I had this issue, and racked my brain trying to figure it out. Replace spark plugs but most of all replace rotor in distributor. The leads do get worn. Aside from that you can also assure that there is gas getting to the carb. But the rotor was the primary issue with me.
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Won't start ? does the engine crank ? , meaning when you turn the key to the start position does the starter do anything ! A crank -no start VS a no crank - no start ! What engine does it have ? gas or diesel ? Does the check engine light come on when you turn the key to on ? Does the anti-theft light in the middle top of instrument panel flash fast when trying to start the vehicle ? PATS - passive anti-theft system problem !
The "clicking" is usually the starter solenoid chattering. This can be caused by:
Bad Starter Solenoid
Weak battery not supplying enough current to engage starter.
Turn on the interior dome light. When you crank the engine, if the light dims slightly, the battery is probably OK. If it goes out, or blinks at the rate of the clicking noises, have the battery tested.
If the check engine light does NOT come on when cranking, at the times
when it won't start, and the relays are clicking and buzzing, then your ECU is in need of repair. The engine will
only start after the check engine light comes on and the ecu is what
controls that. ECU is likely going bad, causing the delayed start problem
typical of early 90's jeeps. Reasonably priced repair or replacement services for your
jeep ECU are available on ebay.
Could be low battery. Did you hear a chattering sound when you tried to start it? Normal battery voltage fully charged is actually over 13 volts. Try to jump start it. If you don't get a response out of it, then check your fuses. Check engine bay fuses (under the hood) and interior fuses (inside the car-drivers side) Also could be starting relay. have a second person turn the key and you listen for a relay under the hood. If the IGN relay does not pull in, hten you either have a bad fuse, or bad relay or bad ignition keyswitch or bad transmission neutral position switch. if relay pulls in and then chatters, it does not have enough voltage to stay pulled in and attempt to run the starter motor at the same time, which is why it will make that fast clicky-clicky noise. if it does pull in and nothing happens then your starter is either bad or not connected electrically.
When you turn the engine over, do the lights dim significantly? Does the engine turn over or do you just get a clicking? Despite the lights working this could still be a bad battery. Starting a car draws a lot of current and if the battery is bad then this situation can arise. Jumping might also not work in this case. If the engine turns over then its something else. Check the coil/plugs for a spark and check for fuel.
Try having one person turn the key to the start position and hold it there, while someone else taps on the starter with a hammer. If tapping on it makes it work, you need a starter. Good luck. Hope this helps.
would replace starter and inspect battery, cables/terminals also if problem still chattering u may have damaged the fly wheel the chattering is the starter not fully engaging the fly wheel. most likely starter but bad battery cables would also cause same symptoms hope this helps u
If your battery starts turns the engine over, it is doing it's job well. It sounds like your engine computer is not liking the cold engine. If it has been a while since a tune up, it would not hurt to go ahead and do it, but if it runs ok after it warms up, I sould not worry about it a whole lot. When the engine is cold, the egr valve and other things that are made to limit polution tend to stick and give the computer bad readings. A serious tune up may fix it, and I think should, but you MAY still be in the same boat! That does not FIX it for you, but should ease your mind on the light.