Killed battery, now starter only clicks when jumping - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 06-18-2013, 05:18 PM
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Killed battery, now starter only clicks when jumping

I stupidly left the headlights on my '87 YJ (6cyl, 4.2) on overnight and into the next day, so that my battery was completely drained. I thought all I'd need to do to get it going again would be to jump it, then let the alternator get to work, but when I try to jumpstart it, all my starter does is make a fast clicking sound - although everything lights up well in the dash, and the battery gauge sits around 14 (but the needle does jump around a bit).

The battery is only about 4-5 months old (bought from Costco), and I haven't had any problems with the starter prior to this incident - and it would be a really strange coincidence that the same day I kill the battery, the starter decides to quit, so I'm wondering what the problem could be.

I've read other similar threads, but nothing seems to quite exactly match my situation, so I'm hoping someone can give me some insight.

Also, I've just started to get into performing my own maintenance on my baby over the past year, so I'm very much a newbie at this and learning as I please be gentle with any explanations...I could probably use a little hand-holding...
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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If the battery was totally killed then a jump start won't be enough to start your engine. You' ll have to leave the jumpers on for awhile or put it on a charger.
There is the possibility the battery has a dead short in it too..
Also make sure all connections are good.

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Old 06-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #3
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It takes a lot less power to turn dash lights on than to start a vehicle. I am going to second what Garyk said...leave the cables on for a few minutes before trying to start the jeep. Try this out, and report back.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:51 PM   #4

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I had the same situation and had an issue with battery cable down to the starter. I started with a battery replacement, no solution. Then did a starter replacement, no solution. Replaced the positive battery harness with a stock one and BINGO! It starts like a new vehicle now.

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Old 06-24-2013, 06:38 PM
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Sorry for the delay in reporting back...for some reason I didn't receive any email notifications, and I'm just now making it back over here. Thanks so much for the suggestions, and you guys were absolutely right - I was finally able to get the car jump started by leaving the cables connected for about 10 minutes and keeping the "good" car at a pretty high idle for most of the time.

Once my car was getting enough juice, the starter turned the engine right over, and the battery and charging system has been working normally since then.

Thanks again!
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battery dead , clicking , starter

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