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Chrysler Repair/98 Jeep Cherokee Ltd 6 cylinder


QUESTION: Hi,my 98 Cherokee 6 cylinder turns over but doesn't start.It was working fine but now there is an orange dash light showing a key with a line threw it. Anti thieft? I have turned the key on/off three ties and gauges/speedo moved to full and back,then I pushed unlock on the remote six times but the orange key symbol light stays on and engine just turns over and won't start. Can you help me please ?

ANSWER: Hi Craig,
Unfortunately I don't have a manual for that far back for the Jeep line. I am not sure what the orange symbol means, but I suspect it might be related to an anti-theft feature related to the ignition key called a Sentry key immobilizer. If that were the case that key would have plastic bulge in the key handle. Is that the case? Let me know if that is true or if the key handle is simple flat metal.
The other thing to try is to get a fault code readout using the key. Turn it on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the odometer window of the speedometer if the km reading is replaced by a 4-digit number preceded by a P. Let me know if that occurs or not.
I'll await your follow-up question.

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QUESTION: Hi thanks for helping. Yes it is a plastic bulge on the key. And i think the orange/yellow dash light symbol is a picture of a key in circle with a line threw it. Just like the old ghost busters sign from the movie... Hope this helps.

ANSWER: Hi Craig,
If you have another similar ignition key try that out.
Then check to see whether the fuse that powers the systems necessary when the vehicle is not running might be blown. It is called the ignition off draw fuse and it also powers the remote door unlocking system so if that works presumably the fuse is OK.
The module that detects the key and gives the OK for the engine to run is located adjacent to the key lock cylinder. The lock cylinder has a shiny ring around it which is the antenna that detects the bulge in the key. That ring is connected to the module and the connection could be loose. If you remove the shrouds on the steering column (above and below, screws on the underside of the column) you will see the module and can inspect the connection and also the wiring plug that comes to the module.
If none of that solves the problem then there may be a fault code that explains what is wrong and that likely requires a fault code reader to plug into a socket under the dash mean the steering column. You might be able to borrow one, otherwise it means towing the vehicle to a shop which is so-equipped.
Let me know what you learn.

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QUESTION: Thanks again, my ignition barrel has been loose and damaged for years and I had been playing around with it, think I may have lost the shiny ring thing you mentioned (antenna). Would I be able to replace the ignition barrel and key with a second hand ones?would the computer accpet them ? And would the second hand ignition barrel come with the antenna thing?thank you for helping me so much,

Hi Craig,
The barrel and key should not impact the anti-theft performance. The antenna per se is also not 'programmed', but the module to which it is attached is. So if those two are simply connected by wires that should be no problem to replace the antenna which I believe is sold separately from the barrel. But definitely try to re-use the old module as it is programmed and a dealer would have to re-program a replacement module if you bought a new one of those.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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