Help! Jeep wont even attempt to start! - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 23 Old 02-10-2017, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
fundabug
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Help! Jeep wont even attempt to start!

I have a 2004 4.0L Wrangler that I've owned its entire life. This has never happened before. I went out this morning to run some errands. When I went to start it it just kind of sat there a couple of seconds then turned over and started right up. When I went to start it to return home it did the same thing, but this time I had to bump the key a couple of times then it started right up. Now it won't even attempt to start. Everything comes on, but it wont start. Checked the ignition fuse, starter relay, & battery voltage looks good. It's an old battery, but still has been starting right up. I also just put a new top on yesterday, cant imagine how that would have caused this, but I'm just going to add that info anyway. So what to I check next? Anybody have this happen, know how to fix it? Help! It's my daily and I need her running!

PS: It's not throwing any codes




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post #2 of 23 Old 02-10-2017, 03:40 PM
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Have you tried to jump the starter itself? Maybe the starter failed

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post #3 of 23 Old 02-10-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
fundabug
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No I haven't. How do I do that? I'm not good with the electronics so much. Usually if it's something mechanical I can track it down & fix it, but I've never had it just sit there and do nothing. Also I'm temporarily relocated to New Mexico for the wife's job, so I've only got a pretty simple bag of hand tools here. What do I need to jump it?



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post #4 of 23 Old 02-10-2017, 04:07 PM
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I would Google it. I have never done it, but I think you would take the starter out and put 1e volts across the leads. Someone posted in the last few weeks about a similar problem and some posted a write up on it

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post #5 of 23 Old 02-11-2017, 06:02 PM
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Any updates?

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post #6 of 23 Old 02-12-2017, 05:53 PM
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Fundabug,

From personal experience I'd look into the no start issue in this order:

You said you checked the battery, and it's fine. So first thing would be to disconnect the battery cables, and clean both the battery posts and the wire clamps. Sometimes it's as simple as that, I've had 3 vehicles in the last 2 years not start from mild corrosion build up on the battery cables/posts.
Check the ignition actuator. Is it intact, chipped or broken?
Replace the ignition switch. I've had to replace the actuator once, and the switch twice on my '02 TJ.
Finally, check/jump the starter. I had to replace mine just last year.

As mentioned, YouTube is your friend. YMMV, and invariably will...

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-13-2017, 11:21 AM
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I'd jump right to trying to jump the starter at the relay. This will quickly tell you if your starter is good and power to starter is good.

If that works then I'd check the starter relay input to see if lights up when you turn the ign key. If not then likely an issues with the ign switch. If it does light up.

If both start works when jumped and relay gets input from ign then its the ground circuit from the PCM. Could the something like the neutrual switch for manually or park switch for auto.. Or a PCM power/ground issue.

I actually just made a video of me trying to figure out a no-start on my Jeep:

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post #8 of 23 Old 02-13-2017, 01:54 PM
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Funny, the same exact thing happened to me. The damn heap has been sitting in the driveway the past few weeks b/c it won't start. I went out today and tried the key 3-4 times and I could hear the relay clicking in the glove box. Finally it started to turn over. Instant start at that point. Got it in the garage and I can now mess with it. OP - did you figure it out? I'm thinking solenoid for me.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-13-2017, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rps View Post
Funny, the same exact thing happened to me. The damn heap has been sitting in the driveway the past few weeks b/c it won't start. I went out today and tried the key 3-4 times and I could hear the relay clicking in the glove box. Finally it started to turn over. Instant start at that point. Got it in the garage and I can now mess with it. OP - did you figure it out? I'm thinking solenoid for me.
The clicking the solenoid turning on/off so its working. Sounds like you might have a starter on its way out and/or a power problem going to the starter. If it happens again try tapping the starter with a hammer. If it starts right up you have a starter near death. Sometimes they will hang on for months.

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post #10 of 23 Old 02-15-2017, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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The strangest thing happened. I had a friend stop by and I asked him to feel the relay & tell me if it clicked when I tried to start it. It was receiving voltage. He said it sounded as it should start right up. I had him hop in the Jeep and turn on the headlights and try to start it so could see if the battery voltage dropped significantly. He popped the headlights on and it started right up. It's started every time for the last couple of days without fail. Sound like the starters on it's deathbed? Or just some weird jeep thing that worked itself out? It didn't start for a full 2 days, I'm thinking maybe starter.



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post #11 of 23 Old 02-15-2017, 08:01 PM
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As has been mentioned, I'd check the battery connections. I've had the same thing with the no start one moment, start the next in 3 different Jeeps, my 2 XJ's and my TJ. The first thing I always check is the battery connections. The only time it wasn't the battery connection was when it was the CPS in my '98 XJ, and that has different symptoms because that will crank.

I will say, every time it's happened, it's been the negative connection and it's always been loose. I actually carry pliers in my TJ in case it happens when I'm out and about. In my '98 XJ i replaced the batter terminals with brass marine terminals. I've done that with the positive terminal on my TJ, but haven't gotten around to replacing the negative because the last time I tightened it up, it has stayed fixed and out of sight, out of mind...I may have a project this weekend.

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post #12 of 23 Old 02-16-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Annnnd the mystery continues. Started having the starting issue again today, but I noticed that it's doing everything but starting. Checked and cleaned battery terminals, checked fuses, & relays. Thats when I got back in and it started right up. Turned it off and the next two times it wouldn't start. My Jeep is a manual transmission and I noticed that if I banged the clutch a couple of times it would start. I found some kind of little unit on the clutch cable with two wire running out of it up into the dash. If it doesn't start, I reach down and give it a good thump and then it starts right up. I can only guess that thing is a sensor maybe to assure that your starting up with the clutch in? Anybody familiar with it?



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post #13 of 23 Old 02-16-2017, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I sometimes scare myself with my own stupidity. The clutch safety switch was failing. Simple bypass and shes running like a champ. Don't know why it took me so long to put 2 & 2 together. Almost two weeks fooling around with.



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post #14 of 23 Old 02-16-2017, 07:17 PM
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Good job! I've got mine bi-passed right now. Thinking I might get a new clutch switch but then also run a second switch to bi-pass it just to make troubleshooting easier.

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post #15 of 23 Old 02-17-2017, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepingNet View Post
Good job! I've got mine bi-passed right now. Thinking I might get a new clutch switch but then also run a second switch to bi-pass it just to make troubleshooting easier.
This was my exact problem as well. Jiggle the clutch and it would start right up. I bypassed w/ the fuse and it works like a champ. Wasn't there a recall on Jeeps for this clutch safety switch? I looked, but could not find it.
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