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

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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A year and a half is long time -okay maybe it has enough power to lite up the lites and radio but when you hit the high demanding amps eater, the starter it will drain the battery quicker than you can blink an eye and that's it for the black juice box

check for corrosion on the cables and battery both ends, apply some baking soda and water scrub it and rinse thoroughly. Oh! I forgot remove it, then do it.

Final stage charge up the battery till it gets up and you can read 12.4 or better volts and then attempt to crank her over. Still no crank get an interstate battery 700 or better CCA's.

Good Luck!

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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 3:54 AM
Tiny
SPORTAHOLIC18J
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A year and half longtime-okay maybe it has enough power to lite up the lites and radio but when you hit the high demanding amps eater, the starter it will drain the battery quicker than you can blink an eye and that's it for the black juice box

check for corrosion on the cables and battery both ends, apply some baking soda and water scrub it and rinse thoroughly. Oh! I forgot remove it, then do it.

Final stage charge up the battery till it gets up and you can read 12.4 or better volts and then attempt to crank her over. Still no crank get an interstate battery 700 or better CCA's.

Good Luck![/Quote:3706702c30]

I've purchased a new batter about a week ago and I removed my ground and power wires (which were corroded with battery acid)cleaned the wires with rubbing alcohol and changed my terminals yet there isn't the slightest attempt of starting. My battery has like 540 CCA's, is that enough?

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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 8:51 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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When you turn key to On do you see all those idiot lites.

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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 9:00 AM
Tiny
SPORTAHOLIC18J
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Actually, the maintenace required light comes on.

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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 9:06 AM
Tiny
DARTHMEDICUS
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After about almost 800 dollars the PCM was replaced, and the crankshaft as well as ignition(?) Sensors were replaced as well. Burned out by my battery cables which were corroded and causing arcing. Truck ran fine for a few days, then started not starting all the time. After I cleaned the air intake, added some fuel injector cleaner as well as crankcase cleaner, it still did the same thing. Finally, I noticed the pattern: I only started in the afternoon when the air temperatur was above 80 degrees farenheit. What would be the reason why that happens?

**Note: I purchased an Onboard Diagnostic Reader. I will be able to pick it up tomorrow from the Post Office and run a diagnostic on my truck. In case no one gets back to me before then, I'll be able to update you all again on what I've found. Thanks! _

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 AT 5:55 PM
Tiny
SKIPPYTCG
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Have you checked the crank position sensor. Very common problem

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 AT 9:20 PM
Tiny
DARTHMEDICUS
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Update: Actually got my OBD reader in today, and was able to pick it up at the post office (thank you, USPS).

The following diagnostic problems have been found:

1- Ignition/Distributor Engine speed circuit

2- Ignition Coil Primary/Secondary Circuit

Now the ignition coil had been replaced prior to my sending my truck to the mechanic to have the computer, crankshaft sensor and ignition sensor replaced. Guess I'll have to replace the Ignition Coil and the Distributor Engine Speed Circuit.

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 AT 9:55 PM
Tiny
DARTHMEDICUS
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Well, now it only gives me the Ignition Coil Primary/Secondary Circuit DTC (P0351). And this morning, on a whim, I decided to try and start it up. It started without much of a hitch. I did the little trick to reset the PCM on Thursday, so I don't know if it had anything to do with it. It wouldn't start yesterday (Friday). At this point, if it's still letting me start it up until Monday, I'm going to go back to the mechanic that did the PCM and sensor jobs for me.

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Saturday, May 26th, 2007 AT 9:50 AM
Tiny
DARTHMEDICUS
  • MEMBER

Well, changed the ignition coil (as the primary circuit was wide open and the secondary was good), and the truck still won't start. The guy helping me noticed that the negative terminal of the battery was very hot to the touch, and when I loaded up the OBD again, it showed a trouble code for the ignition coil again. I am convinced that there is a short somewhere, but short of going back to the mechanic who repaired it last, I am at a loss in terms of what to do. Mind you in the midst of all this the truck starts intermittently when it wants to and when it does start I have to gas it because it seems to not want to 'catch'. Any suggestions at this point would be greatly appreciated, because I am at my wits end as far as this is concerned (as well as my financial means' end. This is starting to get expensive.).

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Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 AT 12:52 PM
Tiny
DARTHMEDICUS
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I forgot to add this part. The next day when I had tried to start my Jeep, first the engine turned over at a hyper sounding rate, but wouldn't start. When I tried again, there was a clicking sound, and everything just died. Now there's minimal [electrical] output, if at all.

I know there's a short in the electrical system, but it could be anywhere. Going to try to find out where it could be. For now, I can't even get the light under the hood to go on unless about 5 minutes goes by.

Looks like I'll be throwing the towel in if I can't figure it out by next payday.

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Saturday, June 16th, 2007 AT 4:28 PM

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