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Starter grind in neutral and park.. starter engaing

Old 05-09-2019, 07:53 AM
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Default Starter grind in neutral and park.. starter engaing (not resolved)

Usually I just read so this is my first post.. I couldnít find an answer by searching.. recently got a 96 Cherokee-4.0, auto, 155k miles.. recently it started making grinding in park and neutral.. its like the starter is trying to engage while itís running. If I pull the relay with it running, it stops doing it. It randomly tried to start a couple times in park and radio shuts off when it happens which made me think itís the ignition switch. Which has a bit of slop in it and I recently had the cover off before this started.. does this sound likely? Do I just need to buy an ignition switch? Or the entire switch and lock assembly? Anyone have a part number or link so Iím sure I get the right part? Thanks for any help.. this is driving me a little mad.

Last edited by AyAreFifteen; 05-10-2019 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Still having issue
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:45 AM
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Yes, it sounds like an ignition switch problem.

I went through this with my 96, and it was a bit of a hassle finding the correct switch. Finding the switch by year was pretty easy, but finding one that matched up properly with my key cylinder was a little more trouble. I don't know if this is a 96ism, or if it was because someone had the vehicle re-keyed at some point and switched the key cylinder type.

The one that ended up working in my case was the following:

Amazon Amazon

The one that was recommended was this one (The part fit fine, but it would not work with my existing key cylinder, which was just slightly different):

Amazon Amazon

The one I replaced was Mopar/Chrysler OEM, but I have no way of knowing if it was the original or was it replaced. It looked original, but because of the 96s ability to melt an ignition switch because of the AC blower, it is very possible that it was replaced at one point.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:14 AM
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Right on man, I appreciate you taking the time out for that. Hopefully I can get this behind me. If it works out, Iíll post for anyone having the issue in the future.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:26 PM
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Welp.. I changed out the ignition switch and still having the same problem.. anyone have any idea what else it could be?
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:56 PM
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Since it reacted to pulling the relay (the starter relay I assume), then the relay was either being commanded to close the high current circuit, or it was staying stuck in the closed position and not opening when the key was returned to the RUN position. I think this type of problem at the relay will probably fall under one of two possibilities:

1. The relay is working - but is being controlled to close the circuit when it shouldn't
Since you already replaced the ignition switch, you can continue to test the ignition switch connector to make double sure that the wire that should energize when in the START position is not energized in the RUN position. Test lamp will do the trick.
You can also pop the PDC open and get a look underneath to make sure that the mass of connectors under the yellow part are not corroding and causing some type of cross-play where the relay is being energized by something else.

2. The relay itself is getting stuck in the closed position. Test with another relay - or swap with another. Though in this case I recommend testing with separate relay - and not swapping.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:15 PM
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THANK YOU!

After reading this, I tried it and found it was trying to start with the key in run position not actually forward to start it.
so I checked all the wires and connections, traced the wires down and found two loose connections and a wire that was ran for the stereo that seemed to grounded out. Fixed those.. I let it run 15 minutes minutes and itís not doing it anymore. Hopefully it stays that way.. appreciate the help.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:17 PM
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Thanks for the follow up. Glad you got it sorted out!
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