Won't start . . . intermittently (except at shop - then never misses)

jeep
cherokee

#1

Battery is good. Turn key, nothing. No clicking like a bad solenoid or weak battery. No clunk like a bad starter. Checked all fuses/circuit breakers under hood, all are good.



If I have it towed to repair shop, then it starts every darned time. So frustrating, mechanic wouldn’t charge me the last time it happened. They repeated the start process over 100 times without a problem. He doesn’t want it back, but said I should just write a check every time as that apparently fixed it temporarily.



HELP!


#2

What you describe sounds like an intermittent failure of the ignition sw.


#3

Are you suggesting that only starting position has a problem? Possible, but here is the problem:

For instance, it happened on Monday. I tried at least 100 times to start by turning the switch. Moved gearshift, hoping it was a problem with the sensor not knowing it was in park or neutral. Unplugged and reconnected neutral safety switch.

The time period between the beginning of the problem and when it decided to start again was about an hour. for the last 20 minutes of that time period, no activity in the vehicle. Friend arrived with chain, figured if I was going to turn the key to move the gerashift, I might as well try to start it again. No problems again until Thursday.

The time period between the refusal to start and the arrival at the shop was a bit over an hour. Before the car hauler arrived, I tried constantly for over 20 minutes. Turn on, hit start, turn off.

Arrives at shop, starts on first turn.


#4

Does the dash lights work,headlights?
If not it is the switch.
If lights work look under coating of red wire 2-3inches from where it starts,slice it on the side and look for green crud,also clean all battery connections pos and neg at both ends.


#5

I suspect that you neutral safety switch is gummed up. Towing it causes road vibration that loosens it. When the garage starts it 100 times, do they ever shift it out of park? I suspect that as soon as you move the shifter, the next time it won’t start, unless you drive it and warm up the tranny fluid.
Replace the neutral safety switch and you will be fine.