2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Died While Driving - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-26-2020, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
Artistnyc
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2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Died While Driving

I'm having issues with my 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee electrical.
Several times I would turn the car over and it would be completely dead. When I would rotate the negative battery cable, it would come back to life and start again. The cable was heavily corroded and I would cut it down, re-attach the post and that would work but only for another week or so.

Well one day I was driving and the car cut off mid drive. A terrible feeling back everything locked up including steering, and I was stuck in the middle of the road. After getting help to push it off the road, jiggling the cable or cutting them down didn't work. However, another attempt a week later got it to start again.

I parked it a and I haven't driven it since. What I did do was get an extension cable, cut the negative cable down about 1 foot to get past most of the corrosion, I also put in a cut off switch. ( I had a parasite draining the battery) Now I start the car once a week or so but still don't feel comfortable taking it out for a drive, I live in an urban area with a lot of traffic.

After doing some research I've found that a loose cable, even one completely removed should NOT shut the electrical off while driving, and that perhaps it's the Ignition switch.

My question, is it the Key lock Ignition that would cause this or the electronic Switch module? I bought both, but when I replaced the key switch, it only ran for a few seconds before dying. I didn't realize I need to have it reprogrammed at the dealer. I have installed the other switch because it has a security screw and I can't find what size hex I need to buy to remove it. Further research tells me it might not be any of the above, but maybe the SKIM or even the PCM???

Very confused now about how to move forward. I don't want to spend a lot of money replacing parts that don't need replacing. It runs great but has 240K miles.

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post #2 of 13 Old 02-26-2020, 05:26 PM
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I would disagree on the speculation about the battery cable. Back in the old days when we didnt have all the electronics in the cars, taking off the battery cable wouldnt kill the engine, but nowadays, if you lose the connection at the battery, i believe it could cause it to die. It sounds as though you are on the right track cleaning up those battery cables. When you get them down to clean metal on everything, tighten them well(if you cant get them tight then they probably need replaced. If you use the cheap clamp on battery cable ends, they are hard to get tight no matter what you do(cable to backside of clamp). Sometimes its better to replace the entire cable than cut and splice and cobbling the cable ends. Also take a look at your battery, if you see alot of wetness on top, it may be leaking acid, and thats what causes the corrosion. Many people take their vehicles to the manual car wash and use the spray wand to blast all the acid and corrosion of the battery and cable ends. ajust be careful not to spary to much on other areas so you dont force water into electrical connectors. These Jeeps are notorious for needing clean electrical connections, and the Battery is the main ones.

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-26-2020, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, Cleaned it really well, added a 10" extension to the Negative, I had cut back so much I was barely able to stretch it to the post. Also, a new Battery (replacement, thank you Pep Boys) and cut off. If it is the ignition switch, I guess I'll find out sooner or later if it dies on me agian. I just need to know what componat causes it to fail whoile driving. The key Switch or the Electronic?
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-27-2020, 06:55 AM
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Your biggest clue here is when you removed or rotated the battery cable(s) and reattached it things worked again. When you remove power or ground from the PCM it resets with baseline drivers and the adaptive memory starts over again.

If things get worse from there and the cycle is repeatable that's always a good indication you have issues with the main pcm. That aside it's critical all your grounds are intact and tight to the mounts and your connections at the battery are sound as they can be the root cause of the pcm malfunctioning.

The pcm runs everything on these, it uses senor inputs to run the ignition and fuel injection drivers.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-27-2020, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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So you're thinking the poor connection, (also had a battery near death) is the most likely culprit and that now that I have a fresh battery and solid connection it should be good?
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-27-2020, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artistnyc View Post
So you're thinking the poor connection, (also had a battery near death) is the most likely culprit and that now that I have a fresh battery and solid connection it should be good?
Exactly, clean and tight connections on the new battery should solve your problems. But just to be clear, the clamp on battery cable end on your positive cable is exactly what you dont want. They are really hard to keep tight where the cable end clamps onto the bare cable, and they are wide open to corrosion. Keep a close eye on that connection, and when you can, i would suggest that you replace that cable end with a better style, or replace your cables altogether.

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,4" short arm lift,JK'sW/32's
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-28-2020, 09:43 AM
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I have the same clamp system on my batter/cable. I crimped a connector "on each wire end". And bolted one to each side of the clamp. Its remained tight for several years now. Bigriger is correct in saying just squashing the wire like that isnt the best.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-28-2020, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Like this and attach one to each bolt? Got it. Thank you
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-28-2020, 06:20 PM
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Like this and attach one to each bolt? Got it. Thank you
Yes, that is a big improvement over the other way. The other thing i would mention since we are here, is the red paint they put on those cable ends. You have the exact style that was on my Jeep when i bought it, and i had another black one on the negative side. I dont believe i was getting a good connection through the paint either. I didnt experiment with taking it off and rechecking, as i was substituting a better style in their place. I just chucked mine in the trash. But if there is any red paint on the onside surface that touches the battery post, i would scrape it off to clean metal as well. Just my two cents...(My dad used to do it all the time with a utility knife or a pocket knife when i was a kid)

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post #10 of 13 Old 02-29-2020, 07:01 AM
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If it died while driving and you believe it is a skim issue, then usually a key light will come on, on the dash.

However I believe your problem is actually the crankshaft position sensor, and it is a common problem on these Jeeps. I had the same exact thing happen to me, just driving down the road and it just shut off. I never got a code or check engine light for it, but it matched the same symptoms that a lot of other people have on this forum. I replaced my crankshaft position sensor and never had the problem again.

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post #11 of 13 Old 02-29-2020, 09:31 AM
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Yes. Those are exactly what I used. And if you are considering changing out the CPS just bite the bullet and get a MOPAR one. I got mine on line from a MOPAR parts dealer. Cheaper than local but more expensive than aftermarket. Sometimes the aftermarket units work, and sometimes not, but you dont want to complicate things when you are trying to solve a malfunction. I have also heard its best to swap out the cam and crank sensors at the same time. Cant verify that. I did all of them at once to start fresh, Cam, Crank, throttle body position sensor. I have a MAP Sensor, but have not installed it yet. Cheap insurance.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-05-2020, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Well I'm hoping it's not the SKIM and it went dead due to faulty connections, but I've also read a lot about it being the ignition switch. I can't find anything on if that means the Ignition lock or switch module.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-05-2020, 09:29 PM
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Ignition switch is the electrical part that handles the electricity. The other part is the Key tumbler. The key tumbler provides a way to lock the ignition switch so someone else cant drive off while your back is turned. But It has nothing to do with the actual electrical connection. If you have electrical issues here, it would be the ignition switch your after.


There are alot of things that can cause similar symptoms when they fail that might make it die. You dont wanna worry yourself to much unless some general testing and diagnostics lead you to these parts. Start with the battery and connections and test drive, there really is no better way to find out if you fixed it than driving it in the same manner as when it died last time. It can be a little nerve racking, but its the only way....

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,4" short arm lift,JK'sW/32's
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