Question about 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Delay in Start on 2000 Grand Cherokee Ltd 4.7 engine

When you turn the key sometimes there is a several second delay before the starter begins to spin and engage. Battery and all power indicators are normal. Connections on starter are clean and tight. I exchanged the starter relay located in the engine bay fuse box with another of the same #. I have also removed the steering column housing and cleaned the key switch system with electrical cleaner. The problem still exists. Is this the starter solenoid or a security key issue ? Thanks, Bill

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To check the solenoid internal contact, you'd need to remove the starter and remove the solenoid cover. Inside you will find a brass wheel that contacts the positive battery lug. You can remove the wheel and reverse it and turn the lug 180 degrees, providing new contact surfaces. Seems that you've done just about everything else. You can also use a test light attaching it at different points to find where the actual delay is occurring. Normally security will allow cranking but will not allow starting.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009

Testimonial: "I will try this solution as I had almost got to the point of replacing the entire starter which has a new solenoid. This beats spending $130 ! Thanks!"

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1 Answer

When I turn the key the stater spins, but i does not turn the engine over.


Maybe problem with starter motor? It does two things, it kicks out the starter drive gear and spins. The flywheel usually has cover, remove the cover, try to see if starter drive gear engages the flywheel teeth, with key in the crank position.
Some of the national brand auto stores will test the starter for you. Sometimes, I take the starter off, lay it on the ground, hook up jumper cables properly from battery to starter motor. It should kick out the drive gear and spin, granted that is no load test. Intermittent issues can be a pain.
I just want to add, when working under a vehicle, safety is always your responsibility.

I just wanted to add, make sure battery has a full charge and battery connections all good.

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How do you tell if the starter has gone out


starter failure is indicated by several actions
1--- very slow in turning the engine ( something like a flat battery)---bushes shot and armature poling on shoes-- repairable
2--- clicking solenoid on starter but not spinning motor--- faulty solenoid contact points not completing power circuit--- solenoid replacement
3--starter spins fine on one start but will do nothing on restart or will restart if the engine is turned a fraction by hand-- dry joints in commutator bar in armature starter stops spinning on start and the faulty bar is under a brush thereby not making a circuit on restart--- repairable
4--starter shows signs of burning/ heat on the outside -- starter held in engagement with the fly wheel and burnt out the wiring
5--- starter spins and engages the ring gear but doesn't move the crank--- over run clutch on pinion of starter is failed --- replaceable
if the starter is what is known as a stepped starter ( body of the starter is not in direct line with the pinion nut works through an idler gear) there could be failures in the drive of that idler gear
fortunately most starters will last the life of the motor if used correctly ( not winding over until the battery is flat)
if the engine is held in good tune then a starter will operate for as little as 15 seconds to start an engine and most starter problems faults can be traced to
failed cells in battery --- have a load test done
dirty battery posts and terminals-- should be shiny clean and tight
bad ground wire point on engine for battery lead
faulty starter relays
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-Starter Worn out internal contact.
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Turn key get nothing jump starter and sylenoid just spins


i cant dope out that symptoms.

does it crank or not. be clear there.

no car starts (but my 6sp) if it dont crank.

on A/T cars cranking is a first thing. so does it.?

Solenoids do not spin, the stroke only , it a linear motion.

the Sol. moves the pinion and the main contactor switch only.



my guess is the Starter spins and the crank don\'t spin,

you hear the starter motor spin up, it sings. like bird.

that means the starter /solenoid are bad. (crude)

if the battery is good and or jumper starting off a running car.



It can just be a dirty starter pinion, clean it , repeat.

fixed many for this. i have.



battery cable lugs clean, and good. no green rust.

bad cable usually just make a loud THUNK sound. no spin.

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Good battery, key will not engage starter, jumping starter will not engage drive


jumping across the solenoid will spin the starter but will not engage the pinion in the ring gear. Have a load test done on the battery as I suspect that there is a bad cell and you are not getting a full charge. If the battery is faulty then there is always enough power to turn on dash lights but nothing left to run the high current solenoid and starter.

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1 Answer

I turn key and starter spin but will not engage flywheel.


You have one of two problems: Either the starter drive on your starter is defective and is not engaging the flywheel to crank the engine, or the flywheel has some broken or damaged teeth that are preventing the starter from engaging.
Starters come in a variety of designs. On some, the solenoid is mounted on top of the starter. When you turn the key, the solenoid routes current to the starter motor and at the same time pulls a lever that slides the drive gear mechanism out so it will engage the flywheel and crank the engine. If the solenoid is weak or damaged, it may not be strong enough to overcome the spring tension that retracts the drive gear. So the starter spins but doesn't crank the engine.
On other starters, the solenoid is mounted remotely. When the starter motor starts to spin, it ratchets out so the drive gear will engage the flywheel and crank the engine. If the drive mechanism is damaged or hung up, the motor may spin but not crank the engine.
Regardless of what type of starter you have, it will have to come out for further inspection. The drive gear (which is sometimes referred to as a "Bendix drive") should move out when the starter starts to spin. The drive gear usually has a one-way clutch that is supposed to protect the starter against damage if someone keeps cranking the engine once it starts. The gear should turn one way but not the other. If the gear is locked up or turns freely either way, the drive is bad and needs to be replaced. If the drive can't be replaced separately, you'll have to replace the entire starter.
Starter Testing If the drive seems okay, the starter should be "bench tested" using jumper cables or special equipment designed for this purpose.
CAUTION: Be careful because a starter develops a lot of torque. It should be held down with a strap or clamped in a vice (be careful not to crush or deform the housing!) before voltage is applied.
A simple no-load bench test can be performed with a battery and a pair of jumper cables to see if a starter motor will spin. But this test alone won't tell you if the starter is good or bad because a weak starter that lacks sufficient power to crank an engine at the proper speed (usually a minimum of 250 to 500 rpm) may still spin up to several thousand rpm when voltage is applied with no load.
A better method of determining a starter's condition is to have it tested on equipment that measures the starter's "amp draw." A good starter should normally draw a current of 60 to 150 amps, depending on the size or power rating of the starter. Some "high torque" GM starters may draw up to 250 amps, so refer to the OEM specifications to make sure the amp draw is within the acceptable range.
If the starter does not spin freely, or draws an unusually high or low number of amps, it is defective and replacement is required.
An unusually high current draw and low free turning speed typically indicate a shorted armature, grounded armature or field coils, or excessive friction within the starter itself (dirty, worn or binding bearings or bushings, a bent armature shaft or contact between the armature and field coils). The magnets in permanent magnet starters can sometimes break or separate from the housing and drag against the armature.
A starter that does not turn and draws a high current may have a ground in the terminal or field coils, or a frozen armature.
Failure to spin and zero current draw indicates an open field circuit, open armature coils, defective brushes or a defective solenoid.
Low free turning speed combined with a low current draw indicates high internal resistance (bad connections, bad brushes, open field coils or armature windings).

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Hi:) That sound like the solenoid is the problem it is located on the starter and if the solenoid is not working right it will do all the things you are explaining.And yes heat has alot to do with it and being ware out.If it is the original it is time to replace the starter anyways it's 16 years old.

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