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Old 08-14-2012, 07:43 AM   #1
ScorpioScotty's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 67
TJ Occasional Start Failing

I searched a lot of the posts here regarding starting issues and there are tons of descriptions and suggestions, but no descriptions that seem to fit my particular issue?

Occasionally my 99TJ engages the starter but does not crank the engine over? Typically if it is a bendix problem you will hear only a click & no crank. This is more of a thunk like the starter is engaging the flywheel but not turning the engine over? Was thinking possibly a low battery...but shouldn't that at least give the motor a slow droning crank? When it does it and I try turning the switch on & off repeatedly... it will thunk, thunk, thunk... then crank and fire right away?

Thought it may be the clutch sensor as it only did it to my wife and never to me (thought maybe she just wasn't fully engaging the clutch)...but it has done it to me a few times now.

Wife is afraid to drive it now... If it was me I'd just always park on a hill until whatever it is finally breaks - then I'd know what the issue is. But since it is HER Jeep.... it needs fixed!

Suggestions? THANKS!

92YJ & 99TJ

I named my Jeep after my wife cause even though it's old, a bit dinged up, and makes a lot of noise --- when the top is off it still makes me smile.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:11 AM   #2

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Is the terminal tight and clean. That's probably 50% of battery problems. Even when you think it's clean it's not lol.

Ryan - A good eye, a light foot, and a smart rig.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:10 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 8
I just had a similar issue. My 99 Jeep Wrangler began to sound weak when starting it. After a few weeks, it wouldn't start. A jump didn't start it either, which I thought was strange. The battery was 8 years old, so I assumed it was the battery and replaced it.
The Jeep started right up...however...

A couple days after I replaced the battery, it began to sound weak again.

My mechanic indicated the alternator was fine, battery was fine and the starter was weak, but not dead yet. The mechanic was not certain the starter was the issue at first.

I asked them to replace the starter because at that point it was the most likely culprit.
After they replaced it, they called to let me know that at first they weren't sure that was the issue, however, after replacing it, they said it definitely was the problem.

The Jeep starts up VERY strongly now.

It has been a month and have had no issues at all after replacing the starter.

Good Luck.
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