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

Jeep Grand Cherokee Problems

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a sleek and luxurious SUV with outstanding on-and-off-road performance. But since it has many moving parts, it develops problems that have to be attended to from time to time. One of those issues is car starting problems.

While such a problem is very frustrating, you can take care of it by inspecting the car and detecting what’s the cause. With that in mind, we’ve singled out some of the things that cause the Jeep Grand Cherokee not to start and how you can fix them.  

Common problems that cause the Jeep Grand Cherokee not to start include a dead or weak battery, a bad alternator, corroded battery terminals, a faulty starter, faulty spark plugs, a bad starter relay, a bad starter solenoid, clogged fuel filter, a weak key fob battery, and faulty ignition coils.

More about Jeep Grand Cherokee problems.

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

A dead or weak battery

A weak or dead battery is the main culprit of most car starting issues. Since the battery delivers the initial energy to the starter so that it can crank the engine, the car won’t start if the battery is compromised. Other signs of a dead battery are dim headlights, a clicking sound when you turn the key, a rotten-egg smell when you open the hood, and frequent jumps.

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To fix this issue, you will have to attempt to jumpstart the car. If this doesn’t work, you will have to replace the dead battery. 

A bad alternator

The alternator works hand in hand with the car’s battery. Besides, it converts mechanical energy to electrical energy with alternating current. So, if the alternator is faulty or bad, this energy won’t be converted and transmitted as needed. As a result, the car won’t start.

Aside from the Jeep Grand Cherokee not starting, other signs of a bad alternator are growling or whining noises, a battery warning light, and a dead battery. To fix this problem, replace the bad alternator. 

Corroded battery terminals

Another problem that can cause your Jeep Grand Cherokee not to start is corroded battery terminals. Battery corrosion is normally caused by electrolyte or electrolyte vapors emitting from the top of the battery. If there is a lot of corrosion on the battery terminals, there won’t be a flow of current. As a result, this will stop energy from being transferred from the battery and prevent the car from starting.

This issue is easy to fix as even a DIY enthusiast can do it. All they are required to do is to clean or get rid of the corrosion and reconnect the wires.  

Faulty starter

The car’s starter features a small starting gear that engages the engine’s flywheel when the key is turned or the press button is pressed.  As a result, it delivers power, getting the engine rotating. Hence, if the starter is damaged or faulty, the car won’t start. You can fix this problem by replacing the bad starter.

Faulty spark plugs

Spark plugs are very vital in the car as they deliver the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture, forming the explosion that makes the engine produce power. However, spark plugs wear out every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. So, if the spark plugs become faulty, they won’t deliver the spark needed to start the car.

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To fix this problem, you should replace the bad spark plugs. Nonetheless, it can be avoided by replacing spark plugs every 30,000 miles.

Faulty ignition coils

The ignition coil works as a transformer. This is because it transforms the electrical energy from the car’s battery into high voltage, saves it vividly, and then produces a high-voltage current pulse to the spark plugs. So, if the ignition coils are bad, your car won’t start as well.

You can fix this issue by changing the faulty ignition coils with new ones.

Bad starter solenoid

A starter solenoid helps to move the starter pinion into engagement with the ring gear of the engine. In short, it relays electrical currents from the ignition to the starter motor. Hence, if the starter solenoid is faulty, you should replace it with a good one to fix the problem.

Bad starter relay

A starter relay is a junction between the car’s battery and the starter motor. It works as an electrical circuit completer or a circuit breaker. If the starter relay is bad, the circuit won’t be completed and the car won’t start. Replace the bad starter relay to fix the problem.

Clogged fuel filter

A fuel filter is located in the fuel line and it screens out contaminants like debris, dirt, and dust particles from the fuel. But after some time of use, the fuel filter and fuel lines become clogged and don’t perform as intended. Therefore, they end up affecting how the car starts. To rectify this problem, you will have to unclog the fuel filter and fuel lines. 

Weak key fob battery

If your Jeep Grand Cherokee model year has a push or stop button, there is a high chance that the weak key fob is the main culprit for why your car isn’t starting. If that’s the case, then you should position the key fob as close as to the start or stop button. This problem is normally caused by a weak key fob battery.

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To fix this problem, you can use a normal key to start the car or replace the weak key fob battery. 


Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee reliable?

While Jeep is not known to make reliable cars, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is pretty reliable. Many users have applauded this model and they say it is one of the best Jeep Grand Cherokee models on the market. RepairPal, J.D. Power, and Consumer Reports have given it above-average reliability.

Is it expensive to fix a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Yes, maintaining the Jeep Grand Cherokee is pretty costly. It is estimated that the Jeep Grand Cherokee will cost about $10,484 to maintain and repair in the first 10 years of ownership. This is $1,350 more than the cost of repairing and maintaining regular SUVs.

What other problems does the Jeep Grand Cherokee have?

Like most ICE cars, the Jeep Grand Cherokee develops more issues as it ages. So, aside from the car not starting, Jeep Grand Cherokee users have also complained about alternator failure, engine stalling while driving, suspension issues, erratic electronic shifting, and ignition switch malfunction.


Now that you know some of the common problems that cause the Jeep Grand Cherokee not to start, you can go ahead and inspect and fix the underlying issues. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a nice, spacious, luxurious, and powerful SUV. If well-maintained and taken care of, most of the above issues can be avoided.

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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