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I have a car problem too.... :(

So im a shade tree mechanic, but i suck at electrical stuff and this one has me stumped...

The vehicle in question is a 2001 Jeep Cherokee (not a grand) Sport with the police package(4.0 i6, automatic, 146k miles). The Problem im having is that while driving down the road the lights/radio/everything electrical will fade in and out randomly and for varying lengths of time. I thought it was a bad cell in the battery so i got it checked out, they said it was bad, and i put a new one in and it was fine for a little while...but it started up again. Luckily i can take the bus to work tonight but if anyone has a clue what it could be or knows of a good mechanic in the Disney/Kissimmee area please let me know, Thanks!

Comments

  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,599 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm by no means a mechanic but that sounds like an alternator problem to me.....

    image
  • taythegibstaythegibs Posts: 2,025
    jlmarta:
    I'm by no means a mechanic but that sounds like an alternator problem to me.....

    image
    thats what im fearing...
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jlmarta:
    I'm by no means a mechanic but that sounds like an alternator problem to me.....>
    Yep. The regulator is probably starting to fail. You need to have it tested.
    The alternator for your vehicle is about $110, so replacing it needlessly is expensive. Most auto parts places can test the alternator. The inline 6 is relatively easy to pull the alternator and take it in to have it properly tested. But also check the grounds and wiring and make sure the connections are tight, clean and not broken.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • The_KidThe_Kid Posts: 7,871 ✭✭✭
    0patience:
    jlmarta:
    I'm by no means a mechanic but that sounds like an alternator problem to me.....>
    Yep. The regulator is probably starting to fail. You need to have it tested.
    The alternator for your vehicle is about $110, so replacing it needlessly is expensive. Most auto parts places can test the alternator. The inline 6 is relatively easy to pull the alternator and take it in to have it properly tested. But also check the grounds and wiring and make sure the connections are tight, clean and not broken.
    What he said!!!
    could also be the voltage regulator/Power control module
  • danielzreyesdanielzreyes Posts: 8,708 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My mother in law had this problem in her minivan every time she made a sharp left turn. Turned out to be bad fuse. But a minivan and a jeep is a bit .................................. different.
    "It's plume, bro. Nothing to worry about. Got any Opus?" The suppose to be DZR
  • bigjohn125bigjohn125 Posts: 476
    Have the alternator checked but I suspect a bad ground somewhere.
  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    bigjohn125:
    Have the alternator checked but I suspect a bad ground somewhere.

    Had a similar problem with my Grand Am several years ago. Battery was good and the alternator checked out ok. I started checking the wiring and the ground wire had corroded completely in half...
  • taythegibstaythegibs Posts: 2,025
    Thanks guys... i guess i know what ill be doing for my birthday now! Lol
  • amz1301amz1301 Posts: 1,299
    Good advice so far. Like other have said most parts store can check your charging system for free and can bench test the alternator off the vehicle for free also. Have them check that battery again also. That's a good place to start.

    Take a look at that serpentine belt and tensioner also. Your Check Engine Light on ?
  • taythegibstaythegibs Posts: 2,025
    been busy at work (thank god for the bus!) but since i had today off i went and got the battery tested, it tested good, twice. so i picked up some sockets and wrenches to pull the battery tray and the alternator to try and get it tested but the dang socket set i got didnt have the 15mm socket i need.... grumble grumble grumble
  • taythegibstaythegibs Posts: 2,025
    i ended up tightening the belt and changing out the battery terminals and the tring started right up..... but the check engine light is still on so i guess it'll be another day...
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The check engine light or the battery light?
    If it's the check engine light, then the charging problem may be ok, but another problem may be there.
    It may be something as simple as the computer didn't like the low voltage on the battery.
    AutoZone, O'Reilly's or most other large chain stores will usually scan the computer for the codes for free.
    Have it scanned and let us know what the codes are. They will be numbered like P0XXX or PXXXX.
    A "P" followed by 4 digits. If we have those code numbers, we can point you in the right direction, but try disconnecting the negative battery terminal and letting it set for an hour or so, charge the battery and start it. If the check engine light still comes on, you may have a different problem.
    Is there a volt gauge on your vehicle? If there is, does it show 12+ volts when running?
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 6,030 ✭✭✭✭
    jlmarta:
    I'm by no means a mechanic but that sounds like an alternator problem to me.....

    image
    You would be correct... At lower rpms your alternator is running slower. The more electrical you have on will drain all power quick!(headlights,radio,etc.) my suggestion would be to install a higher amp alt. it should run around $300 for the part but should last a while so worth it
    Money can't buy taste
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 6,030 ✭✭✭✭
    taythegibs:
    i ended up tightening the belt and changing out the battery terminals and the tring started right up..... but the check engine light is still on so i guess it'll be another day...
    Check engine lights are always emissions related. If your check engine light flashes on and off every second well you have a engine miss fire wich is not good!!
    Money can't buy taste
  • taythegibstaythegibs Posts: 2,025
    My CEL is gone, it was for something else that i had gotten done and i had forgotten to reset it, it was running fine then the e fan completely destroyed itself so i have one on order, but now it wont start without a jump then it runs just fine till i turn it off, volt gauge shows it looking fine while running..... im at a loss, might go get the battery tested again...
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    taythegibs:
    My CEL is gone, it was for something else that i had gotten done and i had forgotten to reset it, it was running fine then the e fan completely destroyed itself so i have one on order, but now it wont start without a jump then it runs just fine till i turn it off, volt gauge shows it looking fine while running..... im at a loss, might go get the battery tested again...
    It won't start without a jump.
    So you need to put a volt meter on the battery with the engine off.
    Does it read 12+ volts? If yes, then watch the meter when you turn the key to start.
    Does the voltage drop down to about 10 volts? If no, then you have a connection or starter relay/solenoid problem.
    If it drops below 10 volts, you have either a battery or starter problem.
    You will need to have the battery load tested. If it checks out, then the starter may be drawing too much amperage and that is why you need to jump it to start it.

    When you go to start it, does it crank, click or do nothing?
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • taythegibstaythegibs Posts: 2,025
    it will click and then i will have to pull the battery cables off and drain the system or nothing electrical will work. (im sorry if my replies arent very precise, im all medded up right now.)
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ok, so when it clicks, you lose all the electrical.
    So that says you have a loose connection. Either in the battery cable, the terminal or the ground.
    It's possible that you have a weak start/ignition relay. I don't have the info on your vehicle with me, but there should be a square relay in the fuse panel that says IGN relay. Swap that relay out with the rear wiper relay. (At least I think the rear wiper relay is in that panel.)
    If it starts, the relay is the problem and you just need a new relay.

    But I suspect the cable is the problem, because you said you had it start right up once after you messed with the alternator and wiring.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • amz1301amz1301 Posts: 1,299
    I think those are notorious for having starter and connection issues due to where the starter is located on those. Check those things Opatience suggested and the connections down at the starter. My neighbor has a Grand Cherokee that I think has that same set up as yours and he's had starter problems.

    Make sure you DON'T pull those battery cables off while it's running. Your battery completes a circuit and stabilizes the electrical system. You can send a voltage spike through the system and then you'll be seeing the magic smoke.
  • amz1301amz1301 Posts: 1,299
    amz1301:
    I think those are notorious for having starter and connection issues due to where the starter is located on those. Check those things Opatience suggested and the connections down at the starter. My neighbor has a Grand Cherokee that I think has that same set up as yours and he's had starter problems.

    Make sure you DON'T pull those battery cables off while it's running. Your battery completes a circuit and stabilizes the electrical system. You can send a voltage spike through the system and then you'll be seeing the magic smoke.
    Most parts store can bench test that starter for free also.
  • taythegibstaythegibs Posts: 2,025
    so ive been troubleshooting and troubleshooting this thing for weeks, but today i took the ground cables off, reattached em, and i was good to go. The jeep starts right up!
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