Question about 1999 Jeep Cherokee

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Key wont turn over in my 1999 jeep cherokee sport seems like it is locked. The lights come on and dinging at the door.

Posted by kristie diehl on

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Steve

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If the key is seemingly mysteriously prevented from being twisted to the "Start" position in the ignition, it is probably due to the transmission not being fully in "Park" (or in neutral or clutch fully depressed for a standard transmission).

The ignition switch is will move to start or not turn the starter when it is not in the correct position. Pull the shifter fully into the Park position (or in the case of a standard transmission - out of gear & press the clutch to the floor). It may be difficult to do this if you are parked on a hill or if there is some other issue with the linkage between the shifter and transmission. In any case, the shifter should click into position when fully in park. If the car has a lot of miles on it - the switch and linkage may be worn - and you'll have to "jiggle" the shifter back and forth to find the spot that allows the starter to turn.

It may also be a dead battery. The lights and chime require significantly less power than starting the engine does. Turn on the high beam headlights, air conditioner and set the blower fan to high. Then tap the horn. If your car can't do all this at once - the battery could be ready for replacement. Try to get a booster or jump start.

I hope this helps - good luck!

Posted on Oct 05, 2011

  • Steve Oct 05, 2011

    My edit about the steering wheel was lost. If the wheel is turned and against a curb or otherwise forced against something, you might have to turn the wheel in either direction to allow the ignition switch to turn.

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