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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 21601
Experience:  Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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Liberty: my 2005 jeep liberty won't seem to engage the starter.

Customer Question

my 2005 jeep liberty won't seem to engage the starter. i have power. the radio works. Fuel pump cycles. i disconnected the neg battery terminal. let it sit for 15 minutes. put it back on. pulled the starter relay. jumped the terminals. motor crasnk but didn't start, even when i had the key in the on position. any thoughts?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!
It's possible that the powertrain control module isn't fully awake but if the fuel pump does run then the PCM is at least partially functional.
If the fuel pump does run I would first suspect an ignition switch actuator pin issue. The pin can break and prevent the switch from turning fully to the crank position when the lock cylinder is turned.
Do you have a test light?
Do you have a scan tool to check for PCM communication?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a remote starter on the car and it won't start with that. Will the ignition switch actuator issue cause the remote starter not to start the car? I have a multimeter.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
No, if it won't start remotely either then that either rules out the ignition switch actuator or you have two separate issues.
Do you have a scan tool?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just an OBDii diagnostic tool
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
Does it appear to communicate? Can you unplug something to set a code and see if the code reader reads it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The motor has to be running for it to set a code.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
The engine does not have to be running for a fault code to set.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I pulled the negative battery cable to try to reset the computer. I imagine this cleared any faults that were set. Would the faults reset once I reattached the negative battery cable?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
If you disconnect something to set a code as I mentioned then disconnecting in the past wouldn't affect what is done now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh. Ok. I will try that when I get home from work. Just pull a sensor or something like that?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
Yes, you can disconnect a sensor with the key on to set a code.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I plugged the code reader in and got no faults indicated. I unplugged a sensor by the air intake and got a fault to code. Does this help you with your diagnosis?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
The PCM is awake then.
Do you have power to one terminal at the starter relay all the time and to a second terminal with the key in the crank position?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did the key on key off key off key on check. Got a p0513 code by the odometer. Any ideas on how to fix it?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
That's for an invalid key. Did it start and die three times before locking the starter out?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I made sure the key for my remote starter was synced. Then I unhook the negative battery terminal and reattached. I did the key on off again and got no codes. Car still won't crank.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
When the problem initially happened did it start and die three times?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When the problem started it was dead at crank. Had power. No crank. I checked the starter relay. The common feed terminal has power all the time. The coil battery terminal has power when you turn the key to the start position. I pulled the lock cylinder out and turned the switch with a screwdriver. Still no crank.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
Is the S***** *****ght on or flashing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not positive what the skin light is but I think it's the red light at the bottom left hand side of the instrument cluster. Just to the right of the fuel gauge. It comes on when you first turn the key and then goes out.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
The S***** *****ght is a circle about 1/4" diameter.
Have you tried starting in neutral?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes that is the light I'm looking at. Yes I did try starting it in neutral. Still nothing. I forgot to mention that the keyless entry works fine.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
You're using a normal key with integral fob, correct?
Do you have a second one to try?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tried the original key and the spare. No difference.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
They're the correct, fobik keys and both worked correctly up to this point?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
Can you disable the remote start module, connect a battery charger, turn the key on for one hour, cycle the key and then see if it will start?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can try. I will have to get the guy that installed the remote start to remove it. I never had an issue with it.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
You're not able to unplug the module?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you. I was out of town. I connected the battery charger and turned the key to the on position. After an hour you said to cycle the key and then see if it starts. Do you mean on off on off on start? Fyi I checked the acctuator. It is in perfect condition. Turning the switch just fine. Do you think it could be that box that goes around the key locket? I think that has ssomething to do with security. Could it be the switch itself? If so how would I test that?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
You would need to turn the key to the crank position to try and engage the starter.
Yes, the problem could be the SKIM module. A scan tool is most likely going to be needed to diagnose the problem from this point.
If you have power to a second terminal at the relay with the key in the crank position then the ignition switch, actuator and wiring are fine.

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