96 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Please Help!) Nobody can solve this

Tiny
PIKETCM7
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD
My interior lights will not go off unless I set my alarm. Within a few hours, and sometimes minutes, the alarm turns itself off and the lights come back on and drain the battery. Until now, ive been able to go out and reset the alarm once or twice a day, but its getting worse. It will not stay set for more than a few minutes at a time now. Sometimes, it will set and turn itself off within a minute or so. Now I'm disconnecting the negative battery terminal when I have to go to work and at night because the battery will be dead when I get back to the car if I don't.
Also a new problem. The car will die at stop signs, traffic lights, etc. The other day, it died on the freeway when I slowed down for traffic.
The dealer cant find any problem and I cant afford to spend any more money on this problem. They said it might be a bad switch in the door turning the alarm off, I replaced it but it didnt work.
Is it possible the problem is in the cables? The alarm problem had only happened a few times within a couple of weeks and it turned out a terminal was loose. When I had it replaced, within a few minutes the alarm problem got worse again.
160,000 miles
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Monday, February 26th, 2007 AT 11:43 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
LYTN_J
  • MEMBER
What alarm system are you talking about? My wiring diagram doesn't show one. Is it the door ajar alarm?

If the interior lites are running the battery down, pull the fuse. I believe it is fuse 16, 10 amp fuse. I realize that doesn't fix the problem, but, it might keep the battery from running down, maybe you won't have to disconnect the battery cables. If you pull the fuse, make sure the dash lites still work and the vehicle operates ok. All these circuits are so interconnected, I couldn't begin to solve your problem without testing all the circuits.

Do you have any trouble-codes? I don't know if you can retrieve codes by cycling the ignition switch, if not, some of the national brand auto stores will read them free of charge. You can ask.
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 AT 6:31 AM
Tiny
PIKETCM7
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I'll have to check the book about the alarm, but yes there is an alarm installed. I have a remote I use to set it. The light flashes to let you know that it has been set.
As for the fuses, we pulled the fuse for the interior lights already, but the lights on the door still don't go off (all of the other interior lights are off). Is there a different fuse for lights on the door?
The situation has gotten worse yesterday. The alarm won't stay set for more than 1 minute now. It sets, and the lights on the door go out, but then after about 45 seconds the red light (alarm light) stops flashing and the interior lights come back on.
Now I think the battery needs to be recharged or replaced because it will be dead after about 20 minutes of those interior lights being on.
As for the codes, I will take it to someone as soon as I can get it jumped again and keep it running. I can't go anywhere where I will have to shut the car off at all now. I had to have it jumped everytime I turned it off yesterday.
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 AT 11:38 AM
Tiny
PIKETCM7
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Also, I want to add that the dealer as well as another mechanic have already checked for codes and nothing came up. Maybe it will be different now since the problem is worse? They said they couldnt tell unless the car was doing it at the time it was hooked up, which it wasn't.
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 AT 11:40 AM
Tiny
LYTN_J
  • MEMBER
Some of these vehicles, you can put into diagnostic mode without a scanner. I not sure with your model year. It can't hurt to try.

With all fuses plugged in and the battery charged, cycle the key between the off and acc position three times, the third time, leave it in the acc position. If it will go into diagnostic mode, the headlites and tail lites should flash and the horn will honk. Anything? If it goes into diagnostic mode, you can turn the key off, to stop the lites from flashing, but it still should be in diagnostic mode. You can open the doors, one at a time. Every time the door switch is activated, the horn should honk. When you open and when you close it. Between the opening and closing, you may have to wait thirty sceonds. The point being, if the horn doesn't honk, there is something wrong with the switch or wiring circuit. I know you replaced a door switch, but there is one for every door, probably one for the liftgate as well, I don't know how many you have. I don't think the switches would be hard to test To take it out of diagnostic mode, you turn the key to the run position.

You may not be able to put it into diagnostic mode with out a scanner. I'm not sure.

I know you wish somebody could tell you the problem without all this testing, but, I don't think that is going to happen.
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 AT 1:28 PM
Tiny
LYTN_J
  • MEMBER
I just wanted to add, I did see a service bulletin for this problem on your year make and model. It talked about the liftgate ajar switch. I don't know what switch you replaced, or if you replaced them all.

It said moisture could get at the switch, corroding the terminals, causing problems with the alarm, causing the courtesy lamps to stay on, causing the battery to drain. You may already know all this, but, that's all I got. Goodluck
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 AT 2:57 PM
Tiny
PIKETCM7
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That would be SO GREAT if that were the problem. How do I find out with little or no money? Do I have to take it back to the dealer to check the switch?
We are in the process of moving and have been using all of the doors an a lot lately, especially the liftgate. I don't see a switch on there though. Is it something that I should be able to find?
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Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 AT 10:38 AM
Tiny
LYTN_J
  • MEMBER
All I'm doing is sitting here looking at a wiring diagram on your vehicle. It does show a liftgate ajar switch.

Also the service bulletin talks about it. The bulletin says to remove the lower trim panel on the liftgate, in order to get at the switch.

Even if you replace the switch, I can't say that it will fix your problem. I don't know.

You might be able to take the connectors loose from the switch, wrap the connectors separately with electrical tape, so they don't touch anything. That might work until you get a chance to replace the switch.

Like I said, that may not fix your problem, I'm just passing along the information I found.
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Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 AT 12:56 PM

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