Question about 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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97' Jeep Grand Cherokee factory alarm going off randomly at night

I have a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee (4.0L). I purchased used about a year ago. Randomly at night the factory anti-theft alarm system will just start going off. I'm not really sure if it actually arms because it does nothing but lock and unlock the doors with the key fob. It doesn't honk or flash parking lights when the vehicle is locked or unlocked.
The only way to really describe the issue would be if you pressed the panic button on the key fob. It basically does this late in the night on its own. I have not noticed this to happen during the daytime hours.
This all started first when the interior lights would come on by themselves, the horn would be going off (like when you press the panic button), and the display would show that the rear hatch was open, but it wasnt.
I then came to find out that the battery began leaking acid and was very weak. I replaced it and the hatch open display went away and the interior lights didn't light up on their own anymore.
I thought this was just a battery issue because all problems went away for about a month.
Now just the horn goes off randomly at night. No other issues though. I hit the unlock button and it will go off. It might do it one more time at night after that, then that's it until the next night.
Just a side note: It does this on cold nights it seems.

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  • jamesangelin Jan 14, 2009


    No I caught it just before the battery acid leaked onto anything on the jeep. No corrosion on wiring at all.
    The Jeep will just set in my driveway for several weeks at a time without being started or ran. Though I don't think that should matter if the battery is staying charged between those times it sets.
    I really wish the factory alarm could be disabled. The little red light is constantly flashing on the dash. This will inadvertently drain the battery over a long period of time.
    From what I'm reading about these issues, everyone seems to be pointing at the ECU being at fault.
    Though what I'm not clear about is, if I replace the ECU, will my Jeep start and work normally or does the dealership have to have their hands into this as well?
    I really didn't want to spend too much money on this jeep. I haven't already put more into it than I initially wanted to.
    What do you think the problem is?



  • jamesangelin Jan 18, 2009

    I do have a little more to add to this though.
    Two nights ago the alarm began going off again. I hit unlock and of course it stops. I get in and start it up and the bottom display center is showing that the rear gate or glass is open.
    I open and shut both several times with no luck of making it go off.
    So i decided to go drive it around. It came on and off a few times during the drive.
    Then I hit the rear wiper to clean the back glass. Wiper did not work! The washer fluid did however.
    I pull up in the driveway and sit there a while with engine running. It finally just goes off. I check the rear wiper after the indicator light went off. It now worked!
    What's going on? It seems as though the signal from the front to the rear is intermitten. Though only on cold nights. It seemed once It was ran and warmed up, everything worked fine. Wierd.....
    Today I changed the rear gate indicator switches. I don't see this being a fix though. I found no corrosion or bad wires behind the panel.
    Question. Does this year (1997) Jeep Grand Cherokee have a BCM (Body Control Module)? Or is all of that integrated into the ECU? If it does have one, then I would think it may be going bad.
    I also replaced the ignition coil today as well.
    It also has this random thing where it will just die. The fuel pump is working fine as I can hear it prime up fine at turn of key. It sometimes will start right back up or take a few more cranks than normal.
    I have sourced that down to electrical. It doesn't sputter or anything. It will just flat out shut off. At idle or while driving.
    Here's the wierd part again. It will do this maybe three times, but after it is warmed up, it won't do it at all.
    Though after I changed the coil today, I have yet to experience that problem...yet. I'll wait until tomorrow morning and see what it does.
    Oh, by the way, I also disconnected and removed the ECU toady. I didn't notice any problems with the pins or plug harnesses.
    Things I have replaced lately: Spark plugs (gapped correctly), wires, cap, rotor, O2 sensors, crank position sensor, and ign. coil.
    I really only have the cam position sensor and ECU left to replace.
    I have had no check engine light either.
    I just had my state inspection done on it today. Passed with flying colors.
    Please let me know if this vehicle has a BCM module.
    Tell me what you think.


  • talithapeter May 05, 2009

    We have the same problem as everyone else.

    Alarm goes off at night, Rear Tail Gate sensor shows that its "open" but its latched, Horn does not work anymore(probably from the Alarm going off so much) also the Rear Brake Sensor flashes constantly even though the brakes are fine.

    I have gone through a couple batteries and have not found any answers on how to fix this.

    I really enjoy this truck but being that its getting so old I dont want to put much $$$ into it.

  • mike022 May 10, 2009

    i also am having the same problem. there must be something else going on if this is happening to multiple vehicles. please if you find anything out let me know.

  • Ronnie Wilson May 11, 2010

    Leaking Battery did it leak onto any WIRING or Connector's ?



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Replacing the ECU will not require Dealer Intervention Although most folks Like to Buy them From junk yard, I Have Never done That For My Personal Cars or most Customers , as You May Buy the SAME PROBLEM & or More different ones. AND that Solution I would ONLY resort to If,, You have EXHAUSTED "ALL" other Avenues, such as Bad Dome Light Buttons, all it takes is 1 to be Slightly Dirty at the Contacts. I would check them all and there plugs/Connecters etc.I think I'll Do a little more reserch on this
But if I have Helped More or solved this Please Remember to RATE me Thonk you RejakWilson

Posted on Jan 17, 2009

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There is a interesting check about of the alarm systems if your car gas pedal cable is loosen in that time you can not engage alarm systems ,,please check it

Posted on Oct 12, 2014

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97' Jeep Grand Cherokee factory alarm going off ra - 4cd7fbc.gif

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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SOURCE: 2002 Ford Focus Doors lock with key fob, but horn does not honk

there are two seperate horns

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

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