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Old 03-26-2016, 01:22 PM
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Start Jeep - literally nothing happens

2008 Wrangler X Unlimited, 4 wheel, 6 cylinder, 90K miles

That's right. No sound, no dashboard lights, nothing. Even the brakes are frozen and I can't even shift out of park. It's as if I hadn't even tried to start the Jeep.

This happened earlier today, and only one other time which was about 10 days ago. After about a dozen or so attempts and waiting a few minutes, then it starts as if nothing at all was wrong.

I seriously doubt it's the battery or alternator (but please see "Note" at end of post). Partly because it of course does start, and the connections are snug with no corrosion (and bat's only about 3 yrs. old), but also I don't get that "click" when turning it over.

The only thing I can think of is it's an on-board computer issue, maybe specific to the ignition switch? Or perhaps a loose wire with the ignition?

I'm going to get it diagnostically tested of course, but was hoping to at least have some idea on possible causes.

Any help is much appreciated!

Note: Over the last couple years, occasionally (like on average once every two months), the battery warning light comes on, although it's been at least 2 months since the last time I've seen it.

I've had the Jeep tested on two separate occasions, especially for the battery and alternator and nothing has turned up. Nor am I getting the warning light immediately before or after these two "dead in the water" instances.

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Old 03-26-2016, 01:37 PM   #2
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First, you pull and clean the battery connection. Does not matter if the look clean and are snug. It does not take much corrosion between the post and clamp where you don't see it. Always the first step, costs nothing.

After this have the battery load tested, three years is when you can start having issues.

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Old 03-26-2016, 02:33 PM
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Thanks Sparky,

But wouldn't I normally hear the "click' as it tries to turn over if it was a battery issue? Also, I get nothing: no dashboard lights, nothing. Not even when turning the Jeep on without trying to start it.

I would think unless the battery was completely dead, which obviously isn't the case because I can start it after a couple minutes, that I would get something if it was a battery issue.

That's why I'm leaning toward loose ignition wire or some such.
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:12 PM   #4
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It doesn't sound like a starter or relay issue considering what you have said so far. BTW thanks for the good explanation, it helps.

No matter what, you have to start with step #1. Make sure the battery is load tested and good. A bad cell could cause exactly what your explaining. If that checks out I would take a good run through all your grounds and make sure they are clean and tight.

I can understand why you are thinking ignition but there are many other factors to consider first before you go there.
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:31 PM
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Ok, thanks nepeddler and sparky. I'll look at the battery first and move on from there if I need to.

Knew I could come here and get help.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:30 PM   #6
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Bad cells in the battery and corrosion and/or bad grounds can cause the battery to not operate one attempt and work on the next. Most likely a battery issue. If you've had the battery for 3 years and the battery light has been coming on occasionally for the last couple (couple = less than 3?), it means that only this battery has been the cause of a battery light. I'd be checking grounds, cables, and looking for possible corrosion. I'll bet you'll find that's the problem.

Any chance you have a chip or on board computer mod, like a flash tune?
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:03 PM   #7
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Loose grounds will reduce charging to battery and prematurely kill a battery. They also will intermittently break or reduce circuit flow triggering warning lights. AND can be the cause of "does nothing" syndrome.

If you know how, you can manually jump the main battery/starter and ground cables to start trouble shooting and eliminating potential sources.

Relays can also go bad causing the "does nothing" condition.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesy119 View Post
Thanks Sparky,

But wouldn't I normally hear the "click' as it tries to turn over if it was a battery issue? Also, I get nothing: no dashboard lights, nothing. Not even when turning the Jeep on without trying to start it.

I would think unless the battery was completely dead, which obviously isn't the case because I can start it after a couple minutes, that I would get something if it was a battery issue.

That's why I'm leaning toward loose ignition wire or some such.
Not saying the battery is dead, though it could have a problem.

I saying cleaning the connections to the battery. Corrosion there will stop you cold. Sometimes attempts will burn through the corrosion to function again.

Clean the terminals, takes five minutes, then you know that's not the issue.

Loose wires are possible. Check them. Starter is easy to get to.

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