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Unread 02-07-2010, 06:26 PM   #1
rdm7938
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Starter - 1996 Cherokee Sport

I am having an issue wih my starter. I removed it and had it checked out at both AutoZone & O'Reilley's (it tested out GOOD). However, I am told that they may not have put a LOAD on it or tested the solenoid.

When I reinstalled it, the Jeep started like a charm; after a few starts it would click, click, click, turnover; and now it makes no sound at all and does not start.

The only way I can get it to start is to put the ignition in the "on" position, crawl under the Jeep, and touch a screw driver to the 2 bolts (little and big) on the starter. When I do this, it starts right up immediately.

My thought is that one of the wires (the big one from the + side of the battery and the little one coming down from a harness/wire) is not giving the starter any juice/power.

OR, my 2nd thought is maybe the starter is actually bad.

Any thoughts are much appreciated.

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Unread 02-07-2010, 06:54 PM   #2
Super6XJ
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are the post where you put the wires in the solenoid are they covered in oil or anything that might cause it to not make a good connection. i would recommend changing the Wires, and see if that helps.. if not screw it get a new starter
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Unread 02-07-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
Roll4It
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Well its just a thought but your solenoid could be the problem because the motor works when you bypass it with the screwdriver
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Unread 02-07-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
Super6XJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll4It View Post
Well its just a thought but your solenoid could be the problem because the motor works when you bypass it with the screwdriver
true.. i didnt think about that!
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Unread 02-07-2010, 07:12 PM   #5
rdm7938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super6XJ View Post
are the post where you put the wires in the solenoid are they covered in oil or anything that might cause it to not make a good connection. i would recommend changing the Wires, and see if that helps.. if not screw it get a new starter

When I removed the starter, I was sure to clean all the bolts (or posts) on the solenoid where the wires connect (not that they were that dirty anyway).

Any chance it would be the smaller wire which has the harness at the other end? Or the starter relay?
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Unread 02-07-2010, 07:13 PM   #6
rdm7938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll4It View Post
Well its just a thought but your solenoid could be the problem because the motor works when you bypass it with the screwdriver

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the solenoid and starter would have to be replaced together. Would it still test as GOOD if the solenoid was actually bad?
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Unread 02-07-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
rdm7938
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Also, if I do end up having to replace the starter, do you recommend buying a new one or getting a cheaper one from the boneyard?
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Unread 02-07-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
Super6XJ
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you can pick up a starter for about $26 but would have to Exchange the core,
(using my local U pull it Prices)
or you can get a new one for $40 i believe from Oreillys Can be wrong
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Unread 02-07-2010, 10:57 PM   #9
rdm7938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super6XJ View Post
are the post where you put the wires in the solenoid are they covered in oil or anything that might cause it to not make a good connection. i would recommend changing the Wires, and see if that helps.. if not screw it get a new starter

So tonight, I went out and changed both battery terminals (they were pretty corroded AND once again the Cherokee started up like a beauty. HOWEVER, 5 minutes later when I tried again, NO SOUND (maybe a little whir from the starter?), NO CLICK, NOTHING... any help?

Why did it work when I reinstalled the starter; got a new battery; and now when I reconnected the battery terminals? YET, when I try a few minutes later, it won't work at all... HELP PLEASE.
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Unread 02-08-2010, 11:35 AM   #10
DiamondFanatic
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There are two wires on the input to the solinoid. Check both of them with a test light or multi meter while you have a friend turn they key to the start position. If you have voltage on both your starter is bad.

I had my starter tested by Autozone and a week later it started having an intermittent start problem again. I hit it with a prybar and it worked, the next day it did it again and the prybar tapping didn't work.

I replaced it with a rebuilt duralast lifetime warranty one and it starts faster and every time now. If your power checks out as good to the starter, your starter is bad end of story
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Unread 02-08-2010, 11:42 AM   #11
rdm7938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondFanatic View Post
There are two wires on the input to the solinoid. Check both of them with a test light or multi meter while you have a friend turn they key to the start position. If you have voltage on both your starter is bad.

I had my starter tested by Autozone and a week later it started having an intermittent start problem again. I hit it with a prybar and it worked, the next day it did it again and the prybar tapping didn't work.

I replaced it with a rebuilt duralast lifetime warranty one and it starts faster and every time now. If your power checks out as good to the starter, your starter is bad end of story

Great answer... I will definitely do that tonight.

What happens if there is NOT power going to the starter? Do you have any idea where my problem would lie? Thanks for the help!!
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Unread 02-08-2010, 11:47 AM   #12
DiamondFanatic
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If you don't have power to the smaller terminal on the solinoid, make sure that when the key is turned to start the starter relay clicks. Mine is very quiet so I checked by feeling it click with a finger while a friend turned the key to start.

Honestly though it sounds like you were exactly where I was. Check for power to both input pins with the key turned to start, if you have power to both and it isn't cranking replace the starter. The testing they did was a waste of time for me since I'm guessing the solenoid broke loose from being stuck when I dropped it on the concrete causing it to test good for autozone.
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Unread 02-08-2010, 01:20 PM   #13
rdm7938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondFanatic View Post
If you don't have power to the smaller terminal on the solinoid, make sure that when the key is turned to start the starter relay clicks. Mine is very quiet so I checked by feeling it click with a finger while a friend turned the key to start.

Honestly though it sounds like you were exactly where I was. Check for power to both input pins with the key turned to start, if you have power to both and it isn't cranking replace the starter. The testing they did was a waste of time for me since I'm guessing the solenoid broke loose from being stuck when I dropped it on the concrete causing it to test good for autozone.

Thanks "DF," but what happens if I DON'T have power to the input pins?
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Unread 02-08-2010, 02:00 PM   #14
DiamondFanatic
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Then make sure your starter relay is working as described above... If you can jump the pins with a screwdriver then it sounds like you have voltage.

Its a really quick test with a test light.
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Unread 02-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #15
rdm7938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondFanatic View Post
Then make sure your starter relay is working as described above... If you can jump the pins with a screwdriver then it sounds like you have voltage.

Its a really quick test with a test light.


Ok folks, tonight's action is as follows. I started out by trying to crank the Jeep. It started 5 times in a row (easily) and then would not start. Just the silence that I previously mentioned (maybe the whirr of the starter as well?).

On to the ligh test. I began by testing the battery to make sure I was doing it right. When touching the positive battery terminal my light tester lit right up. With the Jeep ignition in the "on" position, I crawled under the car to administer the light test to the starter. Neither solenoid post would light up my tester, BUT I did start the vehicle by accidentily touching my tester to BOTH bolts simultaneously.

I shut the Jeep off and tried to start it in PARK again... it would not start, just silence. I then tried putting it in NEUTRAL and it started right up. After shutting it down once again, I tried starting in PARK again and it worked like a charm. Presently, it will start in BOTH park & neutral.

Any suggestions this time around? Still a starter or electrical issue? I know it's not the neutral safety switch, #1) because it will start in neutral, and #2) it was recently replaced by the dealer.

Thanks.
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