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1997 Jeep Wrangler, starts intermittently. I'll turn the key…

1997 Jeep Wrangler, starts...

1997 Jeep Wrangler, starts intermittently. I'll turn the key and sometimes nothing. I replaced the starter and still does it. Sometimes nothing, sometimes a click and sometimes starts up.

Mechanic's Assistant: What's the approximate mileage on your 1997 Wrangler?

154K

Mechanic's Assistant: Is there anything else the Jeep Wrangler Mechanic should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.

When I turn the key and nothing, the lights and radio stay on

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Answered in 15 minutes by:
6/25/2022
Jeep Mechanic: J Hall, ASE Certified Technician replied 1 month ago
J Hall
J Hall, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 2,261
Experience: Auto Instructor at Universal Technical Institute
Verified
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will be glad to try and assist you with this intermittent no start condition.  From what you are describing, you may have an ignition switch malfunction.  Not the ignition key lock cylinder, but the switch that sends voltage to the starter solenoid.  You could also have an issue with the neutral safety switch not allowing voltage, or insufficient voltage, to the starter solenoid.  And you could also have a faulty starter.  Even though you have already replaced it, the starter could still be defective.  I have seen that many times before.  In order to determine where the problem lies, you will have to perform electrical measurements when you experience these problems.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi James, thanks for the info! Where should I measure the electrical charges?
Jeep Mechanic: J Hall, ASE Certified Technician replied 1 month ago

Start at the starter solenoid.  You will want to measure for battery voltage at the wire that comes from ignition switch to the starter solenoid using a volt meter.  A test light will work, but it won't tell you how much voltage you have at that point.  A meter will.  Give me a few minutes to pull up a wiring diagram for the starter circuit and send it to you.  Be right back.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you James, no hurry. I'm heading to work now and will look at it on break
Jeep Mechanic: J Hall, ASE Certified Technician replied 1 month ago

Here is the wiring diagram for the starter circuit.  This diagram is for a Sahara model with a 4.0 liter engine.  If that is not your vehicle, please let me know what yours is and I will see if they are the same.  You will want to first make sure the ignition switch is sending battery voltage down the yellow wire coming out of the switch with the key held in the start position.  Then you will have to see if the voltage is going through either the clutch safety switch (manual transmission) or the bypass jumper (auto transmission).  Both of those are located at the top of the brake pedal bracket under the dash.  If you have at least 12 volts through those components, you will then have to find the starter relay inside the power distribution center (PDC) in the engine compartment.  That is the main fuse and relay box.  That relay could be faulty as well.  They are relatively inexpensive, so you might just want to change it out and see what happens.  If everything is working as it should, you should have battery voltage at the thinner brown wire on the starter solenoid with the key held in the start position.  If you do, and the starter won't turn over, then chances are the starter is faulty.

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Jeep Mechanic: J Hall, ASE Certified Technician replied 1 month ago

If you have any difficulties performing these measurements, please contact me through this chat box, or open a new thread and ask for me by name, J Hall, and I will do what I can to help you through this.  I wish you all the best on this diagnostic.  Thank you for using JustAnswer.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much James! What I understand, I have the Wrangler TJ model.
I'll jump in to this project when I get off today, thank you for all the info…From what I understand
Jeep Mechanic: J Hall, ASE Certified Technician replied 1 month ago

I has been my pleasure to help you.  Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Loved “I has been my pleasure to help you. Good luck.”
Jeep Mechanic: J Hall, ASE Certified Technician replied 1 month ago

:)

J Hall
J Hall, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 2,261
Experience: Auto Instructor at Universal Technical Institute
Verified
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