I have a 2001 Wrangler Sahara. I drove it up to the drug store...it started and drove fine. When I came out and tried to start it up the engine wouldn't turn, click or anything. The weird thing is that the gauges were flicking and moving all over the place...even for a short while once I removed the key. I could get the dash lights to act correctly by playing around with the key in the ignition, but then I would get a rapid clicking noise from the glovebox area and only a single click from the engine compartment when I tried to start it. I cleaned the battery posts ....no luck. I tried to jump it and It will turn over and try to start but not stay running even while still connected to the other car. I pulled the battery and took it to get tested and they got 13 cca for a battery rated 600 cca. So the battery is dead, but I'm not sure if this is the problem or if there is still something else. Anyone seen anything like this before???
My wife had a Chrysler Minivan that did the exact same thing. New battery cured it in my instance. Just for grins, have your alternator bench tested as well. All of the major auto part chains will test it for you for free. (Advance, AutoZone, etc)
I had the same happen. Was driving around all day without issue. Pulled into a gas station to fill up. Went to start up again and same description. I ended up having a friend get behind me with his truck oushing me and just popped the clutch. Replaced the battery and was good to go.
Thanks all.....popped in a new battery and it started right up. That is the weirdest dead battery I've ever seen....In the past I've had them either not be able to turn the starter or just be totally dead....but this is the first time I've seen the gauges go all Exorcist on me. Thanks again for your help.
A dead battery will cause an engine to not run at all, a nearly dead battery will cause it to barely run. This is because the type of alternator a Jeep uses requires 12 volts from the battery for it to work. If the battery is dead or nearly dead, that always causes engine problems since the alternator isn't getting enough voltage from the battery to provide a good spark or voltage to the engine's computer (PCM).
From what you have written, it's clear your battery is toast and it needs to be replaced.
Gone wheeling, back late sunday... Remember that having a different opinion doesn't also require one to be a jerk when expressing it.
My jeep was sitting for about 2 weeks, I tries starting but it woundn't turn over. Every time I let go of the key it woud stop trying to turn over completelly. I found myself holding the key in the run position almost forcing it to run or turn over. Eventually after about a half hour it turned over. I let it run for a while it was good, but never drove it. I tried a few days later and got nothing. Just some clicking by the starter relay box but not even a click to the staarter. I replaced the battery, starter, and starter relay...and still got nothing. ANY IDEAS???
Not sure if it could be the ignition coil? or what?
If putting a whole new battery in, and the same problem persists, dude, check with a voltmeter your battery cable and see if it is draining the battery. A new terminal head for each terminal is a cheap easy way to start after that to ensure current. Battery cables are pretty simple to run, but everyone else has already touched on most of that. I had the same problem in my '86 Cherokee 2L, and the battery cable was draining the battery.
One time in my 04 Sahara, the gauges went crazy when I turned off the key, and I loosened the battery cable, and replaced it securely, and it was as if nothing was ever wrong. Little tricks little tricks......