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Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Smartkey Problems?

trailrated39trailrated39 Member Posts: 3
edited July 2015 in Jeep
Hello all,

I'm driving a 2004 Grand Cherokee Limited with approx. 95,000 miles. About two days ago I was out in the mountains and got back to my car from a hike and she would start, run for about two seconds and then stall out from what seemed to be a lack of fuel. All of my gauges were flat dead. After about two hours of messing around, I managed to get it started by spraying down the connections to the alternator with some contact cleaner. I don't know why this worked. The car ran normally to get me home.

The next day, I had to go back to that same spot to look for something I had lost (all normal getting there), and when I got back in the car and started it; it did the same thing once, then started and ran. All was fine for about five miles, and then my gauges started going haywire. They would work normally and then drop off randomly, and not in unison. Various random warning lights were going on and off. Also, my drivers side window and door locks stopped functioning at this point, but would work when the gauges were working. There were a few other bugs, such as the cruise control and steering wheel mounted stereo controls not working. I immediately went home and parked it. Upon trying to start it again, it did the same thing...started strong, ran for about two seconds, then died from what seems to be a lack of fuel.

I borrowed a code reader and got two codes which read as follows:

P1696 - No CCD/J1850 Message From TCM. "No CCD/J1850 messages received from the electronic transmission control module (EATX) or the Asian transmission controller)"

P1686 - No SKIM BUS Messages Received. "No CCD/J1850 messages received from the Smart Key Immobilizer Module (SKIM)"

The smart key system seems to be the issue. My understanding is that the anti-theft system is operated by shutting off the fuel pumps, so this makes sense. Additionally I get the icon of a key with a line through it for on the dash when trying to start the car.

What confuses me is the other issues showing up, the gauges dancing and various, seemingly unrelated electrical bugs. Could this be a result of issues with the ground strap? Could a loose ground strap be the root of all of the issues? If so, where could I find information on repairing it? My Haynes service manual is completely devoid of information on this.

Thank you for your time and input.

See Also
Wireless Control Module Fault on Jeep Grand Cherokee


  • 5213252132 Member Posts: 62
    It might be the battery, Jeeps are very sensitive to battery voltage. Also,the alternator produces unsteady volts, and the battery smooths the unsteady volts out. So if you have a bad connection with the battery posts, then you can see the problem. The Smart Key Imobalizer works by electronically cutting out both the fuel pump and ceasing spark plug firing. I also tried starting the engine with a spare key that does not have the Smart Key chip, the engine started and the SKIS indicator lamp (the orange light with the key and the line going through it) came on. After a few seconds, the engine stalled. It could be the ground strap, but I dought it. It could also be the dreaded computer failure. Hope this helps. ;)
  • tuggajbtuggajb Member Posts: 646
    battery or battery cables need cleaning
  • eltipoeltipo Member Posts: 21
    I had the same pblem with my '06 Laredo. It is the ignition switch. It is not recognizing your key correctly. The car basically thinks it is being stolen and shuts down. The dealer changed my ignition switch in Nov. of '06 and I have not had the same problem since.

    Fortunately for myself the Jeep was still under warranty. I can't imagine this is cheap.
  • 5213252132 Member Posts: 62
    It might be the ignition switch, but the Jeep is still driveable. If it was the ignition switch, it would just shut down after a few seconds after starting the engine.
  • billv1billv1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 JGC and one day I went to start the Jeep and all the dash board icons were lit up along with all my gauges being dead. I hit the fuse box and it all came back on but for a limited time. If the iginition key is turned to ACC, all the gauges work. It is when the Jeep is started lights will light up and gauges go dead. I took the Jeep to the Local Auto Zone to be tested and it reported the SKIM MODULE needed replaced. I ordered the SKIM MODULE thru Jeep and replaced it myself. The lights are still lit up and gauges dead but an additional problem as popped up----the Jeep will start but will die after a few seconds. Does the KEY have to be reprogrammed to match the NEW SKIM module or could the problem be something else?

    Any help would be greatly assisted. Thanks.. :confuse:
  • grfoxgrfox Member Posts: 1
    as for the key it needs to be re programed(all of your keys) with the DRB scann tool. also if it does read the key the key light should flash. found that in my owers manuel. if the key light comes on and stays on the skim is not connceting to the pcm. i have been worken on my wifes 2000 jeep with the same problems and found the c1 connector at the pcm was loose. if i wiggle it everything works. does anyone know if jeep sells the conncetor? it does not lock on right..
  • tlindsaytlindsay Member Posts: 1
    Did you have any luck with this? I'm having the same problems. And it is driving me crazy!
  • NamhilNamhil Member Posts: 1
    Disconnect the negative pole from the Battery for about 5 minutes and also the Fuse that says: "PCM Battery" (fuse box near the battery), and put everything again after 5 minutes. Then with the key in the OFF position, press the C/T and Reset buttons on the Overhead Console (EVIC), Turn the Ignition Switch to the ON Position (not Start the Engine), and release both buttons, and then a message will appear on the Overhead Console Screen, and tell you if the Test has been passed or not.

    It helped me with the same problem, and solved it today.

    Hope this works for you too.
  • mange1234mange1234 Member Posts: 1

    Is there any way to bypass the SKIM system. Seems to me that this system is just a rip off to make Jeep owners spend large sums of money for keys, programming and additional services that would not be required otherwise.

    Some bean counter must have thhought this one up to squeeze more money out of the consumer.


  • crullcrull Member Posts: 1

    Having a serious SKIM issue also. Wife won't drive the JGC as seh feels it will not start when needed. Have you found a "bypass" to the SKIM?

  • madatjeep1madatjeep1 Member Posts: 1
    I have taken my car to the dealership twice for this and the problem went undiagnosed I was told I just needed a new key. Until i took it to another dealer ship which told me what it was the SKIM Module breaking down 3 times in the course of a year over the same thing is a problem and Daimler Crysler will hear about this, they have already reimbursed me once.
  • alby3alby3 Member Posts: 46
    well i had the security key light come on and stay on (not flashing). sometimes it went out but it was on more than off. but my 2000 grand cherokee ran fine. however, it died on me 2 or 3 times over a week and 1/2. but always started right back up after i came to a stop and put in park and restarted.
    then a week or two into it the guages all went dead, and all the dash lights came on. but the wj was still running fine. the guages would bounce on and off but usually stay on. then i realized it was happening when the temperature went below say 45 degrees. it happend alot then, but she still ran fine... the key light was coming on almost everytime but the guages seem to only bounce around when the outside temperature was under 45 degrees or so....
    got to be a ground.... right??? well i undid the battery terminals and cleaned them even thought they looked good and left the battery unplugged for 20 minutes. i read this may reset the computer. did not expect much. but that was two days ago and i have not had a problem since. and the temperature was in the 30's. i am still skeptical but it is working great since i cleaned the terminals and left it unplugged to rest the computer.
    so we will see
  • randy98randy98 Member Posts: 1
    done as you said,,my key light was on ,,no security would work,,and transmission would not shift out of low gear,,after following your instructions ,,it cleared it self ,,and now all is fine,,,THANK YOU
  • niblick45niblick45 Member Posts: 12
    I have a similar problem with a 2011 JGC. The hands free function on one key was intermittent, I took it in and they gave me a new key where the hands free didn't work at all. Now the dealer says they need to replace the WIN module. I am 100% convinced these guys are clueless. It sopunds like they are just Easter egging the problem changing parts until something works.

    4 service trips to fix a friggen' key? My first and last Jeep.
  • champ424champ424 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2001 jeep grand cherokee. I am currently having problems getting it started. It will start for 3-5 seconds and stall out. I checked the fuel rail and Im getting plenty amounts of gas. However on rare occasion it starts up, my gauges and sometimes windows and door locks dont work. Although my dash lights do. I checked for a faulty instrument cluster and a bad ground... not the problem. Oh and the security light is on! Any insight please? Thanks
  • carlsicecarlsice Member Posts: 2
    I have the same Jeep and same problem! Please post how you resolved this and I will do the same. I am re-trying reset power now. Code reader says I have "no sentry key" and immobilizer Module" message. I have three keys and two worked. The third would unlock but only start for a few seconds. I have previously replaced lock mechanism and ignition switch. Both keys worke since June but it now sits in driveway. I hate having to tow it to dealer if I can resolve where it sits.
  • carlsicecarlsice Member Posts: 2
    I just went out to my wonderful reliable jeep and disconected the battery, (again) and removed the coolant resevoir tank, removed the 3 connectors to the PCM and the two above attached to the firewall. I sprayed all pins with electronic contact cleaner, and blew out everything with compressed air. Re-attached everything and turned key on I realized I had gauge readings. So I tried starting and it started right up. I don't know if it was the connector cleaning/reseat or battery disconnect. I did re-set battery last week with no help. I am probably going to send next update from side of the road somewhere.....wish me luck.
  • champ424champ424 Member Posts: 4
    how did everything work out for you? the garage is running full diagnostics on it, but i too believe its something to do with the pcm.
  • mgraham515mgraham515 Member Posts: 1
    I had the same issues with my 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee about 2 months ago. In the end it was the PCM.
    Problem started with gauges not working. Then starting/stalling issue. No a/c, windows occasionally would not work. After researching a lot of forums and blogs I tried several things. Cleaned battery terminals. Tested several modules for a short (window, MIC etc..). I had 2 problem codes, P1686 (no SKIM bus) and P1687 (no MIC bus).
    The PCM is expensive. I was quoted $700.00 for a new one, not counting labor. The PCM has to be programmed to your vehicle but, this doesn't have to be done by the dealer like they want you to think. I found a company out of FL that sells refurbished and programmed PCM's. My jeep has been running fine since I replaced it a month ago. It was very easy to replace.
  • tiffaniebtiffanieb Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 jeep grand Cherokee. It was tuning ok. I shut it off to run into my sisters job to pick her up and when I came out my car wouldn't start. It wouldn't read or see my key. I had to get it towed to the dealer. They told me it is the skim modules. What I do not understand is why isn't jeep just replacing this part free of charge since so many people are having the same issues. Does anyone have email adresses for anyone in the corporate offices? I need a lot of email adresses. That way I can to get a lot of people involved with my issue. I want to email. The corporate office because I am not getting anywhere with customer service. Please post email addresses!!!!!
  • gcartwright30gcartwright30 Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2015
    I have a 200 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. I have two programmed keys but no FOBs, the vehicle was running great but with intermittent anti theft false alarms, e.g. when opening the door, alarm (horn) beeps several times until key is inserted into the ignition and turned to on. It would then run normally but two days ago I drove the vehicle to work and back home, my son went to drive the vehicle and nothing, only dancing gauges and a fast clicking sound from under the dash on the driver's side. It's like the battery is disconnected but the dash lights come on very dim then they go out after the key is turned to start which makes that incessant clicking sound from under the dash. I disconnected the battery put it on the charger, with a full charge the chime sounded as if normal then nothing, only dancing gauges and a fast clicking sound from under the dash on the driver's side. is this an anti theft system issue, PCM/SKIM issue? I'm lost I love this vehicle and this is a first, please advise?

    PS I tried to check codes with my scanner but when the faults occurred I have no power for scan tool either! Also had the battery checked and they said is was normal and holds a charge.
  • yesIcandoityesIcandoit Member Posts: 2
    edited November 2015
    Just about all the above issue's happened to my 2000 Jeep grand Cherokee Laredo 4X4. I am tiered of hearing you cannot BYPAS THE SKIM, YES IT CAN and has BE DONE, HAVE TO DISSCONNECT THE ENTIRE BATTERY. I bought a remanufac. (less then $150) they are not programming this ECM/PCM directly to your SKIM. They Flash it to your VIN# and Mileage and are setting it up to accept the SKIM setup in your vehicle. For example, you have SKIM- when you plug this unit in, it will "inhale" your SKIM data (keys, pin code, module part number, etc). If you would not have the SKIM, it would recognize that and set itself up as a non-SKIM jeep. This is the only way to program these units off-board/without having the car present. Just remove the entire skim system from the Jeep by removing the two plastic trim pieces around the column one screw under the column and it un-clips from around the steering wheel. The module under the steering column,SKIM has one torx screw a 4 wire plug the halo antenna around the ignition, and get a set of blank metal keys from a hardware store , I did find the chipped keys did work on MINE my not on yours. Remove all that before installing the ECM/PCM, the PCM won't see a SKIM module and go into non-skim mode. I also replaced the BCM and fuse box (less than $40) just as a cover. everything is working and running great that alarm light, yeah the one with the key and circle with the line through it remove the plastic trim just below your cluster (snaps in) remove 2 screws at he top and at the bottom of the cluster and remove the bulb. Bottom line for less than $200 not including my time. I am Up and running so disconnect the battery, get a new /used ECM from a place that reprograms/flash's them, remove the SKIM, reinstall the ECM/PCM hook up the battery start and go, If not, do the BCM and fuse box, match the #'s and letters. everything on mine works great all the codes I get are non-read code's related to not having a SKIM, DONOT let the dealer reset your codes at least your SKIM or KEY.
  • yesIcandoityesIcandoit Member Posts: 2
    BTW your FOBS are controlled by your BCM NOT your ECM/PCM. Both of mine still work even after changing out the BCM and fuse box.
  • dorkfish1dorkfish1 Member Posts: 1
    so when you say dont clear codes what exactly are you referring to
  • rick465rick465 Member Posts: 1
    I know it's been awhile on this post but what if you have (like me) a 97 JGC with no security and a bad PCM but can only get a PCM that was originally on a 97 with security. How can you to bypass a SKIM that is not there? I can't get it past the start for 2 seconds and die point and can't seem to find a PCM with no security. All the dealers aren't able to tell by looking at their PCM's and I don't want to buy another unless its gonna work. THANKS!!
  • monique2101monique2101 Member Posts: 1
    Our daughter's 2000 jgc was acting crazy.... it was showing the no key light, which was trying to shut off the fuel pump, the gas, & oil pressure guage's weren't working, the dash lights, & radio, were flickering in, & out, & it was completely draining the charge, from the battery. We had to keep charging it, everytime it killed the battery. We learned, the PCM was bad. We ordered a new PCM online, & my husband installed it, AND ALL ISSUES ARE RESOLVED, & THE JEEP IS RUNNING GREAT! Thought I'd share.... It might help someone else, & I heard this is a common problem on JGC! 
  • Jeep_girl83Jeep_girl83 Member Posts: 1
    Hello all I have a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. The Jeep has a code coming up as P1686 No SKIM (Smart Key) Immobilizer Module bus message. My gauges have also failed on me while driving but now with the P1686 code my Jeep will only run for 2 seconds then shut down. Some people say it had to go to the dealer and some say it can be fixed. Anyone on here have any ideas or has it happened to anyone?
  • SanzSanz Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2018
    i have a grand cherokee laredo 1999 it  not starting a icon come on with a key and a circle a wrong it and wont go out at all

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