Question about 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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1994 Jeep Cherokee will not start or even crank

I have a 1994 jeep cherokee with AW4 automatic 4 wheel drive transmission. I drove my son to school the other morning, turned it off, then tried to start it back up about 10 minutes later and nothing. All the dash lights come on as they should, key buzzer sounds, etc., but it won't crank. Starter is getting power, had it table tested and it works fine. Someone suggested check the continuity on the neutral safety switch plug, which I did, and the 1-2 gear wasn't showing continuity. I assumed this was the problem, took the switch apart and cleaned it, checked it by turning it manually and it now showed continuity in all positions. Put it back on, and still nothing. Checked continuity again and again no continuity in 1-2 gear. I checked the shifter, and it appears that it isn't going back far enough to turn the neutral safety switch into the correct position. Does anyone know if this could be my problem and that maybe there's a transmission linkage problem, or is there something else that can cause this, such as a starter relay, module, ignition module or something?

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  • grande_illus Oct 14, 2008

    No alarm or immobilizer, although I still tried the turning the key to the left twice in the hatch out of frustration, but no luck. I've only had it for a few months so I never noticed the problem with the 1-2 gear not seeming to engage completely. I removed the shifter cover and nothing is keeping the shifter from going all the way back, it's hitting the plate as it should. According to the site I posted the link to,, you should have continuity in all positions except drive, in the pins shown in the diagram, and these all worked, except that I can't get it in 1-2 gear while the switch is on the transmission, and I'm sure it's because the 1-2 gear isn't fully engaging. I'm not totally sure this is the problem though, just wondering what else might cause a situation like this (not starting yet power to starter, dash lights as it should, key buzzes, etc.).

  • grande_illus Oct 14, 2008

    I hear nothing coming from the stater at all when I turn the key. The only sounds apart from the key buzzer are from a cylindrical metal thing about 3 inches in diameter that lies horizontally on the passenger fender that clicks once, and I believe the starter relay (little black box inside the fuse box also on the passenger fender) clicks once too but I'm not 100% sure as it's very faint and could be something underneath the fuse box or another of the modules inside of the box. I was going to just replace the starter relay module since it listed for only $10 but Advanced Auto doesn't carry it anymore. I'll try to check the voltage to the smaller wire when the key is turned like you mentioned. I never thought of that. At least it might narrow things down. I'm not that knowledgeable about electronic problems, but the guy who towed it told me it was the neutral safety switch as he put it on the tow truck, and wanted to charge me $600 to replace it or $115 to run a jury rigged button to the dash to start it, all within 5 minutes of looking at it in the dark and not opening the hood. I've had quite a few bad experiences with new mechanics, so if I can fix this myself, even if it requires a lot of time and having to replace lots of low cost unnecessary parts, I'd rather go this route, this way at least I'll hopefully learn something useful for future reference to boot.

  • grande_illus Oct 14, 2008

    Oh wow! Would love to go there sometime! I'm south of Pittsburgh where it's cold most of the year lol! it's 1:15 pm here. You're probably about 12 hours difference aren't you? I really appreciate your help though, I'll post my findings as soon as I can test this, thanks again!


  • gronkiam Oct 27, 2008

    My wife's jeep has the same problem only it's intermittent, It seams if she drives only a few blocks and shuts off the jeep it won't start for for a while. If she dives the jeep for any distance it will start fine. I have not been able to get it to not start for me and any time she calls it starts before I can get there.

  • rrkwoods Nov 20, 2008

    94 jeep will not turn over when tried to start

  • Jeepdog Dec 16, 2008

    I too have a '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 with a starter that, intermittently, makes no response when turning the key -- no clicking--no sound whatsoever. Dash lights and radio etc. comes on but no reaction when i turn the key. The first time this happened, the AAA road service guy just reached under and tapped on the starter itself and then it worked! Now when I drive it and have to make several short errands in a row (3-4) it will do the same thing. If I tap on the starter with a 7 iron a few times it fires back up. I have gone through this routine a number of times now. Haven't had any difficulty with starting after it has sat all night. Any further ideas. Should I just replace the starter motor itself?



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I had the same problem with my 94 jeep and i ended up finding out what was causing the problem was the starter relay in the fuse box under hood, i believe its the second or third relay. Try turning the key to the start position and leave it there and poop open ur hood and manuelly start the relay

Posted on Nov 22, 2008

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There is a small wire next to the main wire on the starter (if GM type starter) if Ford type (with solenoid on fender, not on starter) procedure is done at the solenoid.
1. Turn on headllights Have a friend turn the key to crank engine. if hl go out, remove battery terminals connection and clean. 2. use a test light and hold it to the small wire on the solenoid. when key is turned to crank, there must be 12v there Or, battery voltage.(using a volt meter is better)
If there is 12v there, solenoid is shot. If there is low voltage, check both battery conections at starter. block, and both wires (big ones) on ford type units.If there is no voltage at the small wire, you may have a bad ignition (unlikely)or saftey switch. If all OK, use a jumper wire and connect on gm type across small wire (not too thin or it will burn up) to batt terminal on solenoid on ford type use a regular battery jumper cable from battery + to starter battery connection (careful with sparks etc) If starter operates, change solenoid. If nothing happens, change starter.

Posted on Nov 07, 2008

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That is a problem. you have to solve that one first and see if it will start now. if not, then there could still be problems. do you have an alarm? immobilizer?...

the safety switch should have continuity when the shift lever is in neutral and park, should be open when the lever is in other position.

tnx 4 using fixya,


Posted on Oct 14, 2008

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  • francis rivero Oct 14, 2008

    when you say you have power to the starter..what do you mean? have power to the starter motor but he starter motor is not running?...or you were able to find a 12 volt power to one of the big bolt on top of the starter and if you start in the key, it won't start.

    check the small wire on top of the starter. this is the power of the solenoid. check to see if you have 12 volts while starting the key. be careful on doing this. jeep might start right away.

    when you are turning the key, do you hear a clicking sound coming from the starter or no sound at all?

    keep me posted.

    tnx again,


  • francis rivero Oct 14, 2008

    ok..keep me posted and i would do what i can to help you. be reminded of our time difference. i am from the Philippines and if i am no longer answering you, i am already asleep. lol.

    tnx and good luck,


  • francis rivero Oct 14, 2008

    yup...and its time to sleep...hehehe...why don't you come here soon. lots of nice places to see...

    will wait the outcome...

    tnx again,



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These pages cover the transmissions used in Jeeps over the years. Transmissions are arranged by the most recently introduced transmissions first.
Factory Transmissions 45RFE: The 45RFE four speed automatic transmission was used in 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokees with 4.7L engines. 46RE: The 46RE four speed automatic transmission was used in 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees with 5.9L engines.
44RE: The 44RE four speed automatic transmission was used in 1996 to 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee's with 5.2L engines.
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46RH: The 46RH four speed automatic transmission was used in 1993 to 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokees with 5.2L engines.
32RH: The 32RH three speed automatic transmission was used in 1992 to 1995 Wrangler with 4.0L engine and it continues to be used in 1997+ Wrangler with 4.0L engine.
30RH: The 30RH three speed automatic transmission was used in 1992 to 1995 Wrangler & 1992 to 1996 Cherokee with 2.5L engine.
AW4: The AW4 four speed automatic transmission was used in 1987 to 1990 Jeep Cherokee (XJ), & Jeep Comanche with 2.5L & 4.0L engines. The AW4 was also used in 1987 through 1992 Jeep Comanche & 1991 through 1998 Jeep Cherokee & 1993 through 1993.5 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.0L engines.
AX-15: The AX-15 is a medium duty 5 speed manual transmission. It was introduced in mid 1989 in YJs with the 4.2L engine and XJs and MJs with this engine. The first year of the Grand Cherokee (ZJ), the AX-15 was rare option only with the 4.0L engine. The AX-15 is still used in TJs and XJs with the 4.0L engine.
AX-5: The AX-5 (and AX-4, the non-overdrive version) is a light duty 5 speed manual transmission. It was used in all Wranglers from 1987 equipped with the 2.5L I4 engine. It was also used in Cherokees (XJ) and Comanches (MJ) with the 2.8L V6 and 2.5L I4.
BA10/5: The BA 10/5 is a light duty 5 speed manual transmission. It was used in all 4.2L equipped Wranglers (YJ) from 1987 to mid-1989, and all 4.0L Cherokees (XJ) and Comanches (MJ) for the same years.
T-5: The T-5 is a light duty 5 speed transmission used in CJs from 1982 until 1986. It was also found in some 84-85 Cherokees (XJ).
TF727: The TF 727 is a heavy duty 3 speed automatic used in full sized Jeeps (SJs and J series pickups) from 1980-1983. From 1984-1992 the 727 was only used in these trucks with the AMC 360 V8.
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T-15: The T-15 was used only in V8 equipped CJs and Jeep trucks from 1972 to 1975.
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**Look here-
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**And here-
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