'97 grand cherokee electrical problem...

Strange electrical problem with my jeep... Today, after starting the jeep to head to work, I had to reset the date/time on my console.
This usually only happens when the battery has been disconnected. After getting home this evening, I noticed all the lights, including those in the dash, were flickering bright/low. I fumbled some with light switch and interior brightness control and this made no difference. I turned the jeep off and tried to restart. Completely dead, would not turn over, no power to accessories, no idiot lights on the dash would light. I was if the battery had been removed. So I thought maybe a really dead battery. But on the third try with the key, the jeep started fine, and no 'flickering' lights. I have had some problem for a while with the occasional refusal of the engine to turn over. Several switch cycles and the jeep would start. Today, maybe not related, but all these other electrical problems. I'm thinking ignition switch, but i'm afraid there are other possibilities, so I don't want to fork out the bunch of bucks if its not the switch. I hope someone can help, because i am off tomorrow and have some time to look at it. Has anyone had this problem before?
thanks cal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
cal wrote:

My first thought would be loose battery terminal. The inrush surge can create a temporary spot-weld at the terminal.
I've also seen situations where the battery failed internally.
--
DougW



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Resetting the clock for no apparent reason means the battery is low. After a drive of about 30 minutes and the situation is worse indicates alternator failure.
You could simply need a battery, but even a weak battery should respond to an alternator that's working. If the battery was the only problem and the alternator was good, then you should not have starting problems immediately after turning the engine off after a drive of 30-ish minutes. The fact that the battery was so dead after a trip indicates that the alternator might not be working.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Strickland wrote:

If the battery is sufficently fubar even a good alternator won't help. Trust me. :) I got that fricking T-shirt twice. The problem is the sense used for charging the battery will be fooled by a bad connection and think the battery is charged when it isn't and cut the alternator coil. Least wise that's how it seems to work on my ZJ.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Battery connections seem good, they are at least tight. I plan to clean them tomorrow. Just went out, and the jeep started fine, and everything electrically seemed ok. I will see if this is something that is heat related by driving some tomorrow, may go somewhere and have the battery/charging system checked. Thanks for your help so far. i will report back. thanks cal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
cal wrote:

Might check to see if the level is low in any cells. (if you have one that opens) I'd take the battery to PepBoys or similar and have them test it.
One other poster had problems with starting and traced it to a broken connector under the dash where the wires connect to the ignition switch. A dirty or messed up connection there could cause all sorts of problems.
It was posted in alt.jeep-l by Tamiami. If you get that group you can find the post.
Quote: "Starting at the starter and working my way back through the NSS, power block fuses and relays, the interior fuses and relays and landing at the ignition switch - I discovered it. There is an eight pin connector attaching to the bottom of the ignition switch with colored wires going into it from left to right:
or/coral - purple - or - red - empty - purp/white - blue - yel
Well, due to it being too short and having to make the hard left turn to connect under the steering column, over time and 85,000 miles the or/coral wire at the extreme left of the connector had pulled out of the block and was shorting the adjacent purple wire. Once disassembled and reconnected the old girl took right off. And so far, the only consequence I can see is the backup light bulbs burned out.
Now, all I have to do is look into the steering column and see if I can loosen the wiring harness retainers to offer a little slack to the stressed or/coral wire. "
--
DougW



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Looks like you guys were right. Although there was no obvious problem with the battery connections, I think that is the problem. I will know for sure after driving a while. I replaced the negagtive battery post clamp a couple years ago, and although it looked fine from the outside, it was really corroded on the inside. Thats what i like about this forum. You guys know your stuff. Thanks for all the help. I plan to check the connection on the ignition switch sometime soon, and see if that is responsible for my occasional starting problem. thanks cal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
cal wrote:

Sounds to me like one of the connections on the battery is loose. Pull the positive and negative and clean the connector and the post then seat and retighten them and see what happens. If that's not it you've done no harm and you've ruled that out as being the problem.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.