Question about 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Car (recently acquired so unfamiliar with it): Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2.5 diesel. 1997 (P reg) Main problem: Every few weeks warning sound + light on dash comes on stating ''CHECK GAGES (US spelling)'' - charging meter shows zero. AA gets called out - he taps alternator and after a zero charge at tapping all is well again - same repeats. I got alternator refurbished and same happens again - they say it may have a separate voltage regulator causing problem - nobody can tell me certainly if it does have separate regulator but many say NOT. One persona said maybe ECU is faulty. Any clues? 2nd (lesser problem as think just a damaged wiring issue): Every few weeks (again) alarm system goes weird and sets-off (windows then don't wok on right side of car) and after alarm finally stops going - alarm system is then not setable. Elec engineer wiggled wiring (I think maybe in door - not sure) - got it OK again and then it repeats! - Any ideas?

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Jeep did use an alternator with the regulator as an integral part of the vehicles computer. I can't tell you if you have that system but any decent parts house can easily identify which system you have (especially whoever rebuilt your alternator) One item that bothers me though is why it would resume working after tapping on the alternator. It may not be the tapping as much as the moving of any harnesses near the alternator that is changing the way it's working (your faulty wire theory may be correct, or at least needs further looking into). If the regulator turns out to be inside the alternator, be aware that some rebuilders will not replace it unless it fails a bench test...if it was "behaving" during that test, your regulator may still be the one that you originally had before it was re-done. (better shops automatically change this and other components and bearings except for the armature , field coils and housing)
The security system problem sounds like a wire in the door harness (likely inside the boot/tunnel between the door & post) Your security system is armed by locking and unlocking the drivers side door using the key... If the wiring in the door is faulty, it may be making and breaking contact eventually it will break entirely and won't work at all.. You need to open it up, find the wire and repair it.Dash and body grounding should also be verified as a bad or insufficient ground can actually cause both problems.
If it turns out that you actually need a computer, they are fairly expensive...i recommend obtaining one from a scrapyard...much cheaper there.

Posted on Nov 13, 2009

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