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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 22801
Experience:  Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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1997 Grand Cherokee Electrical problems

Customer Question

I have multiple electrical problems on a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee - ABS light on all the time, air bag light on all the time, horn not working. I want a mechanic with expertise with this vehicle to lead me thru diagnosis and repair - emailing me schematics & leading me thru checking with multi-meter (or whatever is necessary). I have background in Physics and can perform almost any test needed. I will pay here and extra via Paypal for successful help. I know the airbag/horn sounds like clock spring, but want to check it with meter before replacing. Have heard that ABS sensors can be checked w/ multi-meter while rotating tire, but don't know where to check.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

There are quite a few things that could be going on. The problems may or may not be related. The airbag light and horn would definitely be the clockspring but they may be separate issues. If cruise control works then it's less likely that you have a clockspring issue.

It's possible that the ABS and airbag lights are on due to loss of power to the modules from a wiring, power distribution or ignition switch issue.

The most common cause of an ABS light is a failed speed sensor but pump motor and hydraulic control unit issues weren't uncommon on these.

The first step in diagnosing the issues is seeing if the airbag and ABS modules communicate, and what fault codes are set if so Do you know if the modules are awake and/or what codes are set?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can I get the fault codes with an ignition key sequence or do I need to have them read with a computer. I have an adapter (car to USB) that reads codes from a 2003 Toyota, but no program for the Jeep. I realize this may take some time, I will be fair with you re:$. I am willing to pay the extra fee so that we can communicate more directly.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Vague engine flash codes can be read with a key cycle but an actual scan tool would be necessary to communicate with the ABS and airbag modules.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am looking for scan tools online. Might not have one until Wed. PM. At amazon:

Do you think this would do?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
It looks like that will just do engine but not ABS or airbag. Whatever you buy you'll want to make sure it specifically mentions ABS and airbag capability such as this one:
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

waiting on scan tool - maybe until Thursday. Ordered

BlueDriver - Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone®, iPad®, Android from Amazon - say it has ABS/Airbag for Chrysler. Should this do for Jeep?

Another issue we can probably deal with without scan tool - heater/AC blowers do not function. Need help with diagnosis - fan motor or resistors? Re: horn/airgbag - all other functions of clockspring work - i.e. radio controls, cruise control working. Heard about early recall re: airbag module had to be moved from under floor to above due to failures. How can I know if this was done to my vehicle?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
The scan tool should work.
The site does ask that separate issues be posted as separate questions. Have you checked for power and ground at the blower motor?
There was a recall for replacing the airbag module but not relocating it. A dealer could tell you if the recall has been done if you supply the VIN.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Bluetooth phones I had access to were too old to run BlueDriver (which I now have). Ordered new phone - get back to you Tues. pm. BTW Fan motor works (hotwired it) & I am checking route from HVAC control & shouldn't need help.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Let me know what you find when you get the scan tool!