Drove my '01 Wrangler (4.0L, automatic) to work this morning, backed it into my usual parking space, shut it off, pulled the key and went inside. 8 hour later I come out, hop in the jeep, turn the key, odometer lights up the goes out and nada, nothing, no starting, no radio, no lights, nothing but the gauge needles bouncing and when I open the door there is a weak beeping. Checked all fuses (good), checked relays (seem ok), checked battery voltage (12.45vdc). Checked & proper voltage is getting to the fuse panel. Pulled the covers off the steering column to get the ignition switch and the parking cable was hanging loose (looking at it, it seems to only keep the shifter from being able to move from park to any other gear when the ignition switch is off or no key is in the ignition). Didn't have the proper tool to actually pull the switch, but notice a immobilizer next to the key switch (part of a coded key security system, I think).
So has anyone had this happen to them? Any ideas what the solution might be? Ignition switch? Coded key system problem? Vehicle's computer? I'd like to save some $$$ and fix it myself, but I'm somewhat stumped and about ready to have it towed to the dealer to see if they can figure it out unless someone here has an idea what it might be.