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Discussion Starter #1
2006 Rubicon
I have only had this jeep for about 6 weeks. About 3 weeks ago on my way to work, I decided to stop by Jimmy Johns to grab a quick lunch. Even though they are freaky fast in drive thru, I went inside. Upon my return to the Jeep, it would not start. I would get all the normal indications (lights on dash, good voltage on dash voltmeter, radio lights up) but when I turn the key to start ... nothing, no relay switch sound ... nothing. I had a couple good strangers help push start me (which worked fine) and I was on my way.

Next day I replaced the ignition switch, ignition actuator, starter, starter fuses and starter relay (I wanted to make sure I took care of it and had limited time to troubleshoot). I also replaced and relugged the +/- connections to the battery. Voila! Jeep worked great.

Then comes this morning. The fam and I decide to have breakfast at cracker-barrel (which was delicious), and upon getting back to the ole Rubicon, same thing happened that gave me flashbacks to Jimmy Johns. Good thing my wife is the size of an NFL linebacker, we were able to push start her home.

My question is, has anyone seen recurring failures like this, and am I missing the smoking gun somewhere? Please chime in, I am open to all suggestions.
 

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To help with the troubleshooting, turn the headlights on without the engine running. Are they on and at full brightness? Then have a helper try to start it, do the headlights remain on at full brightness or do they go out? If the lights remain on and bright when the ignition switch is turned to the Start position, it's not the battery or its connections. If the headlights go out when the ignition switch is turned to the Start postition, you've got a bad battery or a bad battery connection.
 

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Along with Jerry's advice, which as always is great, another item to look at with all the stuff you've replaced, is the clutch pedal switch. If the switch is faulty it won't let the engine start. There should be an "override" spot in your under hood fuse box. Either you install or remove the fuse for it to override the clutch safety switch. Just be careful as the Jeep will start without depressing the clutch first.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will give the headlights check a shot. Shelby, I looked at the fusebox under the hood and spot 28 is labeled clutch over ride (10A). I tried to put a 10A fuse in and it wouldn't fit correctly. After I looked more closely at it, there are no female connectors for the male fuse stabs to mate to in the fusebox. I will check out the clutch switch though. Thanks
 

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Vinny, the rubicons have a clutch over ride when they are 4low. So fuse slot only works on the non rubicon models. I believe there is away to have the clutch bypassed but I don't remember where it is or how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the help, I did the headlight battery check that Jerry mentioned. The lights stayed on and bright the whole time.

I then took apart the steering column and disassembled the ignition tumbler, actuator and switch and took a look at everything. Everything seemed normal with no broken or bent pieces. I reassembled everything and it cranked right up. Not sure what it is, but I will try starting it in 4L next time this issue comes up so I can rule out (or in) the clutch safety switch.
 

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If your battery is dieing, you will notice slower starts. This should be very obvious to anyone that even remotely pays attention to how their vehicle sounds. From what it sounds like, it seems like a no crank issue, not a crank but no start issue. It's no surprise that the headlight test did not indicate a battery problem.
The clutch switch idea is right on the money. I had the exact same thing happen on my jeep. I would have to "jiggle" the clutch pedal to get it to start. I would get intermittent issues and would hold the key to start and move the clutch in and out a bit (stick it in neutral to be sure) to get it to start. I took the plug off and turned it into a kill switch instead of a clutch switch.
 

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No, they don't. Mine doesn't.

The clutch pedal switches are notorious for going out. Mine failed in the "start" position. No longer have to push the clutch in to start it.

You can jumper the pedal switch so that it will start without pushing in the clutch, or you can put the Rubicons in 4Lo as previously stated to bypass it.
 
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