Question about 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Starting problem. Is it the key lock cylinder, fuel pump...?? YIKES!

Hi, thank you for you help in advance. I have a 02 overland, 80k, and trying to nail down this starting problem. I think it is a mechanism problem over anything else. I read a lot of things about fuel pump problems so I tried turning the key off-on-off-on etc....no luck. I have not checked the fuel pressure because I think it is the key lock cylinder. All dash lights work (full power in on position) but no start or turning over when I turn it any further. I also tried holding the key in the crank position for 5 sec and nothing. However, after 3,4,5 tries...it will crank and the H.O. motor runs stronger than ever. It has progressively gotten worse over the last couple months. No battery issue. Key opens door lock cylinder fine too so the key is fine. It has a small idle issue that recently popped up but I dont think that is linked...just a little bounce from 600-900...probably I.C.V. or vaccum leak. Please help!

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  • Ladd Aug 21, 2008

    cool thanks! Anybody else have some input??

  • Ladd Aug 21, 2008

    thanks. Anyone else have some input??

  • Ladd Aug 21, 2008

    Hey mike, thanks a lot. Looks like both you guys are right on. At first I thought it was the ignition switch (GRRR). But I went back out this morning, turned it to the on position, waited for all the annoying dings to go away, opened the driver door and sure enough, CLICK! Rule out the ignition switch all together?? I guess its a flat spot. Can I get to it and tap it to get more starts out of it?? Both you guys have been a big help and I will rate ya!! Any advice on labor hours for this job? You guys rock.

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Hi laddius,

When you turn the key to Start:

  • If you hear a solid CLICK come from the starter solenoid and no engine cranking, I'd have to agree with aubd in that the Starter is the problem.
  • If nothing happens (no sound, no crank, no nothing), then your looking at the ignition switch.
How about a quick check and fix?
This will test your starter. If your starter passes this test, you're half way done with an alternative low cost, low effort fix. First, the test.
  • You will need some wire and crimp connectors for the test
  • Crimp a ring connector on one end of the wire.
  • Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
  • Get under the vehicle and attach the wire to the Solenoid. (the small terminal, sometimes marked 'S', not the larger ones).
  • Run the wire up through the engine compartment.
  • Make sure the tranny is in Park or Neutral.
  • Reconnect the battery
  • Test the Starter by momentarily touching the other end of the wire to the positive battery terminal.
  • If it cranks, the problem is in your ignition switch.
  • Turn your key to ON.
  • Try the same thing again. If it fires up, only the Start connectors in the switch are damaged. The ON circuits are fine. Shut it down.
  • Now you can replace the ignition switch which involves some major time and effort. Dismantling the steering column to start with, dealing with airbags, new switch, reassembly.
  • OR you can run the wire you just attached to the solenoid through the firewall and attach it to a +12VDC Power Supply through a momentary switch. Now you can turn the key to ON, press the momentary switch to Start and go driving. Neat , huh?
You make the call

Remember: Good things come to those who Rate!
Mike

Posted on Aug 21, 2008

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Aug 22, 2008

    Hi Laddius,

    Starters in general are pretty easy to replace. Two bolts, two nuts. Should take about an hour.

    Some newer model vehicles aren't as easily accessible. I'm not familiar with a 2002 Jeep. But if its anything like mine, you can do it yourself and save the money.

    Your starter is located at the rear of the engine (usually underneath and to one side) where it attaches to the transmission. What you are looking for is this: Access and removability. You need to be able to get to it with relative ease. You need to be able to remove it without major turmoil (lifting the engine, access through the wheel well, etc).

    If you can see it and nothing is blocking it, go for it. Click the Ask button and I'll walk you through it

    BTW, Thanks for the rating!
    Mike .


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No, this pretty much sounds like you might need a new starter.

Sometimes, starters develop what is referred to as a "flat spot" (a spot where if the starter stops there, it does not want to operate before something causes it to move (rotate a little bit)) causing a hard start/no start condition.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008

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