Jeep Tip Start – Who Knew?

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Did you know that your Jeep will crank even if you don’t hold the key in the start position? Isn’t that amazing? It really isn’t, but what is amazing is that you can set your Jeep up with a remote start system!

Tip start is a feature on your Jeep that you may have not even known about. It’s a feature that will allow you to start your vehicle remotely, without having to re-wire anything. Read on further to find out the whys and the hows.

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So, What is Tip Start? What Does Tip Start Mean?

Tip start is an automatic start feature that has been around for decades, but some manufacturers have only begun utilizing the feature recently. – The tip start feature allows you to turn the key to the start position without having to hold it there until the vehicle turns on. The starter motor will engage until the vehicle turns on, or alternatively, if the vehicle cannot start, it will engage the starter motor for 10 or so seconds before shutting it off.

What is The Purpose of a Tip Start?

Tip start is often compared to button start, and to some, tip start is preferable while others aren’t so fond of the feature. Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t even realize that they have a tip start feature in their vehicle. So then, what is the point of a tip start system, wouldn’t a button start just work better? That is a very valid question, but the purpose of tip start isn’t the same as the purpose of a button start. 

Tip start is sort of a pseudo-feature; it doesn’t do very much on its own. The reason it does exist is because it’s wired to the PCM instead of the starter motor relay and that helps automakers integrate a remote start system into a vehicle. In fact, if your vehicle has a tip start, you can use a plug-in remote start module, turn on the remote start feature via a scan tool, and you’ll be able to turn your car on remotely, without having to rewire anything.

How Does Tip Start in Jeep Work?

A tip start isn’t complicated at all, but to better understand it, let’s break down how cars without a tip start work.

How Does a Starter Motor Work?

With the key in the ignition turned to start, a signal is sent to the starter motor solenoid. As long as the key is turned to the start position, the solenoid will receive the signal and turn the starter motor on. That’s why there’s a spring in the ignition, so that once the vehicle turns on, and you release the key, the key returns to the ON position, and the starter motor stops working.

Now, let’s see how a tip start found in Jeep vehicles works.

How Does a Tip Start Work?

Turning the key to the start position will not send a signal to the starter motor. Instead, a signal is sent to the PCM. The PCM then sends the signal and turns on the starter motor until the vehicle turns on, or until the timer runs out in a case where the vehicle won’t turn on.

With the PCM connected to the starter motor, you can plug in a remote start module that’s going to pick up a signal and turn on your Jeep remotely. And this can be done without any wiring or re-wiring.

This only works on automatic transmission vehicles, and it could work on older manual transmission vehicles that don’t come equipped with a clutch safety switch. – Clutch safety switch requires you to press and hold the clutch pedal while starting the car; that cannot be done remotely.

Jeep Tip Start Problems

There are various problems Jeep owners face with the tip start feature. – Most of the time, it isn’t the tip start that’s the problem, it’s the lack of knowledge that causes confusion. Let’s clear up the confusion, get our diagnostic tools, and figure out issues related to the tip start.

My Jeep Cranks, But the Key Isn’t in Position

This isn’t an issue that’s connected to the tip start, but if you don’t realize that your vehicle has a tip start, it can get quite confusing. – The tip start will power the starter motor for 10, or until the vehicle turns on. If the starter stops after 10 seconds and your Jeep doesn’t turn on, it’s time to check your spark plugs, air supply, fuel supply, and timing.

Jeep Tip Start Overheated and Damaged the Starter

This is a peculiar problem most usually related to PCM. Jeeps and other vehicles with tip start have a timer set so that the starter doesn’t overheat and die. If that does happen, use a diagnostic tool and scan for any issues, or you could also disconnect the battery and restart your vehicle’s system, of course, you will have to replace the dead starter motor and/or battery beforehand. 

Check out our guide on Jeep Battery Sizes!

Jeep Starting Ignition Delay

This isn’t a problem, your Jeep is working as intended. Because of tip start, the ignition is connected to the PCM, which needs power to function. Simply hold the key in the ON position for a second or two before turning the key to the start position and there shouldn’t be a delay. If you lose your key, you must create a new one. And on average, the Jeep key replacement cost can range from $100 to $500 or more.

Which Jeep Models Have the Tip Start Feature? 

Vehicles with the tip start feature are few and far between. It usually depends on the auto manufacturer and whether they prefer it or not. Jeep definitely believes in the tip start feature, but not every Jeep vehicle has it. Here are Jeep models and their model years that have tip start:

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  • Jeep Grand Cherokee WK 2005 – 2010

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2 2011 – present

  • Jeep Cherokee KL 2014 – present

  • Jeep Wrangler JK 2007 – 2018

  • Jeep Patriot MK 2007 – 2017

  • Jeep Compass MK 2007 – present

  • Jeep Compass MP 2017 – present

  • Jeep Liberty KJ 2005 – 2007

  • Jeep Commander XK 2006 – 2007

Tip start isn’t a prominent feature, as we mentioned, some Jeep owners don’t even realize that their vehicle has the feature. Luckily, you can easily check whether or not your Jeep has a tip start feature by turning the key to the start position for just a split second. If the car continues to crank, your vehicle is equipped with tip start, and you can set up a remote start system. Otherwise, you can still set up a remote start system, but it will require a lot more work.


At first glance, tip start is one of those quirky features that seems kind of pointless. At a second glance, it still seems pointless. But then you do some research and quickly realize that you can integrate a remote start system into your Jeep, and who doesn’t want that? 

People Also Ask

There is a lack of information about tip start. As we mentioned before, it isn’t uncommon for Jeep owners to have no idea what tip start is, neither do they know that they have it in their vehicle. 

These are the most common questions we get about tip start. Of course, if your questions still aren’t answered, don’t hesitate to contact our staff, they’d love to help you out!

Does Tip Start Work on Manual Transmission?

Tip start does work on manual transmissions. However, because of the clutch safety switch, which is only found in manual transmissions, you won’t be able to use tip start for its true purpose, which is remotely starting your vehicle. Unless you spend a bunch of money on modifying and re-wiring your car.

Is Tip Start Same as Remote Starting System? 

Tip Start is not the same as a remote starting system. Tip start is a feature that allows you to integrate a remote starting system into your vehicle without having to re-wire anything. If your vehicle has tip start, all you need is a remote plug-in module and a scan tool to turn the feature on.

Who Worked on This?



A master of organization, Brian helps keep everything running smoothly for Your Jeep Guide.

No Jeep yet but we’re working on that!



Cory loves his XJ and frequently thrashes it through the hills. He’s constantly fixing something.

“What fenders?”

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