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Unread 11-21-2008, 01:36 PM   #1
jeffmc
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Jeep won't turn over

New to the forum here. I'm hoping you guru's can help a desk jockey like me get my Jeep going...

I've got a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport w/ automatic transmission. The engine will not turn over. All electrical is working. When I turn the key, I get a single "click" - and that's it. I'm no mechanic, but not I'm not totally hopeless. I did a little research and a little testing....

Battery is good - even bought a brand new one. Doesn't work when jumped either.

When I turn the key with the headlights on, they do not dim.

I replaced the Starter Relay with a known good one (from the fog lights). I made sure the original one worked as well, by testing it in the fog lights.

I tested the voltage at the starter solenoid (the fat, red wire connected to the battery) - it's good.

I tested the ignition wire (the thin black wire that plugs onto a spade) at the solenoid when the key is turned - NO POWER.

I'm thinking it's either the Neutral Safety Switch, or the Ignition Switch. BUT, my backup lights come on when I put it in Reverse (so I'm thinking the NSS should be good??).

I tried "jumping" the solenoid by touching the post and spade together with a screwdriver. The engine turns strong but will not start.

(I'm gonna try the last thing again, just to make sure - I was really surprised it didn't start. The Jeep has always started very easily)

Any ideas?? Thanks in advance!

-Jeff

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Unread 11-21-2008, 04:30 PM   #2
jeffmc
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bump... any help guys? I already read this http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showt...=634544&page=2 thread and I will try cleaning the grounds.

Am I way off in assuming the neutral safety switch is probably working, because the backup lights come on when its put into reverse?

-Jeff
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Unread 11-21-2008, 04:43 PM   #3
zener6
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I had an old crappy car with similar symptoms. it would click, it would click, it would click, it would start. It ended up being the starter solonoid. I actually removed the whole starter and it was completely rebuilt. But dont go rebuild your starter just because my old car used to click but it seems like if you have voltage your started would turn or try to turn even with a seized motor.
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Unread 11-21-2008, 05:32 PM   #4
BlazinJack
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you said you had no power to the key side of the soleniod? then that is the problem circuit. your jeep may not have started because the key was not in the "on/run" position. try jumping the jeep again but put the key in the run position before you jump the terminals (make sure your in park!) start from the steering column, chech the 10 or so wire harness on the left side under the column panels. there are 2 red wires, 3 pink/yellow wires, 1 pink/green wire in that harness. the pink/green is the start wire. see if it has power when you put the key in the crank position, if so the next area to check is the fuses, make sure you have power to both sides of ALL of the fuses. then check the relay again (i know you said you did, but never hurts to double check.
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Unread 11-21-2008, 06:44 PM   #5
jeffmc
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Thanks BlazinJack - I'll start testing those wires....And try once more to jump the terminals (just did it a few minutes ago and it didn't start - I will double check the key position).
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Unread 11-21-2008, 07:44 PM   #6
MikeBK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmc View Post
Thanks BlazinJack - I'll start testing those wires....And try once more to jump the terminals (just did it a few minutes ago and it didn't start - I will double check the key position).
The starter wire should be yellow, also neutral safety switch, and reverse light switch should be two seperate switches.
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Unread 11-21-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
jeffmc
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BlazinJack - I checked the pink/green wire and it has power when the key is in the on/run position. I did not have to attempt to start it before I got the 12V. I triple checked the ignition switch fuse and starter relay and they were fine. For the fuse, one side had power, the other side did not (if, by "side" you meant the hole where each prong of the fuse enters).

I'm running out of stuff to check. I think a repair bill is my my future

Thanks,
-Jeff
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Unread 11-21-2008, 07:53 PM   #8
jeffmc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBK View Post
The starter wire should be yellow, also neutral safety switch, and reverse light switch should be two seperate switches.
Thanks Mike - by "starter wire", do you mean the one connected to the starter? Or are you referring to the ignition wires under the dash? The wire connected from the battery to my solenoid is red.

In regards to the neutral safety switch - I thought a common indicator of it going bad was that the reverse lights don't go on (and that the car only starts in neutral or requires you to wiggle the shifter)? I can't rule out the NSS, that's for sure.

I will say that my shifter has always been a problem. It gets physically stuck in park, or stuck in drive/neutral and won't go up into Park. I actually have to physically push down a small horizontal rod inside the" shifter case" (beneath the PRNDL indicator) in order to move the shifter handle (it's as if the button on the shifter handle doesn't work - it does, but it's not as effective as it should be). To clarify, though, it's always been a physical problem with the shifter - nothing electrical, to my knowledge.

Thanks for your help guys - it's obvious I've come to the right place

-Jeff
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Unread 11-21-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
jeffmc
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One more thing.... I still don't understand why the car won't start when I jump the terminals on the solenoid?? The car has always started easily, but it won't start even after 10 seconds of cranking.

Thanks,
-Jeff
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Unread 11-22-2008, 08:18 AM   #10
kuebelwagen
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I'm having the same problem right now. I can crank it over from underneath with a screwdriver. It's only 20 degrees here now, I'm tired of laying on the frozen ground f'ing with this.
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Unread 11-22-2008, 08:21 AM   #11
kuebelwagen
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Does anyone have a picture of the NSS in a wrangler auto trans? The Haynes book has a terrible drawing that looks nothing like what I'm looking at. I'm frickin freeeezingg
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Last edited by kuebelwagen; 11-22-2008 at 08:49 AM..
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Unread 11-22-2008, 11:06 AM   #12
jeffmc
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Agree with kuebelwagen... If cleaning or replacing the NSS is my next step, I'd like to give it a shot, but I just don't see anything that looks like the pics I've seen.

-Jeff
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Unread 11-22-2008, 11:35 AM   #13
jeffmc
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kuebelwagen - I think the NSS for our automatic transmission looks like this... I've seen this thing on my jeep, for sure (almost took it off yesterday): http://tinyurl.com/5g6de5
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Unread 11-22-2008, 01:20 PM   #14
BlazinJack
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Quote:
For the fuse, one side had power, the other side did not (if, by "side" you meant the hole where each prong of the fuse enters).
Actually, leave the fuse in the socket and check to make sure there is power to both sides (there is a little peice of metal that sticks thrpugh the plastci on the fuse, just use your test light.
Quote:
The starter wire should be yellow, also neutral safety switch, and reverse light switch should be two seperate switches.
I just installed a remote start yesterday, so i know for a fact that my jeeps starter wire is pink/green (under the dash). and the wiring diagram program i use at work confirms this. however, there may have been a change in wire color at some point before 2006. at any rate, in that harness on the steering cloumn, there should be a wire that only has power when you put the key in the crank position. if not, you have a problem in the tumbler. which would maybe explain the stifter getting stuck (because the key has to be in the right position before the car will go into/ out of park).
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Unread 11-22-2008, 01:39 PM   #15
WranglerRush
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Have you checked the CPS?
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