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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
97 TJ 6cyl, 5speed 37" Krawlers on American Racing 17" wheels. (Beadlocks someday)
RE 5.5 Long arm, Currie 9" front and rear with ARB's, Warn hubs and axle shafts, CTM u-joints
Optima Dual Batteries, OR Fab roll cage, custom rock sliders, SMF shorty bumpers front and rear.
My Jeep Site: www.jeffsjeep.com