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'99 XJ is being a brat...starter/coil? problem? please help

ThE HiV

NAXJA Forum User
Location
VT
Hopefully someone has an idea of whats going on here. I have a 99 XJ sport. It will start right up in the morning. i can drive it to work. leave it at work for 8-10 hours. come back and it will start up fine. no problems. but say i drive it somewhere, like the gas station, turn it off, it wont start back up immediately after being turned off, or sometimes not for hours. So if there is atleast 8 hours between shutting it off and starting it, it will start. but anything less than that, no starting. ANY IDEAS?

when you try to started right after it has been shut off, it makes no sound what so ever. no clicking. nothing. this has happened twice in he recent past. the first time i waited around for 3 hours and it finally turned over. the second time i had a buddy tap on the starter with a hammer and it turned over.

so what could possibly be doing this. any help much appreciated, not knowing if your car will start is a crappy feeling.

thanks
 
Well I was thinking a thermal failure with your CPS but if its not cranking that might rule that out. You might check and renew your battery connections to make sure they're tight and clean. How old is the battery? When you have a failure you might try getting under the XJ and giving the starter a good whack. You could have one that's on its way out. The contacts in the solenoid get corroded over time and wear out. Just a couple of thoughts.
 
Sounds like heat soak/ starter solenoid failure. Maybe try swapping starters with a buddy, and see if it makes a difference.
 
If tapping on the starter allows it to start, I'd suspect the starter.

Just so that you're not missing anything though, I would freshen ALL starter connections, all battery connections. Connections are too often overlooked and only take a few minutes to clean up and rule out.
 
After checking all your connections, if you still have this issue, it could be the NSS. if everything else comes on (fuel pump, gauges, buzzing sound), but still doesn't crank, try jamming the shifter forward and see if that gets it going (trick i used until i got around to cleaning the NSS).

this is assuming you have the AW4... good luck
 
After checking all your connections, if you still have this issue, it could be the NSS. if everything else comes on (fuel pump, gauges, buzzing sound), but still doesn't crank, try jamming the shifter forward and see if that gets it going (trick i used until i got around to cleaning the NSS).

this is assuming you have the AW4... good luck

How do you clean the NSS?
 
so ive been letting this problem marinate a little longer because i went to check out starters and they are close to 200 dollars so i want to make sure that is the problem before i buy one.

the problem definately seems temp related. it will start in the morning when its cold. but during the day even after sitting for 8 hours, it wont start. its been in the high 60s low 70s here. a tap on the starter while someone else turns the key will get it started though?

any other thoughts?
 
You should clean the NSS (costs only your time as long as you don't break it) and again.....check and refresh your connections. These items can be done for free and will help you focus your diagnosis. It sounds like a faulty starter but with a price of $200 I'd be ruling other (free) things out. Not a bad idea to clean the NSS anyway as eventually it will give you grief. When mine acted up it threw a CEL. I read the write-up on here on how to remove and clean....been perfect ever since and that was a year and 10,000 miles ago.

I can't recall the years, but I remember a thread on here awhile back about a guy who bought an earlier year XJ replacement starter for much less money and just wired it up as opposed to buying the specific replacement with connector. I'd search and see if you can find a shortcut if it comes to replacement.
 
Don't buy anything until you prove what is wrong. You also have to be carefull messing with the NSS. People often break them taking them off to clean.

The first thing to do at this point is to get underneath with a screwdrive or such and jump the current from the big wire terminal on the starter (always hot) to the small wire terminal. You should get a pretty big spark and the starter should crank. This proves that the batery, starter, and major wire in between are good. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE IN PARK. JEEP COULD START UP AND RUN YOU OVER IF IN GEAR.

If this doesn't work, the problem is down to starter, battery, wire or connections in between or battery to engine ground.

The other option is to pull the starter and test it directly to the battery with jumper cables.
 
Don't buy anything until you prove what is wrong. You also have to be carefull messing with the NSS. People often break them taking them off to clean.

The first thing to do at this point is to get underneath with a screwdrive or such and jump the current from the big wire terminal on the starter (always hot) to the small wire terminal. You should get a pretty big spark and the starter should crank. This proves that the batery, starter, and major wire in between are good. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE IN PARK. JEEP COULD START UP AND RUN YOU OVER IF IN GEAR.

If this doesn't work, the problem is down to starter, battery, wire or connections in between or battery to engine ground.

The other option is to pull the starter and test it directly to the battery with jumper cables.

Yeah, winterbeater has it right.

The battery is the HEART of your XJ. Get it fully charged and then have it load tested. If you don't do that you could be wasting time and money. Clean your cables, both ends of both cables, and check them with an ohm meter--resistance should be near ZERO.

You don't have to buy the $200 late model 4.0 starter, the earlier ones fit and work just fine, although you may have to change the ends of the wires/cables to attach to it, but saving a $100+ dollars is worth a little sweat equity--right?
 
My vote is for the starter. My '99 did this, but once, and only once, and it was caused by the starter. If you don't touch anything else but the starter to get this to work, isn't that kind of a dead giveaway that it's the culprit? Like Joe_Peters said, you could save a hundred dollars by getting a different year starter. Let us know if that fixes it or if it continues to happen.
 
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