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

Jeep Wrangler Problems

The Jeep Wrangler is a popular off-road SUV with outstanding performance and durability. However, this car also develops issues and it can be frustrating at times. For instance, you may wake up one day and your Jeep Wrangler won’t start. If you’re having such a problem with your car, we’re going to look at some of the possible causes and how to fix them.

If your Jeep Wrangler is not starting, it may be due to one of the following problems. They include a dead or weak battery, bad starter motor, faulty ignition switch, loose earth cable, bad solenoid, faulty alternator, corrosion on battery terminals, lack of fuel, bad starter relay, and faulty park neutral safety switch.  

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

A bad starter motor

A starter motor is in charge of helping the engine to turn over at the beginning of every car start. Therefore, if the starter is faulty or bad, then the engine won’t start. Apart from the engine failing to start, other common signs of a bad starter motor are clicking or grinding noise, lights turning on without action, and oil soaking the starter.

To fix this problem, you will have to replace the bad or damaged starter with a good one.

A dead or weak battery 

Another common cause of the Jeep Wrangler battery not starting is a dead or weak battery. This is one of the first suspects if your car is not starting. The car’s battery is vital as it provides the zap of electricity required to put electrical parts to work. On top of that, it converts chemical energy into the electrical energy needed to start the car.

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So, if the battery is weak or dead, your car won’t receive the needed energy and it won’t start. Fix this issue by trying to jumpstart the car. If it fails to start, the battery may be worn out and needs a replacement.  

A faulty ignition switch

A faulty ignition switch can also be the cause of the problem. If you turn the car keys and nothing happens, there is a high chance that you’ve got a bad ignition switch. Another common sign is that all electrical components stop working. This problem can be fixed by replacing the faulty switch with a new one.

Corrosion on battery terminals

Corrosion on battery terminals or contacts can also make the Jeep Wrangler not start. Corroded battery terminals won’t give a good connection to your battery cables and the engine. As a result, your car won’t be able to start. However, this problem is simple to fix by scrubbing off the corrosion and reconnecting the cables.

A loose earth cable

Many Jeep models have been known for their inadequate grounding. The Jeep Wrangler is not an exception. After some time of use, the earth cable may become loose, corroded, or broken. As a result, it will affect the power being relayed to the engine to start the car. To fix this problem, you will have to fix the broken or loose cables. 

A bad starter relay

A bad starter relay can also cause the car not to start. When you turn the key in the ignition switch, one of the parts that are activated is the starter relay. This turns power to your ignition switch, starter motor, and fuel pump. Therefore, if the starter relay is faulty or damaged, it will stop the starter motor from turning. This issue can be fixed by replacing the bad starter relay.

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A faulty alternator

The alternator in a car converts chemical energy to electrical energy so that the user can charge and replenish the battery in the engine and other electrical parts in the Jeep Wrangler. So, if the alternator is bad, the car won’t start. You can fix this problem by replacing the faulty alternator. 

A bad solenoid

The solenoid is a very critical part of the car. It enables the car’s ignition system to reach the starter motor and make the car turn on. Hence, if the solenoid is faulty or bad, your Jeep Wrangler won’t start. Like most parts on this list, you should replace the bad solenoid with a new one. 

Faulty park neutral safety switch

The work of the park-neutral safety switch is to prevent the vehicle from starting while in gear. So, if this component is faulty or damaged, it won’t work as intended and stop your car from starting. Ensure to have it replaced by a professional mechanic if you want to fix the problem.

Lack of fuel

Lack of fuel or low fuel level can cause the car not to start. That’s why it is vital to always check the car’s fuel level before starting the engine. If your car isn’t starting because of fuel, you will have to refill it and the issue will be fixed.

More about Jeep Wrangler problems.


Is the Jeep Wrangler reliable?

Jeep is one of the least reliable car brands on the market. While the Jeep Wrangler is quite reliable, it still falls behind most of its competitors. Top reliability agencies like RepairPal awarded Jeep Wrangler a score of 3.5 out of 5.0, which is pretty impressive. However, most of its rivals have a better score.

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Is it expensive to fix a Jeep Wrangler?

Yes, the Jeep Wrangler is very expensive to maintain compared to mainstream SUVs. On average, it will cost the owner around $694 to maintain the Jeep Wrangler. On the other hand, it will only cost about $642 to maintain a mainstream SUV. Besides, the Jeep Wrangler will cost more than $1,200 the industry average to maintain over 10 years.

What other problems does the Jeep Wrangler have?

Apart from having car starting issues, the Jeep Wrangler also registers other problems like steering problems, heater issues, clogged fuel injectors, exhaust leakage, water leakage, TIPM malfunction, ignition switch malfunction, and suspension failure.

While the Jeep Wrangler registers various issues, it is a pretty reliable car. And with a good maintenance and repair routine, the Jeep Wrangler can last for a long while.

Bottom line

The Jeep Wrangler is not only popular but a beast off-road as well. Nevertheless, this car can also fail to start sometimes. Before you conclude that the battery is bad, it is vital to have a professional technician or mechanic inspect the car and find out what the real issue is.

Nonetheless, with proper care and maintenance, such issues can be avoided. On top of that, other problems can be countered early and ensure that your Jeep Wrangler runs smoothly at all times.

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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