Mechanics

CAR WON'T START

1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee • 6 cylinder 4WD Automatic • 159,000 miles

I put in a new battery 6 weeks ago in my 98 jeep cherokee. It started fine this am(14 degrees in a garage) but in the pm all I got was a rapid clicking from starter. Lights are still strong.
Avatar
Tonga72
December 28, 2010.



Your battery is near dead most likely from a short in the system. You need to check all accesories are off and maybe in a garage in the dark to see if any interrior lights are on or an accident shorted out wires for lights etc.
A clean battery( not wet or dirty) it must be over 10.6 volts with no load to crank a good engine to fire properly.
Also if you have a poor ground connection or at the battery or a poor Hot connection, they need to be clean and tight! Not overtighten or you'll ruin the posts taht are only made of lead(soft and easily breakable).
Once connections and voltages are True and any accesories are off you should not get any draw to run the battery down. If Not sure Unplug all fuses and disconnect battery, put a voltmeter between the cable and battery post to measure voltage connection and see what the differneces are when each fuse is re-intraduced or sparks. You can also probe each fuse in box to see which ones (while ignition is off) have any power going to them to see what accesories are on those links to see what could be a problem. Llike maybe you don't use the cruise anymore as is won't work so that fuse may have power still but it is shorting out draining the battery.

Also With some starters that go bad they are over heated from cranking too much constantly (they need a duty cycle to rest longer than only the 15 sec. Max. That they should crank- so crank 15 rest 30-60 seconds or burnout could occur) sometimes that will hold the starter and a cycling of the solenoid could occur. Not as likely as low voltage battery. Or also a bad solenoid not connecting properly.

If no short is found than a simple test at a shop for the system may show a low Alternator output that is not charging the battery enough.

I usually check 1 fuse at a time first to see where there may be an issue of a short. But the battery is usually the key until proven faultless.

Tiny
JohnPI
Jan 5, 2011.
If the engine is in poor condition it may have trouble in the cold. Many times there is an issue with fuel or timing to rpevent the engine from firing quickly and properly to help with a quick start.
If it was an older battery I would be thinking too weak of acid with too much water content and freezing of the battery. But charge the battery for a full 8 hours on a good charge of at least 15 amps. Only a 2 amp trickle charger is to hold a full charge not to charge a low battery unless left on for a week or more.

Tiny
JohnPI
Jan 5, 2011.