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steemin 05-14-2008 10:28 AM

2000, Engine Starter shorting out components?
A couple days ago after I started my Wrangler, all of the electronic components would short out and the air bag and parking brake lights would stay on; the HEVAC, radio, turn signals, etc would not work (only the headlights and break lights still work when engine is on). When the engine is off ALL of the electronics work fine. Also, when I depress the clutch, I get a horrible grinding noise. It just hit me that this is probably the starter activating each time I press the clutch to the floor (something to do with the fuse that prevents engine from starting w/o clutch being depressed?). I am going to test this when I get home, but I am 90% sure that this is the case.

My questions are:
What are the possible sources of the problem? I recall that I adjusted the steering wheel before the symptoms started so maybe a grounding wire came loose. If this is the case, could anyone tell me where and how I could diagnose this myself?

Thanks much! I would love to save a trip to the repair shop if possible.

jpdocdave 05-14-2008 08:45 PM

man, that is a weird one. call an exorcist.

let us know what happens.

oh yeah, welcome to wf.

steemin 05-15-2008 07:11 PM

I put my Jeep on a hill and did a roll-start yesterday and everything worked fine! Of course, this doesn't fix the problem..I still can't start the normal way with the starter without shorting the electronics, but at least this narrows the problem down a bit.


slf41002 05-15-2008 08:47 PM

It isn't the starter it is more than likely the switch.It is staying over to the start position wich if you ever notice the radio cuts out while you start your jeep well that is what is going on the switch is not releaseing.

slf41002 05-15-2008 08:48 PM

What do you mean by you adjusted the steering wheel???

steemin 05-16-2008 08:46 AM

That makes sense, which explains why the starter kicks on every time I press the clutch all the way in.

I simply lowered the steering wheel using the adjustment lever before I started the car. That was the last thing I remember doing before it stopped working so I was just speculating that this could have shaken a wire loose. I've tried moving the steering wheel back with no result.

Do you have any suggestions? I haven't really examined the steering column to see how easy it is to remove the housing if that is where the problem exists.

slf41002 05-16-2008 10:44 AM

It's not all that hard to change the switch.It isn't the tumbler part of the switch it is more than likely the electrical part of the switch that is attached to the steering column itself.I haven't had this problem on my jeep but I have fixed a few on other cars for our customers at the garage.

slf41002 05-16-2008 10:49 AM

If you pop your column cover off and see if it has the little pin to push in on with the key in the on position the switch should come out.If not it will have a torques head screw that hold it in.Anyway.pull the switch out and see if the part it goes into is bad by turning the ignition on and off with a screw driver or if the tumbler switch is turning the little half moon looking piece at the inside end of the switch.

slf41002 05-28-2008 09:40 PM

So did you figure out if the switch was the problem or not????

steemin 06-04-2008 12:20 PM

I believe it was as you described. I took it in as I didn't have the right tool and I was getting tired of messing with it. There's an honest shop right down the road from me so it was a dirt cheap fix. Thx.

slf41002 06-04-2008 05:17 PM

Good deal.I have fixed a few of them.As a matter of fact I have the key/tumbler to put in a Grand Caravan tonight.It is doing close to the same.You have to use pliers on this one though just to turn the switch to start and once started you have to rotate the switch back a little to keep it from doing what your was.

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