Ignition switch or something else? Key on + no power - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 65 Old 07-27-2009, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
Diabl0
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Ignition switch or something else? Key on + no power

Here's the story:


Yesterday drove around for a few hours, parked the Jeep at a shop, got back in to turn the Jeep on - no go. This is a 97 TJ with 150,000 miles on the clock and a manual transmission.


It has an aftermarket alarm which had just gone off. I disarmed it and went to turn the Jeep on and the dash lights all came on. Turned it to the "on" position and everything shut off. Tried again and went to turn it over - starter clicked and everything shut off again. Tried it for a third time and it did absolutely nothing. So I had it towed home and yanked out the alarm system. Hooked the battery back up and tried again - nothing.


It seems I have no power to the interior at all. Once in awhile I can get it to work in the accessory and on positions. At that point my headlights work, my aux lights work, all the dash lights are on, and the radio works. Once it kicks back out nothing works headlights and aux lights included.


Now, I searched this and found that it could be my ignition switch. If that were the case and it was just the ignition, wouldn't I still have power to at least my headlights and my aux lights (wired to a separate switch)? Or could the ignition switch be the cause of it all?


Thanks in advance for any help.


You do own a hairdryer don't you she asked? Of course I do, he replied, it's in the driveway, it's called a Jeep.

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post #2 of 65 Old 07-27-2009, 02:35 PM
Jonny Jeep
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Headlights are unrelated to the ignition switch. The only commom connection they share is at the end of the wire from the battery to the PDC. Check the condition of the battery cables and remove and clean the clamps and battery terminals too. If that brings no joy get the battery charged up and then get it load tested to see if it's bad.
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post #3 of 65 Old 07-27-2009, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Diabl0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Jeep View Post
Headlights are unrelated to the ignition switch. The only commom connection they share is at the end of the wire from the battery to the PDC. Check the condition of the battery cables and remove and clean the clamps and battery terminals too. If that brings no joy get the battery charged up and then get it load tested to see if it's bad.

Battery was load tested about 2 weeks ago and tested fine. Battery terminals were cleaned and replaced at the same time. Everything is tight. I have no clue what the heck is going on.

You do own a hairdryer don't you she asked? Of course I do, he replied, it's in the driveway, it's called a Jeep.

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post #4 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 01:32 AM
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With the lights dying with everything else it would seem to point to a bad connection somewhere. If it does it again and the lights don't come on I'd leave the headlamp switch on and check for voltage differences between the battery negative terminal and any ground on the body. Also between the positive terminal and a live somewhere.
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post #5 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
Diabl0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Jeep View Post
With the lights dying with everything else it would seem to point to a bad connection somewhere. If it does it again and the lights don't come on I'd leave the headlamp switch on and check for voltage differences between the battery negative terminal and any ground on the body. Also between the positive terminal and a live somewhere.

I'm going to look over it harder today. I'll post up if I find anything.

You do own a hairdryer don't you she asked? Of course I do, he replied, it's in the driveway, it's called a Jeep.

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post #6 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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I just checked everything running to and from the battery. I see nothing obviously wrong. I am moving and I don't have time to deal with this. I'll push the Jeep into the garage and forget about it. Thanks for your help guys.

You do own a hairdryer don't you she asked? Of course I do, he replied, it's in the driveway, it's called a Jeep.

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post #7 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 12:37 PM
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I'm going to elaborate a little more and hopefully someone will have an 'ah ha' moment and help us figure out this problem.

As Diablo had stated she checked everything over this morning that ran to and from the battery. There were no blown fuses, loose connections or wires that were not ground properly. Everything checked out fine.

The last time we fiddled with the Jeep it did nothing, there were no noises, no lights, no beeping, nothing when the key was in the ignition, in any of the positions. This morning when we go out, it decides to act like nothing is wrong. Put the key in the ignition, the dash lit up, the headlights were working, everything was working fine. Turn the key to the on position, everything's fine, regular beeps are heard, lights are still on in the dash and the headlights still work. Go to turn the Jeep on, "click" everything dies. No noises, no lights, no headlights, nothing, completely dead.

Tested the battery with a volt meter today, checked out fine. Tried to jump the Jeep just to see if that would work, nadda. I guess battery is ruled out then.

Diablo put it well when she said it feels like something is being overloaded. Its like when you use too many appliances at your house and you blow a breaker. The Jeep is completely fine until you go to turn it on. It's like when it goes to roll over and kick the starter in it blows a breaker.

Hopefully this helps. If need be I can try and video the Jeep playing dead.

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Last edited by MrsVanWhowho; 07-28-2009 at 02:19 PM.
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post #8 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 02:16 PM
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The only circuit breaker I can think of in the Jeep is within the headlamp switch. The only fusible link in the Jeep is between the wire running from the alternator and where the battery connects to the pdc. Both are unrelated to the starter circuit.

That's why I was thinking a bad connection from battery ground to body ground or positive to the PDC. It might be worth unbolting the connection from the PDC so the PDC case can be opened. It's possible there's corrosion inside there. I think I've seen pictures on this forum before of something along those lines. Nothing else i can think of at the moment.
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post #9 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 02:19 PM
MrsVanWhowho
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq8IjoUASjk

The "click" at the end is when everything shuts off and dies.

Update: CPS has been replaced, nothing changed.

1999 WJ - Build in Progress - SOLD
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2009 Challenger SRT 8 - Fun Car

Last edited by MrsVanWhowho; 03-08-2010 at 05:05 PM.
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post #10 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 02:33 PM
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Sure looks like a bad battery. Or a battery cable with too much resistance. Remember the cables have two ends.

add
if you have a second person put the V meter directly touching the lead posts of the battery (not the terminals, the actual battery posts), say it reads normal 12+Volts, now have the other person crank it to where it clicks and everything shuts down. If the Volts go below 9.6 the battery is discharged, if it goes near 0 the battery is bad, and if it stays around 12V a cable connection is opening when load is applied, disconnect, clean and reconnect cables at both ends.

Last edited by HHippo; 07-28-2009 at 02:40 PM. Reason: add
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post #11 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHippo View Post
Sure looks like a bad battery. Or a battery cable with too much resistance. Remember the cables have two ends.

Where do the other ends of the battery cables go? I can trace them, but how do I see them completely? They are enclosed with other wires in the factory wiring loom. Is there some way to open it up without ruining it or anything else?

You do own a hairdryer don't you she asked? Of course I do, he replied, it's in the driveway, it's called a Jeep.

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post #12 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 02:45 PM
HHippo
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Should be the same as my 95
The positive goes from the battery to the big terminal at the starter solenoid, the negative from the battery to the engine block.
Do the test first. No point to worry about cables under the vehicle if the battery shows bad from above test.
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post #13 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 03:07 PM
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The positive has two wires. One to the starter and a wire that goes to a bolt under the cover at the side of the PDC. As you're loosing the headlights too I'm suspecting a bad connection there or corrosion of the metal within the PDC.
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post #14 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 03:13 PM
HHippo
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True. But the fact that all this stuff works before cranking with the key on eliminates that. It's just a relatively small electric load.
On the video it sounds like the starter engages (solenoid clicks in) and as soon as the system is loaded by the starter itself (the big electric load) everything breaks down.
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post #15 of 65 Old 07-28-2009, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHippo View Post
True. But the fact that all this stuff works before cranking with the key on eliminates that. It's just a relatively small electric load.
On the video it sounds like the starter engages (solenoid clicks in) and as soon as the system is loaded by the starter itself (the big electric load) everything breaks down.
That is exactly what is happening!

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