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Is my starter bad?


TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Jan 27, 2021
Wa State
Well, I think my starter may have gone out. My 97 4.0 with 107,000 miles had been driving great all day today while running errands and at my last stop, I go to turn on the jeep and I get the dreaded click noise. Dash lights, headlight, radio, etc all have power. Batter was replaced about a year ago. Is my diagnosis on? I was able to jump start it with my clutch on a hill and get home. Of course, it won't start again and just clicks when I turn on the ignition. Does Napa sell a decent starter, or what Is everyone's recommendation?

Thanks, Matt


TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Mar 10, 2020
Jacksonville, FL, Quezon Philippines
IF you are mechanically inclined; you can take a wrench or large screw driver and jump from the starters positive battery cable stud to the stud coming from the ignition. DONOT allow the wrench or screw driver to come in contact with the starter body or engine block.
This will allow you to test the operation of your starter....
Take a rubber mallet and smack the side of the starter several times; then try to crank over the engine with the starter.
The problem may be that the starter slip rings are dirty where the brushes come in contact. Could be solved with removing the starter and using pressurized air to remove the dust/debris from inside the starter.
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Just a car guy
Supporting Member
Jan 30, 2021
After replacing the battery and checking the connections on our 2004, I had to replace the starter.
I used a Napa starter no complaints since 2013. BTW this is the easiest starter I have replaced on anything !!
Literally a 7 minute job open hood to close hood. ( with a 5 spd. )
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