2009 Jeep Wrangler – Screaming Noise When Cranked, Will Not Start?

Earlier this afternoon, I took my 2009 Jeep Wrangler (Manual, 3.8l V6, with aftermarket 32" tires) out to enjoy some of the rather deep snows we’ve had here in Northwest Indiana recently. I got myself stuck a few times, and after some constant clutch pedal-playing in 4×4 High, managed to work my way out of the snow each time. However, this seemed to put excessive stress on clutch, causing a pungent burning smell to emanate into the cab. I continued on, attempting to make my way back to the gravel road from which I turned off of, and noticed that there was a large amount of steam or smoke rising from the grill. Assuming that I had simply pushed the cooling system to and past its limits without much high speed airflow to the radiator, I popped the hood and let it sit at idle for 5 or so minutes (the burning smell remained throughout this period) and then attempted to continue my move forward. Unfortunately I had become stuck once more while idling, and I attempted to reverse my Jeep to gain some running-space to break through the snow I had packed in front of me. I think I let off the clutch pedal a little too suddenly, and stalled the engine at this time. I restarted with no problems, and then attempted to move forward quickly by revving the engine into the high 2500 RPM’s, and swiftly releasing the clutch about half-way. The Jeep lurched forward and managed to break through the snow in front of me, but shuddered to a halt, as if it had been stalled again. However this time, it would not restart. Perhaps I should elaborate more upon that, as every attempt I made to crank the engine over resulted in an alarmingly loud, high pitched screaming noise somewhat like the sound of a 5" electric hand-held cutting wheel spooling up to operating speed. The noise was not accompanied by any clicking or ratcheting sound, and the engine made absolutely no attempt to turn over. (I tried this many times with the brake pedal depressed and undepressed, I turned off all accessories, fans, lights, etc. and even tried jumping it with a start-box, to no avail.) So far as I can tell, all belts appear to have a fair amount of tension and are in good shape. There is no obvious sign of damage to anything within the engine compartment. I should mention also that my Wrangler has only 6,920 miles on it, as I purchased it just last fall. So I ask you fellow Jeep-Drivers, or any motor-head with the urge to help a stuck fool, for your opinions or suggestions as to what my problem might be, and what I should do to go about solving it. I thank you sincerely for your time and effort to answer.

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2 Responses to 2009 Jeep Wrangler – Screaming Noise When Cranked, Will Not Start?

  1. Farmer Studabaker June 29, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    I second the starter bendix. You could have possibly gotten the starter to hot while playing, which happens a lot with Jeeps especially those that are over worked.

  2. Hardy J June 29, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    I think you have a bad Bendix on the starter. This part engages with the flywheel when the starter is engaged. The starter can reach high R.P M making the sound you describe