Jeep won't start randomly sometimes, and interior light issue - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:29 AM
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Jeep won't start randomly sometimes, and interior light issue

I just bought a 2014 Jeep from a smaller dealership with a good reputation in Dallas, and I can't figure out what is going on. Three times since I bought it a couple days ago, it has stranded me for a while.

Basically, everything will be working just fine, then all of a sudden I'll go out and try and start it, and it won't start. The starter will not even click (Like when you have a low battery). I can giggle the shifter (automatic) all I want, and it still does nothing. After a while of letting it sit, then I'll try again, and it'll start like nothing was wrong.

It did it to me last night as well, and I noticed something else weird possibly related. The doors are off the jeep, lights all off, and key out....when I go to click the dome lights to turn on, sometimes they will, and sometimes they won't. If they won't, I can turn the head lights on, and that will then make the dome lights start working. I can then turn the headlights off, and the dome lights can then be turned on and off like normal with the key out.

This Jeep is a solid Jeep, and looks to be in great shape with only 20,000 miles. What gives? Would like to hear opinions. This is the first time I've ever bought a car this new, and I'm starting to get very concerned, but I am hoping things like this would be covered under warranty, or if it's something simple, I can do it. Tested the battery in the car last night, and it was 13vs.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 05-05-2017, 10:43 AM   #2
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Loose negative cable on battery or ground location? Check and tighten

Bad battery? I know you said it was at 13V, and assuming that is with the car shut off, that is a good number. However, it could be a false high reading. Better to let it sit for a couple of hours, or put headlights on for a few minutes and then let it sit for a half hour or so, and check again (so that there is no surface charge that can give false high readings). Even better to do a load test on it with a battery load tester. With the engine running (and thus the alternator charging) voltmeter should read right about 14V.

Loose fuses in fuse box in engine compartment? (pop off its cover and press them all down in place gently).

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Old 05-05-2017, 10:56 AM   #3
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The first place I'd look would be the battery terminals. It's even money that one of them is either loose or corroded.

FYI- when you turn the headlights on, the current draw causes the battery to heat up slightly, which lowers internal resistance and causes it to temporarily put out slightly more juice. That's why the symptoms fit for either a loose/corroded battery terminal, or just a battery that's on the verge of tanking completely.

You can also take the battery to auto zone or wherever and they can test it to see it it's failing, but if you're still under warranty, I'd just trot it into the dealer for that, because it seems like a battery should be replaced under warranty if it's going T.U.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:53 AM   #4
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If it's only a few days old, (I understand used) take it back to the dealer. Let them correct it, or get your money back.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:08 PM   #5
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Have the dealer take care of it. It could be the connections, the battery, or another issue. Batteries are covered under 3/36.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:02 PM   #6
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Hey Collegeboy,

I'm going to go with the battery and connections too. First, clean up the connections and if its an older battery, you would do well by simply replacing it anyway. Then 1) if the problem goes away, it was the battery at fault. 2) If it doesn't, then can at least rule out the battery and dig deeper.

Thomas, Mopar Mechanic at Zeigler Chrysler
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:44 PM   #7
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Our 2011 had the same mysterious problem. Ran great, started every time, then out of the clear blue, nothing. Waited and waited, then it just started right up. Checked cables, connections, all good. Ended up changing the battery. Didn't help at all. Sometimes 6 days until next event, once went one year. Just never knew.

Our son owns it now and it finally did it to him too. So we took it into the dealership for service. Turns out there's a service bulletin out on the problem. Added new engine ground lead. It has started flawlessly since then, but we'll see?
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by honest-tom View Post
Hey Collegeboy,

I'm going to go with the battery and connections too. First, clean up the connections and if it's an older battery, you would do well by simply replacing it anyway. Then 1) if the problem goes away, it was the battery at fault. 2) If it doesn't, then can at least rule out the battery and dig deeper.

Thomas, Mopar Mechanic at Zeigler Chrysler
Just another thought. Make sure your battery terminals are clean too.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:27 AM   #9
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My daughter's grand Cherokee had the same exact issue. Turned out to be corrosion on the starter's electrical connection. I didn't have to pull it out, just got in there with a wire brush and problem solved. You could pop it off and put one of those anti-corrosion washers on the terminal or get some waterproofing for it.

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