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scottunzicker 03-24-2011 12:25 AM

'99 Ignition issues - Please Help!
Howdy all - I've a '99 with the 2.5L I4 with which I'm having ignition issues.

Here's what's happening: I stick the key in (it's always been finicky), turn it to the on position, and I get the usual *beep beep beep* noises. I note, however, that the instrument cluster does NOT come alive (I think it used to?). When I turn the key all the way forward to the start position, nothing happens. No clicks whatsoever, no instrument panel, no lights, no beeps, nothing.

Here's what I've tried: First, the battery is testing about 12.9 volts on my multimeter (that should be fine). I had a new key made, tested it, same results. I removed the key lock cylinder, and cleaned it out pretty well (it was nasty). It seems to function mechanically ok, but it still requires a lot of wiggling the key (both old and new). Then, I removed the ignition switch (had to go hunt down a torx set. What fun). I disassembled the ignition switch, and Deoxd the daylights out of it, including, but not limited to, the spring-loaded "points," the traces, and as much of the stuff under the green/white plastic covering as I could get to (I could only get 2 of the 3 torx screws off of it, so I did the best I could). I also Deoxd the two wiring harnesses that plugged into the ignition switch. I reassembled everything, making sure the position of the ignition switch lined up with the shafts coming out of the key lock cylinder, tested it, and the exact same thing happened. Then, I found a new ignition switch, swapped it for the old one, and the same thing happened (which is nothing).

I could really use your help with this. It's my only vehicle, and I've got stuff to do tomorrow. I tried posting this in the general discussion section about 6 hours ago, but got no responses. Please help.

Thanks in advance!!


Spunkd13 03-24-2011 03:46 AM

Make sure your battery cables are secure, on both ends, if you can move them on the posts they aren't making a good enough connection, I hope this helps.

hookuspookus 03-24-2011 07:05 PM

is it a stick or auto ?did you check the starter relay ?

Jma20a 03-24-2011 08:23 PM

if it ends up as a part of the steering column i have a used one i purchased to replace a part they don't make or sell. its out of a '99. all you need is to pay shipping and i can send you the part you need, just send me a pm.

CapnDean 03-24-2011 08:42 PM

You are not getting fire to your computer. Your key is working fine....the short is between the power leg from the key switch and the big fuse block on the inside of your passenger fender forward of your battery. SOUNDS like a relay to me... COULD be a bad wire or a fried brain.

Did it warn you by getting progressively more finicky?

rrich 03-24-2011 08:42 PM

Even a dead battery can have 12+ volts in it. Check that voltage while you turn the key to crank it - or turn on the headlights - measure it then.

It could be as simple as a bad battery cable or connection. Do your measuring with the headlights turned on.

Try jumpering it with another vehicle.

I think it's not even related to the ignition switch.

scottunzicker 04-13-2011 07:17 PM

Thanks for the help everyone. In short, I got up the next morning, disconnected the battery, cleaned every contact I could fine, tried cranking it, and it worked (and has continued to work) just fine. Who knows?

Again, thanks everyone for the pointers!


Salman 04-13-2011 10:41 PM

I had the same problem with my '98 sahara.. it worked the next day but stopped working the day that followed. Turned out that my starter burned which cause the starter relay to die as well. a new starter was only about $60 from autozone with a lifetime waranty and the relay was about $10.. Verrry easy job.

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