When your Jeep Grand Cherokee suddenly fails to start, several thoughts may run through your mind.
What could be wrong? After all, you just filled her up a few hours ago, and it worked just fine when you left the filling station. The radio and lights work, but the SUV just won’t start.
If you’re currently experiencing this, keep reading to see how to go about the issue.
Reasons Your Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Start
So let’s look at the reasons behind this problem and what to do:
1. Defective Fuel Pump Relay in the TIPM
If your Jeep Grand Cherokee fails to start, you may own one of the fourth-generation models. The 2011 to 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee models are known to develop engine issues. This is usually caused by a defective fuel pump relay in the TIPM (totally integrated power module).
The Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) acts like an electrical command center, powering your Jeep Grand Cherokee’s fuel pump, headlights, door locks, power winders, radio, etc. When this module fails, it causes your vehicle’s engine to crank but not start. The engine may also stall suddenly while driving.
Although thousands of Jeep Grand Cherokee owners reported this issue to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), especially when their vehicles suddenly died on them and were left stranded on the road, the automaker never admitted any liability.
Therefore, if you suspect this to be the problem, and it is confirmed after proper diagnosis by a certified mechanic, ensure you immediately replace the defective fuel pump relay and the wire harness.
2. Bad Fuel Injectors
Bad fuel injectors may also prevent your Jeep Grand Cherokee from starting. When fuel travels from the tank, through the pump, and into the engine, it should be efficiently and evenly dispersed through all cylinders.
However, if one of these cylinders is no longer working as designed, it can affect your Jeep Grand Cherokee’s running ability.
Tow your Jeep Grand Cherokee to a certified auto repair shop for proper inspection and diagnosis. If the fuel injectors are bad, fix or replace them immediately.
3. Drop in Fuel Pressure in the Fuel Rail
Another reason your Jeep Grand Cherokee won’t start is when there is a significant drop in fuel pressure in the fuel rail.
You may notice this problem when starting your Jeep Grand Cherokee becomes intermittent or just problematic about 50 percent of the time. You push the start button, and the engine turns but won’t start.
Running codes will only pull up a P2110 code which your vehicle has no symptoms of, and there may not be any other odd or unusual problems with your Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The issue with your fuel pressure in the fuel rail dropping usually occurs when the vehicle has not run for some time, especially when parked overnight.
If this is the case, you should first try pressing the start button of your vehicle twice, but without your foot on the brake. This action activates the fuel pump of your Jeep Grand Cherokee and pressurizes the lines.
Next, place your foot on the brake and press the start button again. If your Jeep Grand Cherokee starts, it could be that the anti-backflow valve on the fuel pump only allows fuel to leak slowly past it. Re-pressurization is therefore required again to start your vehicle.
You can also get your mechanic to check out the valve and the entire fuel pump assembly or system. If anything is wrong with the fuel pump or any other component around that area, fix or replace the faulty components.
4. Faulty Fuel Pump or Insufficient Fuel
If your Jeep Grand Cherokee refuses to start, and you’re sure the starter and battery are working properly, check if your vehicle has enough fuel.
Insert the key in the ignition and switch it on to see your vehicle’s fuel level.
Look at the fuel gauge; if the tank is low, the gauge’s indicator will reveal this information. The needle will be beneath the empty line or mark, which is usually denoted ‘E.’
However, it is common for fuel gauges to be faulty. Defective fuel gauges will show the wrong fuel level in your Jeep’s tank. If you suspect your fuel gauge may be faulty, get your vehicle to the nearest gas station and refill its tank.
When you have sufficient fuel, start the vehicle. If the Jeep Grand Cherokee starts normally, you can easily conclude that perhaps there wasn’t enough fuel in the car. You will need to fix the faulty fuel gauge to avoid a repeat of this situation.
But if it’s the fuel pump, the vehicle still wouldn’t start. This implies that your fuel pump may be faulty.
However, the only way to determine this is to get someone to switch on the ignition while you listen to the sounds the fuel pump makes.
Then use a fuel pressure tester to see if your Jeep’s engine is getting enough fuel from the tank.
When the other person starts your Jeep Grand Cherokee, keep your eyes on the pressure tester. If the tester shows enough pressure, your fuel pump is fully functional.
But if there is no pressure, your vehicle’s fuel pump connection is probably compromised and needs checking out and a re-connection.
5. Ignition Switch Failure
Ignition switch failure is also one of the causes of Jeep Grand Cherokee starting problems. This is a starting problem that plagued the 2005 to 2007 model years of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The FCA recalled over 800,000 vehicles, including the 2005 and 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee models—due to ignition switch failure.
The ignition key may switch to the ‘accessory’ or ‘off’ position at slight contact with the driver’s knee even while the vehicle is still running. This is a big issue because when you drive with a defective ignition switch, the power steering, airbags, as well as power braking features will no longer function as designed.
Your Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engine may even stall while cruising at highway speeds, and you may lose control of your vehicle while completing a turn. This, among others, was one of the complaints vehicle owners reported.
Since you already own a Jeep Grand Cherokee, get the vehicle to a mechanic for a replacement of the ignition switch. But if you are in the market for a second-hand Jeep Grand Cherokee, ensure you ask for valuable feedback from other owners of specific model years.
A certified mechanic will also be more than willing to offer good advice whenever you shop for a used vehicle.
6. Corroded Battery
When your vehicle’s battery is corroded, there is no way your Jeep Grand Cherokee will start.
However, to be sure that the starting problem is due to a corroded battery, remove the battery cables and check.
If the terminals are dirty or corroded, clean them off and reconnect them. Then try starting your Jeep Grand Cherokee to see if the starting problem has been resolved.
7. Bad starter Solenoid
A bad starter solenoid can prevent your Jeep Grand Cherokee from starting. The starter solenoid is the component that receives a signal from the ignition switch, which in turn activates the starter motor.
Therefore, if the starter solenoid is faulty, the only way to discover this is by running a proper diagnosis. After that, the mechanic will check the fuses and replace them immediately if necessary.
8. Broken Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are electrical devices most Jeep Grand Cherokee owners don’t bother checking when their vehicle fails to start. But it is important because, as insignificant as they seem, they can cause vehicle starting problems.
Check the spark plugs when your Jeep Grand Cherokee fails to start and after ensuring you have enough fuel.
You can locate the spark plug wires of your Jeep Grand Cherokee by raising its hood. Remove the first spark plug cable and get a spark plug wrench to detach the second wire.
Examine the cable thoroughly to check or spot any flaws that may eventually be serious if not taken care of.
If the spark plugs’ arcs are wider than they should be, replace them immediately with new ones. You can ground the spark plug by placing its end on a solid metallic surface.
Placing a spark plug on a solid metal surface usually completes the electrical circuit. However, do not touch the spark plug directly with your bare hands as you run the engine. If no sparks fly after conducting this test, get your Jeep Grand Cherokee to a mechanic immediately for a proper diagnosis.
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A Jeep Grand Cherokee can fail to start due to any of the several reasons discussed in this article. The best way to prevent these issues is to have your vehicle inspected periodically.
Check every component mentioned in this article to ensure they are in peak condition. If you suspect anything or see signs of a defect on a particular unit, replace it immediately.