Car won't start/crank after driving it - Need to wait a couple of hours

I have a Jeep Liberty 2007. I start the car and drive it. I shut the car off and it won’t start/crank unless I wait a couple of hours, then it starts again. If I start the car, then immediately turn the car off, it starts right up again. It seems like the car won’t start/crank when its warm/been driven. The battery is new. The alternator is new. I’m thinking it’s probably the starter (It’s original) but was hoping to get confirmation from someone in the community. Thanks.

1 Like

By this you mean, you turn the key and the nothing happens? The starter doesn’t turn the engine? Or do you mean the starter turns the engine (cranks) but doesn’t start? Which?

Have you replaced the start relay in the engine bay fuse box?

Hi Mustangman- Happy Thanksgiving. Yes, I turn the key and nothing happens…radio silence…no cranking…nothing. I wait a couple of hours and the car starts right up. To my knowledge the start relay in the engine bay fuse box has never been replaced. I’m going to have to do some searching because I’m not sure what that looks like but if that’s the issue, it sounds like an easy fix. So do you think replacing the start relay will resolve the problem?

You may be able to swap the starter relay with another relay under the hood. Easy and free test. Another thing to try is putting the transmission in neutral, then try starting it.

1 Like

Hi NYBo - I actually tried starting the car in neutral and…nothing. My son found the problem last week when he parked his car, got out and wasn’t happy with his parking spot. So he got back in to move the car to another parking spot and it wouldn’t start/crank. I thought maybe he hadn’t put it all the way in "P"ark and so I had him take it out of Park and put it back in to park and…nothing. Then I had him try to start it in Neutral and…nothing. Starter relays are cheap enough. I can only hope this is the fix. Thanks for taking the time to respond on Thanksgiving.

Shift the transmission into neutral and see if it turns over, cranks.


Hi Tester - Happy Thanksgiving. I did that and…nothing (radio silence, no cranking). The only thing that seems to work is waiting a couple of hours…then the car starts right up.

Could your ignition switch be bad, or going bad?

Hi Ledhed75- Happy Thanksgiving. I’m just a YouTube mechanic so I suppose it could be the ignition switch but I’m not sure why the car starts fine when cold…doesn’t start immediately after driving it… but does start a couple of hours later. It seems like the car won’t start/crank when its warm/been driven. If I start the car, then immediately turn the car off, it starts right up again so I didn’t think it had anything to do with the ignition switch. The ignition switch is almost 15 years old and a relatively inexpensive part so it’s probably worth replacing to rule it out if replacing the start relay doesn’t resolve the problem. I’m hoping not to have to replace to starter itself…
I appreciate your assistance.

it is vapor lock. chrysler did not put a return line to the gas tank on their vehicle’s from 2007 -2010
this video explains it
Jeep Crank/No Start Issue Solved! - YouTube

Vapor lock will not prevent the starter from engaging.

1 Like

sorry missed that part of starter not turning over.

Find the start relay, it is a roughly 1 x 1inch box in the fuse box with 4 contacts. Swap it with a similar one nearby or replace with new. They are cheap. If the problem returns, you have more work to do… with a digital volt ohm meter. If the starter is getting power when the the key is turned, itmay actually be the starter. But so many starters get replaced unneccessarily because YouTube mechanics don’t know how to diagnose problems.

You might be money ahead to pay a pro to find and fix the problem.

1 Like

Or, the OP could randomly replace various components until he finally finds a fix.


IF he finally finds a fix…


It’s a “Jeep thing” no one understands.


Hi Mustangman- Hope you had a nice holiday. I’m going to replace the starter relay today and cross my fingers. I have a bad feeling that the issue may be a solenoid sticking in the starter motor but that’s coming from something I read. If the the problem persists, I’m going to take your last piece of advice and pay a pro to fix the problem. Thanks again for taking the time to help.

1 Like

UPDATE I replaced the starter relay yesterday. My son drove the car about 10 minutes and parked. He came back to the car about 2 hours later and the car started but on the third turn of the key. He then drove about 15 minutes to pick up a sandwich. He came back to the car about 10 minutes later and the car started but on the 2nd turn of the key. I’m thinking it’s a solenoid in the starter motor but am going to pay an expert to diagnose and fix it… I’ll you know what they say. Stay tuned.

1 Like

To all who are interested - We brought to the car to the mechanic this morning. The car was working fine. We explained the problem and told him the battery was 3 years old. He was confident that it was the battery so we had him replace it. I’m a little tiny bit skeptical but what do I know. For now, I consider this issue resolved. Thanks for all the input.

I doubt replacing the battery will solve your problem. But if the battery is 3 years old, no harm done, that’s within the normal range for typical battery life. Even more so if you live in a warm climate. At least you have a new battery. And just that might help w/this problem. But eventually I expect the problem will return.

IMO you’ve been correct all along, failing starter motor. Starter motors are well-known be affected by heat.

If you know how to use a volt meter, you could do this charging system/battery test. Before the first start of the day the battery should measure about 12.6 volts. Then immediately after starting the engine, 13.5 - 15.5 volts.

1 Like