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Old 01-19-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
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turn signals and radio problem

I have a 2003 wrangler x I am having trouble with the radio and turn signals not working at times. If you mess with the key it will start working sometimes or if the key in back in the aux. mode it will work. Just trying to find if someone else has or is having the same problem and what the fix is for it.
thanks

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Old 01-20-2010, 05:24 PM   #2
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Breathe a sigh of relief, I'm having the same problem!

Like you I've found random times where my radio, defroster, turn signals don't work. After some fuse (and hair) pulling I too tried the jiggle the key method and have found this solves the my problem every time. I suspect the key mechanism inside the steering wheel is wearing out and could use some maintenance or being replaced. Until it gets worse or I get more free time, however, a little jiggling the key is a satisfactory work-around.

On a side note, since this usually happens once the Jeep is running I do try to take care in which way I wiggle the key so as not to re-engage the starter. I find grabbing as much of the whole key and holder and wiggling straight up and down and avoid rotating the key at all.

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Old 01-20-2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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Sounds like an ignition swith problem. Saw it many many years ago when I worked in a dealer. If you want the FSM for your YJ just pm me your year. I saw something in section 19 in mine.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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It's a 97, so a TJ, but if that offer is valid I'd be interested in comparing them to my scans. I bought the FSM and ran them through a bulk scanner and made a PDF of the entire thing. Very nice to be able to have access to the FSM while out on the trail and keeps the greasy fingerprints off the paper (and on my computer screen!) But if they're higher quality, yeah, I'd use 'em. And as to the actual problem, I don't doubt it's an igntition switch issue, it's more of a matter of time and effort and annoyance factor of the problem to work its way to the top of my priority list.

Guess it's time to add a sig to add more details about my Jeep!
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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I meant tj's
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Retired my 94 YJ 4cyl 5spd @ 200K
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Both as a commuter vehicle in NW, NJ
April 2012.downsized and now a 99er.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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If the identical problem on a 1999 model is any guide, I'll share what is causing the problem on mine. When you turn the key clockwise to start the jeep, power is cut to things unimportant to starting the car. (Radio, turn signals, etc. etc.) The problem on mine is that the key doesn't quite rotate all the way (under spring power) once the engine starts. So those accessory items are still without power, which is why it is a weird combination of items that don't have a common circuit or breaker.

Instead of wiggling the key, try very gently giving it just a nudge back counterclockwise after you start the engine. You may find it all comes back.

I also sprayed some contact cleaner with lubricating oil into the key hole and the contacts (take the steering column shroud off to that that) and this seems to help a lot. Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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Thanks KCrisp for the input. I did actually try that the last time it happened (a few weeks ago) and found it didn't help that particular time. I could feel the key 'click' into position when I rotated it, so I'd have to overcome that centering/positioning mechanism to nudge it as you say. But until I take it apart to know for sure I'm going to have to settle for the wiggle method. It certainly does sound like an ignition related issue based on multiple random things not working at the same time.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:04 PM   #8
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thanks for all the info. just going to live with it for now until the jiggling method stops working
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:21 AM   #9
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Ignition Switch

I see the FSM has details on where the ignition switch is. I will try to upload them later.

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Retired my 94 YJ 4cyl 5spd @ 200K
Now in a 04 TJ 4cyl 5spd CV @120K+
Both as a commuter vehicle in NW, NJ
April 2012.downsized and now a 99er.
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