Question about 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Alternator Battery Problem

About 1 week ago my car would not start randomly after running fine for years. It would not even start with jumper cables. I thought it was my battery so I took my battery out and I connected a battery from my friends Toyota Avalon. When I attached the cables It immediately sounded off the horn and something started smoking from beneath the battery. I disconnected the battery right away. I took my original battery in to get tested and it checked out fine. My problem was that my ignition cylinder was loose and it wasn't getting a good connection when I put in my key. I replaced that and connected my battery and the car starts right up. The thing is now my battery meter reads just above the red at around 10 volts which I know is low. I'm pretty sure something happened when I tried connecting my buddys battery. And NO, I did not connect the Positive to the Negative and visa versa. The alternator in the jeep is only about a year old I cannot see that being the problem. What caused that smoke when I connected the other battery and what in the world do I need to do to get this fixed. It seems like there is something wrong with the connections. PLEASE HELP. THANKS!

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Regardless of what caused the smoke it is apparent that your alternator is not charging the battery.

Check the alternator is properly grounded, and that the B+ terminal is connected to the battery supply.
Check the exciter terminal (usually labeled "IND") is connected to the "BAT" indicator dashboard lamp - check the indicator lamp lights when the ignition is on without the motor running.
Battery terminal voltage should be approx 14.5V when the motor is running, with a load such as headlights on.
Check the fusible link ( or in line Maxi fuse) and their electrical connections is in good order.

The alternator/regulator may have been 'spiked' as a result of a poor electrical connection while changing batteries. The fact that the horn sounded indicates that a voltage spike had likely occurred.
I suggest you fix the battery charging problem first, then pursue whatever other problems that may still exist.

Posted on Oct 08, 2009

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