Question about 2002 Jeep Wrangler

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No power going to the starter (2002 jeep wrangler x 4.0 auto)

I turn the key to run position and nothing. after testing and checking the electrical system i thought it was the neutral saftey switch. Changed that today and nothing still, now im wondering how to adjust the mech.. that pushes on the neutral switch or if that is even it.

..starter and battery are good..

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Hi Tyler.
By run position I assume you mean that you're trying to crank the engine, and that by nothing you mean that there's no sign of the starter engaging. Is this correct?
If you've checked the starter and you are absolutely sure it's getting power you have a seemingly impossible problem, because if the starter is getting the power it needs and you know it's mechanically ok there's nothing in the world that could stop it from cranking.
Are you sure you haven't missed a wire when checking the starter? If the car has an alarm with an immobilizer (also called start inhibitor) it might be activated due to a fault somewhere in the wiring. Some cars might even disable the starter if a critical engine failure is detected. If so the cars diagnostic system should report a fult code when checked. (And, needless to say, an attempt to hot-wire the starter is not recommended until you identify the problem).
I'm really curious about this problem, please notify me when you find a solution!
Good luck!

Posted on Jul 02, 2009

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The starter is malfunction at this time. it could also be a ignition issue as well. here is a quick starter test procedure that will help you troubleshoot a bit.

Step 1
Check for 12 volts on the large wire attached to the top terminal on the starter relay. It should have battery voltage. If not, the battery, terminals or wire is bad.


Step 2
Check the small wire on the solenoid for power when the key is in the start position. Remove the small wire on the solenoid and have a helper hold the key in the start position. Check the wire for battery voltage. If there is voltage, the starter is bad. If there is no voltage, replace the wire.


Step 3
Check the fuse in the fuse box under the hood on the left fender well. If it is good, check the relay by pulling it out and checking for power at one terminal with the key off. If there is no power, the problem is in the fuse box between the fuse and the relay. If there is power, have the helper hold the key in the start position once again and check for power at another terminal from the ignition key. If there is power, the relay is bad. If there is no power, the starter circuit is suspect.


Step 4
Check to see if there is power to the neutral safety switch if there is no power at the relay. Use the voltmeter to check for power with the key in start. If there is power going in, check for power going out. If there is no power going in, the security system or ignition switch is suspect. If there is power going in and none coming out, the switch is bad. If there is power coming out, the problem is between the neutral switch and the relay.


Step 5
Remove the cover on the bottom of the steering column. Check the solid yellow wire for power when the key is in the start position. If there is no power, the ignition switch is bad.

Oct 11, 2011 | 2003 Jeep Wrangler

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Turn the headlights on for a moment--they should be bright and stay bright when trying to start the engine. If the lights go out--suspect a discharged battery or a bad battery cable connection at the battery. Have some one try the key while you listen at the engine. If the click is coming from the starter area, use a test light or meter to verify that the large battery cable coming to the starter has power at the starter terminal when the 'click' occurs. If ok, remove the starter and have it tested at Autozone or other auto parts supplier. They will be happy to sell you a replacement. Hope this helps!

Jan 17, 2011 | 1990 Jeep Wrangler

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First, you cannot accurately determine a battery's condition unless it is fully charged, otherwise all test results will be incorrect.
If the battery was in good enough condition to pass testing without a re-charge then it should turn the starter though. You need to check all connections and determine where the power stops. Make sure to verify that the grounds are also good. Begin by testing to make sure or verify that power is getting to the starter (use a volt meter) You should have 12v at the large terminal on the starter and 12v at the small lead next to it when the key is turned to the start position. If you get that, the starter is bad.If you don't, then you need to check the starter relay, neutral safety switch and main fuses in the power distribution center. Ignition switches can fail but not too often. I'd also check to make sure you can turn the engine by hand (with key off) just to make sure it has not locked up.

Sep 16, 2010 | 1987 Jeep Wrangler

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1989 Jeep Wrangler no power when key is in on position


Honestly, it sounds like a bad ignition coil. When they get corroded inside they will draw power on a scale much higher than anything else on the vehicle. It is a coil and it's job is to take a little power and make a lot of it. If it's only when the key is in the "run" position, that is likely the case. The only real difference between the two positions is that in the run position there is power being delivered to the ignition system. Good luck.

May 05, 2010 | 1989 Jeep Wrangler

2 Answers

Battery Checked good. Starter relay and fuse checked good. Engine will not turn over at all. This just happened and gave no indications that something was wrong.


Do you hear a click or any noise at all when you turn the key to try to start it? It sounds like the starter could have gone bad. It should be just 2 big bolts but the starter is pretty solid so it could be heavy. It's a Jeep so you should have good clearance checking it out. The only way to be sure is to pull the starter and bench test it. Or you could just take it to a local auto parts store like Autozone or Advanced Discount Auto Parts, they'll test it for you.
Disconnect the Positive terminal from the battery.
Remove the 2 starter mounting bolts.
***You may need to disconnect the wires at the starter before removing the starter; however, on some starters this is not possible until AFTER you have unbolted the starter, and are able to move it around to access the electrical connections.
When you have removed the starter, jump it off after you have secured it in a bench vise or other means (there is a LOT of torque when these work), and you'll see if it performs as it should.
2 things happen when your starter is cranked:
1-the "bendix" will shoot out the spinning gear so it can engage your flywheel teeth,
and 2- the spinning gear will begin spinning very rapidly to turn your flywheel so the engine begins turning.

If either one of these actions do not occur, your starter will not crank your engine, although you would probably hear a noise of some kind. Other times you will smell electrical windings heating up, or a combination of any of these.Then again, sometimes starters just go bad and will not make any noise.

Hope this helps.

Jan 08, 2010 | 1994 Jeep Wrangler

3 Answers

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Before blaming the starter make sure the battery is fully charged. It should be around 13V.
Starter circuits for the most part operates in the following way. Turning the ignition key supplies power to a relay situated in the engine compartment which in turn activates the solenoid on the starter which powers the starter itself.
Make sure your vehicle is in Neutral(Manual gearbox) or Park(Auto box) Locate the starter motor. On the starter there is another cylinder like object called the solenoid. There is a thick red wire running from the battery connected to this. There is also a much thinner wire which activates the solenoid. To test the starter run a wire from the + on the battery to where the thin wire connects on the solenoid. (ignition must be off) This should activate the starter and turn the engine. If nothing happens the starter is probably at fault. Before removing the starter make sure that the engine is properly earthed as this could also give problems.
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Starter repair is best left to the experts. Get a quote for a new starter before you have the old one repaired. You'd be surprised at how many times it turns out that replacement costs the same as repair.
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