engine dies, won't start, sentry key light stays on - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-09-2006, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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engine dies, won't start, sentry key light stays on

I've got a 99 Grand Cherokee and recently it started dying occasionally. It's rare -- maybe once a week -- and it usually happens when coasting. When it happens, the sentry key light indicator comes on and stays on. The car will crank but won't start. Sometimes it takes a couple of minutes before it will start again, sometimes it takes much longer. I've tried using the spare key to see if, perhaps, it was a problem with the key, but it happens with both.

I've taken it to a jeep mechanic (non dealer) twice and he said he can't figure it out.

Any ideas/suggestions?


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post #2 of 9 Old 07-09-2006, 10:41 AM
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What engine does it have?
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-09-2006, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Good question -- sorry. It has the V-8.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-09-2006, 02:04 PM
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my 4.0 does that sometimes for two reasons (2 different occasions). One will be the keyless entry. sometimes it has a mind of it's own. So next time it happens, check to see if you have spark. If you don't, then it's the keyless. If you do then it might be the fuel filter. This happens to me often because I use gas that comes out of the cars that we scrap at our business and sometimes it can get dirt in it during the transfer. In both cases though the car will die then start up again after while.
My other jeep that I had, a 96' did it forever. The damn keyless entry was so screwed up I don't think I ever was able to fix it completely.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-09-2006, 07:48 PM
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If it has the grey SKIM key, the module can store a code if it sees a problem like a wrong key or no SKIM messages to the PCM, etc, but only the dealer can retrieve them. It might point in the general direction of the problem.

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-10-2006, 08:17 AM
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I don't have one of those fancy WJs, but to me it sounds like a bad battery, or bad connections on the battery. Happened to me on the ZJ, it was loose cable clamps. The alarm would go off (no horn just lights) and it wouldn't start. I would disable the alarm and get a jump and it would be fine for weeks.

I always thought I left a light on or something, until one day it happened in a parking lot, a guy was walking by and saw me fiddling with it and he said check the clamps. I'm like, yeah sure whatever (being a typical man) and I said, yeah I checked that. After he left I tightened them down and what do you know, hehe it worked.

Anyway, may apply to you, may not. It's worth checking out since it's a free fix to clean and re-clamp the battery connections.

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-10-2006, 08:28 AM
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My 2004 grand is doing the same thing... it just decides not to start sometimes, and when it does start, after driving about 5 minutes the sentry key light comes on. Mine has never stalled out when driving though, only immediately after start up. I check the codes and it thew a "non skis key" code basically saying that the key I was using wasnt a sentry key... even though it was. I tried disconnecting the battery and that only helped for about a day. I have an appointment with my stealership on wedensday, hopefully they can figure this out. I have a feeling the skis system is shot or needs reprogramed. In the owners manual it says that "if the skis light stays on while driving there is an electrical problem and you sould take it to the dealership", that really tells me alot.


2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee SE - 4.7L V8
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-10-2006, 08:42 AM
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Theres a ring in there that can go bad aparently its like a sensor. I got an aftermarket key and the mechanic thought it might be the reason but it ended up just being the key.

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-10-2006, 08:47 AM
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Is the ring in the unit in the steering column or is it in the key itself? I have two grey (sentry) keys and both do the same thing..


2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee SE - 4.7L V8
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