the jeep: 1995 jeep xj cherokee with 4.0L automatic, 182K miles
here's the problem: every now and then when you get in the car and go to start it it will crank and fire but as soon as you let go of the key it dies, so it turned out not to be the fuel pump, i replaced the filter anyway, now the issues have gotten worse, as stated before they are still intermittant, sometimes it starts like normal, sometimes it doesnt want to, today it refused to start for quite some time, the 30sec trick did not work, nor did rocking the key back and forth between off and accessory, but interestingly right before it finally started while the key was in accessory the check engine light came on flashing, and turned off once the car was started, also it seems when the car does have issues starting after it has started it seems to run slightly rough for about the first 30 seconds then smooths out, no other issues while driving, only the intermittant starting issues, most likely something electrical is my assumption, any ideas?
Agree with dukie. Sounds like the switch. It also appears that it is getting worse.....replace it.
The symptom of "rough running" for the first 30 seconds though, is not related to your starting problem. Always review tuneup hardware FIRST. That involves fresh spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, and rotor.
99 Cherokee, 4.0 AW4, NP242
Past Jeeps: 49 Willys, 81 Scrambler, 88 Comanche Without "data", all you have is an opinion!
Real cheap thing to try is replacing the ballast resisitor (ceramic thing with 2 wires usually located on driver side fender inside the engine compartment). Usually they aren't intermittent but do cause the failure to run when dropping the key.