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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 21290
Experience:  Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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1996 Jeep Cherokee: 4WD..crank..the battery and check engine light

Customer Question

My 1996 Jeep Cherokee (4WD) will not crank. I did the key test and nothing was wrong (got 55 end code that's it). When I turn the ket to the on position the battery and check engine light come on. Also the oil pressuse light is on on the dash. What can I do to fix this problem?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!


What happens when you try to start the engine? Does the starter engage and crank the engine but it doesn't start, or do you get no noise from the engine compartment whatsoever?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No noise whatsoever.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.

Do you have a test light and a voltmeter to do some testing?


Do you have nice normal bright headlights?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My right side headlight is slightly dim. but if i push it in it goes full bright

yess I have a voltmeter


Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.

Ok great. Let's start by checking the battery voltage at rest. Then with the meter still on the battery posts have a helper hold the key to the crank position and see what the battery voltage is. Let me know what you see for both.


Then pull the starter relay out of the box. Have a helper hold the key in the crank position, probe each terminal in the fuse box that engages the relay, and see if two of them have battery voltage.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

12.3 Vdc sitting

12.02 Vdc trying to crank


12.18 Vdc in the relay

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.

You do have two terminals at the relay that have power when holding the key to crank, correct?


If you do, put the relay back in, hold the key in the crank position with one hand, firmly hold the brake, and slowly move the shifter out of park through reverse, through neutral, and into drive. See if you get any sign of life from the starter. The AW4 trans in the Cherokee had a range sensor mounted to the right side of it, and these gave a little bit of trouble. It sounds like you may need a range sensor.


If it still won't crank by moving the shifter we'll have to dig deeper, but I'm betting you need a range sensor.

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