Electrical Issue....Please help - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-25-2015, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
mpauwels
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Electrical Issue....Please help

Hello all. The new Jeeper here and I need some help. Went to start my 2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ, 2.4L, 5-speed manual, and it would not start. Took the battery to Oreilly's and it tested good. I bought a new alternator, installed it, jumped the jeep, ran it for an hour or so and shut it off. I immediately tried to start it and nothing. No dome light, radio, etc. I checked all of the connections, ran a multi-meter on the battery and it registered 12.86. So I came to the realization that my old alternator was probably good, but all good that I now have a new one.

Now my issue is where do I go from here? I am obviously not very mechanically/electrically inclined. I just want to know if you experts out there have any advice moving forward. Its a nice jeep, but not so much when it just sits in the garage.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

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post #2 of 10 Old 10-25-2015, 05:13 PM
Jerry Bransford
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What is the battery voltage while you're trying to start the engine, with the ignition switch in the Start position? Even a nearly dead battery can read over 12 volts without a load on it.

Generally speaking, I don't trust auto parts store personnel to know how to properly load test a battery. It's common they don't put enough of a load on it for a long enough period of time to actually give the battery a meaningful test and accurate condition. I knew I had a dead Toyota battery recently but the first guy at my local battery shop ran a quick test on it and pronounced it 'fine'. I knew better and had a more experienced tech give it a proper load test and he confirmed that it was actually bad.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-25-2015, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
mpauwels
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Thanks for that test Jerry. I had my daughter turn the ignition and I observed the multimeter and it was at 12.66 and there was no change when she turned the ignition. The engine did not even begin to crank, and again, nothing (electrical, radio, dome light, etc) was on. I got under the Jeep and just checked the voltage on the starter and the alternator and both were right at 12.70 (the engine was not running). I don't know what that means, but I just wanted to test them in case it meant something. I looked at the wires and nothing jumps out at me as "out of place". (I know the Jeep is 15 years old and there are likely issues with the wiring, but I don't know how to trace down wiring with the multi-meter).

Anything else you could think of to try would be appreciated.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-25-2015, 09:09 PM
chris142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Generally speaking, I don't trust auto parts store personnel to know how to properly load test a battery. It's common they don't put enough of a load on it for a long enough period of time to actually give the battery a meaningful test and accurate condition.
I agree.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-25-2015, 09:16 PM
chris142
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Originally Posted by mpauwels View Post
Thanks for that test Jerry. I had my daughter turn the ignition and I observed the multimeter and it was at 12.66 and there was no change when she turned the ignition. The engine did not even begin to crank, and again, nothing (electrical, radio, dome light, etc) was on. I got under the Jeep and just checked the voltage on the starter and the alternator and both were right at 12.70 (the engine was not running). I don't know what that means, but I just wanted to test them in case it meant something. I looked at the wires and nothing jumps out at me as "out of place". (I know the Jeep is 15 years old and there are likely issues with the wiring, but I don't know how to trace down wiring with the multi-meter).

Anything else you could think of to try would be appreciated.
12.66 is fully charged. When you turn the key to "START" the voltage should drop some. 11v or 10ish maybe.

When she is holding the key on "START" see if you have around 12volts @ the small wire on the starter solonoid.

If its getting voltage there you have a bad starter solonoid which means you normally replace the starter. If theres no power there then you have an open circut somewhere between the switch and starter.

While Its possible you have a broken wire somewhere a faulty clutch switch or neutral safety switch if its an automatic trans is a much more common failure. Could be the starter relay under the hood. You can swap it with another to test it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-25-2015, 10:27 PM
Dr. Internet
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When you turn the key to start, 12VDC is used to activate a high current switch, called a solenoid, usually located on the side of the starter, to turn the engine over until it starts. It sounds like either the circuit to energize the starter is "open" or the solenoid has failed.
Check and make sure that the wire is connected to the solenoid (under the engine). Next, check and make sure that the ground strap (a braided, flat, bare conductor), is connected between the engine and the firewall. Next, remove your battery terminals (negative (black)) first and clean the battery and the connectors thoroughly (you can get a cheap cleaner / scrubber at the auto parts store, or use sandpaper) until they are clean and shiny. Put them back on (red first) and tighten securely. Turn on your headlights and check the voltage. If it drops below 11VDC, you probably need a battery. If not, try to start the Jeep. If there is nothing, remove the starter and take it to a starter shop for testing. If you take it to a chain auto parts store, they will just sell you a new one. If there is no starter shop around, try to find a mechanic who can tell if it is the solenoid or the starter (sometimes the starter windings will fail).
This should get you on the track. When you do find out what is wrong, please let us know.
Good luck.

Steve

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post #7 of 10 Old 10-26-2015, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
mpauwels
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Thanks for all the great advice. Just got home, but a couple of things I did. I switched the relay with another one that was working for sure before this issue and no change. I looked at the braided ground wire and there is one attached from the hood to the firewall and another from the same spot......but the other end is frayed and its hanging loose. I looked around and I cannot find the other portion of this wire (I am not sure it was connected before). I read in one post that this would be attached to the valve cover, is that the case? I will try the voltage on the starter and battery when my daughter gets home (cant do it alone, lol). If you guys can point me in the right direction with the ground wire, it would be much appreciated. Thanks again everyone.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-26-2015, 07:13 PM
hknapp
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If nothing works with the key in the ON position including dash ligths, radio etc and you are showing full battery voltage it could be your ignition switch or the fuse connections for ignition or a loose connection on the battery post.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-26-2015, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
mpauwels
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So I am definitely an idiot. I went through everything again and looked, really looked at the connector and cable for the negative battery terminal. It was totally rusted. So I cleaned the clamp (sanded and filed and then I clipped the wire and got fresh copper.....imagine, it started right up.

So I was thinking of changing my user id to something with the word idiot in it! Let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks for all of you experts out there for assisting me in this process, figuratively speaking I am a baby on the bottle still when it comes to Jeeps. I really enjoy working on the Jeep and seeing the progress I make with all of your help.

I learned two things in this process......1. Throwing money at an UNDIAGNOSED issue is really dumb and just empties my pockets 2. Look for the simple and obvious things FIRST as it can sometimes really be that simple.

Thanks again everyone.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-26-2015, 09:15 PM
Dr. Internet
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Well, you are not an idiot. You kept at it until you found the problem. That's one of the things that separates Jeeper's from the rest of the world! By posting what you found, you may have helped others with the same issue, and you definitely learned that rust doesn't conduct electricity!
Thanks for posting...

Steve

2012 Black GC Overland Summit 4x4 2006 Red LJ Rubi
USN Club Hull TJ-13 TX Jeep Club #29
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