Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car not starting at times - 2009 Grand Cherokee

asked by on

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.

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car not starting at times - 2009 Grand Cherokee

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Power steering pump went out

While there are quite a number of reasons behind a power steering pump failing on your Jeep Liberty, from the information provided, it leads me to believe that there may actually be a serious leak in the power steering system....

Q: Won't start the car

You might want to check to ensure all of the connectors are are secure. Sometimes a bad ground or power lead is at fault. By hooking up a scanner, you are completing the circuit through the scanner allowing the vehicle...

Q: Carburetor burning rich

Your carburetor may just need to be setup again, or possibly rebuilt. Your carburetor is probably a Rochester Quadrajet. The plastic float Rochester uses can crack, and therefore, never rise with the fuel level in the bowl, causing too much...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.