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Starter only works with hotwiring


NAXJA Forum User
Hey...I got a problem...umm...I read the forum and couldn't find anything really like this, but when trying to start my Jeep...there seems to be no power to the starter...but if I use a screwdriver I can get it started by touching the terminals on the starter. I can hear the relay in the engine click when using the key...and sometimes after driving it it will start back up...any ideas? BTW...The starter is only a year old. Thanks...Chris
On the passenger fender well located between the battery and the relays is the start relay. This is the device which sends the "signal" to the solinoid to energize.

To locate the start relay look at your battery. The positive terminal should have two wires attached to it. The large gauge wire goes to the starter, the small gauge wire attaches to the stud on the start relay.

Just disconnect your battery and change out the start relay. Should solve your problem.
Martin...always the man to save my @$$...thanks...that is what I thought it was, so I went to buy one at carquest...they said they don't carry them...so I went to NAPPA...nada here. You know where I can get one other than them other than the dealership cuz you might as well walk in bent over and backwards cuz you know youre gonna get screwed. Thanks again...Chris
I looked on Alldatadiy.com and they said the P/N is 33003934 and the cost is $28.35 so expect to pay that at the dealer. I have found sometimes my dealer is a buck or two more than what alldatadiy says.

Now don't carry that attitude about the dealership. With a 88 XJ you have to go to a dealership that understands AMC XJs and the differences from the Chrysler XJs. I find on a lot of things the dealer is price competitive with the parts stores. Yes you will pay a small fortune for a license plate bolt but an air temp sensor was about the same price as rockauto.com charged.

It good to get to know the dealer's parts guys. They can do a lot for use older XJ owners. I am still amazed how I can buy 98% of the stuff I want at the dealer. Only the AMC unique stuff is hard to get at the dealer.

While you are doing this repair I highly reocmmend you replace the POS battery cable if it is of unknown age. You will notice the cable run righ under the oil fitler and over time the oil makes the insulation soft. You can not see it because the wires are in that large black plastic conduit. I had mine short out as I was moving here 3 years ago. Some how I got here, had of the POS wire was arked away.

Also if you have not done the craigH wiring upgrade it a perfect time. Make sure you get #4 or larger wire. http://www.olypen.com/craigh/charge.htm