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Old 10-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
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Wont start after a bath or two ;)

Sorry for the long post, but its worth it! Hey everyone, TJ guy coming here for some help. While I know quite a bit about Tj's, I know absolutely nothing about the new Jk's. Background: 2012 Wrangler unlimited freedom edition (Sport with addons) Almost everything stock.

Basically, my friend likes mud and water (as the pictures show )

The first time he went in some deep water it sat for over an hour and ran fine after it dried out. He got pulled out and the jeep was fine, in fact he drove home not too long after. The water was more water than mud. This time was the picture where his top was off.


Just yesterday, he and I went to a local offroad park and found a mudhole Unfortunately his street tires and 3' thick mud didn't work well together and he was quickly stuck. He shut off the engine while we got my jeep ready to pull him out. When he tried to start it in the water, nothing happened, not even a click. The water was only up to the top of the front bumper. I pulled him out while he was still in park for a few feet, and as the engine came out of the water, he was able to start it fine and back out.


The engine was covered in mud, as well as the rest of the jeep. We shut it off and poured some water on the engine to get some mud off, and when he tried to start it again, it seemed like the starter wasn't engaging or something. You can hear it spinning, but it made this squealing and grinding sound. After a minute or two it started fine and ran no problem the next few hours and even the hour drive home.

Basically, its still doing it. Sometimes it starts up fine no problem, doesn't matter if it has been sitting for hours or a few minutes, sometimes it starts sometimes it makes this squealing noise and wont start. No check engine light and no codes are being recorded.

I was going to take the starter out and have it tested, but know nothing about these engines. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Here are the pictures for you guys

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Old 10-14-2012, 04:28 PM   #2
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wow, what a badass jeeper

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Old 10-14-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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Hmmm......could water/mud even get into the starter?
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:50 PM   #4
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wow, what a badass jeeper
Serious, or facetious?

Not trashing you, just can't tell from your post.

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Old 10-14-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
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Questions:

Does the squeaking happen when he presses the gas pedal, or just when it's idling? Does it squeak when driving?

Might it simply be a belt with crap in it? Have y'all looked at belts at all?

Let's start there...that first photo is pretty close to a hydrolock moment, at speed.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbwwolf View Post
Questions:

Does the squeaking happen when he presses the gas pedal, or just when it's idling? Does it squeak when driving?

Might it simply be a belt with crap in it? Have y'all looked at belts at all?

Let's start there...that first photo is pretty close to a hydrolock moment, at speed.
Yes, the first time the airbox had quite a bit of mud in it, but luckily it ran fine. And its only when its trying to start. If the jeep choses to grab the flywheel and turn the engine over, the noise goes away and it runs with no problems. Other times it never engages the flywheel fully I assume and simply makes the noise until the key is removed. Nothing moves when the noise happens, so I dont think its the belt, but I will check for tightness and anything that could be obstructing it. I will also try to get a video up by tonight.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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serious, that's me in the picture haha
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jeepwayoflife View Post
Yes, the first time the airbox had quite a bit of mud in it, but luckily it ran fine. And its only when its trying to start. If the jeep choses to grab the flywheel and turn the engine over, the noise goes away and it runs with no problems. Other times it never engages the flywheel fully I assume and simply makes the noise until the key is removed. Nothing moves when the noise happens, so I dont think its the belt, but I will check for tightness and anything that could be obstructing it. I will also try to get a video up by tonight.
Sorry for the weird Q's...does it sound like a high-pitched whine, metal on metal...what?

I'm still leaning towards a belt (which would be good, considering the first photo you posted).

But I'm also wondering if it's a starter problem. That would account for the on-again/off-again starting. Maybe the teeth that dig into the flywheel aren't retracting like they should?

Kinda guessing, here.

Lay it on me.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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serious, that's me in the picture haha
First pic? Oops. Do you know what hydrolock is?
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:41 PM   #10
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Also, now that I'm thinking about it, you're gonna need to check the diff fluid in that Jeep. Front and rear. You've got breather tubes in several places, but the ones for the diffs only come up to about wheel-well height. Almost certainly got shit in the differential fluid.

Drain and refill, pronto.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Also, now that I'm thinking about it, you're gonna need to check the diff fluid in that Jeep. Front and rear. You've got breather tubes in several places, but the ones for the diffs only come up to about wheel-well height. Almost certainly got shit in the differential fluid.

Drain and refill, pronto.
Will do, I checked engine and transmission oil and those both seemed fine, no foam or obvious contamination, but the transmission breather is up pretty high. I will check diff oils and everything as far as belt slipping and the sound its making tonight and have a video up better explaining whats going on.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:48 PM   #12
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First pic? Oops. Do you know what hydrolock is?
For real....
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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Well, I'm very impressed with my new "2012" as it's my 2nd "Jeep". My last 1 was a "1983" with no carpet or back seat ect... Plain Jane for sure!

At 1st I was a bit reluctant to play hard, but after doing some 4 diamond trails at Bridgeport on 10/22/12 and then sitting out all night in the rain on 10/29/12 and filling up with water she purrs like a kitten.

I even sprayed some water in the cold air intake by mistake while cleaning her up and she didn't have an issue whatsoever! However food for thought, never kill the engine, and I mean never! She has had water pouring out of the door seals, but never had any issues.

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Old 10-14-2012, 06:39 PM   #14
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Will do, I checked engine and transmission oil and those both seemed fine, no foam or obvious contamination, but the transmission breather is up pretty high. I will check diff oils and everything as far as belt slipping and the sound its making tonight and have a video up better explaining whats going on.
Fitty brings up a good question. Did it sit in the water for awhile? If so, was it running the whole time, or just drinking outta the mudhole? If it was off, you probably got water up the tailpipe. Bummer. Never something you wanna put on your resumé...

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However food for thought, never kill the engine, and I mean never! She has had water pouring out of the door seals, but never had any issues.

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Old 10-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #15
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Will do, I checked engine and transmission oil and those both seemed fine, no foam or obvious contamination, but the transmission breather is up pretty high. I will check diff oils and everything as far as belt slipping and the sound its making tonight and have a video up better explaining whats going on.
If it's any consolation, I don't think it's something that's gonna kill the Jeep. It's a '12, and it's still under warranty, when all is said and done.

Problem is – as I'm sure y'all are aware – if you take it to the dealer with guppies in the breather, they're gonna laugh at you, and stick you for the full ride.

We'll figure something out, though. That's what Jeep forums are for.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
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Separaqte issue, but pull the air filter. If it's soaked or dirty, replace it. If it gets soaked, it'll get starved for air and not want to start.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #17
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Speaking from my YJ experience, it sounds like you got mud and crap in the starter and bell. It would not start while under water cause the starter was shorted from the water. Pull the starter and check it out, you might find it full of mud...clean it and all connections and give it a try..
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:00 PM   #18
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Speaking from my YJ experience, it sounds like you got mud and crap in the starter and bell. It would not start while under water cause the starter was shorted from the water. Pull the starter and check it out, you might find it full of mud...clean it and all connections and give it a try..
This is where I'm leaning, too. Don't know if it's fixable, based on the photos, but worth a try.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:05 PM   #19
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Seems like your friends live on the "yolo" frame of mind.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepwayoflife View Post
Yes, the first time the airbox had quite a bit of mud in it, but luckily it ran fine. And its only when its trying to start. If the jeep choses to grab the flywheel and turn the engine over, the noise goes away and it runs with no problems. Other times it never engages the flywheel fully I assume and simply makes the noise until the key is removed. Nothing moves when the noise happens, so I dont think its the belt, but I will check for tightness and anything that could be obstructing it. I will also try to get a video up by tonight.
Pull the starter and also check the bell housing for a buildup of mud.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:05 AM   #21
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Thanks everyone. Looks like it was the starter. We washed out the bellhousing and starter and gave the starter some good whacks with a hammer is its starting just about every time now. Its still having trouble disengaging the starter once the engine is running, it stays for probably 30 seconds before finally disconnecting. We will probably wait a day or two and if it still has problems, we will look at replacing it. Great to know the JK Section is as knowledgeable and helpful as the TJ section!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:04 AM   #22
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IMO go ahead and replace the starter. If it got crap inside causing it to hang up, it won't get better.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:10 AM   #23
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Would that starter be covered under warranty? I've been in deep water many times with just about all wrangler models (except the JK) and never had an issue like that!
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:01 PM   #24
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In theory, yes, the starter would be covered under warranty. But if the starter and bell housing were full of mud a dealer could deny warranty coverage.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:06 PM   #25
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In theory, yes, the starter would be covered under warranty. But if the starter and bell housing were full of mud a dealer could deny warranty coverage.
Key point. Some of em look for ways to get outta coverage. My local dealership is actually tolerant, but I'm not sure how well they'd take to a bell housing packed with mud.

And rightly so...
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #26
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if you think you can afford to drive a brand new vehicle in water like that, then you should be prepared to absorb all the costs.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:06 PM   #27
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And Jeep says not to ford water deeper than 19"? I could see a dealer denying coverage based on that.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:18 PM   #28
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From your description of the problem, I thought you may have busted a tooth on the flywheel, but further consideration, and more descriptions has me thinking that the starter worm gear is sticky. I would pull out the starter, disassemble the gear, clean out all of the grit, and lube it up. Chilton's is your friend on this one. That's my take on things.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:32 PM   #29
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From your description of the problem, I thought you may have busted a tooth on the flywheel, but further consideration, and more descriptions has me thinking that the starter worm gear is sticky. I would pull out the starter, disassemble the gear, clean out all of the grit, and lube it up. Chilton's is your friend on this one. That's my take on things.
Wow never though of that... It would kind of make sense actually. It will start 3 times in a row no problem, but on the 4th it might make the noise. The bellhousing was full of mud as many thought but after washing it out, it didn't help any. I assume the flywheel is undamaged because once it runs for a little, the sound goes away, so its probably the gear like you say. Before we washed it out, the starter would smoke at 3,000 rpm and up. Now that most of the mud seems to be gone there's no more smoke.


Here's a video of the sound.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:48 PM   #30
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[QUOTE=jeepwayoflife;2892596]Wow never though of that... It would kind of make sense actually. It will start 3 times in a row no problem, but on the 4th it might make the noise. The bellhousing was full of mud as many thought but after washing it out, it didn't help any. I assume the flywheel is undamaged because once it runs for a little, the sound goes away, so its probably the gear like you say. Before we washed it out, the starter would smoke at 3,000 rpm and up. Now that most of the mud seems to be gone there's no more smoke. /QUOTE]

I thought it was fixed.

Been kinda going about my business, all day, with the thought that you guys were good to go. What a kick in the golf balls.

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