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Old 06-23-2012, 06:00 PM   #1
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Hosed down the engine and now it won't start

Did a little mudding the other day in my '03 wrangler and got stuck. Was pulled out and made it home fine. No problem starting.

It sat until this morning when I hosed the engine compartment down to clean out some of the mud. Washed the rest of the Jeep and let it sit. It would not start. Let it sit with the hood up all day and still will not start. I get one click and nothing. I feel the starter (I think that's it. Bottom left/passenger side on the motor) click. Nothing else.

Does it just need to dry out more? Is it something more?

Any help appreceated.

Bigscot

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Old 06-23-2012, 06:48 PM   #2
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I got stuck last night in some muck, couldn't get out for the life of me. Had to hike out and walk to the road. I was worried about the starter too since its sat in mud and water all night, but it started right up. Changed all the fluids today and I'm back in business. Did you check the connection to the battery? If that's not it, it's probably the starter.

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Old 06-23-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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Disconnect the battery for a couple minutes. This happened to me the other week once I disconnected the battery and reconnected it was fine. I think it was the crank sensor on mine just needed to be reset as it got pretty wet.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
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The battery is good. As a matter of fact, I put the charger on it in case there was a short draining the battery.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:59 PM   #5
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I don't know TJs but that happened to me when I had a YJ and it was because I got water inside the distributor cap. Popped the clips, wiped it out, and I was fine.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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Disconnected the battery...no joy. My TJ does not have a distributor cap.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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Pull off your plugs and wires change all the fluids check your alternator and try starting it with your plugs and wires off and is it possible you got water in your intake? Cuz if you did you got big problems on your hands
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigscot
Did a little mudding the other day in my '03 wrangler and got stuck. Was pulled out and made it home fine. No problem starting.

It sat until this morning when I hosed the engine compartment down to clean out some of the mud. Washed the rest of the Jeep and let it sit. It would not start. Let it sit with the hood up all day and still will not start. I get one click and nothing. I feel the starter (I think that's it. Bottom left/passenger side on the motor) click. Nothing else.

Does it just need to dry out more? Is it something more?

Any help appreceated.

Bigscot
Exactly the same story on mine. Wire that goes from starter solenoid to top of starter (not a connection, just a hole on the top side of the starter) apparently was loose. I could wiggle the wire an get it to start. I was told the wire connection couldn't be fixed and had to buy a new starter. Bought a new starter from o'reilly's for $69 (lifetime warranty) and good as new!
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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Oil looks good. It started fine after getting out of the mud. Only after hosing out the motor off Saturday did not start. Today I am still getting one click on the starter. Could the starter be bad?

Bigscot
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:35 PM   #10
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Do you lose all power when the starter clicks? You might try the old "tap the starter with a ball peen hammer while someone tries to start it" trick.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:54 PM   #11
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Do you lose all power when the starter clicks? You might try the old "tap the starter with a ball peen hammer while someone tries to start it" trick.
I still have power after the click and I did try tapping the starter.

I was thinking about trying to roll start it. Would that be an option?

Bigscot
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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Did you hose it down with the motor off?
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:30 PM   #13
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Did you hose it down with the motor off?
Yes
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #14
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I still have power after the click and I did try tapping the starter.

I was thinking about trying to roll start it. Would that be an option?

Bigscot
If the battery is charged, it's an option. It won't hurt anything to try. Worst that can happen is you'll have to push/pull it back where it was parked.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:18 PM   #15
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Was able to roll start it. Drove to a hill and tried starting again. No joy, had to roll start. I as assuming I need a new starter. Right?

Bigscot
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:23 PM   #16
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That would be my guess, but you might want to check your connections at the battery and starter before buying a starter.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:23 PM   #17
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Why don't you pull the starter and open it up and see if you got contaminated while you were stuck. You may be able to clean it up and get it working. Since it doesn't work now it shouldn't be any down time and if you end up getting a new starter you will probably have to have it for a core charge anyway.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:20 AM   #18
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Replaced the starter and she is good to go. Cranked right up.

Funny thing is, I got the part number of the starter online at Advance Auto. Called the store to make sure they had it. Got to the store and compared the new one with the old one. They were not the same. The clerk checked one for an '04 (mine is an '03) and it matched. Went with the match. Kinda made go huuuhhh.

Thanks all the help.

Bigscot

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