Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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My 1998 Jeep Cherokee has been a great car. Its now high mileage (199,000). Yesterday, when I tried to start it the key turned all the way over with no engine sound and all the dashboard lights lit up. The beeper (like when you try to exit with the key in the ignition went off as well and continued until I turned the key back to the off position. I tried to start it 3 or 4 times with same results. No engine sound (like grinding or anything). I finally decided to try one more time and it started. Against my better judgment I ran some errands and it started and stopped just fine. Its now in my garage but I am very nervous and would like to know what I'm looking at before I talk to a mechanic to make sure he knows what he's doing.

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  • Jeep Master
  • 20,706 Answers

Yah, intermittents do stink,, but that is what cars can do 1/2 the time
vast numbers of ways, in fact. (and my bailiwick, and spec. tools)
that's called a NO CRANK,
silent starter (is the starter relay (tiny) also silent??
it can just be, green battery lugs, (clean them first)
the system is simple.
1: a charged battery, (batteries can be INTERMITTENT !!!
2: good battery cables ( at this point hot wiring the starter works if)
3: starter good. (means solenoid tool)
4: key line good.
(not a seized engine, you know that)

the key line can be cheated, if car is A/T. car is it?auto/trans
my 99 XJ was 5sp stick, so.... what trans is there?
shift to neutral per operators guide,
crank now, this uses fresh contacts in the PRNDL (TRS) switch
allowing cranking to happen. (and park)
park gets worn out , SEE?

if you take a car to a mech, and its now working
he then looks for things loose or green (corroded)
and does the neutral check if savvy.
he can load test your battery.
tighten all 4 ends of battery lugs. sure can.
and if it works for him, how can he fix the real cause.? its working now.
in many shops that see NOTHING the guess.
so out comes the coin toss.
lands on Battery , try a new battery for $150
next week, , new starter.
next week , new TRS
next week new starter relay
or we can go one here, on every inch of wires failing here but you get the idea, whats up....
the best way to fix it is to do so failing with a voltmeter in your hand.

As just the average owner, just take it in, what else can you do.?
with no tools?
sure check battery lugs.
or when it dont crank, use jumper cables (call AAATow)
cranks now, then the battery is bad.(or just discharged)
that is all you can do , i bet.
some take the battery out and to a store and get it tested (called load tested for free)
other remove the starter, this is silly, before hotwiring it;
if it cranks ok hot wired, there is no need for a new starter.
the best starter tests are ON CAR tests,

Posted on Mar 25, 2017


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SOURCE: My 2001 Olds Integre will not start, but later does start.

This may be a problem with the ignition switch. The ignition switch feeds power to many of the different systems- including the starting system and the dash.A low voltage output of the switch will not allow the starter relay to engergize, along with many other odd problems. A way to check this is that when it is acting up, turn the ignition key back and forth very quickly many several times, or tap and the head of the key with a small hammer. These things will normally cause a faulty ign switch to correct itself for the time being.

Posted on Nov 01, 2008

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SOURCE: 1996 Grand Jeep Cherokee Immobilser/key fob problem

goldie try to lock and unlock the passenger door...there are disarm switches in both doors...the drivers side may have failed but the passenger side may still work...if that dont do it you may need a dealer because the module for the remote keyless entry may have faied

Posted on Nov 13, 2008

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SOURCE: 1991 Dodge Spirit ignition problem

The "SPRING-BACK" Action is Originated in the Ignition Switch itself (THE ELECTRICAL SWITCH) I think that is where you should Look. On these models, the ignition lock and ignition switch are removed as an assembly. Refer to IGNITION LOCK .
Disable airbag, refer to Air Bags and Seat Belts/Air Bags (Supplemental Restraint Systems)/Service and Repair . After procedure has been completed, rearm airbag system.

On these models, the ignition lock and ignition switch are removed as an assembly.

  1. Disconnect battery ground cable.
  2. Remove tilt lever.
  3. Remove three Torx column cover attaching screws, then the upper and lower column covers.
  4. Using tamper proof Torx bit tool No. 440-TX20H or equivalent, remove three ignition switch mounting screws.
  5. Carefully pull switch away from column. Release two connector locks on seven terminal wiring connector, then disconnect from ignition switch.
  6. Release connector lock on four terminal connector, then disconnect from ignition switch.
  7. Remove ignition lock from ignition switch as follows:
    1. With key inserted and switch in Lock position, use a small screwdriver to depress ignition lock retaining pin flush with lock cylinder surface.
    2. Rotate key clockwise to Off position. Ignition lock should now be unseated from ignition switch assembly. Do not attempt to remove ignition lock at this time.
    3. With ignition lock in unseated position (lock bezel approximately 1/8 inch above halo light ring), rotate key counterclockwise to Lock position, then remove key.
    4. Remove ignition lock from ignition switch.
  1. Reverse procedure to install, noting the following:
    1. Connect two wiring connectors to ignition switch. Ensure switch locking tabs are fully seated in connectors.
    2. Install ignition switch on steering column.
    3. On column shift models, shift lever must be in P position and park lock dowel pin on ignition switch assembly must engage with column park lock slider linkage.
    4. On all models, verify ignition switch is in Lock position (flag parallel with ignition switch terminals).
    5. Apply a dab of suitable grease to flag and pin, then position park lock link and slider to mid-travel.
    6. Position ignition switch against lock housing face. Ensure pin is inserted into park link contour slot.
    7. Install ignition switch retaining screws and torque to 12-22 lb-in .
    8. With ignition lock and switch in Lock position, insert ignition lock into ignition switch until it bottoms.
    9. Insert key, then while carefully pushing ignition lock toward ignition switch, turn key clockwise to Run position.
    10. Check for proper operation on ignition switch in all positions.


Posted on Feb 12, 2009

  • 57 Answers

SOURCE: Unable to turn key in ignition to start 2003 Honda Pilot .

Your ignition lock cylinder probably fell apart. They get worn out and the tumblers inside fall out and leave the cylinder inoperable. Get your lock cylinder replaced and you'll be good as new.

Posted on May 07, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: I have a 2000 toyota avalon ignition problems

Hello I have simular problem the ignition on is stuck in that position with the key turned off and out of the ignition switch.It feels like the key switch is spinning freely in the ignition. Do I need an ignition switch?

Posted on Aug 05, 2010

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