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Amedee
Amedee, Jeep Technician
Category: Jeep
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Experience:  ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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Grand Cherokee Limited: Starter indicates difficulty turning

Resolved Question:

Starter indicates difficulty turning over, new battery installed and 4 months later starter issue shows up again?

My Jeep 2005 Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7 in March with a one year old batther, had eventual difficulties turning the engine over and starting. Charged it up and it was good then days later same thing. Took it to Sears and they said charging system is fine and battery is fine. Went home, shut it off and later that night it wouldn't start. A turn over or two would happen and that was it. Charged it more and went back to sears a couple days later and they replaced the battery under warranty in March 2013. It was about the third visit. Now, end of August, new Die hard 670cc, same symptoms. Then ran through this scenario: Engine starts in the morning, drive 20 miles to work parked all day in hot 90 degree Florida sun, get in Jeep at 5pm and Engine struggles to turn over. This seems to be common. But add this in. Sometimes I turn the key and get just the CLICK, then turn again and it starts. This happens often. It’s like, if the engine is hot and sits all day, then it may struggle to start. Put a charge on it and it may be good to you for days or so.

Measuring voltage:
Engine off 12.70
Eng on, idle, nothing operating, just engine, 13.70
Everything on: high beams, air conditioning, stereo on full volume, doors open 13.50 while touching the gas pedal voltage is the same time. It never gets to 14 volts, but
when I shut headlights off I get 14 for one second then back to 13.50.

While driving to work, 13.4 volts average. 60 miles per hour. Voltages are based off a DVMM not a dash meter.

Is the voltage enough for charging?

The battery + - cables have no corrosion of any kind. never needed terminal cleaner or anything. 80k miles on Jeep.

With the Jeep off .030 amps, 30 milli amps are required to operate the Jeep while off. Pulling one fuse that powers the stereo etc disengages the .030 amp draw. From what I have read, that is standard.

I took off the drivers wheel inner liner to get eye sight of the starter and stopped there.

I have no add-on aftermarket products. All factory stock. No add on anything. No phone charger.

No battery indicators on dash lights.
Wierd thing The EVIC reports mpg avg is between 5.5 and 6.5 miles per gallon. It use to read 12.x miles avg. Miles in tank display appears normal, as it reads 300 miles left in tank at fuel up.

Speed sensors indicate fault and my understanding is that it shuts off the traction ABS system. ABS light and traction lights are on in the dash light indicators. Wheels are interrupted at slow speeds once a month for a second or two.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can assist you with your question.

First of all, thank you for all of he great detail! This will help both of us big time!

Based on what your telling me, I suspect that your problem is a bad starter motor. This is very common. The starter motor goes bad and is not able to crank the engine over strong enough when it gets hot/warm. I have a feeling it is as simple as that.

To verify this, be sure that you have FULL battery voltage down at both terminals going to the starter motor with the key in the CRANK position WHEN this happens. If all checks out good, then the starter is bad and will need to be replaced. Just be sure that the engine and frame grounds check out good.

Also, to answer your question, the battery, alternator and amp draw (when the engine is off) all are within acceptable range.

I hope this helps!

Amedee
Amedee, Jeep Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 21843
Experience: ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Amedee and 11 other Jeep Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

As it apears, the starter is not accessible to put a meter on the wires at the starter, I removed the inner wheel liner to access and see the starter, others suggest that it may be necessary to cut the wire to the starter in the removal of the starter, then fix the cut wire. It also may be necessary to drop down the 4 x 4 drive shaft that is right at the underside of the starter.


 


I have the Haynes repair manual and see how to mark position of drive shaft at both ends and drop out the shaft and also the cross over exhaust.


 


I am hoping after getting those two items out that the starter can be pulled.


 


On batter terminal cables, my wife's Mercury sable showed acid leaking at the top and corroded the crap out of the positive termial cable, battery was also hot to touch. I replaced the cables and acid leaking stopped.


 


With the Jeep the cables look fine, but, the engine compartment and all items inside engine area like the battery remain damn hot all day. I noticed that the plastic heat shields over the wires fall apart when you touch them. I noticed this when I replaced the 16 spark plugs at 70k miles.


 


Would battery terminal wires that look fine with no corrosion need to be replaced? It is just that Chrysler, I can't believe how hot is stays under the hood for so long.


 


I will be looking into the starter over the weekend, but didn't want to do it without your advisement first.


 


Since the problem is intermittent, like today, went to the store, no problem, after 1 hour came out and had starting issue, Click followed by nothing then like a slot machine, dropped the key back and then turned again and it started. But because I put a new battery in it looked like a charging issue. Looking fwd to reply to this and I will let you know how the starter went. Do you recommend brands or rebuilt unit providers?


Thank you,


Glen


 


 


 

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.
Glen,

Thanks for the extra detail. A remain starter will work just fine. Parts stored usually provide some kind of warranty with starter motors. Some shops offer a one year parts and labor warranty on the starter motor and many other things.

To answer your question, YES.. battery cables can look Ok and still be bad. That is why it is important to check for voltage down at the starter motor WHEN this happen just to be sure.

Amedee

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