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Unread 05-20-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
Sinisterod
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Strange Electrical failure has me baffled, HELP?!

Let me start by saying I have been struggling with this for 3 days now with no luck on the wife's 2004 GC. Here's what is going on and what I thought/have tried, before commenting please read entire post as I'm laying it all out to see if I missed something simple. I have ruled out the DEI Alarm at this point, its a much bigger issue.

Wife went to disarm alarm on Monday and it wouldn't respond, so I walk out to it and put key in door, open door. Alarm doesn't trigger, dome lights are on. When I put key in the ignition I get no accessory ie radio not powering up, no dash lights, no gauges; HOWEVER AC comes on, fan blowing and jeep cranks but won't start. So I assumed the DEI alarm that is now 7 years old had a failure. Here's where it gets interesting. After checking everything on the alarm and getting no where I walked away for the night being frustrated. Manually locked doors, door switch works and works all locks. I let it sit till last night, randomly hit the unlock button on alarm and wow it works. I go out to jeep put key in ignition and everything is fine, radio powers up with accessory, next click of the key dash gauges come on, everything works and she fires right up no issues. I put it in drive move it forward a few feet so we can use all of our parking and access driveway etc, again thinking alarm is prob bad, put it in park and shut it off open door. Not 30 seconds later I attempt to start it/use alarm everything is dead just like before. Again I'm assuming alarm is issue.

Today I go out to remove the alarm brain, only wires I needed to un-do were starter kill so I did. Alarm is no out of the Jeep with harness in place for re-install when I get it back from DEI thinking that was the problem. NOPE.

Its still dead, same issues-

No Power with accessory
No power with ignition
AC comes on, Fan blows
Jeep cranks but will not start
Doors lock and unlock
No window control

I'm at my wits end here....I'm thinking its an issue with power either to or from ignition, where do I start? I have checked all fuses including under the hood, everything checks out. I will check the ever popular ground wire in the door on drivers side, but I ruled that out do to the power locks functioning perfectly. The fact that the issue randomly goes away and then immediately comes back makes this more perplexing to me.

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Unread 05-20-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
Acc0919mc
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The receiver for the keyless entry remote is in the front passenger door. Check inside that boot too
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Unread 05-20-2015, 01:42 PM   #3
Sinisterod
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Would that effect the ignition power and key functions? They keyless functionality is perfect.
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Unread 05-22-2015, 08:21 AM   #4
Sinisterod
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Anyone? I have removed the ignition switch thinking that might be the problem but the fan/climate controls come on so that has me wondering if its a relay some where I missed or possibly a circuit breaker?
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Unread 05-22-2015, 09:20 AM   #5
ezflip
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This sounds like a bad battery connection. These do very random weird things when the battery terminals are dirty, loose, or corroded. Start by cleaning them, then once they are clean, clean them three more times. Make sure they are TIGHT. If that doesn't solve it, you may need to replace the positive as they do get corroded back into the insulation where you can't see it.
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Unread 05-22-2015, 10:12 AM   #6
Sinisterod
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I will check the battery connections again, but I just don't see how that would cause it to do what its doing. It cranks, which leads me to believe there is sufficient voltage and current in the battery I'm just not getting ignition power to the gauges or radio etc.
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Unread 05-22-2015, 10:57 AM   #7
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Thats actually exactly what it does. Pretty much all of the control modules report to the BCM at some point. When the BCM receives a low current, it basically randomly picks and chooses what it wants to send the power to. Sometimes its the dome lights, sometimes the gauges, sometimes the AC, sometimes the SKIM, etc. depending on how much current its actually getting. In your case, it sounds like its sending some power to the PCM to let it crank, but not enough to send any to the fuel pump. And enough to send some power to the dome lights, but not enough for the gauges or radio.

It makes things very difficult to diagnose because it seems like a lot of random seemingly unrelated issues all popping up at once. Which still could be the case, but its a lot easier and cheaper to replace battery terminals first. Good luck! Hopefully your issue will be that simple.
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Unread 05-23-2015, 12:53 AM   #8
Acc0919mc
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I said something about the remote thing because you said something about the alarm not disarming, i just thought thats what you meant
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Unread 05-26-2015, 10:39 AM   #9
Sinisterod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezflip View Post
Thats actually exactly what it does. Pretty much all of the control modules report to the BCM at some point. When the BCM receives a low current, it basically randomly picks and chooses what it wants to send the power to. Sometimes its the dome lights, sometimes the gauges, sometimes the AC, sometimes the SKIM, etc. depending on how much current its actually getting. In your case, it sounds like its sending some power to the PCM to let it crank, but not enough to send any to the fuel pump. And enough to send some power to the dome lights, but not enough for the gauges or radio.

It makes things very difficult to diagnose because it seems like a lot of random seemingly unrelated issues all popping up at once. Which still could be the case, but its a lot easier and cheaper to replace battery terminals first. Good luck! Hopefully your issue will be that simple.
Interesting...would this be a random thing and cause it to sputter on the occasion that does start? I did clean the terminals but I will go ahead and try swapping the battery. I just struggle to wrap my head around it esp when heater controls come on.
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Unread 05-26-2015, 09:04 PM   #10
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Before swapping out the battery, definitely check the batter cables first few inches from the connector. You will have to cut back the insulation, but if you see green corrosion and white powder this may be a cause. For some reason, 2004 WJs have this as a typical problem and as somebody posted, it causes very erratic electrical system issues. I found the problem by moving cables while someone else was trying to start it. When I peeled back the insulation I found a corroded mess.

This may not be your problem, but it is something to check that could be a relatively easy and inexpensive fix.

Good luck.

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Unread 05-26-2015, 09:34 PM   #11
midad
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My father had this problem with his (now my) jeep and it was intermittent and a complete pain to diagnose. We narrowed it down to the drivers side power window switch module. Replaced it with a 25 dollar switch from a junk yard and the problem was gone.
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Unread 05-26-2015, 10:48 PM   #12
rep-tile
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X3 on the battery cables/connectors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinisterod View Post
I will check the battery connections again, but I just don't see how that would cause it to do what its doing. It cranks, which leads me to believe there is sufficient voltage and current in the battery I'm just not getting ignition power to the gauges or radio etc.
Don't try to make sense out of it. Low voltage will cause things not work, things to work sometimes, and other things to randomly act up... Splice the cable insulation near the connectors with a cardboard cutter, I wouldn't be surprised if you see major corrosion there.
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Unread 05-29-2015, 11:00 AM   #13
Sinisterod
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I slit the 2 main power wires open, no corrosion visible. I have sealed them back up, I'm still getting nothing here...I have some high performance battery terminals I use in custom installs, I'm willing to put them on and give it a try at this point I don't know what else to do besides swap the batter or give on DIY repair and take it to mechanic.
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Unread 05-29-2015, 11:46 AM   #14
WJChris
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You may need a Factory Service Manual and use the circuit diagrams and schematics to troubleshoot this one..
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Unread 05-29-2015, 11:55 AM   #15
thecause17
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Yeah, battery/connection problems can cause all kinds of weird problems. When the battery went in my old KJ, the rear hatch lock started randomly locking and unlocking. Ended up being the battery.

If the connections look good, go have the battery and alternator tested.
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