Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start but Has Power: Causes and Fixes

If your Jeep Cherokee won t start but has power, it indicates a mechanical problem that spells trouble for your car’s performance. This issue could result from anything ranging from the battery to a starter failure. Your SUV refusing to start even when it has power can be nerve-wracking, but identifying the causes will make it easier to fix the problem.

Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start but Has Power Causes and Fixes


In this article, we’ll discuss why your vehicle isn’t starting, what signs to look out for, and how to resolve this problem.

Why Won’t Your Jeep Cherokee Start but Has Power?

Your Jeep Cherokee won’t start but has power because of a faulty battery or alternator, a corroded battery terminal, bad fuel injectors, engine failure, or defective spark plugs. Identifying the cause can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with how automotive mechanics work.


Fortunately, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of several reasons for this issue below.

– Faulty Battery

A car’s battery works by providing the needed amount of power to start your vehicle. It also provides power for other car components, like the light, wipers, and stereo, even when the engine is turned off. A bad battery is one of the most common causes behind your car refusing to start even when there’s power. This damage could be due to the batteries being old or being too low from overuse without changing.

Aside from your car refusing to start, you’ll also notice that your engine takes a lot of time to crank. You may also notice that you constantly have to step on the gas pedal, and the problem becomes more glaring when your car starts to backfire.

Jeeps would likely start to have problems after using it for about five to six years. You may then begin to experience trouble with its transmission or battery. However, with regular maintenance, your Jeep should serve you effectively for 10 to 20 years before being replaced.

– Corroded Battery Terminal

Usually located at the end of your battery cables, the battery terminal connects the battery to a charger or your vehicle for power. Unfortunately, your battery terminal can become corroded with dirt or rust over time if it isn’t maintained regularly.

When this happens, starting your car will not be easy, even when you have power. You may also detect that your battery is visibly corrupted, and you may completely lose electric power if this fault is left unchecked.

– Inadequate Key Fob Battery

Surprising as it sounds, an inadequate key fob battery can cause your car not to start because there’s a low signal between the fob and the engine. A car fob is used to access and start a car, so when the battery isn’t running smoothly, starting your vehicle becomes quite difficult.


Even when your headlights, GPS, or stereo are turned on, you may still be unable to drive. When this is the case, it means the fob cannot transmit the needed signal required to start your engine.

– Faulty Starter Solenoid

Also known as a starter relay, a faulty solenoid may be why your Grand Cherokee isn’t starting even when it has power. A solenoid receives electrical currents from the car’s battery and the ignition system. This current is then transmitted to the starter motor, producing a chain electrical reaction that starts your vehicle. When your solenoid is faulty, it becomes hard to start your car even when the engine is on.

A faulty solenoid can only produce low currents, which isn’t enough for the starter motor to start the combustion process. Aside from being unable to start your car even when it has power, you would also notice a clicking sound whenever you turn your ignition key.


– Defective Spark Plugs

A spark plug is one of the most essential parts of any automobile. It ensures your engine has enough power to consume fuel and air delivery. However, when these plugs become faulty, they will disrupt the usual ignition process and make it hard for your engine to combust properly. In this case, you won’t be able to move your car even when it has currents.

Other signs of a defective plug include the car jerking when in transmission and an unpleasant sound coming from the engine. You may also notice that you lack acceleration, make more stops at the gas station, and your engine misfires.

– Failing Alternator

An alternator converts alternating currents into direct currents that charge your car battery. If your alternator starts to fail, it won’t supply the needed current for your battery to be charged. When this happens, your battery becomes too low, and even when your car is powered, it will refuse to accelerate.

Aside from this lack of acceleration, one other sign of a failing alternator is when your car starts to make a weird whining noise. A burning rubber smell is also a sign of a failing alternator, and sometimes, you may notice that your car stalls for no reason.

Most 2018 Jeep Wranglers have problems with their steering. There’s also been a couple of reports about defects in the electrical system of the vehicle. Another common problem with the 2018 Jeep Wranglers is that the doors open independently due to out-of-position latches.

– Bad Fuel Injectors

Your fuel injector is responsible for introducing fuel into your engine in mist form for the combustion process. We can all agree that fuel is essential for the smooth running of our cars, and a lack of it will surely cause some glitches.

If your fuel injector is clogged with dirt or damaged from overuse, it is impossible to properly introduce the required amount of fuel into the engine. It may be insufficient or more than the engine requires.

If this is the case, your car may have power but won’t be able to start because your engine lacks the right amount of fuel needed for acceleration. Another sign of a bad fuel injector is that your car starts to quiver whenever you try accelerating.

– Engine Failure

Although engines are a fairly durable vehicle component, several reasons can cause this important component to fail. For example, a fuel leak mostly causes engine failure, poor lubrication, overheating, and clogged fuel lines. Another possible reason your engine can fail is that a valve seal has been broken, causing air to escape from the engine. When your engine gets faulty, starting your car becomes difficult even though other parts may have power.

At this point, you may notice that your engine overheats and makes a rumbling, coughing sound whenever it is started. It may also become difficult to accelerate, and even when you do, your RPM may increase unnecessarily.

The most common problem associated with Cherokee jeeps is that they have frequent transmission issues. There have also been numerous reports of the engine stalling at the most unexpected moments. Another common problem with Cherokee jeeps is that its system software, Uconnect, can be easily hacked.

– Faulty/Failed Fuel Pump

Also known as a gasoline pump or petrol pump, these work by transferring fuel from your tank to your car’s carburetor or fuel injectors. A faulty or failed petrol pump is a likely reason why your car is refusing to start even when it has power, due to low fuel in the engine.

If your petrol pump is faulty, you will also notice your car shuddering at high speeds. It can also cause your engine to surge unexpectedly, and sometimes, you can lose complete power while accelerating.

– Bad Crank Sensor

A crank sensor monitors the rotational speed or positioning of the crankshaft in a combustion engine. Although not common, this could be a reason why your Grand Cherokee refuses to start even when it has power. The most common reason for a bad crank sensor is that it has been overused or damaged during repairs. If your crank sensor is bad, your engine won’t be able to crank easily.

Your car will also rough idle, and you may notice your check engine light comes on. Other signs of a bad crank sensor include poor fuel economy, weird engine sounds, as well as your engine misfiring intermittently.

What To Do if Your Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start but Has Power?

If your Jeep Grand Cherokee won’t start but has power, you can try fixing or replacing the faulty battery, cleaning the corrosion from the battery, testing the starter, fixing the alternator, fixing engine failure, cleaning or replacing fuel pumps, or repairing the crank sensor.

Solutions of Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start but Has Power


As we have discussed above, some causes of this issue might be a faulty battery, a bad alternator, or even a failing fuel injector. If you want to solve these problems, here are the best tips to help you do so effectively.

– Fix or Replace Faulty Battery

If your Cherokee doesn’t start due to a faulty battery, the first thing to do is to test it. The assistance of a professional mechanic is required at this point because self-diagnosis may not always be correct. To determine if the engine needs to be fixed or replaced, you must load test it. That is, you should increase the functional level of the engine or place an extra “load” on it to determine its response.

This response will determine if the battery needs fixing or total replacement. Fixing a faulty battery is one of the most efficient ways to eliminate the problem of your Cherokee refusing to start even when it has power.

If your Cherokee refuses to start but has power, the first thing to check is the battery to be sure it has enough current to work. If it doesn’t, you need to charge it so it can supply power to the engine. If the battery isn’t the issue, you may need to check the battery terminals, alternators, or fuel injectors.

– Clean Battery Corrosion

Since having a corroded battery can lead to a car refusing to start, it is important that you immediately carry out checks on your battery. If you discover visible corrosion or dirt surrounding it, clean it with a short, clean rag.

If the corrosion is already at its worst stage, you may need to replace your battery entirely. Likewise, if your battery terminals show signs of corrosion, you should clean or replace them.

– Repair or Replace Fob Battery

Once you’re certain your car is refusing to start due to issues with the fob or its battery, the best thing would be to repair or replace the fob/battery. Thankfully, replacing a fob isn’t expensive, so you should immediately get one if that’s causing your Cherokee not to start even when it has power.

If the battery is the issue, we recommend replacing it with a new one. Although repairing a faulty fob battery is possible, it costs the same as getting a new one. We advise getting a new battery because you can ensure its longevity and reliability. Besides, it is a smart money decision that means you won’t have to bother about getting a new one anytime soon.

– Test the Starter

If you have a bad starter, it is almost certain that your Cherokee will refuse to start when it has power. The most important step in fixing this is to test the starter to be sure it’s the cause of the problem. Once you’re sure of this, check the fuses to be sure they’re still in working condition and not blown or damaged by rodents.

If you notice the fuses are bad, you must replace them immediately. Doing this should make your car start successfully when accelerated.

– Check the Condition of the Spark Plug

If your plugs are causing your car not to start, replacing them would be a lasting solution to this problem. Although replacing your car plugs is easy, it’s best to leave it to a professional mechanic. However, if you ever get to take it out yourself, examine the plugs to ensure their working condition.

If the ends still look new and even but are clogged with dirt, it may require cleaning for them to work again. On the other hand, if they look burnt or crooked, you have to replace them with new ones and ensure they’re tightened properly.

– Fix the Alternator

Since your alternator supplies charges to your battery, it will affect your car’s performance if left unfixed. Start by checking the alternator to be sure it is supplying enough charge to the battery. You can also load-test it to gauge its response and determine the best way to fix it. Alternators are easy to fix if the diagnosis is correct, and you don’t necessarily have to repair the alternator.

You can ask your mechanic what parts of the alternator are bad and which need fixing. Once your alternator works perfectly, it becomes easy for your car to start.

– Clean or Replace Fuel Injectors

Your fuel injectors inject fuel into the engine via a nozzle. Over time, this nozzle can become clogged with dirt and contaminants, which makes it hard for fuel to pass through. A quick way to solve the problem of your Cherokee not starting even when there’s power is to clean the fuel injector.

Use a clean rag and automobile cleaner to clean the nozzle until you’re sure it looks good enough. If, after cleaning, your car still refuses to start, you may have to replace the fuel injector entirely.

– Fix Engine Failure

As much as engine failure can spell doom for the engine, it can be fixed if the problem is attended to on time. First, you’ll need to check your engine to ensure it has the right transmission fluid required to lubricate every moving part. If this isn’t enough, immediately top it off and restart your car to see if it’ll work.

Fixing Car Engine Failure

If replacing or topping off the transmission fluid doesn’t work, you need to seek out a professional car repair service. In the worst-case scenario, you may need to replace your engine with a new one.

– Clean or Replace Fuel Pumps

If a failing petrol pump is why your Cherokee is refusing to start when it has power, it’s best to clean or replace it. Cleaning your petrol pump is quite easy; remove the car battery and place a bowl under it to ensure your fuel doesn’t leak out. After doing that, carefully locate your fuel lines and take them out. You’ll find your pumps being held by plastic tabs that need to be cut off.

Once these tabs have been cut off, gently take out your petrol pump and clean it with a rag/brush and a cleaner. If the petrol pump looks like it needs replacement, you should do that as soon as possible.

– Repair the Crank Sensor

A crank sensor is a complicated car component, so repairing or replacing it can be daunting. Although it is possible to do this yourself if you have the technical expertise and instruments, you may damage other parts of the car. It’s best to use the service of a professional mechanic who can do this efficiently.

If you think cleaning the crank sensor will make it work, you could try it. However, a bad sensor will likely not work even if it is completely free of dirt or debris.

Frequently Asked Question

1. How Do You Jump-start a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

To jump-start a Jeep Grand Cherokee, you need to make sure the car you’re using to jump-start your Cherokee is parked close to your vehicle, with both engines off and the hoods open. Then, connect one end of your jumper cable to the positive terminal of the other car.

After this, connect the other end to the positive part of your Jeep. Finally, start the other car’s engine and allow your Cherokee to charge for some time before starting it again.

Jeep Cherokee Won’t Start but Has Power Conclusion


Now that you can identify why your Cherokee won’t start but has power, you no longer need to panic about what can be done. Here is a quick recap of the key points discussed in this article:

  • If your Jeep Cherokee won t start but has power, you may have a faulty battery.
  • It could also be caused by a dirty or clogged fuel injector or pumps, a bad crank sensor, or even a defective alternator.
  • You can easily fix this problem by cleaning your fuel injectors and pumps, repairing your crank sensor, or fixing your fob battery. Also, make sure your engine is well-oiled for a smooth operation.
  • Always consult a professional mechanic to help you fix these issues, especially if you don’t have technical knowledge of cars and how they work.

You no longer have to fret when your Cherokee isn’t starting, even when it has power. With the following causes and corresponding solutions, you should be able to resolve this problem and have your car back to normal in no time!

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