Monday, March 19, 2012

Jeep Cherokee Gremlins

Went out last week and the key fob remote did not work on the 99 Jeep Cherokee. After investigating when pushing the unlock / lock buttons their was clicking under dash meaning the remote was working. I started the Jeep for a few seconds and tried again, Nothing! A couple of days later I went back out and the keyless entry still wasn’t working. The power lock switch on the driver’s side did the same thing, click but no movement on the lock switches. I went around to the passenger’s side to listen for the clicking and track down the relays and the switch on the passenger’s door worked. I then tested the remote entry and it worked along with the driver’s side switch. Figured I would start it and let a run and test again. Well it started but the fan belt was really screaming not turning at all, Bummer! I spent a while trying to find which pulley was the one to loosen to get the belt off with no luck. Checkin out the web I found some info and a diagram for the serpentine belt. The diagram did not match my engine so I drew my own. I got the belt loose enough to determine the alternator was seized up. I guess that is better than the AC compressor, power steering pump, or the water pump. It took lookin for a lot tools, (who the hell has and uses a 15mm wrench, Jeep owners obviously), a lot of cussin, and one busted knuckle and I had the bad one out.
Shoppin around I found a rebuilt alternator for $125 with core exchange.
With all this goin on my 05 Cadillac SRX’s battery needed replacing. Callin around all batteries for that are $169 plus tax. Damnit Jim! That’s a lot o money for a car battery.
Anywho after a trip to Cedar Park and spending $320 plus I had a new Caddy battery and Cherokee alternator. The alternator is a tight fit to get into place but I got it in, the belt put back on, and it running again. Yeah!!
I also have done a ton o research on the web about the ‘airbag’ light being on. After hours of reading I determined it was probably the clock spring. I purchased a used clock spring on ebay and printed out steps with images from cherokeeforum. I spent about an hour, there again a lot of time lookin for tools, I had the old one out and the new one. Started her up and the airbag light went off, Yeah!!, but then it came back on. SOB!!
Now I have another few hours reading forums and internet info and nothing definite on diagnosis and repair. I sure don’t want to pay the dealer.
Well I’m the one that wanted a Jeep Cherokee!


Off Grid R and D said...

Unfortunately you just can't change the name of your blog, and yes it is a off topic but having a good vehicle is a part of sustaining live even off grid.
I have heard of Consumer Reports reviews and other reports on how ‘crappy’ Jeep vehicles have been for many many yearsbut the XJ Cherokee has proven to be great vehicles unlike the Grand Cherokee.
I do not know why Ford guys dislike Jeeps? Maybe the same reason Jeep guys dislike Fords.
I personally would never own a Ford unless they were the only thing available.
In driving around how many old 90 to 2000 Ford trucks do you see? In comparison how many Jeep Cherokee XJ’s do you see?
Anybody who would sell their tools sure isn’t thinking about living long term off the grid!

Anonymous said...

X2! The XJ may have its problems but it has a bulletproof engine and a Toyota tranny. Outside of heads cracking in 2000 and 2001 your repairs are small like this (which is related to living off the grid!)

Off Grid R and D said...

The XJ is a tough vehicle and not that hard to work compared to the grand Cherokee.
I did the clock spring changed and all was good. See newer blog posts on seelin it. I wish I could have kept it but wasn't the best for towing hours at a time on the interstate and can't afford just an extra vehicle. I am keeping an eye out for that excellent buy and might get another one.