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Jeep Grand Cherokee Electrical Problems



  • Sounds like this may be the issue that many of us experience with the BCM. That would explain the malfunction of the gauges & the clicking noise. The BCM should be located inside under the dash, near the glove box. On many of the older Jeeps, the contacts of the BCM corrode over time. The fix is to: 1) disconnect the battery (2) Find and unplug the BCM, (3) clean the contacts on the BCM thoroughly (4) re-plug and connect battery.

    Realize that disconnecting the battery essentially "re-boots" the electrical system, so the gauges will initially look fine. If the issue doesn't re-occur in a period of 7 to 10 days, then you've solved your problem.

    One final thing. Never, EVER take a Jeep to a Jeep dealer for repairs such as this. You'll end up paying hundreds, if not thousands without the problem being solved. Think that they will return your money if their work doesn't solve the problem? We both know the answer to that.
  • Another thing to that is simple to check, make sure the battery is putting out at least 13.8 volts, if your battery is near 3 years old it may be getting weak. You can take it to any good parts store, Auto Zone or others will check battery voltage with engine running for free. If your battery has 14volts or higher you can rule battery out, but if anyone trys to tell you its 12.9 but its ok, don't listen, replace battery. If battery is ok, then clean contacts on ecu and bcu as the other person replied. More often than not, low voltage or dirty contacts on connecters is culprit, not the actual expensive control units. Avoid dealership. Call around to local owner run repair shops and interview them about knowledge of jeep grand cherokee. A garage unwilling to talk to you is to be avoided, it may take some searching to find that knowledgeable honest mechanic, but once you find him, establish a relationship, let him do your oil changes instead of dealer or quick lube joint, then he will be there for you when you need him. Join AAA auto club, it's cheaper than a single tow. When my battery died because i ignored symptoms like yours, they came to my location and sold and installed new battery on the spot. Once you fix, please post here what fixed it to help others, please.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    I have a '95 JGC Laredo with a couple of electrical/electronic issues that I'm hoping are related-

    1) The radio display is on but there is no sound coming from any speaker. It has the optional Infinity Gold system with the Amp under the back seat. The stereo had worked intermittently for about two years until about six months ago. It hasn't made a sound since then...

    2) Trip Computer in Overhead Console- The display doesn't come on when the car is started. Usually it will 'wake up' anywhere from 5-15 minutes after starting/driving it. A few times it hasn't come on at all, even after an hour or more. When it does come on, it works fine as it always has.

    3) The Vehicle Info Center (behind the shifter, under the HVAC controls) it shows the vehicle graphic and alerts for Door Ajar, Lamp Failure, Fluids Low, etc. Lately, it just flashes with the time (which shows at 12:00 all the time). It worked fine until the last couple of months....

    Any ideas on my electronic gremlins? Could it be as simple as a fuse or two? Or maybe a big fuse in the Power Distribution Center (under the hood)?

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I'm trying to get it ready to sell and I want to fix these problems first if I can.

    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • I have a 94 Jeep GCL and have the same problems. It seems another thing stops working about every month. What I need to know is what ecu and bcu are? I guess I'm ignorant. Thanks. Bobby.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    I can answer half of your question- ECU stands for Electronic Control Unit (or Electric Control Unit, according to some). I've also seen it referred to as the Electric/Electronic Control Module, Power Control Module and Power Control Unit. My '95 JGC has a "Power Distribution Center" under the hood (with fuses)....I think they're all the same thing??? Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken...

    I hadn't ever heard BCU before, but I did a search and it seems there is a "Body Control Module"...perhaps someone can enlighten both of us on what that is!? =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • Did you ever figure this out???

    I have a problem where in the morning, "sometimes", I turn the key and it doesn't noise..if I keep holding the key it might start.. if I release the key, don't want to break it...and try often starts up. It eventually starts and I find it strange that I hold the key for a while and it starts.. like 20 secs.. This is random, not all the time but when the engine is warm, I haven't noticed this problem.

    Well a few weeks ago, I had the power to the engine shut off, then turn on in about 20 seconds with power returning I could drive without to much problem. Well yesterday, I had this same problem happen three times. The first time, I pulled in a gas station and shut the car off and turned it back on. The second time, I was on the free way and the car slowed down but in about 20 secs, power came back and I got out of there.. then about 5 miles later, I lost power again and pulled off the express way, it never returned, so I stopped shut off the car, turned on the key and it started again and I drove home.

    Anyone had this type of problem? Like to hear your solution, write me at jtflex02 at yahoo too ...
  • I have a problem where in the morning, "sometimes", I turn the key and it doesn't noise..if I keep holding the key it might start.. if I release the key, don't want to break it...and try often starts up. It eventually starts but I find it strange that I hold the key for a while to get it to start.... like 20 secs.. or turn it a few times. This is random, not all the time but when the engine is warm, I haven't noticed this problem.

    Well a few weeks ago, I had the power to the engine shut off while I was driving, then in about 20 seconds the power returned and I could drive again. The radio and lights were on just the engine when dead. Well yesterday, I had this same problem happen three times. The first time, I pulled in a gas station and shut the car off and turned it back on. The second time, I was on the free way and the car slowed down but in about 20 secs, power came back and I got out of there.. then about 5 miles later, I lost power again and pulled off the express way, it never returned, so I stopped shut off the car, turned on the key and it started again and I drove home. I got a notification to look at my gauges and I also noticed the sentry key light light, everything else looked normal.

    Anyone had this type of problem? Like to hear your solution, please write me at jtflex02 at yahoo, as well as on here.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
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  • I'm sort of having the same problem,where i just change my fuel pump,spark plugs and wires ,distributor,ignition management switch,ignition coil and now my 1996 Grand jeep cherokee seems like the battery is dead now. When i tried to get a jump it still won't charge so what do you think is the problem????? Please help!!
  • 1 wk ago: put key in ignition, turned on. All warning lights on dash started flashing wildly and beeping. Car turned on fine. Was left with engine light on and airbag light on. During drive home, AC stopped working, all gauges/displays went to zero, u-connect bluetooth stopped working, no signals, no brake lights (found out later). Windows and radio continued to work. Never lost power steering or brakes. Car started with no problems at home.. but all failures still the same. Battery load tested at parts store- fine. Advised to replace alternator- did that (although did not test old one). Car ran fine over weekend- drove over 500miles on a trip. NO PROBLEMS. Assumed problem was alternator. Drove car to work tuesday. No problems for most of the drive. When almost to work, was talking on the phone via the UConnect device, and it started switching back and forth from radio to phone conversation by itself. Started car at lunch, there was NO A/C, gauges at zero, uconnect does not work, no signals/brake lights. Took car home carefully. Advised by dealer to clean 2 grounds nearest battery on firewall, pulled out relays and most of fuses- all looked good. Still all gauges at zero, A/c not working (while car running, while doing the above). Then, started it up a few minutes after, and everything ok, except engine light on. Took to dealer who read the following codes, but could not reproduce the faults. Dealer states: "Unable to duplicate customer concern at inspection. Diagnosis found multi fault codes present for communication failures- 2 relevant: B212D (ignition run only input circuit open) and B2100 (ignition run/start input circuit low). Found several tech bulletins that apply to concern - suspect possible intermittent failure of either ignition switch and/or junction block (under dash, driver side). Also recommend u-connect module replacement as it is intermittent/irratic." I paid for the diagnosis and took car home. Unhooked battery, clearing engine light (resetting computer), and U-connect works perfectly (as it has for the entire time before these electronic issues, and as I told them it would if they reset computer). Car is acting fine- u-connect great, but worried about commuting with signal/light failures occuring. The only difference that occurred was that the two times before the failure, a short commute of ~25 miles was done in a very hilly area with lots of back and forth steering/downshifting into second. Also a different key used than with the ~500 mile trip two days before. Thinking of switching out the ignition switch, since problem happened initially with ignition, and "cured" problem with ignition yesterday. I do NOT believe the u-connect module is defective at all. I am not trusting the dealer at present, with a quote approching $1500. Opinions???
  • jebhabjebhab Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
    Bought used with under 80,000 mi. Now has 86,000 mi. Ran great untill weather got hot. This summer it started acting up. All my electrical stuff flat lined! Jeep keeps running but ac, windows, computers, radio, all gages went out. It happens randomly. Most times they come back on without me doing anything. Only once has the jeep died when this happened and one time on starting it wouldnt keep running. I can disconnect the battery and it all goes back to normal for awhile. I had a real bad spell with it and then it got some better. I love my jeep and dont want to get rid of it but while driving home one night my headlights went out!! Very scary!! I am wondering until I get the problem fixed would it work if instead of using the auto setting for my headlights I actually turned it to the on position? Would they still go out if it "flatlines" again? Also its not giving any codes. The only other problem I am having is that I have to refill my overflow for my coolent pretty regular. I get the low coolent notice if I forget to check it myself. Please HELP! Thank You Heather
  • barryzbarryz Posts: 43
    edited September 2010
    1999 jeep grand cherokee laredo 6 cyl. This just started, when i turn off key, remove key, open door, interior lights turn on as they should, but when i leave vehicle and shut door, interior lights don't dim and go dark after a short while as they used to, remain on. Also if i exit vehicle and click the remote to lock, doors do lock and parking lights flash as i programmed, but the interior lights do not turn off and the red alarm set light on dash does not come on and start flashing. Luckily i can set interior lights to not light on door open by putting dash dimmer on stalk to the complete off position, so i am ok for now, but i would like to get the alarm to set and the interior lights to work as they should, any suggestions as to what and where controls this?
  • I have read as many emails as my work time will allow. I have had this problem of and on for years and the dealerships have not fixed it. My entire console lights up, with a clicking noise, and then turns off. Every warning symbol lights up and then the whole thing goes blank. This continues for miles. All the gauges go crazy, the speedometer goes down to zero, my headlights click on/off. I took the car to a mechanic who said to go back to the dealership. Since the dealership I previously used frustrates the heel out of me, I am going to a new one this weekend. Any ideas what this could be? Also, I was under warranty when this issue surfaced a few years back. I am no longer under warranty, but, since they did not fix the problem, is there any recourse from Chrysler? Thanks!
  • joe3djoe3d Posts: 22
    I saw this problem in May. It happened several times on one 2 hour trip. I brought it to the dealership figuring they might have the inside scoop on it. They checked it for faults and found none. I changed the battery and thought that solved the problem. .....until now (Sept). I saw it again twice last weekend. All the lights on the dash light up and then disappear. Not sure swhat to do next. The engine seems fine. Perplexed, Joe D
  • What you describe sounds like a problem with the Bus System on your car. The Bus System is how the different modules (computers) on your car communicate with each other. If one of these computers is sending invalid information to your instrument cluster, which is also a computer, the cluster will not be able to interpret this information and will also start sending out false information. Your cluster will go crazy.
    Some times finding a problem with the Bus System is very time consuming. It could be an internal problem in one of the computers or it could be a wiring problem.
    If you have your receipts from when you first started having this problem and it was never fixed correctly Chrysler may honor the warranty. Also the dealer will have copies of any warranty work that was done to your car.
    If you don't get satisfaction from the dealer, you might try chrysler customer service.
  • joe3djoe3d Posts: 22
    It makes sense what you are saying these dashboard electrical problems are caused by a computer problem. This seems like the type of problem that will take many visits to the mechanic and lots time to have fixed. My 2005 JGC ran great for the first 50k. It still has a nice ride by this electrical problem could be an un-ending issue.
    It's too bad because the new 2011 JGC looks awesome but I would now be wary of buying another JCG. Thanks, Joe D
  • Hello

    The symptoms you state are very similar to what i went through with my 2006 GCJ-L. After the dealer replaced many components on BUS Can-C it then came down to the wiring harness. alot of modules that were replaced prior to finally replacing the wiring harness were probably Ok but it was not easy to know at that time.

    From all the threads I have seen on this site and others i would venture to tell you... ITS THE HARNESS But I reserve the right to be completely wrong,

    Since my harness has been replaced, at 85k miles I believe my Jeep is running better than when I bought it used from dealer at 29k miles..

    it is my suspicion, now with 20/20 hindsight that the original owner may have experienced the same problem I had (sporadic dash cluster / gauges, etc), and said ... electrical problems - time to trade it in...

    These electrical modules at $400+ and 500+ a pop are an expensive way to go the route of " let's try this and see if it works"

    see my earlier posts for more info

    best regards
    please keep us posted on your progress

  • Where do I start! Just tonight, drove jeep, parked and went in somewhere, came out 45 min later only to start it up and it would not turn on. Thought it was the battery and a friend who is a mechanic tried jumping it but that was not it. Everything would turn on, lights, dash, radio, windows up and down, it just would not turn on. Thinking it is something electrical for sure and stressing like crazy!!!! I have had this car since 15K and don't drive it everyday, really baby it! Anyone with some ideas? Don't need to spend more than I have to but it looks like by what everyone is saying, I just need to get rid of it. Not alternator. Not battery since everything comes on. Please, Please imput. Thanks...Much appreciated!!!!
  • any luck finding the problem. I'm having similar, cranks & no start problems
  • lights are flashing as if someone hit the panic button engine rotates but doesnt fire doesnt get any fuel in the intake found some wires that were melted together seperated them and taped them up and still no change guessing the pcm must be bad dont know and dont know how to check it and dont know how to find one
    any imformation would be greatly appreciated thanks
  • Lights flashing is vehicle anti theft system. Use key in door lock to reset system to stop lights. Tons of problems with security on jeep.
    I have 1995 GC linited w/ V8. Same no start condition right now. No power to fuel pump. Trying to trace power from pump backwards to Bat. Will keep you posted. Where did you find melted wires? What engin? V8 or I6?
  • You can get a PCM on ebay for 189. Very easy to install a new one. Seller will program it specifically for you vehicle. I am still going to try and find the problem before I spen the money on a new PCM
  • Hi all-
    I have a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee and it has been having what I think are electrical issues. About a year ago the lights would flicker on the dash and radio/clock intermittently. It wasn't a big issue, just annoying. Nothing else was affected...gauges and everything worked fine. It has been doing this on and off for a year, but today driving into work it started up again but the emergency brake light flickered too. Then it happened again but stayed on for a few seconds...and so did the ALB warning light. When this happened all of the dash lights turned off and I heard a pop in the radio speakers and the radio went off. Then it all went back to normal! This happened 2 more times on my 20 minute commute. I don't know if this is a dealer issue or if it's something I may be able to handle on my own (like if it's with the battery or something). The battery has been replaced recently but I have always had an issue with corrosion on one of the connectors. Could this be it? Just a bad connection? I'm just worried this may be effecting my outside lights, but really there isn't any way to tell since it happens so infrequently.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!
  • Luckily (I hope) my electrical issue did not impact my engine or radio. I did sense that the vents were not working properly at the time that my dash was lighting up like a Christmas tree. The check engine light was looked into and they said I had a faulty chip in one of my keys. It was like the engine thought the car was being tampered with. It also showed that the fuel gauge was not indicating the proper levels. I took it in to a dealer over the weekend and they said they have seen this before and we replaced the ignition switch- $440 bucks! This morning, on my 120 mile commute, I had no problems whatsoever. Now, do I trust that this is fixed? No! Once you have a problem like this, you feel like your car is no longer dependable. I will keep my eye on this and let you all know if this situation occurs again. Since I have two keys, I started using the "good" key as well.
  • emilyl83, I too have a 2005 JGG and about two months ago it started acting crazy, the wipers would come on and off on their own, the dash lights would flicker, the AC would quit working intermitently, it would shift roughly in and out of MDS, etc...After many trips to the dealership and them telling me "we couldn't replicate the problem so we can't fix it", I finally started doing some research on my own. Most websites led me to believe that it is most likely the PCM (also called ECM) card. But I decided to start with the easy fix first, unplug the negative battery cable for 20 minutes to let the PCM card reset. I did this a month ago and my Jeep has been running like brand new since. If this doesn't do it, then look into replacing the ignition switch but don't pay $450 for the dealership to do it. It's really simple to do it yourself for $45.
  • i have owned a Grand Cherokee Stealth edition ( UK Spec ) since 2003 and the one piece of advice i would give to a prosective owner is....Do not touch a grand Cherokee with a barge pole unless u a re well into aut electrics....The car supplied WILL fail electronicaly within 3 months of delivery and the dealership will deny any knowledge of problem even if we all know whats wrong.
  • I hear you mickyb1, as much as I love my JCG, I kick myself for trading in my Nissan Pathfinder for this electrical nightmare I own now. And the more I read in this forum about the other quality and reliability issues people are having with their relatively new JGC's, I am really disappointed in the products being put out by Chrysler these days. And I don't know if the rest of you encounter the same problem, but in my city, I really can't trust the Jeep dealership to correctly diagnose and fix my vehicle, they are pretty useless.
  • I agree with you. I'd never purchase another Chrysler product, and when I owned my JCG, I would NEVER, EVER bring it to a dealership for maintenance or repairs.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    The Grand Cherokee has gone downhill with each new generation. The 1st gen (93-98) had their share of problems, some powertrain combinations more than others. But my parents bought a '95 Laredo 2WD new in 12/94 and it's still going strong with over 210,000 miles on it! It has the bullet-proof 4.0L Inline-6 (as long as you keep oil in it) and the engine/tranny have never had any major repairs. I bought it from them several years ago because I hated to see it go, so it's my weekend/Home Depot/hauling vehicle. The paint is shot and it has some minor electrical issues, mainly the radio doesn't work for months, then it will suddenly start working when I flip the headlights on/off or hit a button the overhead console...but then it goes out again in a day or a week and nothing will get it to work until the next time it spontaneously repairs itself!?!?

    It's a crying shame that the 2nd gen (99-04) had so many problems, because they are still some of the best looking SUVs ever made, IMHO. I'd love to have an '04-'05 Overland with the HO 4.7L V8...but I know it would be a money pit, to say the least.

    I have a friend who drives a 2008 Limited 4x4 that she bought new for over $42k! In the first two years and 42k miles, it had the transmission replaced, multiple components of the Quadra-Drive system replaced, an oil leak that took several service visits to finally fix, leaky radiator replaced, a fuel pump and several more minor issues. It also has a few intermittent electrical gremlins, including interior lights that fail to work at all sometimes and refuse to go off at other times! And the rear tailgate warning light comes on all the time, even when it is securely closed.

    I started with working with her last year, so I didn't know her when she bought it. Otherwise, I would have tried to steer her in another direction! Or at least filed for Lemon Law protection, but it was too late by the time I met her.

    The 2011 looks amazing and they keep talking about it being the highest quality vehicle they've ever built. That may be true, but for those of us who have seen what they've been building for the last few decades, why give them another chance and take the risk???
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
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