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Unread 06-22-2010, 04:29 PM   #1
JoSCh
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Check Engine Light (CEL) code retrieval issue

I've used the forum a bit, but never had a question I couldn't answer with search... now I do.

I've got a 97 XJ that I've had and enjoyed for a few months. Now it is displaying the CEL and I've tried all the ways I could find here and on the intertubes to get the codes. Apparently the process changed in 97, so different things work for different builds. Naturally the one I buy is the transition... Turning the key on, off, on, off, on resulted in nothing. Doing it 4 "ons" resulted in nothing. Pressing the trip reset while turning the key to on 3 times resulted in the odometer displaying, in sequence, 111111, 222222, .... 888888, 999999 with various indicator lights and gauges doing different things at each count. Then nothing. The CEL remains on, it doesn't display any codes. I've let it sit like this for over 1 minute, but not too much longer. I've also tried the trip reset process with the "on" count at 4. Same result as the 3 "ons".

What is the next step?

I do have an Autozone nearby, I just wanted to do it this way if possible. Thanks in advance!

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Unread 06-22-2010, 04:30 PM   #2
DirtyViking
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Easiest way is to just take it to Autozone if you can and have them yoink the codes out for free.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
JoSCh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyViking View Post
Easiest way is to just take it to Autozone if you can and have them yoink the codes out for free.
Yeah, I like to do things myself if at all possible. Other than the Autozone solution, does anyone know what I'm not doing right? Why I'm seeing what I'm seeing?
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Unread 06-22-2010, 09:34 PM   #4
pentastar01
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What you are seeing is the cluster test method. Just an easy way to determine that the cluster is functioning as is.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 11:23 PM   #5
JHamar
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I have a 97 country. I have to do the hold trip reset and 4 ons and offs and it goes through everything then does a code. Some times it wouldn't work. But remember, the code you might get will probably be very generic. My NSS was messed up and the trip computer gave me a 45 code which could of been about 4 different things. Trip to autozone, asked them to check the codes for a check engine light and 2 min later I had pretty specific codes that people here can help with. I would try the hold trip in and do various combinations.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 05:12 AM   #6
JoSCh
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Thanks fellas, I didn't realize that the ODBII tester was more robust. I'll stop by Autozone tonite, and probably still mess with it to get the codes myself when I get home. If I find anything interesting I'll post it.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 04:21 PM   #7
JoSCh
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Well, drove to work with the CEL on, when I came out the CEL is no longer on. It does flash when the key is turned on, so not a bulb or anything... I guess she fixed herself. Awesome.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
tjwalker
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As you mentioned, 97 was the "transition" year where early models could retrieve codes with the key-on, key-off method, but later builds in that year could not. Anything post 97 cannot use that technique.

As mentioned, best bet if you have a code is to get a code reader or a scan tool as the key-on key off method doesn't retrieve the entire 4 digit code that is necessary for best diagnosis.

Hopefully your light/code won't return. If it does, you know what to do. As the check engine light was on, you have "stored codes" to retrieve, regardless of whether the light is still on.
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