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Q: Car not starting at times - 2009 Grand Cherokee

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Sometimes when I go to start my car (about 1 out of every 4 or 5 times), nothing happens. The lights, ac, radio all come on but car does not start. It doesn't attempt to start, it just clicks over. When I do get it to start, everything runs fine like nothing happened. It might just be a loose wire or a possibly I need a new starter? I am in a foreign country and would like to have some background knowledge on what the problem might be before I get overpriced by these mechanics. Thank you so much!!!

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. With the symptoms you describe, ther...

Hello. With the symptoms you describe, there could be several items that are be faulty including: the starter, ignition switch, shifter interlock, or neutral safety switch. These are the items that I would test out first.

To eliminate the starter, you’ll need a friend. If you can’t see the starter from above, you may have to lie under the vehicle. While you try to start it, tap the starter lightly with a hammer. If it starts, then the starter has a "dead spot".

To test the neutral safety switch, move the shifter to neutral then try to start it. If it starts, it can be a bad or misadjusted neutral safety switch.

Finally, for the shifter interlock, if you wiggle or push hard against the shifter towards park and it starts, it could be a bad shifter mechanism or an out-of-adjustment shifter cable - if equipped. There are other possibilities for the car to intermittently not start like this, but these are the items that I would check first.

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