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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got an interesting one here that's got me stumped. I was driving my wife's 2012 JKU home the other day when it just sort of died on the highway. Lights and cluster stayed on, but the power just quit and so did power steering and braking. Made my way to the shoulder and tried to fire it up again. The starter turns and the engine is turning over, just not firing. Long story short the Dublin officer who stopped to help suggested tapping the starter. I've used the trick before, but didn't really consider it since the engine was turning just not firing. Sure enough it fired right up. That was two weeks ago. Today my wife called me and said the same thing happened. I met her along the side of the road, gave it a few light taps, and it fired up again.

Why would the starter turn the engine, but not fire until it's tapped? Isn't the tapping just to shift deposits on the brushes and solenoid enough to get it to work short term?

Thanks for any and all help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
To clarify a little, our JKU has the 3.6 and when you turn the key you don't have to hold it in the "start" position, it'll just crank until it fires. When I tried this before tapping the starter it would just continue to crank until I turned the key to OFF and pulled it out. No clicking, no unusual noises or anything, just wouldn't fire up.
 

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Check your grounds.

Typically the starter tap works if the starter motor or starter solenoid are seized.

Since your died while driving, it's NOT a starter issue.

Possible your starter tapping efforts are just enough to juggle a loose ground back into contact.

Best to take each one off, clean it and the contact point and reinstall with a dab of dielectric grease. You can't always tell by looking at them.

You can trouble shoot with an ohm meter or jump the negative terminal directly to the ground point if it fires up when jumped, you found your bad ground point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pulled the starter this morning. That little ignition coupler is a PITA! Got the starter post cleaned up, cable, the ground cable right above the starter, and the battery posts all cleaned up. She started back up, but time will tell...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright this nonsense is still going on, but I finally got my problem child to throw a few more codes to help me solve the puzzle. Still no pattern that we can discern at all. Weather is always different, sometimes we're turning and other times not, no loose wire because I can off road the hell out of it and not have it happen. For whatever reason we'll be cruising along and then the engine will cut out. Gauges and lights and all power functions still work, but the engine dies and won't restart. It'll turn over, but it won't actually catch and fire. Well, here are the codes, maybe someone else has seen something similar!

P0330, P0579, P0591, P061C, P3005, P3006
 

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My guess is that your PCM is overheating and dying. That's way too varied a range of codes. Knock Sensor. Cruise Control. TPS.

Ian
 
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