My Jeep Cherokee won’t start in cold weather. What’s wrong?

My Jeep Cherokee won’t start in cold weather. Any idea what could be causing this?

Matt Terzi · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
We’re sorry to hear this! We know it’s upsetting when your car won’t start up. And adding insult to injury, there’s a good chance your car battery is the culprit.
The most common reason why a Jeep Cherokee won’t start in cold weather—or any vehicle, really—is that the battery’s chemistry slows down dramatically when it’s cold outside. Freezing temperatures stack the deck against your engine starting, and the battery is the most vulnerable part in this process.
The first thing you should try is to turn off everything in your car that uses electrical power. Turn off the headlights, heater, seat heaters, and stereo. Unplug mobile phones and other devices. If it needs electricity, turn it off. This gives your engine a bigger share of the battery’s startup power, and engines use a lot of juice to get moving.
If this doesn’t work, you may need to try
getting a jumpstart
. But either way, if your car battery is five or more years old, it may be time to consider getting a new one.
When you get your Jeep Cherokee started up again, be sure to let it run for a while. The alternator will recharge the battery, but it needs some time to get the job done. If road conditions warrant it, maybe consider going for a little drive.
If your Jeep Cherokee is older, you may have an issue with your fuel pump. Moisture can freeze up in fuel lines and prevent the engine from starting. It’s important you always use the right motor oil, too. If your engine has the wrong grade of motor oil, the viscosity might simply be too thick for the engine to get started up in cold weather.
Car batteries are something we often forget to replace until we’re given a reason to do so. But if your car battery is indeed older, you’ll want to look into getting a replacement battery for your Jeep Cherokee as soon as you can. We hope this guide helps!
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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