Jeep doesn't start on first key turn sometimes - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > WJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Jeep doesn't start on first key turn sometimes

Savvy Billet LED Tail LightsLight up the holidays with LED lights from JeepHutIntroducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

Reply
Unread 05-24-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
kiloniner
Registered User
2006 WK 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: pensacola, fl
Posts: 128
Jeep doesn't start on first key turn sometimes

Hey all. I'm having a weird problem that I hope someone can shed some light on.

For the past couple of months, I've been having an issue with my Jeep starting. I'll put in the key and turn it and nothing happens. No clicking, no turning over, nada. Most of the time, it will start right up on the second try... but sometimes it takes a third or fourth try.

This morning, I turned the key and it sounded like it was going to start for about 1 second then died. I kept turning the key and it finally started up on like the 10th try.

My battery is basically new and when it turns over it is strong and crisp, not sluggish at all. I don't get any clicking at all, it is just dead.

I read some threads about the fuel pump possibly having an internal leak, so I've done the fuel pump prime trick where I turn the key to the on position for maybe 10 seconds and then try to crank, but it doesn't help.

I also bought a new key in case it was going out on me, but the new key doesn't help either.

Does anyone have some insight as to what's up? I'd like to fix it before I end up stranded somewhere. Does this sound like a starter issue? I'm a bit stumped, so any advice is appreciated. Thanks guys.

kiloniner is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
greasyv8grrl
Registered User
2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 8
bump. similar problem.... 2001 wrangler TJ. First key turn elicits engine crank, no start. Usually I only hold it in the start position for about 3 seconds. Second turn starts every time.

Brand spankin new battery, clean terminals, cables good. No sluggishness, volts read normal. After start, completely normal operation. Has never NOT started, just takes 2 turns....

Wondered about potential fuel delivery issues myself, but haven't done anything about this yet. Eventually, it's gonna bite me...
greasyv8grrl is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
jnsnams
Registered User
2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Blanchard, Oklahoma
Posts: 241
Mine did this and i changed the fuel filter/pressure reulator and works fine now.
jnsnams is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-25-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
doorjamm
Registered User
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Granite Bay, California
Posts: 649
Definitely something within the fuel system. Get under her and small for gas, this is a common symptom if there is a leak somewhere. You can also try the above post. If your vehicle has a good amount of miles, I'm sure something is past it's life and not letting the engine turn over easily
doorjamm is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-25-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
Schlotzky
Registered User
2007 XK Commander 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 926
greasyv8grrl's problem sounds like fuel for sure, but the OP definitely does not have a fuel issue if it won't even crank.

OP, if I'm understanding you correctly, the first key turn, and sometimes a few after has absolutely no apparent attempt from the starter to start the engine, and when the starter does run, it generally starts it right up, correct?

If that's the case, it sounds like a bad starter to me. They can get bad spots in the coils and/or commutators which result in absolutely no attempt from the starter. Generally hitting the starter with something heavy will move it enough to get it to crank, and once it does crank, since it's spinning, there are usually enough good spots to get a normal start. In my experience when starters go out, they'll act like that for a few starts or a few days and then not work at all unless you hit them with something. How about you give that a try--give your starter a nice whack with a block or wood or something and see if it starts up.
Schlotzky is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-25-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
kiloniner
Registered User
2006 WK 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: pensacola, fl
Posts: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlotzky View Post
OP, if I'm understanding you correctly, the first key turn, and sometimes a few after has absolutely no apparent attempt from the starter to start the engine, and when the starter does run, it generally starts it right up, correct?

If that's the case, it sounds like a bad starter to me. They can get bad spots in the coils and/or commutators which result in absolutely no attempt from the starter. Generally hitting the starter with something heavy will move it enough to get it to crank, and once it does crank, since it's spinning, there are usually enough good spots to get a normal start. In my experience when starters go out, they'll act like that for a few starts or a few days and then not work at all unless you hit them with something. How about you give that a try--give your starter a nice whack with a block or wood or something and see if it starts up.
Yes exactly. When I turn the key the first one or two times nothing happens. It acts like a dead battery, except I have full voltage and the lights don't dim or anything. And I'm not getting the usual starter clicking sound at all. It just sits there like nothing happened until I turn the key a few more times.

So far, I have been able to start it after a few attempts without any starter whacking. It actually started doing this about 6 months ago, and has gotten progressively worse it seems. A starter diagnosis does seem likely, but I didn't want to throw money at it without knowing for sure.
kiloniner is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-25-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
Schlotzky
Registered User
2007 XK Commander 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 926
Give the basics of the electrical system a good going over. Re-seat your battery terminals and make sure they are free of corrosion, and check for corrosion on the wires too. Check the starter power wire for corrosion as well and just give a general ground check in your engine bay. If everything checks out, give the starter a good whack and see if the engine starts on the first try. I can see your hesitation to drop the coin for a starter, but this sounds like the classic symptoms of a bad starter.

I'm assuming when it started showing up, sometimes it would start on the first try and sometimes it would take a few?
Schlotzky is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-25-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
kiloniner
Registered User
2006 WK 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: pensacola, fl
Posts: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlotzky View Post
Give the basics of the electrical system a good going over. Re-seat your battery terminals and make sure they are free of corrosion, and check for corrosion on the wires too. Check the starter power wire for corrosion as well and just give a general ground check in your engine bay. If everything checks out, give the starter a good whack and see if the engine starts on the first try. I can see your hesitation to drop the coin for a starter, but this sounds like the classic symptoms of a bad starter.

I'm assuming when it started showing up, sometimes it would start on the first try and sometimes it would take a few?
Yes. Sometimes it still does start on the first try. It just depends on the WJ's mood that day I guess. (Insert woman joke here).

I've already checked the battery terminals and wires, but I'll give everything another once over just in case. And I'll start shopping for a starter in the mean time.

As an aside, would there happen to be any starter upgrades for the WJ similar to the larger Durango alternator swap?

Thanks for the replies Schlotzky.
kiloniner is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-26-2013, 08:54 PM   #9
Schlotzky
Registered User
2007 XK Commander 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 926
Starters aren't a big failure point as they're pretty simple in design. The failures that do occur are not usually from overtaxing, so I don't think an upgrade would be necessary in this case. So long as you get a decent quality replacement, you should be set for quite a while.
Schlotzky is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-26-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
Eurekaredneck
Registered User
1991 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Eureka, UT
Posts: 3
Id look into changing the ignition switch on the steering column. And I don't mean the key if its smooth operation. From the key assembly the is a rod that runs down the steering column and pushes a Plastic covered switch that engages the starter as well as all the electrical to the wiring harness. I had to replace this on 2 of the seven jeeps I've owned to fix an Identical Problem you describe.

Good luck. Hate electrical issues.
__________________
Eureka Redneck
Eurekaredneck is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-26-2013, 09:18 PM   #11
Schlotzky
Registered User
2007 XK Commander 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 926
^^ That one should be easy enough to test for. Just throw a test light on the starter power lug to engine ground and see if it illuminates when the key is in the start position but the starter doesn't engage.
Schlotzky is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-07-2013, 05:40 PM   #12
kiloniner
Registered User
2006 WK 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: pensacola, fl
Posts: 128
I will check into the ignition switch in addition to checking the starter. I appreciate the replies guys.
kiloniner is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools






Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.