Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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1998 jeep Cherokee Sport wont start

1998 jeep Cherokee Sport attempts to turn over on first turn then next attempt will not turn over at all?
Thanks in advance!!

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  • pumcher526 Sep 28, 2009

    Sorry to be so vague, first time in this type of forum.

    It first happened Friday, turned over but stopped, then attempted again and did not turn over at all. I got out and wiggled the positive terminal wires and it then started up, reluctantly.
    Battery is only 4 months old, voltmeter'ed at 12.8 volts. I had to replace my positive terminal a couple years ago due to corrosion wicking up under the wire insulation and today the copper is very tarnished and is right now soaking in baking soda/water. The starter has been very lethargic for a couple years so I am thinking that is what the problem is, just wanted to get some confirmation from somewhere else!

  • pumcher526 Sep 28, 2009

    thanks thundergod. I went ahead and removed the positive wires from the terminal and sanded thoroughly, reconnected
    Voltmeter was at 12.5v, wife opened door, went down to 12.3v, attempted to start and it only clicked, while volt meter stayed at 12.1~12.3v.
    From you comment, this rules out the starter then right?

  • pumcher526 Sep 28, 2009

    Block end of the ground wire is OEM with the terminations contained inside a block of lead so I am "assuming" that isn't the problem, could I be assuming incorrectly?
    AS for the starter relay, I guess I need to get a .pdf guide on the anatomy of a Jeep 6 cyl Cherokee 1998 because I have no idea where that is!! Can you point me in the right direction?

  • pumcher526 Oct 03, 2009

    Thank you pczapp for your comments. I have not been able to tackle the Jeep for a few days and today I am going to attack full force! I will report results of carrying out the suggestions later today...

  • pumcher526 Oct 03, 2009

    Thank you thundergod for your comments. I have not been able to tackle the Jeep for a few days and today I am going to attack full force! I will report results of carrying out the suggestions later today...


2 Answers

Give us more info. I will assume your past any battery issues so I won't ask. Do's it ever start or are you down and out?

Posted on Sep 28, 2009

  • Anonymous Sep 28, 2009

    You have been given some very good info by everyone. I never install ends on battery cables. As you said the corrosion wicks along the cable. Always buy one piece assy cables. As you questioned,yes all cables should be removed and cleaned to be sure you have a good ground and no voltage drops. Put your volt meter from batt+ to starter end of cable as other person suggested and crank eng. Do the same on Neg cable after both ends are clean. Your looking for a voltage drop or resistance to starter. Also follow the other advice and put 12 v on solenoid to see if the starter turns faster. As was said the solenoid contacts inside it may be burnt. Could always put starter and get it bench tested at auto parts store. Hang in and we will get more techy next time


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  • Jeep Master
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Sounds like your battery is way down. have it checked/charged and load tested. then have the charging system tested after you get it started.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009

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  • Richard Scordino Sep 28, 2009

    Ok...if you replaced the battery terminal end on the wire, remove it again and clean the wire and the terminal end with some rough sandpaper or a wire brush then put it back together. Baking soda mix will neutralize the acid but won't clean the contact surfaces. If the connection was "iffy" It is hard to get a proper charge into it and power back out. Make sure both terminals are clean and secure. After battery is squared away, put a volt-meter between the two terminals and have someone try to start the engine. If the voltage drops below 9,5 volts your starter is drawing too much amperage. If not, likely it's still OK.

  • Richard Scordino Sep 28, 2009

    That rules out the starter for now...sounds a lot like a connection is breaking down somewhere ...Checked the starter relay yet? how about the block end of the ground wire?

  • Richard Scordino Sep 28, 2009

    Lead oxidizes...worth looking at. Quick check is to bypass by using a jumper cable from negative of battery to block. starter relay is in the power distribution center near the battery Not positive but the a/c relay may be the same part number...if they are you can switch them. (should be labeled inside the cover) You did clean up the wire where it goes under the ******** the terminal that was changed, correct?

  • Richard Scordino Sep 28, 2009

    one last note: if you did everything I mentioned and still can't get it started, check for 12v at the main starter connection and 12v at the small trigger wire on the solenoid next to the main wire, with the key turned to start. If you have both, check for 12v at the screw below the main terminal that attaches the small tab that goes into the main body of the starter, again with the key turned to start. If you get nothing there, or its not the same as the trigger voltage, likely the solenoid has gone bad. It can be replaced but if the starter is old, likely it's worth changing both as a unit.


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