Jeep Cherokee won’t start – causes and how to fix it

Jeep Cherokee Problems

If you’re an adventurous person, the Jeep Cherokee is an exceptional car to have. However, it can be frustrating to find out the car won’t start when you’re preparing for a new adventure. That’s why we’ve highlighted some of the things that cause the Jeep Cherokee not to start and how to fix them, to help you out.

Some of the things that cause the Jeep Cherokee not to start are a dead battery, a bad alternator, a bad starter relay, corrosion on battery terminals, bad spark plugs, bad fuel injectors, clogged fuel filters, failing fuel pump, a bad starter solenoid, and failing ignition coil. 

Why is my Jeep Cherokee not starting? How do I fix the issue?

A dead battery

A dead battery should be the first thing to look at when your car is not starting. If your car has not been in use for a while or the weather is extremely cold, there is a high chance that your car’s battery may be weak and it won’t start the car.

If your car is not starting because of a weak or dead battery, you can try jumpstarting it. If jumpstarting doesn’t work, you will have to acquire a new battery. It is vital to acquire a powerful and durable battery that will last for a while. 

A bad alternator

Another common thing that causes the car not to start is a failing alternator. The alternator is in charge of charging the car’s battery when driving. Besides, it also turns mechanical energy into electrical energy. So, if the alternator is bad, the car won’t start as energy won’t be supplied to the battery.

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To fix this issue, the owner or user will have to replace the bad alternator with a good one.   

A bad starter relay

The starter solenoid works hand-in-hand with the starter solenoid. The work of the starter relay is to switch on the current that activates the starter solenoid. Hence, if the starter relay is bad, it won’t complete its function, and thus the car won’t start.

Take your car to a professional mechanic to replace the bad starter relay with a new one. This will help fix the issue. 

Corrosion on battery terminals

While this problem is not very common, it can still prevent the car from starting. Corroded battery terminals stop the flow of the current, thus preventing energy to be transferred from the battery to the engine. Simply check your car’s battery terminal to see if they are corroded. This issue can be fixed by cleaning the corroded part and reconnecting the cables. 

Bad fuel injectors

Fuel injectors ensure that the gas moves from the tank via the pump and into the engine. Therefore, if the fuel injector is damaged or failing, it won’t work as intended. As a result, it will stop the car from starting. To fix this issue, you will have to uninstall the bad fuel injector and install a new one. 

Bad spark plugs

Spark plugs are one of the first parts that usually break down in a car. Besides, car users are expected to change their spark plugs every 40,000 miles. And since spark plugs send an electrical signal from the ignition coil to the engine to start the car, your car won’t work if they are compromised or bad.

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If you want to fix this problem, you will have to replace the bad spark plugs with good ones.

Bad starter solenoid

The starter solenoid is the spark that starts your car’s engine. It receives electrical currents from the car’s battery and ignition system that starts a chain of electrical reactions to start the engine. Therefore, if the starter solenoid is bad, the Jeep Cherokee won’t start. Have the bad starter solenoid replaced. 

Failing fuel pump

The function of the fuel pump is to supply fuel to the engine from the fuel tank. However, this part also fails or becomes bad after some time of use. Apart from the car not starting, other signs of a bad fuel pump are power loss, a sputtering engine, fuel tank noise, and a dead engine. You can fix this issue by replacing the bad fuel pump. 

Failing ignition coil

Like spark plugs, the ignition coils also need replacement every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Ignition coils transform the electrical energy from the car’s battery into high voltage, saves it vividly, and then produce it as a high voltage current pulse to the spark plug. Therefore, if the ignition coil is faulty or bad, the car won’t start. Just replace the bad ignition coil with a new one to fix the problem.

Clogged fuel filters 

Last but not least, clogged fuel filters can also cause the car not to start. Note that fuel filters are often clogged by metallic fragments that come in different forms of ferrous metal. If the fuel filters are clogged, you will have to unclog them to revert the problem. But if the fuel filter is damaged, you will have to replace it.


Is the Jeep Cherokee reliable?

Yes, the Jeep Cherokee is quite reliable compared to most of its rivals. This is because reliability agencies like RepairPal and J.D. Power gave this car a slightly above-average reliability. RepairPal gave it a score of 4.5 out of 5.0, while J.D. Power gave it a score of 82 out of 100, which is above average.

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Is it expensive to maintain a Jeep Cherokee?

Yes, maintaining a Jeep Cherokee is quite costlier than similar cars. On average, the owner will have to spend at least $520 annually to repair and maintain their Jeep Cherokee. This is more than the average for compact SUVs, which costs around $462 annually to repair and maintain.

What other problems does the Jeep Cherokee have?

The Jeep Cherokee is a pretty reliable car compared to other Jeep models. However, this car also experiences several issues that owners and users should be aware of. Apart from car starting problems, Jeep Cherokee owners have also reported having transmission issues, poor gas mileage, electrical issues, TIPM issue, and much more.


Car starting issues are not only common in the Jeep Cherokee, but also in other cars. Nonetheless, fixing such issues is very easy as long as you know the source of the problem. That’s why it is not good to guess but have a professional mechanic inspect and diagnose your car.

Nevertheless, a dead battery or bad alternator are the main causes of car starting problems. If you want to avoid such problems in the future, it is good to follow the manufacturer-recommended scheduled maintenance service.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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