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Jeep Wrangler Won’t Start (And No Click) – What Could Be Wrong?

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The Jeep Wrangler is the go-to vehicle for off-roading adventures. However, what could be wrong if it won't start and doesn't make a clicking noise? We have done the research to help you troubleshoot this issue!

If your Jeep Wrangler isn't starting and not making a clicking noise, it could be due to the following:

  • Dead Battery
  • Disconnected Battery Cable(s)
  • Damaged Battery Terminals
  • Faulty Alternator
  • Bad Starter Motor
  • Failed Starter Relay
  • Bad Ignition Switch
  • Faulty Starter Solenoid
  • Failed Ignition Lock Cylinder
  • Faulty Immobilizer Security System

As you can see, there are several reasons why your Jeep Wrangler won't start or make any noise when trying to turn over the key. To pinpoint this problem, you need to go through a troubleshooting process. That's why in this article, we will discuss the warning signs of each of these issues. In addition, we will discuss how to reset your Jeep Wrangler's computer, so read on!

Photo of a Jeep Wrangler Sahara 2019 edition parked in the centre of the road. Jeep Wrangler Won't Start (And No Click) - What Could Be Wrong

Jeep Wrangler Won't Start (And No Click) - What Could Be Wrong?

The Jeep Wrangler has been known as the off-road warrior for many years. However, like other vehicles, you may get into a situation where your Wrangler won't start at all. In addition, when you try to turn the key over, you don't hear anything at all.

What could cause this problem? Let's take a look a the most common reasons this happens below:

A Jeep Wrangler 4x4 off-roading on a rutted, muddy trail.

Dead Battery

If you turn the key over and nothing happens (no clicking noise), first check to see if your Jeep Wrangler's battery is dead. You can try jump-starting it or hooking up a battery charger to it, but this isn't always successful.

Alternatively, remove the negative cable from your Jeep Wrangler's battery for five minutes. Afterward, replace the negative cable. Then, try starting it again to see if your Wrangler starts up.

Disconnected Battery Cable(s)

If your Jeep Wrangler's battery is fine, the next thing you should check is the battery cables. First, make sure they are securely connected to the battery terminals. If you do a lot of off-roading, then the cables can become loose over time and become disconnected.

If the battery cables are disconnected, you should see a red light or hear three beeps from your Jeep Wrangler's security system.

Damaged Battery Terminals

Another reason your Jeep Wrangler won't start could be damaged battery terminals. Over time, this can happen due to rugged terrain. This causes corrosion to form on your battery terminals, which will prevent the battery cables from getting a good connection.

If this is the case, you can use a wire brush to scrub off the corrosion. If that doesn't work, use some sandpaper to get rid of it. Afterward, apply petroleum jelly onto your battery cable ends and put them back onto your Jeep Wrangler's battery terminals.

Faulty Alternator

Another major cause of this issue is your Jeep Wrangler's faulty alternator. Many vehicles will try to start, but then they won't turn over or keep running at all. The alternator keeps the battery at its correct voltage to power the components throughout the vehicle.

If you charge your battery and it won't hold a charge, it could be an alternator issue. Other warning signs are if electrical components start dying, such as the radio or air conditioning. This means that the battery can't hold enough charge to power the components throughout the Jeep.

Bad Starter Motor

The starter motor is essential for helping your engine turn over at the beginning of starting it. If you hear a clicking or nothing at all, then try replacing your starter motor.

Failed Starter Relay

When you turn the key over in the ignition switch, one of the components activated is called a starter relay. This turns power to your ignition switch, starter motor, and fuel pump. If the starter relay is bad, it will keep the starter motor from turning on.

You can try swapping out the relay with another one to test this and see if that fixes the problem. If it does, then you know that the relay is bad.

Bad Ignition Switch

Another possible cause of your Jeep Wrangler not starting could be a faulty ignition switch. If you turn the key and nothing happens at all, then this is likely the problem. There are some warning signs that it's about to go such as getting stuck in "accessory" mode or if all electrical accessories stop working.

Faulty Starter Solenoid

A starter solenoid is another part of your Jeep Wrangler's ignition. It helps send power from your battery to the starter motor. If this component stops working, it will keep the power from getting to the starter motor at all.

Failed Ignition Lock Cylinder

The ignition lock cylinder is the part of your Jeep Wrangler that you use to start it. It's located inside the steering column. If this part fails, then it will keep your Jeep from starting at all.

One way to test this is to start your Jeep with the key in different positions. If it starts in some positions but not others, then it's likely that the ignition lock cylinder is bad.

Faulty Immobilizer Security System

If you have a faulty immobilizer security system, it will keep your Jeep Wrangler from starting. This system is in place to prevent theft. However, if you put the key in the ignition and get a green flashing security light, the immobilizer says that it doesn't recognize the key.

If it is the correct key for the Jeep Wrangler, then the immobilizer is malfunctioning and will need to be reset by a dealership.

What Do you Do when your Jeep won't Start?

If your Jeep won't start, then the first thing to do is check the basic components that power the vehicle. For example, take a look at the battery and check that the cables are secure to the terminals. In addition, check to see that the battery terminals aren't corroded, hindering proper battery connection.

Next, charge and jumpstart the battery with a jumpstart box or with another vehicle. Be sure to let the battery charge for ten minutes before starting the Jeep. If that doesn't work, then you may have something going on with the alternator or one of the starter components.

You may happen to hear a whining noise coming from the gas tank when you try to start the vehicle, then that is a sign the fuel pump is bad. If the fuel pump is failing, it can't push fuel to the engine, keeping the Jeep from starting.

Lastly, call a Jeep mechanic and tell them the symptoms. They may be able to help you get the Jeep started over the phone, or they may advise you to come into the shop.

Jeep Wrangler Sport rear view parked on a grass surface

How Do you Test a Jeep Starter?

There are a few different ways that you can test a Jeep starter. The first is to try jumping the Jeep with a jump start box. Then, if it starts, you know the starter is fine, and it was probably a dead battery.

Another way to test the starter is by removing it and seeing if it's getting power when you turn the key over in the ignition. If it is, then you know the starter is good.

In addition, you can listen to noises when trying to start your Jeep. If your battery is in good condition, but the starter makes a clicking or grinding noise, then that is a tell-tale sign that something is wrong with it.

Also, if the Jeep won't start but the starter is still making noise after taking the key out, that could be due to a bad starter relay.

Lastly, you can try testing the solenoid with a test light. The solenoid is good if the light comes on when you turn the key over in the ignition. If it doesn't come on, the solenoid is bad and you need to replace it.

How do you Jumpstart a Jeep Wrangler?

To jumpstart a Jeep, you will need another vehicle and jumper cables.

  1. First, make sure both vehicles are off.
  2. Then attach the red clamp to the positive terminal on your battery and attach the other positive clamp to the positive terminal on your Jeep's battery.
  3. After that, please do the same for attaching negative clamps but attach them to both negative terminals.
  4. If you're not getting any power (and the Jeep is turned off), then double-check your connections.
  5. Once everything appears to be connected okay, then turn on the engine in the other vehicle and try starting your Jeep Wrangler.
  6. If it doesn't start, let the vehicles sit for five minutes before trying again.

Hand of woman checking engine of car Maintenance checking car

How Do I Reset my Jeep Wrangler?

To quickly and easily reset your Jeep Wrangler, then follow these steps:

  1. First, open the hood of your Wrangler and locate the battery.
  2. Remove the negative battery cable.
  3. Wait at least 30 minutes before reconnecting the negative battery cable.

However, depending on the year and model of your Jeep Wrangler, this may not work. Another option is to use a computer program to clear the ECU. You can purchase one of these or use one at a Jeep dealership or auto parts store.

jeep wrangler infront of the sunrise on the grasslands. Jeep Wrangler Won't Start (And No Click) - What Could Be Wrong

Final Thoughts

While the Jeep Wrangler is designed to do more than daily commuting, it still will have problems from time to time. If your Jeep Wrangler isn't starting, then the best thing to troubleshoot the issues. However, if you get to a point where you feel like the issue is out of your expertise, then contact a Jeep mechanic for assistance.

If you like this article, then you should also read:

How To Engage 4 Wheel Drive In A Jeep Wrangler

What Are The Biggest Tires You Can Put On A Stock Jeep Wrangler?

How Much Does A Jeep Wrangler Weigh? [By Trim Level]