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Josh
Josh, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 1571
Experience:  Chrysler Master Certified Technician with 13 years of experience
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2006 Jeep Commander: the starter does not engage

Resolved Question:

I have a 2006 Jeep Commander and on oaccasion it will not start. the starter does not engage. The starter has been replaced as well as the battery and neither have solved the problem. many times engaging the key attempting to start it 100 times or more will cause it to engage. When this does happen the ignifition does click and the warning lights come on but the starter does not engage.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Josh replied 8 years ago.
Hello, problems like these are some of the most difficult we see. If you can hear it clicking, then the starter relay is actuating, which rules out a control side problem, so, you're going to most likely have a problem between the starter fuse and the starter motor, In order to diagnose this you're going to need to have a test light available when the problem is occuring. You'll want to verify that the starter relay is clicking when you try to start the vehicle, then pull the starter relay out of the under hood fuse panel, and check for constant power on terminal 30(they're labeled on the side of the relay), if the relay is clicking and you have power on terminal 30 your problem is going to be either a bad contact in the relay(they're approximately $10 if you want to just go ahead and replace it) or a problem in the wiring between the fuse panel and the starter. At this point you would want to verify there is power on the small wire going to the starter when you try to start the vehicle. If there is power at the starter and it's not engaging you would have a had started, which i've seen pretty commonly on these vehicles. Below I've also included diagrams of the system, the pinout for the starter relay, and it's location.

graphic
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RELAY-STARTER MOTOR - (IN PDC)

CAV CIRCUIT FUNCTION
30 A901 12RD/TN FUSED B(+)
85 T752 20DG/OR ENGINE STARTER MOTOR RELAY CONTROL
86 F942 20PK/LG DIESEL FUSED IGNITION SWITCH OUTPUT (RUN-START)
86 F26 18PK/OR GAS IGNITION SWITCH OUTPUT (START)
87 T750 12YL/GY ENGINE STARTER MOTOR RELAY OUTPUT
87A - -


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If you have any other questions please let me know. If you're happy with the information I've provided please click accept.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Why would this situation be totally erratic? It might go for months with no incidence and then happen 3 times in a day? Then not again? It eventually starts so far, although I was starnded for a night when it did not, and is not duplicateable by the dealer or any mechanic.
Expert:  Josh replied 8 years ago.
Generally erratic problems like this are caused by a poor contact on a moving part, which in this system is either the starter relay or the starter solenoid not making a good connection. The starter solenoid is part of the starter assembly which has been replaced, so I would replace the relay on a best guess alone due to it's low cost. Generally a wiring issue wouldn't come and go without at least moving the vehicle.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
One more thing perhaps useful in a diagnosis. Several weeks ago the windshield washer pump only, did not function for a week. on the day i was scheduled to have it replaced it worked perfectly. is there anything in common between these 2 things even potentially that could connect a solution?
Expert:  Josh replied 8 years ago.
Aside from both running through the power distribution center there's nothing in common with the two systems, so while possible the two aren't likely connected.
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