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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 TJ 4.0 with 87k miles on it that I've owned since March:

A few weeks ago I had this issue with it not starting. When I turned the key, it would beep for about 0.1 seconds and then no beeping, no dash lights, no sound, no cranking, nothing.

I replaced the ignition switch and actuator pin and everything was working great again.

One month later, same problem. Tried replacing just the ignition switch again and nothing happened. Still not starting up. Didn't change the actuator pin but the tip didn't appear broken as many people have complained so I left it as is. Replacing the switch did not fix it. But then my brother in law said maybe its a loose wire connection. So I kind of jiggled and secured the wires connecting to the ignition switch. And just like that, the thing was running within 2 minutes.

That was two weeks ago. I've had no problems since then. Now today, as I'm getting in my car at the mini mart near my work this afternoon, the stupid thing is acting up again. Won't start. Same exact symptoms.

I played with the wires, tried to hold them in tight. I took the ignition switch off and put it back on, and I took out the lock cylinder and put it back into place to see if maybe I had reinstalled something incorrectly.

I've already used my 1 free tow from AAA and the thing is currently sitting at the gas station/mini mart down the street until I get off at 5. They generously agreed not to tow me.

Please help! I need to get this thing running. Ideally I'd like to be able to get to work tomorrow. Thanks for your suggestions.
 

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Turn your headlights on, are they at full intensity? If not, your battery is probably dead or the connectors are dirty/corroded/loose. Now with the headlight switch still on, have a helper turn the key to the Start position while you watch what the headlights do when the key is turned to the Start position. If the headlights dim or shut off, your battery is too dead to start the engine or the battery connectors are loose/corroded/dirty.
 

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I'd say battery also get new connectors there cheap, maybe alternator if ur dash lights go off then there's not enough power
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is an auto parts store next door to where it's stranded. I'll have them test the battery and alternator.

If it was the battery, wouldn't it at least attempt to turn over? When I turn the key there is absolutely nothing.

When I do turn the key to the accessory position, the floor LEDs i installed do light up and then they go out when I turn it over to try to start it. I will check the headlights when I got off work in about 5 mins.

Thanks again for the ideas.
 

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Make sure connections to the battery are good. I had a problem with mine before. No click or anything when i turned the key...opened the hood and wiggled the battery cables around . Tried to start again and it fired right up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After work I walked next door to NAPA. One of the connections on the battery looked corroded. I cleaned the post and the connection really well, then an employee jumped it for me and it started right up.

He suggested something must be draining my battery. Something I read on another thread about how the battery/alternator work specifically in older Jeeps is different than most other cars made me wonder if this might be part of the problem, and this problem first started happening around the time I did the following:

(Now, as you can clearly tell I'm no mechanic and certainly don't know much about electrical but I can do basic work on my TJ largely with the help of this forum).

Anyways, a couple of months ago I replaced the stock radio with a nice aftermarket head unit. Plugged into the back of the head, I have an iPhone cable that I routed under the center console that I plug my phone into whenever I'm driving. It also charges my phone pretty quickly (about 1% per minute) - so, I'm wondering, could this be draining my battery slowly, but enough to cause this problem every 2-3 weeks? Or am I way off here?

Or do you think it's just the connections? Should I swap out the alternator just to be safe?

I'll definitely be keeping my jumper cables in my Jeep from now on and was thinking I would unplug the iPhone cord from the radio and see if this happens again.
 

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I doubt your alternator has anything to do with any of this. I would have the battery load tested, which is the only way to test a battery for its true health. A load test will show if the battery is worthy of staying in your Jeep or it's time to be replaced.
 

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Sounds like a bad ground to me. Do have the battery tested though. If it checks out, check the ground side...not just the battery post, but where it connects to the block. Clean that up real nice and see where that gets you
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Interesting. What did you end up doing about the stereo? My stock radio barely worked and had terrible sound quality, so I don't even have it anymore.

I plan to go have the battery tested again this afternoon. And I'll probably replace the connections this weekend.
 

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Quigley00 said:
Interesting. What did you end up doing about the stereo? My stock radio barely worked and had terrible sound quality, so I don't even have it anymore.

I plan to go have the battery tested again this afternoon. And I'll probably replace the connections this weekend.
I think I had a bad ground? And it caused it to constantly draw power I'm not sure I did it forever ago
 

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I think I had a bad ground? And it caused it to constantly draw power I'm not sure I did it forever ago
bad ground won't cause it to draw power,only a short or something left on...if it turns out not to be battery,cables or connections you might try disconnecting the radio that you put in to make sure thats not the problem
 

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harleydragon said:
bad ground won't cause it to draw power,only a short or something left on...if it turns out not to be battery,cables or connections you might try disconnecting the radio that you put in to make sure thats not the problem
Well what ever was happening I took all the wires out and redid it so I couldnt tell u the exact culprit
 
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