. If the ground is bad then move to the 12v side of the battery post and step back towards the starter on the ground side looking for where the voltage loss is. It's still possible that your starter has a bad spot but it sounds like a wire. I hope this post was understandable. Very Happy

Your post was very helpful along with everyone elses ideas. One thing I was considering today was the fact that the wire running to the starter solenoid was really drenched in oil and crap. I tried to clean it off best I could without actually taking the wire off. Maybe I should just disconect it completely and give it a good wipe down as well. I will keep everyone posted. Thanks for the help guys.
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catheadred
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Joined: 17 Feb 2006
Location: claxton,gerogia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

connect a ratchet to the harmonic balancer of your engine and see if you can rotate it.if it rotates take a amp meter and connect it around the negative battery cable and read the amperage.if it is over 200 amps then the cheap autozone starter you bought is no good.spend the money and get you a good starter from the dealer.the fact that you go from 12 volts to 4 tells me you have a current draw.also take a volt meter and connect the negative to the negative post...not the cable and and the positive to the positive post ..not the cable end.should be 12v. now move the negative wire to the negative end.should be 12v.now put it back and move the positive to the positive end.should be 12volts. now move the negative lead to the end of the ground cable at the block.should read 12v.no need to move the positive to the starter because you already said it has 12v. if you had 12v at all of these places then the battery, cables and ends are not your problem,unless your battery is dropping below10.5 volts during cranking.i bet however your starter is the culprit
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Ptown_bogger
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: just a thought Reply with quote

this may sound too simple but i thought i'd suggest it. Your saying it wont start at all right? and not make anything but one single click, have you tried starting it in nuetral? the nuetral safety switch can sometimes go bad.
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tonyman246
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Joined: 01 Mar 2006
Location: st. louis

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had the exact same problem as you, i had my starter tested and they said it was good but it wasnt. try tapping on the end of your starter then try starting it again. im 99% sure you have a bad starter. just try tapping on the starter while someone has the key in the start position.
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Titan4u2c
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Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Location: Clayton, NC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey is this an automatic tranny? My wife's 92 XJ had something familiar, good power and one click and the fuel pump would sound and batt was new as well. If it is the auto I believe what the one member wrote about the neutral switch maybe bad. Hers ran perfect and took it into walmart for oil change and did not start after that. One of the mechs put it in neutral and she fired up. It only happened again about a week ago about 1 month later and it was really cold outside maybe 30 degrees, compared to the usual 45 plus here this time of year in NC I guess. I tapped the starter, pulled on the wires, checked the fuses and connections at terminals and nothing. It got a little warmer out and I went out and put it in neutral and park a few times. After a couple tries she fired and runs fine. Had batt and starter as well as alt. and fuse box checked out. It needs a tuneup, but other than that I'd go with the switch getting old. Dunno how much they are to replace but I believe in if it ain't broke yet leave it in. lol Hope this helps, good luck!
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RockOn
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject: starting problems eh? Reply with quote

EDITED!
Things to check after you know that your battery & starter are good!

I have had many problems over the years. Some of the starting problems have been....
1. Position sensor- located on the transmission (mine has come loose before)
2. my jeep will not start in neutral.....further more I must push my shifter forward so the vehicle knows it is in park (handy anti-theft device) (my Jeep will NOT start in neutral)
3. I have gotten water in (on & around) my distributor cap (WD40 will fix this, always carry with you)
4. I have gotten so much water & mud on (in & around) my firewall....I had to rerun a few power wires from the battery to the firewall (these wires run to your fuse block, located under the windshield washer tank, good to clean this area after mudding, again WD40)

Remember, mud & water is bad for electronic components (& seals, like axle seals)! But if your clean these various areas (WD40) it will prolong the life of these parts.

Some peeps actually spray some of these areas with silicone, Pam (or other nonstick), & WD40 before offroading to prevent biuld up.

I will do some of these things plus wipe down body areas with vegtable oil to prevent build up.

NOTE: I live in Tennessee, even during a drought, we have mud holes that will swallow your Jeep! Under tree canopy, these holes NEVER dry up.


hope this may help you
good luck.... electrical is always the most fun! Confused


Last edited by RockOn on Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Laredo_boy
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Location: Peterborugh,On,Canada

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:13 am    Post subject: Starting problems Reply with quote

I'm in the same boat. When I turn over my 89 Cherokee, I hear one click then a hum. Since the purchase of the Jeep in July 2005, I've had the starter rebuilt with a new solenoid installed. After I reinstalled the starter connected necessary wires she fired up. But in November I had left the lights on and they drained the battery. So i charged it and then it would not roll over. So its been sitting their ever since because i've been waiting for funds for insurance and such. This pass week I went out and bought new battery and installed it. No Luck!

pull hair What is the Problem!
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ar2de2
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Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: the starter? Reply with quote

I have had the exact same problem starting my cherokee...I have a 93. It all started last Thursday...after many stops and starts while looking for a job...each successive start took longer than the last...the battery kept acting like it was dying. Then Friday and Saturday everything was fine...then Sunday there was the same problem having trouble starting each successive time. Monday morning it didn't start, but it did jump off my boyfriends truck. I went to the parts store to have the battery checked and it's been stuck there since, it won't jump now. Guy checking the battery said it was fine, very good actually. I took off the terminals and cleaned them and the posts really well with a wire brush and put it back together, nothing and wouldn't jump. I then switched the battery for my boyfriends which was also tested and found to be fine, nothing and wouldn't jump. I then replaced the negative terminal and wire to the engine, nothing and wouldn't jump. These are things I know:

1. While the truck is running there are no problems (so not the alternator?)
2. When I try and start it, I get just one click and then nothing, no turnover at all
3. Everything battery related, lights, heater, are working just fine and don't dim when I try to turn over the engine
4. I tried to start it in Park and Neutral, nothing and no jump

I have also jiggled all the wires on the battery, plugs and distributor. Guy at store said it wouldn't necessarily be the distributor or plugs because it's not even turning over. Not turning over would be either the battery or the starter. Since I've already switched batteries and had the battery checked, I've pretty much ruled that out. But a new starter is $100 if I put it in myself...is it possible to know if the starter is bad without having to take it off the truck? I've been reading that sometimes people will have their starters checked and they've been told they're good when they aren't. I'm pretty broke so I don't really want to have to replace a part I don't need to (who does?) I will try to take the starter off today to have it tested...any other suggestions? Or does anyone know a good mechanic in the Portland area?

I do appreciate all the posts on this so far...they've really helped me narrow down the issue...

thanks
Jessica
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