And the Jeep broke again.

I have this lengthy list of things I want the shop in town to fix or at least check while it’s up on a hoist but I keep on procrastinating about driving it to town…


Right now driving anywhere is out of the question because I can’t get the starter to crank. For the past couple of days it’s been kinda funny – seems as though I had to twist the key a little harder to engage the starter. I put it on the list. But now it won’t work the starter at all. Everything else seems to work. I cleaned the battery connections in case it was as simple as that, no joy. Shift interlock cable maybe? I’d better hope it’s not screwed up inside the steering column because according to the manual the fix for that is a new column. Might it be the key cylinder? Never heard of that but it has felt weird the past couple of days.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to And the Jeep broke again.

  1. Norman says:

    Can you remove the ignition lock cylinder? I had the cylinder fail once – key was inserted but the cylinder would not turn at all so car no start. The temporary solution was to remove the cylinder. I called AAA, the locksmith called me while en route and when I described the sympton he talked me through pulling the cylinder on my make/model. Pulling the cylinder exposed the lock cylinder engagement tab inside the switch body which was reachable with long nose pliers. Car started fine that way, and the magic of AlGore’s Intertubes got me a new cylinder in a few days.

    Pulling the cylinder might be a good diagnostic, assuming there’s something inside the switch body you could reach and turn to start it.

  2. Joel says:

    Yeah, my manual says that’s possible and I’ll try it as soon as things cool down a bit. At a minimum it’ll keep me from trying to tow the Jeep out through the wash, which would be an adventure best avoided.

  3. Robert says:

    Who needs an ignition cylinder lock thingy? Make the jeep look like a saturday-night hotwire special with leads hanging out a hole in the column: six-inch flat blade or a 3 pound dent puller to remove the cylinder; jumper the hot white with red stripe to the blue lead. Tap the junction with the yellow wire to energize the solenoid. Betcha Ole Joel already knows all this… Oh, wait, this isn’t your jeep. Nevermind.

  4. Joel says:

    😀 I haven’t hotwired a car since the seventies and I’m reasonably sure things have changed since then.

  5. patrick fowler says:

    Joel …I had a jeep awhile back that did that exact thing , someone said that the starter had some kind of strange relay that would go south…he recommended poking the starter with a broomstick , firmly! It worked for about a week and then I had to buy a new starter! worth a try

  6. Robert says:

    Um, got a neighbor you don’t like who has a car? It might be nice to know if the wiring color scheme has changed…

    I was just kidding, Officer. Honest!

    Seriously, though I did run leads directly to the solenoid when the OEM stuff started failing.
    Did you know wires make a sizzling sound just before they burst into flames inside the passenger compartment? Quite a bit of smoke, too. Good times.

  7. Ben says:

    Life was so much simpler before they started putting computers in cars. Hot wiring cars and (especially) trucks used to be a trivial pursuit.

    But now we have the Internet, and I’ll bet your answer is there somewhere. Perhaps even on U-Tube.

  8. Jay says:

    Here’s a bit off help for you. Not sure what your problem is but this will make it easy to find out. http://midsouthjeeps.com/forum/topic/14887-97-tj-wouldnt-startand-now-it-does/

  9. JB says:

    Joel,

    That TJ of yours is probably the simplest vehicle produced at that time. A former coworker of mine bought a then-new 2006 Wrangler (same generation as yours) partially because it only had 6 computers in the entire vehicle.

To the stake with the heretic!