Hey TJ owners! I have a 1998 TJ, all stock. When I turn the key to ON, the gauges work, the radio plays, the lights work everything. When I turn the key to START, I get just an electrical sounding buzzing noise that sounds like it's coming from the gauges, but nothing from the engine compartment. In the past few months (since I've owned it) the power would cut out sometimes when the jeep was running, e.g. when I flipped the turn signal on, or just randomly. If I turned the car off and on again the power would come back.
So yesterday morning finally the jeep just wouldn't turn over. I pushed it down the hill and it jump started just fine. I tried again in the afternoon but still wouldn't start, and this morning again the same thing. I checked the error codes and I get 12,43,43,43,17,55. That was from turning the key on and off three times. I did it while holding down the odometer reset button and I got code 43 with the check engine light flashing 4 times, and then 3 times. Then 17, with the light flashing 1 time, then 7 times. Then 55, with the light flashing 5 times.
Is this enough info for anyone to make a diagnosis? I really appreciate the help! I don't want to go replacing a bunch of stuff just to find that "that wasn't the problem".
check your connections at the starter. wire might be loose. Also check your starter relay. If those are all good, take a screw driver (when your jeep is NOT in gear and someone attempts to start it at the same time you jump it.) and jump the starter. The starter has 3 wires, +, -, and switched +, with a screwdriver jump the switched + to the constant +.
Also wack the starter with a rubber hammer. Sometimes the solenoid plays foul. If all those things don't help, you might just have a crapped out starter. Time for a dealer starter or a green machine. http://shop.mean-green.com/2002-88-40L-242-MG3210-J.htm or if you cant afford a big boy starter, go stock. http://www.quadratec.com/products/917227_06.htm
All this took me all of 5 minutes to type and source.... Is Google a friend or what?!
If your on a real budget just go to a junk yard. a cherokee starter will work. As long as its the same displacement as your jeep. 2.5 or 4.0.. Probably like 20.00 at a yard.
Try the simple/obvious 1st. wack the starter, check for loose connections, and check the relay.
Replaced the starter, same problem. The easy thing is to go straight to the default answer and simply say "it's the starter". The engine codes again are 12,43,43,43,17,55. All electrical related, along with the other comments I made about the power going out randomly, one might not conclude "it's the starter". Oh well, the new starter is better, and so easy to replace, but I still have to jump it with a screwdriver to start the car. I guess I will spend a little more time diagnosing before I go replacing parts.
My experience is that symptom is seldom the starter itself. Does your engine idle properly once push-started without stepping down on the gas pedal a tad? Or does it need a little pressure on the gas pedal to keep it running?
My first suggestion is to physically remove both battery connections and wire brush the inside of the connectors and the battery posts until they are bright and shiny, then reinstall them and make sure the battery clamp nuts are tight enough to prevent substantial hand pressure from rotating the connectors around the battery post.
If doing that doesn't help and the engine won't idle without stepping down on the gas pedal a tad, you've got a bad battery.