1998 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE WON'T START!!

  • Tiny
  • DarthMedicus
  • 1998 Jeep Cherokee

My truck is a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 193,750 miles and a 4.0L L6 engine.

It always ran perfectly fine and I haven't had problems with it except for an issue with a poor connecting battery cable (since resolved). Yesterday I drove my truck without any issues, dropped my stepson at school, ran a couple of errands, and picked up my step daughter from preschool. Again, no problems or a hint of one. This morning it was VERY foggy and humid out (not terribly unusual for this part of Louisiana) and I went to start my truck to let it warm up before I left for work. I tried turning it over, but it wouldn't start. It catches, sounds like it wants to start, but there's no actual ignition. I waited about 10 minutes and tried again. I was greeted with the same, plus the odor of unburned gasoline. The battery is good, the starter sounds normal, it catches and cranks normally, there's just no ignition. Can anyone advise as to the likely cause? Had to use the wife's car this morning and she was pissed! Help!

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Friday, March 30th, 2007 AT 7:36 AM

27 Replies

  • Tiny
  • DarthMedicus
  • Member

I checked and the fuel pump is operational. I cannot check the fuel filter on my Cherokee because the 1997-1999 models have them inside the fuel tank according to my haynes book. I will check the ignition relay to see if that might be the problem.

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Saturday, March 31st, 2007 AT 5:42 PM
  • Tiny
  • merlin2021
  • Expert
  • 17,589 posts

Foggy and won't start. Does your jep have a ditributor? If yes check under the cap for moisture! How old are the plugs and wires?

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Monday, April 2nd, 2007 AT 9:20 AM
  • Tiny
  • DarthMedicus
  • Member

Funny you mention that. A neighbor heard about what happened and while I was at work, my Fiancee allowed them to check the wires utilizing the "screwdriver test". Well, let is suffice to say that there was no spark from the wires. So I'm just going to replace the entire wire and plug set, if that's most likely what it is. If you or anyone else have any more input, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you _

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Monday, April 2nd, 2007 AT 8:19 PM
  • Tiny
  • DarthMedicus
  • Member

Update:

Myself and a neighbor did the spark test again, this time on every single plug wire, and found no spark whatsoever, including from the Ignition coil. We uncapped the distributor to find that it was in pristine condition, no scorches, no carbon trails, no build up, no condensation or moisture, nothing. It was practically as good as brand new out of the box. Now we are looking at the ignition coil. Friday (my day off) we will take out the ignition coil and take it to auto zone for a diagnostic. I will keep you all posted.

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 AT 9:46 PM
  • Tiny
  • merlin2021
  • Expert
  • 17,589 posts

Check the Batt wire to the coil with the key on. You should get 12v

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Thursday, April 5th, 2007 AT 6:32 AM
  • Tiny
  • DarthMedicus
  • Member

Another Update: Took the ignition coil to Auto Zone to get it tested. It was shorted and dead. Didn't even read in the slightest on the ohmeter. So I purchased a new one. Installed it. Still no spark, still won't start. Now we're wondering if the starter is out, so that will be coming out of my Truck tomorrow and replaced (hopefully).

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Saturday, April 7th, 2007 AT 5:44 PM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

Better stop throwing parts to it and check the ICM-ignition control module-to include a CPS if it has one.

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Saturday, April 7th, 2007 AT 5:53 PM
  • Tiny
  • jamcush
  • Member

I am wondering did you change the distributor cap and rotor button out. I know in my jeep when I was having that type of problem that was exactly what was wrong

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Saturday, April 7th, 2007 AT 7:14 PM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

Better check the rotor button- the spark wll never make it to the plugs

Also the magnetic pick-up in the distributor

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Sunday, April 8th, 2007 AT 2:30 AM
  • Tiny
  • Sportaholic18J
  • Member

I own a 4X4 1993 Jeep Cherokee Sport which started fine whenever I parked it a year and a half ago. I got in it this past week and whenever I attempted to start it it wouldn't even attempt to turn over or try to start and it wasn't clicking. The batteries fine cause the lights and radio turn on so I figured it was the starter or possibly the solenoid. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 AT 11:30 PM

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