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Derrick, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 923
Experience:  A.S.-Automotive Analysis A6-Electrical A8/L1-Engine Performance Cert., CA Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge Tech
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Jeep Cherokee: 2000 Jeep Cherokee. When engine is cold and

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2000 Jeep Cherokee. When engine is cold and I turn the key to start, the starter turns rapidly for 7 to 10 seconds without starting. If, during the first few seconds, I turn the key off and and then on agin it will start on almost the first turn of the starter and run smoothly. If I drive a short distance and stop long enough to fill the gas tank, I have no trouble with the restart. It starts almost instantly. This has been the pattern for some time.

From your description, I am suspecting a fuel delivery issue. When the key is turned on, the fuel pump "primes" the fuel delivery system by pressurizing it. This ensures there is fuel being delivered when you are starting the vehicle. By turning it over for a second and then cycling the key back off and on, you are giving the fuel system time to prime, making starting easier.

So, I would first suspect either a problem with the fuel pump or a blockage somewhere in the system causing a fuel delivery issue. The best way to test this is with a fuel pressure gauge. You can get one of these from an auto parts store and I can walk you through the test.

If the fuel pressure is ok, then my next suspicion is your crank sensor. These fail relatively often on these Jeeps and can cause long crank times and difficult starting conditions.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks. What do you have to do to replace a crank sensor?

The crank sensor is easy to replace. You just need a 10mm socket and a long extension. Here is where it is located:


I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!
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