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.

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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