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Ivan
Ivan, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 4870
Experience:  ASE Master Tech, 20+ years experience. 9 years self employed. Expert on AUTOLAB radio show
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My 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee suddenly will not start. When I

Customer Question

My 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee suddenly will not start. When I turn the key it clicks once and nothing else. The gauges and celiing light stay on continuously without flicker the battery power seems fine. I tried jumping it and it still just clicks once . I checked the diagnostic code by clicking the key on/off 3 times and said "done", so the problem is not one the computer can recognize. I also tried turning the key in the car door two or three times to the left the right or both to resolve any anti-theft issue. But, still no change. I also tried moving the gear shift lever back and forth between park and drive and pushing it tighter into the park position and still nothing. The battery cables are clean, the starter and solenoid connections appear fine as far as I can see. I even tried my second key to see if there was a key chip problem. There were no symptoms prior to this happening. Could it be the battery or maybe the starter or battery fuse? Help!!!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.

Hello laurel.ellis, it sounds like you have a starter issue. The first thing we need to check is power to the starter. This will confirm or direct us on what we are dealing with. On the starter solenoid, there are 2 terminals. A large one and a small one. The large one is the battery lead to the starter, the small one is the lead that engages the starter. Using a test light or voltmeter, see if you have power at the small wire when you turn the ignition to crank. If you do, you have a bad starter. If you don't then we look to see where our command to crank the starter is being interrupted. Let me know what you find. If there is no power, I will get you a diagram and tell you where and what to check.

 

Your JA Expert,

Ivan

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

It looks like there is no power going to the starter. Would you please send me the schmatics and explain how best to check the wiring.

 

Thank You,

Laurel XXXX

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

It looks like there is no power going to the starter. Would you please send me the schmatics and explain how best to check the wiring.

 

ALSO, could you explain to us exactly where the starter is located in our 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee so that we can be certain were looking at the starter and not something else?

 

Thank You,

Laurel XXXX

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.

Most certainly. Here is the location of the starter and a wiring diagram. The light green wire on the starter solenoid is the wire you are going to test. Make sure you use either a test light connected to ground or a voltmeter with the negative connected to ground. Re-verify power or no power and let me know, then I'll guide you to the relay and up the circuit as needed.---Ivan

 

graphicgraphic

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank You, Ivan.

 

We are having a friend come over tomorrow to help with checking the wiring. We will get back to you then. Once, we don't have anymore questions we will be sure to click the accept button so you get paid.

 

Thank You,

Laurel Ellis

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.

You've got a deal. I'll be with you until it starts, so feel free to ask what you need to.

 

Ivan

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ivan,

 

We have a friend coming over this weekend to help us. Would you please send us the instructions for replacing the starter motor just in case we need to?

 

Thank You,

Laurel XXXX

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.

It's actually pretting simple. Look at the location illustration I sent with the diagram. Disconnect the battery. Disconnect the 2 electrical wires that go to the starter. Then remove the two bolts indicated in that picture. The starter will come right out after that. Let me know if you have any problems.

 

Ivan

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ivan,

 

Well... Here's where we stand. We found that there is power to the starter. We pulled it and found the solenoid may be sticking a little. Our friend cleaned the solenoid brushes and checked it out and then hooked it to his battery charger and it worked fine. When we put it back in the car, it's still having the same problem. It clicks once and that's it. We don't want to have to buy a new starter if that's not the problem.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Laurel Ellis

 

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.

Replace the starter. If your battery is strong, your starter is too weak to push the engine. It will spin when bench testing, but not enough torque to turn the engine. Just make sure your battery is good and postive and negative cables are clean on both end. Unbolt the ground cable from the engine block and clean the end and the bolt as well as the contact point. Make sure you have around 12 volts to the larger terminal on the starter during crank. If you do, use jumper cables to clamp the body of the starter to the frame. This will act like a secondary ground. If it still won't crank, put a starter in it. Tell me what voltages you find and if the battery is good. You can even try jump starting it and see what happens.

 

Ivan

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank You, XXXXX XXXXX'll let you know what we find.

 

Laurel Ellis

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.
Keep me posted, I'm here until it starts!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ivan,

 

Bad news.... We put in a new starter and the Jeep is still doing the same thing. Clicks once and that's it. We checked the ground wire and made sure there was 12 volts going to the starter before replacing it.

 

Any other ideas???

 

Thank You,

Laurel Ellis

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.
Was the battery healthy? Did you have it checked?
Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.
I can't help but feel we either have low voltage or a voltage drop condition at the battery lead to the starter, so when the selonoid is engaged there is not enough voltage to crank the engine. I would like you to recheck 2 things. The first with the key turned to crank, do we have 12 volts at the selonoid wire, That was the light green wire (or the small wire on the starter). At the same time, do we have 12 volts present on the battery wire at the starter (the large wire). If we have a voltage drop condition that 12 volts on the large wire will drop way down, may 7 volts or so. This is all dependent on the starter having a good ground. Make sure the body of the starter does not register any voltage at all, at this time as well. It should register 0.0v-0.02. No more than that. Our problem has to lie among these things. If we have supply voltage and a good ground, power on the solenoid wire will cause the starter to crank. It has no choice. I think we are right there, we just need to look again and see what we are missing.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I will re-check all of the things you have suggested. I did have a friend come over with my husband and check things out with his volt meter. I will have back over tomorrow and go over it again.

 

My husband did try jumping it from our other jeep. Should this have worked even if the battery was bad?

 

I will have him take the battery down tomorrow and have it checked...

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.
It should have worked, unless we have a bad battery cable or a shorted battery that is pulling the voltage down. Look for dirty connection as well. We have to be reducing voltage at the starter, so when we get signal to the solenoid, there is not enough power to fully engage the starter. Another thing to check. Make sure the engine will turn over my hand. Use a ratchet and socket and make sure the crankshaft turns. If it doesn't we have a few things to check and now understand why the starter won't crank the motor. I hope it turns, but if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world, yet. Check that first before anything else. If it turns, proceed. If it doesn't let me know as soon as you know.
Ivan, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 4870
Experience: ASE Master Tech, 20+ years experience. 9 years self employed. Expert on AUTOLAB radio show
Ivan and 8 other Jeep Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ivan,

 

Finally, we have the car running. Thank you so very much for your expert help and staying with us through the whole process. The battery was fine, however there was a connection problem inside the battery wire where it connected to the terminal. Cleaned it up and cut it back to clean wire and it starts perfectly.

 

Too bad your not a Porsche mechanic we just sent our 2006 off on a flat bed. Do you believe it it's only 2 years old with 15K on it. When it rains it pours. At least this one is under warranty.

 

Thank you, again,

 

Laurel Ellis

Expert:  Ivan replied 5 years ago.

Hoooooraaayyyyy!!!! Your very welcome, I'm glad I could be a part of it. Look me up if you ever need anything.

 

Ivan

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