1997 Jeep Cherokee will not start

Tiny
JONWYN
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
1997 Jeep Cherokee 6 cyl, standard, won't start. It has been having this problem periodically. It will start right up, no problems. I drive somewhere and when I go to start I get nothing; no clicking, no engine turning over, no lights or gauges coming on, etc. It will then, after repeated praying/cursing, start right up again. My clock will be reset to 12:00, so seems like an electrical thing? Of note, recently found out that when I trurn on my left trun signal, the headlights go out. It now appears to be completely dead. The battery, while not tested, seems fine. Suggestions?
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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 AT 7:47 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Charge the battery and have it tested first. Any auto parts store can do this usually atno charge. It could also be a fusible link burnt out or burning out causeing this. There is a fuse in tehpower dist box check that annd a starter relay may be burned up as well. Check for corrosion on thefrom the power dist box to the junction block as that powers up your ignitinon as well as nuetral saftey switch, those may be failing as well.
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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 AT 8:21 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This sounds typical of a loose or dirty battery cable connection. When the problem occurs, turn on the head lights, then wiggle the battery cables. Watch which one makes the lights come back on. Protect your eyes just to be safe. Although very rare, batteries do give off explosive hydrogen gas and the sparks could ignite it.

As an alternative, use a test light or voltmeter to find where you lose voltage. Start at the battery posts, then work your way with the probes to the cable clamps, body, and the stud on the under-hood fuse box. You're looking for the first place the voltage goes real low.
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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 AT 8:22 PM
Tiny
JONWYN
  • MEMBER
I did check the battery connections. I should mention when I turn the key it will, sometimes, make a quiet 'beep' (the one associated with starting the care), and the engine light comes on, very dimly, then fades to nothing. It seems odd that it would start right up sometimes, and then have zero power to speak of at other times. I did try to jump start it; it would never start but I did hear a clicking sound (starter?).
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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 AT 8:38 PM

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