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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I turn the key, it only clicks! Sometimes, I'll have to turn the key over 20 times until it will start. Once the weather cools, it does start; it may click once and then start or start right off the back.

I got the battery cables cleaned because I suspected that might be it... but to no avail.

Please help!

I brought it to a mechanic and he said it didn't do that for him so there was no way for him to diagnose it because when it works, everything is in good shape. But it does it to me every day!

:atomic:

HELP! Thanks!
 

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I had that problem where my starter would freeze when my Jeep got hot. When the Jeep cooled down, it would start right away. Eventually, my starter seized completely and the Jeep would not start ever. I got a new starter and the problem was resolved. I've heard people hitting the starter with a wrench to unseize it. If that works, then you know its the starter. If the Jeep starts when its cold, its probably the starter going bad.
 

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I have had this problem in a number of cars over the years... I actually sold a car that I loved, because none of the "mechanics" could find the problem.

The problem is a sticky starter solenoid.... the solenoid is a bar that slams forward into a high amperage switch, to connect the starter and disconnect all other power circuits.

When it get stuck part way, nothing happens except you get the clicking of the relay that powers the stuck solenoid.
 

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I just had a similar problem with my '98 TJ. Silly me drove to work with no doors when I thought the weather man said spotty precipitation across the area, not the deluge we got later that morning. I had the top up but still had some sloshy dampness inside.

The heavy rain had stopped by lunch and I went out and drove maybe four miles total out and back. Jeep had started with out a problem.

After work however, I went out and got the CLICK nothing. Tried a few more times with the same results and figured I needed a jump. Jumper cables attached; CLICK nothing. CLICK nothing. Waited a few and then CLICK vrrroooommm. Started right up. But it did strike me that it didn't struggle to start like other times I've jumped vehicles.

Sounds like some other threads have hit upon the same thing but is the CLICK from the solenoid or the relay? And which one should I replace first?

The next day, I carpooled into work and left the TJ home to, I don't know, dry out. Got home, tried to start it up and after about 5 or 6 CLICK nothings, CLICK vroom. Drove it on an errand, started right back up. This morning, seemed like about 20 CLICK nothings before it kicked over.

I will say, the CLICK isn't so pronounced when it's followed by vroom.
 

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I took the brushes out and cleaned them so they wouldn't stick. Might be worth a try if you are inclined. Won't help if it is the solenoid.
 

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Yes. There are many low quality parts out there for Jeeps. Junk. It is far better to fix the old one unless it is all rusty. You probably have a starter shop near you. They will sell you parts. Watch a couple youtube videos and dig in.

If all else fails order a new one (not rebuilt) from rockauto or some other reasonably priced parts supplier.

Brands (companies) who make parts for new cars tend to be better quality.
 

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I just had a similar problem with my '98 TJ. Silly me drove to work with no doors when I thought the weather man said spotty precipitation across the area, not the deluge we got later that morning. I had the top up but still had some sloshy dampness inside.

The heavy rain had stopped by lunch and I went out and drove maybe four miles total out and back. Jeep had started with out a problem.

After work however, I went out and got the CLICK nothing. Tried a few more times with the same results and figured I needed a jump. Jumper cables attached; CLICK nothing. CLICK nothing. Waited a few and then CLICK vrrroooommm. Started right up. But it did strike me that it didn't struggle to start like other times I've jumped vehicles.

Sounds like some other threads have hit upon the same thing but is the CLICK from the solenoid or the relay? And which one should I replace first?

The next day, I carpooled into work and left the TJ home to, I don't know, dry out. Got home, tried to start it up and after about 5 or 6 CLICK nothings, CLICK vroom. Drove it on an errand, started right back up. This morning, seemed like about 20 CLICK nothings before it kicked over.

I will say, the CLICK isn't so pronounced when it's followed by vroom.
The click is the relay trying to fire the solenoid - if it is clicking, it does not need to be replaced.
 

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Part 1 -How to Bench Test a Starter Motor (Step by Step)

Links to an article on how to test a starter.

Check for voltage getting to the starter, past the solenoid, (big wire) when someone turns the key to the start position. You should hear the click and measure voltage. If you are getting voltage to the starter then it is time to pull the starter for testing. After the solenoid the next question is the brushes.

Ever seen Twitch City?
 

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Sounds like a bad hold in winding. It pulls in but comes back. Replace the starter. In my opinion there is no point in trouble shooting it any further, you can't rebuild them like you use to be able to. Main reason is because they are inexpensive
 

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You mean parts swapper? Can you show me a manual for "hold in winding"? Doubt you are even a parts swapper. Parts reseller? Cheap made in china junk?

Further, you are the only one who said anything about rebuilding a starter. It was not even suggested until you mentioned it. In fact I mentioned that buying a rebuilt starter was not a good idea.

Replacing a brush assembly or a starter drive is a simple task. "Rebuilding" can mean anything and usually it doesn't mean "good".
 

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You mean parts swapper? Can you show me a manual for "hold in winding"? Doubt you are even a parts swapper. Parts reseller? Cheap made in china junk?

Further, you are the only one who said anything about rebuilding a starter. It was not even suggested until you mentioned it. In fact I mentioned that buying a rebuilt starter was not a good idea.

Replacing a brush assembly or a starter drive is a simple task. "Rebuilding" can mean anything and usually it doesn't mean "good".
Inside of your starter solenoid you have two windings. Pull in and hold in. Both are energized when you turn the key because it needs high amps to pull the plunger in. Once it's engaged, less current is needed to hold it, so the pull in power is directed to turn the starter motor..... so, if you have a bad hold or pull in winding you will only hear a click of the solenoid, as the power will not be directed to rotate the motor.. depending on the starter, you can replace just the solenoid, which inbeleive you mentioned. And I thought you mentioned he could rebuild it, that's my bad. I do rebuild and resell parts actually, that's the job of any mechanic. But I also know when to replace a starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds like a bad hold in winding. It pulls in but comes back. Replace the starter. In my opinion there is no point in trouble shooting it any further, you can't rebuild them like you use to be able to. Main reason is because they are inexpensive
I've replace the starter (brand new) and checked my battery and cleaned the battery terminals and still same issue.
I was told solenoid is part of the starter so I guess that's fixed too.
Still don't know the problem:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
noooo I'm back and like I said I've taken the advice from here and have replace the starter (brand new) and checked my battery and cleaned the battery terminals and still same issue.
I was told solenoid is part of the starter so I guess that's fixed too.
Still don't know the problem:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just had a similar problem with my '98 TJ. Silly me drove to work with no doors when I thought the weather man said spotty precipitation across the area, not the deluge we got later that morning. I had the top up but still had some sloshy dampness inside.

The heavy rain had stopped by lunch and I went out and drove maybe four miles total out and back. Jeep had started with out a problem.

After work however, I went out and got the CLICK nothing. Tried a few more times with the same results and figured I needed a jump. Jumper cables attached; CLICK nothing. CLICK nothing. Waited a few and then CLICK vrrroooommm. Started right up. But it did strike me that it didn't struggle to start like other times I've jumped vehicles.

Sounds like some other threads have hit upon the same thing but is the CLICK from the solenoid or the relay? And which one should I replace first?

The next day, I carpooled into work and left the TJ home to, I don't know, dry out. Got home, tried to start it up and after about 5 or 6 CLICK nothings, CLICK vroom. Drove it on an errand, started right back up. This morning, seemed like about 20 CLICK nothings before it kicked over.

I will say, the CLICK isn't so pronounced when it's followed by vroom.
Sounds like we have the same problem! any luck on your end?
 
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