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Why My Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start? Common Causes and How To Fix

Why My Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start? Common Causes and How To Fix

Jeep Cherokees are fantastic cars that can work for quite a while, even through rough terrains, without giving up on you. However, Jeep Cherokees have a few commonly known problems, but most of the time, they are pretty easy fixes due to the common issues.

The most common reasons a Jeep Cherokee won’t start is because of a bad battery, corroded battery terminals, or a bad starter. Other common reasons a Jeep Cherokee won’t start are a bad alternator and a broken or failing fuel pump.

No matter what the issue is with your jeep, you can most likely find videos and instructions on how to fix the problem for little to no money, or you can take it to a mechanic and have them look at and fix almost any issue.

What Do I Do If My Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start?

If your jeep Cherokee won’t start, usually it’s due to a pretty common issue, but the hardest part is trying to narrow down exactly the issue and how you can fix it.

If your Jeep Cherokee won’t start, it’s usually caused by one of a few problems, such as:

  • Dead or Bad Battery
  • Bad Starter
  • Bad Alternator
  • Corroded Battery Terminals
  • Broken or failing fuel pump

Here’s a video walk-through of one potential fix, more info below:

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Lets go over each of these common issues in more detail.

Dead Or Bad Battery

Sometimes, even if our battery isn’t old or broken, it can not work for many reasons. Unfortunately, even in the age of technology that we live in, things stop working and go bad all the time due to unforeseen circumstances or reasons we can’t explain.

So, no matter how old your battery is or isn’t, don’t count this out as why your Jeep isn’t starting. You can determine your battery is the issue by checking to see if your car has power but simply won’t start.

If the lights and radio come on with no issues, there’s a chance it’s a different issue.

However, if your jeep seems like the power isn’t quite there or nothing comes on at all, you need to take your battery to be tested at an auto repair shop or somewhere you can buy auto parts. Both places should be able to test your battery and tell you if you need a new one.

Once you replace your battery, if that’s the issue, your jeep should work with no problem.

Bad Alternator

If your battery is regularly dying and you are going through quite a few batteries quickly, there’s a good chance your alternator is failing.

Since your alternator is in charge of charging your battery while the car is on, if it’s not doing its job, your battery won’t have enough power to start your car.

Since you already need to have someone look at your car, it’s always a good idea to get a mechanic to test your alternator and battery simultaneously, so once the issue is fixed, you won’t have a problem with your car starting or running.

Corroded Battery Terminals

While corroded battery terminals aren’t the most common cause of a Jeep Cherokee not starting, it is something that happens often enough to mention. If your battery terminals are corroded, you won’t have a good enough connection from your battery to your car; therefore, it won’t start.

To fix the corrosion issue, you can pour baking soda all over the affected area and pour a small amount of water over it to create a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the corrosion.

Once the reaction stops, wipe everything off with a paper towel and repeat the process as needed until all of the corrosion is gone.

Bad Starter

So, if your battery is working fine and your engine is attempting to turn over, or if you can hear the clicking of the starter, but nothing else is happening, you most likely have a bad starter.

Unfortunately, most people need a mechanic to help with this since you have to replace the entire starter for it to work again. However, once your starter is replaced, you should have quite a while or tens of thousands of miles before it becomes an issue again.

Broken Or Failing Fuel Pump

When your car starts, there has to be enough pressure that builds up in the fuel system to keep the car running. However, if your fuel pump is broken or failing, this won’t happen, and your car won’t start.

It’s important to have your fuel pump regularly looked at to ensure no leaks or issues, so you have a functional car. If there is even the smallest leak or issue with your fuel pump, it’s important to have it replaced before it becomes a bigger issue and possibly damages something else.

Here’s a video showing how to replace a fuel pump:

Why Does My Jeep Randomly Not Start?

Now, while there are lists of issues why your Jeep Cherokee may not start, if it’s happening very randomly for seemingly no reason, you could be doing a few things, such as:

  • Letting your Jeep sit for too long without being started
  • Letting your battery be exposed to too much cold
  • Letting your gas get too low without refueling

While these issues are frustrating, they are easy fixes. If your Jeep is going to be sitting a while without being used, it’s wise to start it once every 3-4 days, so the battery keeps a good charge and nothing gets worn or broken by sitting.

If you can keep your Jeep out of the extreme cold while it’s not running, this will increase your battery life significantly and remove the increased chance of battery issues. It’s also extremely important to have enough fuel in your tank to get you where you need to go in case of an emergency.

While it can cause your car not to start the first couple of times you try, it can also cause issues if you need to fuel up before rushing to get help or help someone else.

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Final Thoughts

Jeep Cherokees are fantastic vehicles to own; no matter if they have common issues or not, they are no different from owning any other car. Every vehicle has its own problems.

Jeep Cherokees are commonly prone to battery or starter issues, but it’s usually easy and not too difficult of a fix since it’s something mechanics often see.

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