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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • A friend just called me to find out where he could place a jack to lift one side of his '99 Wrangler. Can he? If so, where should he place the jack? He's working on it now.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Sure, under the chassis rail. He may have to try a couple of different locations to get the correct balance point. Make sure to support the vehicle with a couple of axle stands under the rail before working on it though.
  • Hi, i did a search and found nothing addressing my issue exactly so im hoping to find knowledgeable advice from fellow Jeep owners. ok, so i have a 98' wrangler sport. I went to start my car the other day and got nothing, not even a noise. My headlights, and horn work and my "door open" beeps when keys in ignition. i have no radio, or any gauge lights when key is turned. this is what i ruled out:

    1- battery has fluid in and has been charged
    2-fuses under hood had all had juice
    3-cranked starter manually and got sparks
    4-took to mechanic and he changed ignition switch twice

    im sure its got to be electrical. but where to look? any help would be great. thank you
  • I have an 1998 wrangler 4c 5spd the check engine light is on when i fill the fuel tank up the jeep bucks at higher rpms i replaced the wires and plugs thinking that was it but it didn't solve the problem any ideas?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Some additional punctuation might make that clearer. The check engine light is on when you fill the fuel tank? When you fill the fuel tank the jeep bucks at higher rpm?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    im sure its got to be electrical. but where to look? any help would be great. thank you

    It needs to be diagnosed by a mechanic that knows not to change an ignition switch twice. :surprise:

    It could be several things, from a faulty Automatic Shutdown Relay (ASD) to a bad neutral safety switch, which is what prevents operation of the starter unless the transmission is in Park or Neutral in an automatic, or the same item in a manual transmission vehicle that prevents starting unless the clutch pedal is depressed.

    The safety switch is most likely, but it's only a guess. Get it checked out by someone who at least knows how to use a multimeter.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    the check engine light is on when i fill the fuel tank up the jeep bucks at higher rpms

    In addition to knowing whether the check light is on all the time, or just when you fill the tank up, or whether it bucks at higher rpm all the time, or just when you fill the tank up, we also need to know what trouble codes the computer is holding.

    The check light means there are codes to be read which will point in the direction of the problem. Get a code reader, or go to Autozone and get them read for free, then post the codes back here.
  • Hey Mac, thanks for he tip......the mechanic checked the ignition switch twice because the first one he used was used, to save me money and then got a new one just to rule it out.....but anyhow, i talked to him and passed along your advice, and he ruled out the safety switch
    . He doesnt think its CPS, or anything having to do with bad rotor caps, fuel pump, etc. because he says im getting power to my horn and headlights, and heats working, but not the cars' computer. the key turns and i get no sound whatsoever. the radio doesnt work, nor does any of the dash lights. so hes eliminating certain issues, and boiling down to something not reaching the cars computer to start. i think. does that sound right?? we talked about myabe a corroded gauge cluster or even ive read people having issues with their battery cables being corroded eventhough their headlights shined bright, but car didnt start. any additinal thoughts?
    thanks again my friend
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Sounds identical to my throttle position sensor problem I had when I got a little too aggressive in some mud. :) Died on me while driving 55 mph (4cyl 97 here too).

    The code read at Autozone should tell you which one. The TPS is easy to change out too. :)

  • Did you try taking off the vent thing on the hood and check and make sure it was cleaned out and the whole isnt filled with anything.. My boyfriend had the same problem with water leaking in the floorboard after washin it or it raining... I would just suggest that... Hope that helps..
  • I have a 1997 Jeep Wrangler and have been having problems with it overcharging and cant figure out why... I have changed the alternator and regulator it is still overcharging... the gauge is reading 19 when the jeep is running... The other day the battery started smoking and leaking acid... I have tried everything and nothing seems to be working... So if anybody has an idea or whatnot or maybe knows what the problem is... I am open to your opinion... Thanks..
  • My 2006 Jeep Wrangler started missing and backfiring as I drove down the Interstate. Pulled off the road and it won't run without spitting and sputtering. Towed it home. Put the OBDII analyser on it. Got (2) codes: P0016- ?, and P0300-Multiple Cylinder Misfires. What should I look for?
  • To say that I love my Jeep must be an understatement that must prove it's definitely a Jeep thing that others wouldn't understand. I bought my 98 Jeep Wrangler TJ from a dealership with 23,000mi and was told it was garage kept. I've driven it daily since and it now has 208k+miles. I started off two years in paying more than a $1000 for a sheered bolt in the engine that took 9 days for anyone to figure out and repair and then I read on this forum someone else who had this problem and that it wasn't uncommon in this year of Wrangler. Wish the mechanics had read the site so they could have figured it out a week sooner. Since then, I've replaced just about everything including transmission, torque converter, alternator, engine (yup, put in an ATK crate engine), starters-yes plural, O2 sensor, and when I had squeaking breaks checked along with my regular oil change, I was told that my steering box needs replacement because its leaking fluid and I had them short belt my Jeep because the A/C compressor went up and I didn't have the money to fix it just then. About a month after I had that done, the heat started coming and going as in the blower works and then doesn't and then does when it feels like it apparently. The last time I went in for an oil change, etc, I ended up with yet another starter because they broke something off of it when they dropped the oil filter down-so that makes 3 starters now, 1 of which was faulty and fell under warranty and now this one because the garage broke it. So they rotated my tires for free cause obviously I give them a lot of work. When I took it back, yet again because the new breaks were no longer grabbing, which was my clue that I needed new breaks, but now they were squeaking, the mechanic took it for a drive, found no squeaking when he applied the breaks so I hopped in and drove it around with him and also could not make the breaks squeak!!!! Left the lot, drove to work the next day, squeaked like junker at every stop! I took it back and they told me it was actually the rear breaks to which I asked why they didn't tell me I needed new back breaks too, at the time I got the new front ones, but whatever I didn't have time to do it that day as my 20 min oil change turned into the 3 hour wait for the new starter to go in that 3rd time. Yesterday I decided to go someplace else, a Meineke to check my breaks. I figured two hundred at worst. Turned out the lug nut was cross threaded so they had to break it to get it off $4 to replace $48 in labor and then when they took the shoes off one slipped right off and one wouldn't budge. They asked me if I'd ever been hit on that side, which I hadn't ever and so they had to break that off and replace both rear wheel cylinders and wheel stud and new shoes and new drum. He told me both rears were leaking and the pads would get saturated and if I didn't replace them both now, I'd have to eventually and it would cost more later. So I had them do it all and the mechanic test drove it found the front breaks to be squeaking, lubed them or whatever and 4 hours later and $512 and I finally got out of there. This morning I backed my Jeep out of it's space, rolled 3 car lengths to the street light and guess what? The breaks squeeled and I just wanted to blow the thing up.

    I have fixed everything that has gone wrong, right away. I got regular oil changes, more than regular because I did a lot of driving for two years so monthly at that point. I use the same mechanics all the time if I can help it, and one is a Jeep owner. Everytime I fix something big and we are talking thousands of dollars into this vehicle by now including the $4000 for the new engine and exhaust and oh yeah that radiator thing way back with the sheered bolt and I'm asking, what did I do wrong? Why does this vehicle just keep breaking down on me? How is it that nothing ever seems to be truely fixed? The Airbag light comes on and goes off whenever it feels like it, I won't have air this summer and heat only sometimes the rest of the winter and I can't afford a new steering box but come on!!! I always thought Jeeps ran forever and were dependable and fun and hearty. I am so frustrated and yet I love being a Jeep owner, the top down, the open cabin; I don't even mind all the noise and bounciness. I'm so frustrated and disillusioned and I feel like an idiot for fixing anything. I should have just gotten rid of it right away I guess but how was I to know? And yet, I still want a Wrangler above all other vehicles even though I know I have to buy something new and dependable. Has anyone ever had so much trouble with one little truck?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    WOW! Paragraphs would really help!!!

    My 97 TJ has been surprisingly problem free for the most part. Any problems are usually the result of my wheeling. :) Though the catalytic converter was covered under a recall, as was the cracked manifold.

    Other than that, mine has been relatively problem free. I DID replace the water pump this past weekend at 114K miles, but that isn't a surprise. With routine maintenance, they are quite reliable - same as any other vehicle.

    Squealing brakes may be a result of poor installation, poor brake material, or possibly dirt, rocks, etc between the rotor/drum and the pads. Hard to tell. I recommend EBC yellow or EBC green pads and a good solid cast rotor. Since my TJ is out of warranty, I have no problem going aftermarket for my parts! :) Usually cheaper AND better quality.

    My rear cylinders have been fine and I just replaced the rear pads at 105K miles. They should RARELY require changing as most braking is done in front.

    Honestly with the problems your mechanics induce, it sounds like a LOT of the issues stem from them screwing things up (starter, cross threading, etc). Personally, I'd learn to do a lot of it myself or find another mechanic that does more good than harm.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    .......we talked about myabe a corroded gauge cluster or even ive read people having issues with their battery cables being corroded eventhough their headlights shined bright, but car didnt start. any additinal thoughts?

    There's a fairly common issue in which the gauges become unresponsive, which is cured by a realignment of the connector pins, but it won't prevent starting and running.
    It's possible for the battery cables to be corroded to the point that they can supply enough power for the headlights but not the starter, but in that case the headlights would dim or extinguish as soon as the starter was tried.

    If this issue appeared overnight (and not after some other component was replaced or repair undertaken) I think it's probably a simple single issue such as a bad component ground or maybe a failed fusible link. Someone with an understanding of auto electrics should be able to solve this quickly, but a copy of the electrical information in the FSM (Factory Service Manual) will be almost essential.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Has anyone ever had so much trouble with one little truck?

    Good grief, you've certainly had more than your share. :surprise:

    Sometimes a vehicle is just a lemon and nothing you can do will go right, but I really don't think that's the case here.
    Maybe your Wrangler can carry 5% of the blame, but the other 95% has to go to the ham fisted monkeys who were allowed to brutalize the poor thing with wrenches.

    I have a '99 that I've owned from new that's coming up to 100K, and apart from routine maintenance I haven't spent more $25 on failed components (steering pump bearing $5, wheel cylinder $20).

    While mine may be an extreme case, it's a lot more typical of Wrangler reliability than yours has been. I think you've been taken advantage of, and just like some people need to change their dating habits, maybe you need to stop going to a certain type of mechanic.
    Just saying, you know. :blush:
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    WOW! Mac and I agree!!! Get another mechanic. I don't care how 'they've treated you' because they've treated your Jeep like crud.

  • Hey Mac.......yes the issue did happen overnight and i found a downloadable version of a factory service manual for a 2004 jeep. mine is a 98'. do u think wiring scheme is similar? if not do u know where i can find this manual to downlaod and not have to pay 40 bucks for it? i'll let you know how it goes. thanks again
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    i found a downloadable version of a factory service manual for a 2004 jeep. mine is a 98'. do u think wiring scheme is similar?

    They might be similar but I wouldn't recommend it for troubleshooting.
    You can access the factory manual for $27 for a year at ALLDATA.
  • Hi there,

    A few weeks ago my tail lights got stuck on after I had turned the Jeep (a TJ '97 ) off and removed the key. Normally they will shut off automatically, there is no external switch. Nothing would shut them off! I finally disconnected the battery so I could get back inside. When I returned to my Jeep I reconnected the bat and the lights were back to normal.

    Next week the left turn signal went out. I replaced the bulb but it didnt help, there was no juice reaching the socket. I traced it back to the terminal plug under the steering wheel. I unpluged it, found power reaching the socket peg and planned to splice the wire leading to the light socket. Funny thing tho...when I plugged it back in the turn signal started working. :confuse:

    But, the dash lights and tail lights stopped working. By now I had figured it was a connection problem, but where? I unplugged it today (same plug) and sprayed it lightly with electrical cleaner put in some grease. No good!

    In fact, now the break lights don't work!!! And there is no power to the little metal socket peg for the break lights! That means power isn't even reaching the socket! :sick:

    The turn signal/flashers work, but no breaks, tail lights, or dash illumination. (The odometer, dash turn signals, headlights, seatbelt lights,etc. all work on the dash. It's just the dials. Wipers work, radio is good...)

    Is there a circuit board behind the terminal plugs? I'm thinking it could be cracked.

    My problem is that the Haynes manual doesn't show a diagram of the terminal plugs and doesn't describe them at all. I'm kinda new to this so I just need some better instructions.

    Any help please? :)
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    My problem is that the Haynes manual doesn't show a diagram of the terminal plugs and doesn't describe them at all. I'm kinda new to this so I just need some better instructions.

    See the post before yours (#1480) for access to the factory manual including wiring diagrams.

    It's not unusual to have a connection that's loose or corroded, but to have that problem affecting several different circuits is less common.

    Has your Jeep ever been submerged (even partially), or do you live near the coast where the air is salty?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,176
    Bad grounds can cause all sorts of mischief in a TJ. Get some Deoxit at Rat Shack and clean all the affected connectors, sockets and grounds.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • Just bought a very used (185000 miles) Wrangler sport with hardtop. I locked the passenger door from the inside, when I came back to unlock the door with the key, it wouldn't open. I tried to unlock it from the inside but it wouldn't unlock/open. I looked down into the window opening towards the lock and noticed that the lock would move as it would to unlock the door, so it apeared that the door was unlocking, but wouldn't open.
    Since the door won't open, how do I get it open to take the inside panel off to check out the latch mechinism?
  • Been there! What worked for me several times was to hold one finger unlock button, keeping pressure on it while pulling on the latch and releasing it quickly... multiple times. This would fix it for me and last for a while. My problem continue to get worse and I finally pulled the door panel and got the linkage back in order. I think my problem started when I tried to force the door open when it was frozen in an ice storm. This may or may not work for you, but when your door is stuck, its worth a try. ;)
  • I have an 02 Wrangler with 109k miles. Never had a serious problem until this morning. When I turned key it clicked and then gauges started jumping and door switch beeping even after key was removed from ignition slot.
    Removed starter and had that repaired, but after reinstalling still same weird electrical surges. My thoughts are something in the key ignition unit is still drawing amps from battery even without key. Battery is disconnected and I'm planning on pulling ignition unit out tomorrow, but has anyone ever heard of this?
    Also is the key ignition box easy to take out of steering column? Appreciate any feedback fellow Jeepsters....thanks.
  • Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try and let you know once I get home from vacation if it worked. I don't have any other ideas except to pull the inside door panel off and that would be a chore with the door closed.
  • scotta65scotta65 Posts: 1
    Hello, I have a 2004 rubicon, and i noticed that the top has some very small cracks in it. It has'nt rained, but when it does I am sure it will leak. Is their any way to repair these cracks? I was thinking about using silacone caulk...any proven ideas are welcome. thanks
  • I had a small burn hole in my 05 X soft top and my neighbor gave me his hot glue gun and I sealed it with that and it hasnt leaked in over a yr of SO CALIF rain. You may want to try this on your top. The hot glue bonds with the top very well
  • koubiekoubie Posts: 2
    Is there anyone in the San Diego area that has or knows about the new Bestop Trek soft top for a TJ? It looks like a great deal for the money.
  • fedsfeds Posts: 3
    My 97 Jeep Wrangler engine Check Light came on, so I took the reading from the OBD II AutoScanner the code it came up with was P0171 System Too Lean (Bank 1), what should I do now and is it ok to drive?
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