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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else experienced this... you turn the key, and even though you have a fully charged battery, all you hear is the massive click of the starter relay. The engine does not turn over.

It happened to me, and jumping the battery from a running car produced the same results. I crawled underneath looking for the actual starter motor, but couldn't see a thing. Next I let it roll down the slight incline of the driveway, in "N" and put it back into "P" with a little clunk. Still no joy. I was about to give up when I turned the key on and off rapidly about 3 or 4 times, when it popped to life.

Now I cannot duplicate the problem. I really don't think its the starter motor, not with 70k on it and only 2 years old. (Mine is a 2006) It's more like a computer glitch not opening a relay somewhere. Anyone have any insight or read some Tech bulliten that I'm not aware of? The dealer suspected the battery, but his diagnosis was from 15miles away. I had plenty of soup in the battery, cuz the lights were bright, and the horn worked. Putting the battery on my charger, it would only take a couple amps, (Internal sensing on the charger - a dead battery takes 30 amps)

Dang it I miss manual transmissions. This happens out in the woods, and one could really be up a tree.

KKKKFL
 

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If you ever hear a clicking noise that usually means the battery is dead. Not that there is a problem with the starter.
 

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There could be a bad battery connection at the starter. check to see it isn't gunked up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the link to the TSB... gonna check that out. It is NOT the battery. It's fully charged. Also, I pulled the terminals and did the terminal post clean job where you polish til the post is nice and shiney and then I cleaned the inside of the connectors. Horn, Lights, A/c blowers all work and turn signals don't even slow down with brakes on and horn blasting, so I'm fairly convinced I've got plenty of juice going to the system. Now here's the kicker... I haven't been able to recreate the situation.

I'm leaning towards faulty starter, only because I did get it to crank by flicking the ignition switch on and off quickly, and the snapping of the starter relay may have been enough to cause the armature to wiggle just enough to kick in, but I sure don't like this answer.

The TSB doesn't describe the problem in enough detail for my liking. I wish it described the condition more than "Engine won't crank" I cannot tell where the starter is even located. Maybe I was hearing a relay inside the Module they talk about in the service bulletin.

I'll keep the forum posted as to what I find.

KKKKFL
 

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My 06 needed a new starter and battery at 20K acted the same as yours, clicking and would not start. No warning on mine.
 

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dang, mine just started doing this.... left it off for 15 minutes, came back outside to drive somewhere and it wouldn't start. Just a loud clicking noise indicating the battery was dead... jumped it and had it restarted soon enough, but the fact that the battery lost enough amperage within 15 minutes to not start it really freaks me out... time for a new battery? 46k miles, 2006
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Broke Starter

I shoulda known this was coming. Did it again over the labor day weekend. Lots of folks told me to crawl underneath and bang starter with a hammer. This is not going to work on an 06 Commander. Might work on newer models.

Long story short, had to have it towed to a dealer luckily enough only 8 miles from the hotel at Va Beach where we were staying. They got to it on Tuesday, and sure enough said it was the starter. Then came the B.S. from the Service mgr. He told me I could have crawled under and hit the starter to get home. There's no way... I knew he was full of "you-know-what" when he told me that dirt and mud could splash up on the armature and cause it to stick.

Does anyone know what has to be done to actually "See" the starter? I'm guessing the bottom skid plate needs to be removed, but have no ideal just how complex this is.

Good news is that the starter replacement only cost 360 bucks installed, tax and labor included.

KKKKFL
 

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i just had the same thing happen to my commander today. went golfing, returned to my vehicle, and CLICK..... nothing!! i attempted to jump start the vehicle, repeatedly click the ignition key, and everything else i could think of. i started to dig into it with what tools i had readily available, and could not get it started. the battery is GOOD. i took the skid plate down (i think it was (4) 13mm bolts) to access the starter. the starter is located on the lower drivers side of the engine. there is a heat shield mounted around the starter wiring connections. in an attempt to get home i tried to bang on the starter and that did not work. i ended up getting it flatbedded to a remote location where i can work on it some more. i'm not for sure on this cuz i have only worked on it for a little while, but it looks like the front drive shaft and/or the exhaust has to be unbolted and dropped down from the engine to get access to the starter for replacement/diagnosis. anyone have the procedure for this to save me some time investigating? i will keep everone posted when i get it fixed. FYI.... i have a 2006 with the 4.7L V-8
 

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Twice bit!

My '06, 5.7L did the single click with no crank thing at 38,000 miles. It left us stranded in a parking lot. We had it towed to a dealership and they replaced the starter. Then, 17 months later it happened again (57,000 mi).

The bad thing is, I assumed it was the battery this time because of two things:
1. It was -2 F.
2. It started after I left the charger on it for a couple of hours.

I tried to find a battery at a couple of local stores and neither had a replacement listed in their book. I went to the dealership and paid $163 for a battery. Installed it and still just a single click. Darn. Once again, the flat bed came and hauled it to the dealership for a starter change.

I am seriously questioning the reliability of this vehicle now.
 

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The reason people told you go hit the starter with a hammer is because it is pretty common for the started solenoid to stick and cause the problems you described. The solenoid piggybacks the starter motor itself, so you if you tap it sharply with a hammer, it can free up a stuck solenoid. That said, it will work just as well on a Commander as it does on any other vehicle, unless they removed the solenoid from the starter motor. I haven't worked on one, so I don't know for sure, but I'd bet it's the same design they've been using forever...

So I don't think your dealership was being dishonest when they said you could have gotten it started by hitting the starter. 99% of the time it's not the starter motor itself that fails, it's the solenoid that's sticking. Unfortunately, since both the starter and starter solenoid are together as one unit, you have to replace the entire starter to fix the problem.
 

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Both times that this has happened to me, there was a single click when I turned the key over. I assume that click to be the starter solenoid. Standing outside the vehicle, it sounds like the click comes from the starter location. I think something sticks internally in the starter, and the solenoid works fine.
 

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The solenoid is used to control a high usage circuit, (high amperage draw) with a low current circuit. The solenoid usually has two large cables that conduct the electricity to a heavy load such as a starter motor. The low current circuit energizes the coil which acts like an electromagnet and pulls the plunger which completes the high draw circuit and powers the starter. This is why we used to be able to bypass the solenoid with a large screwdriver shorting the two large terminals to start the motor with a failed solenoid. If we did not have solenoids we would have to have much heavier wiring and heavy duty switches. Some vehicles, (I belive Fords) have a completely separate solenoid that is not mounted on the starter and starters can be retrofitted with external solenoids. This modification used to be somewhat common on Chevrolet and GM hot rods
 

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Both times that this has happened to me, there was a single click when I turned the key over. I assume that click to be the starter solenoid. Standing outside the vehicle, it sounds like the click comes from the starter location. I think something sticks internally in the starter, and the solenoid works fine.
Right, but the solenoid is what is supposed to move the bendix drive to engage the flywheel to start the engine. When I say the solenoid is sticking, I'm talking about the whole unit. You can hear a click and sometimes nothing will happen. That's why some people will tap the starter with a hammer to get it to work.
 

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I agree these sound like simple starter problems .. $360 including labour is a good deal for a starter ... I've paid $500 for starters for a 4 cylinder, parts only.

Remember guys MILAGE has very little to do with starter life ...it's how many times you use it to start the car that counts.

Here's a trick .. first time a starter or altenator goes (non-warentee) BUY a brand NEW one ... then take the used one and get it rebuilt .. they are cheap to rebuilt at any auto electric place and it can be very handy to have a spare.
 

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I haven't had the clicking problem as you all have described, but I have had the starter stay engaged in the cranking process for a min. of 6-12 seconds at a time during a couple of startups...this has happened to me twice in the last couple of weeks once with the remote start, and another when turning the key to start...:icon_confused:
 

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Just replaced my starter. My '06 with 59k wouldn't start last month in a mall parking lot. No warning. It wasn't the battery, as I tried to jump start it..luckily I lived close by. Left the car overnight, and it started up with some jiggling of the ignition switch the next morning. Car was fine for another month, then died again. Brought my jeep to our fleet mechanic, pulled the starter and battery. Starter was shot and the battery was low. The cell wasn't dead, but the amps were low. New starter $160 just for the part for an OEM. My fleet mechanic put the battery in at cost, (saw the invoice from the supplier and knew what they cost b4 I brought it in)so I know the battery was low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to put this one to bed. It was not the solenoid... its is poor parts... a burnt winding was the cause. They (Jeep) used a motor designed for smaller engines. This caused a winding to fry. OK so that said, the replacement wasn't that bad, but just think what could have been. On an outback excursion, you cannot start your TRAIL RATED vehicle... Yes I'm annoyed at Jeep, and today I am furious... around 6 months ago, the bearing in the front dif needed to be replaced... The dealer did his best and got Jeep to kinda pony up some of the cost... Now here it is January tooth, and I'm back because now the bearing in the rear Dif crapped out... 80K but this is driveline stuff why are they stiffing me for 1200 bucks? This is the first and LAST American vehicle I own at this rate. Government bail out? I bet you can guess what my feelings are.

KKKKFL
 

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06 jeep commander starting promblem

my 06 jeep coommander limited will not start some times. not all the time but just every once a while. it just clicks will not turn over and start. will someone please help
 

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If you have two sets of keys, does the problem occur with both sets? If not, then maybe the key is defective. Had a friend that had the same problem with a GM rental; battery, lights, radio all worked, tried a battery jumper - it just wouldn't start. The driver with the replacement car told us about the problem.
If not the keys, then it needs to go to a mechanic, could be many things.
 
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