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Old 04-27-2012, 05:21 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2
Starter won't engage if key turned all the way

My buddy and I both have the same exact Jeep Wrangler TJ 2002 Automatic and we both have the same problem. If you turn the ignition key all the way nothing happens leading you to believe maybe you have a bad starter or dead battery but if you turn it slowly just before the stop it will engage and start normally. We have both replace the ingnition switch as well as the ignition cylinder where the key goes in and that did not fix the problem. Now that I know the trick I can start it every time but I want to fix the problem.
Any ideas?
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 75
I have a 2004 2.4L 5spd with the same problem, started a couple weeks ago and seems to be happening more frequently now. Just this morning, after I finally got it to crank, it sounded a little off and not right at all. Ill give your trick a try, OP, thanks! subscribed and looking forward to figuring this out before Im stranded!

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: California/Nevada
Posts: 2,019
Did you have a good look at the actuator pin when you had it apart? That connects the cylinder to the switch & often breaks or cracks.

'05 Rubi TJ Unlimited
'93 Toyota 4Runner
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 75
Think I fixed my problem... the #20 fuse (behind the glove box) is the clutch interlock bypass. Put a 20amp fuse in there and that overrides the clutch interlock system. You have an automatic transmission so your solution (if thats it) will be different but Im pretty sure I read somewhere on here that there is a similar way to disable the parking lock that the automatics have. Check your owners manual, it should be in there.

For me, Ive been experiencing weird starting issues for a least the last 2 months where I would be able to start her up without the clutch engaged. And then after a while, that stopped working and I had to have the clutched disengaged to get it started, like normal. Looks like my new starting issues could be related to that and this fuse trick seems to have fixed all (by removing the interlock sensor from the equation altogether).

Hope that helps. Search the forums, there's plenty out there on this topic.
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ignition , won't start

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