Dash Warning Lights Come On, Will Not Start, No Sounds at All When Trying to Start

Asked by Jun 10, 2014 at 08:56 PM about the 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

About once every 3 weeks, my 97 Jeep GC won't start.  I turn the ignition key to start
the engine, the dash warning lights all come on, but there are no sounds whatsoever
and the car doesn't even seem to attempt to start.  So I retry starting the car every 15
seconds or so, after about 5 minutes of these attempts the car starts like nothing is
wrong.  In the past 6 months, this has happened about 8 or 9 times.  I took it to a well
respected mechanic shop, but the car started normally for them.  I'm afraid that at
some point I'm going to get stranded, or worse my wife will.

Before the car didn't start the first time, while I was driving the car I noticed a fast
clicking sound about the same volume and tone as a turn signal, but about 5 or 6 times
as fast.  Next time I tried to start the car, no start for 5+ minutes.  At first I thought this
clicking sound was coming from an area near the ignition switch.  I removed all of the
covers between the steering wheel and dash to try to determine where this sound is
coming from.  This clicking sound happens only periodic and random, it happens
several days a month.  I haven't been able to locate the source of the clicking sound, I
now think that this clicking sound is coming from under the dash near the steering
column.  The clicking sound is not normal, but I'm not sure if this clicking sound is
related to the not starting issue or not because there are days that I hear it and the
next time I try to start the car it starts normally.

After reading all of the posts, I will definitely try removing the battery ground cable for
some minutes then re-connect it and I'll re-post if that does anything.

Any other ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.  I'm afraid just hoping the
problem will cure itself will just leave me stranded some day.

1 Answer

655

if you have someone with you next time, hold the key over as if trying to start and have them(or you) tap the starter with a screw driver or hammer, tap bein the key word. if that gets it to start right off the bat, you need a new starter which runs about 70-80 bucks.

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