Hi all, this is my first post, I'm new here, I'm also new to Jeeps, And new to engines!
Previously I drove a Cavalier but I never cared much about how an engine works.
I got my 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee for $2000 in September, and I fell in love with it!
I was actually dumb enough to buy the Jeep (at night in darkness) without even looking under the hood, or barely inspecting it.
I just thought, "It's a Jeep I need it!"
I had to change the water pump already, but that was no big deal.
but then it just stopped starting! Originally I would hear some lifeless whirling sound, but after several attempts, all I would get was one little click!
this isn't a Crank but no turn over problem, this is a straight up, no nothing click
Spoiler alert! I replaced the starter and it runs like a charm now!
BUT IM FRUGAL! I am a poor college student with a kid and bills, and I needed to do absolutely everything I could to spend little money fixing the Jeep!
after lots of research, and help. here is the rundown of the process I did, to troubleshoot the problem!
1. new battery (fail, my old battery was fine, should have got a multimeter)
2. Neutral safety switch, this one is easy, just turn your key, and hold it in ignition position, while shifting from P to N. when I did this, I got clicks every time, if the Jeep were to start , I would have found the problem to be the Switch
3. Check wires and clean grounds/connections. probably would be good to have a multimeter for this. but everything seemed legit, still no start. moving on!
4. Fuse box, everything was good, I even changed the starter relay. no luck though...
5. PCM: Oh my god what even is this?! I cleaned the pins but what even is?! I don't want to take this apart and reconnect capacitors! I would much rather bang on the starter profusely! thank god my PCM turned out to be fine or I would be in big trouble!
6. You guessed it, Bang on starter profusely! I later found out excessive hammering is not always good for a complicated electrical motor.
7. one more try at the switches itself, I disconnected my ignition switch, and connected the red wire, to the red and black wire (goes to starter apparently), still a click. I will assume that the ignition switch is fine considering it worked well before.
8. Jimmy the starter with a screwdriver, I got a wonderful array of clicks, clunks, and sparks.
I could have gone straight to the starter, but I needed to check every part of the start up process first, because if it turns out to be a relay, thats a 12 dollar fix! I was not this lucky however.
9. remove starter, take apart, clean, my diagnosis said that my starter was beyond repair, a simple solenoid and brush kit was not going to help me at all.
10. a glorious new starter, what a wonderfull thing! after two weeks of not having wheels, it was well worth it. an easy DIY install too
Now I can finally enjoy my jeep, and hopefully nothing else goes wrong with it so I can start customizing it!