You have to understand how this system works to know how to diagnose it. It's identical to most other brands, but the part names are different.
The Engine Computer grounds the coil in the automatic shutdown, (ASD) relay for one second when you turn on the ignition switch. That sends 12 volts to the ignition coil(s), injectors, alternator field, oxygen sensor heaters, and fuel pump, or it grounds a separate fuel pump relay when one is used. The fastest test is to listen for the hum of the fuel pump for that one second.
Once the engine is rotating, (cranking or running), the computer needs to see signal pulses from the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensor to know it's time to turn the ASD relay back on. That is done so if a fuel line is ruptured in a crash, the pump won't dump raw fuel onto the ground where it would be a major fire hazard. With a ruptured line, there can't be any fuel pressure. With no fuel pressure, no fuel will spray from the injectors, the engine will stall, there won't be any sensor signal pulses, and the computer turns off the ASD and fuel pump relays. The fuel pump stops pumping fuel.
It's common for a failed cam or crank sensor to not set a diagnostic fault code just from cranking the engine. They usually only set while a stalled engine is coasting to a stop. Also, if the battery was disconnected or run dead, that will erase any fault codes and that valuable information will be lost. When there is no fault code related to a crank / no-start, you need to connect a scanner to view live data, and see what the Engine Computer is seeing. I have a Chrysler DRB3 for all of my vehicles. That lists both sensors with a "No" or "Present" during cranking to show if those signals are showing up.
Another fast way to determine if the ASD relay is turning on is to measure the voltage at the ignition coil or any injector. Look for the wire that is the same color at every injector and the ignition coil, or you can use either small terminal on the back of the alternator. A test light works best for this test because digital voltmeters don't respond fast enough. Back-probe that wire, then watch when 12 volts shows up. That is a dark green / orange wire on cars and minivans. Not sure about Jeeps. You should see the test light turn on for one second, then turn off, when the ignition switch is turned on. That proves the ASD relay is okay and the computer has control of it. What is important is if that voltage comes back during cranking. If it does not, the problem is with one of those sensors.
Monday, January 15th, 2018 AT 6:09 PM