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Old 10-01-2011, 07:07 PM
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Starting issue, probably electrical

Hi Guys,

I have an 01 WJ that is making a really rapid clicking noise when I try to start it. The short version...

I drove it to lunch, then home, about 20 miles round trip. ~30 minutes later I got a really rapid clicking noise from the engine compartment, and the dash display was flickering on and off rapidly. As soon as I released the key from the start position I was also rewarded with a clicking noise from the fuse box area under the dash.

What I've done for troubleshooting: I went to jump it from my wife's car. The flickering dash issue went away when jumped, but the rapid clicking from the engine compartment did not. Had my wife turn the key and I thought I had isolated the noise to the starter. Replaced the starter and still have clicking that I am having troubles tracking. Definitely inside the engine compartment, and between the battery and glove box area, but nothing I can specifically track down.

I've checked all the external fuses, the main electrical fuses, cycled thru PRD21 and back to make sure it wasn't that switch, physically checked the grounding connections from the engine to the frame (also with a DMM), and verified continuity from the battery to the solenoid. I even tried the ignition switch three times to see if I got any error codes, and all I saw was "done."

I'm thinking about swapping out the starter relay, but I'm out of ideas after that. I know I haven't done it all, and I might have missed something I tried in troubleshooting, but I'm open to any ideas you might have for me. I also like a good joke if you don't have any ideas.

Thanks,
Ralph
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:10 AM
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Re: Starting issue, probably electrical

Might be too obvious, but have the battery load tested. A clicking sound is typical of a dead or nearly dead battery in my limited experience. Hope that this might help since you seem to have checked everything else.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:33 AM
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Re: Starting issue, probably electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgeezer View Post
Might be too obvious, but have the battery load tested. A clicking sound is typical of a dead or nearly dead battery in my limited experience. Hope that this might help since you seem to have checked everything else.
x2
Probably going to need a new battery. That's the way it looks from here anyway.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:52 AM
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Re: Starting issue, probably electrical

X3 on the battery (or at least a too low charge of it). However it could be that you have left some accessory on during some time and have drained the battery that way.
Donīt know how long you did jumper the battery, but if your battery is empty, you are using all the juice from your wifes car battery to charge yours and probably doesnīt have enough left over to start. Just leave the cables connected for at least 10 minutes with the other car engine running above idle to give your battery a change to charge a bit and then try again. Also quite thin jumper cables will not do the job well and get hot rapidly (this due to loss in the cables due to their resistance). If you have a normal battery charger, it would be best to use that one.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:03 AM
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Re: Starting issue, probably electrical

Ok then, I'll get my battery tested and probably buy a new one tomorrow. I'll let you know how it went. I'm going to feel kind of dumb if it was just the battery, but I actually needed to replace the starter anyway. Thanks for the input guys!
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:01 PM
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Re: Starting issue, probably electrical

It ended up being the battery, and I feel kind of foolish. Thanks for the help guys. I have never seen a car that couldn't be jumped, even with a bad battery.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:11 PM
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Re: Starting issue, probably electrical

Every day we learn a little bit more.
Good that the problem is solved.
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