Electrical issues makin' anyone else stabby?

Sooo ... I got my little 97 manual 2.5L TJ back in like ... August. ish, and it's been cruising along pretty well, happy little jeep, until around mid-November.

Had the check Gauges light pop on for me out of the blue - and the battery gauge dropped entirely. After cleaning the terminals, and then eventually replacing the battery and alternator (just in case. Plus, it was at 104K, and had never had much maintenance done to it) ... the silly gauges are still doing it.

The new alternator isn't charging the battery either, so I checked the cables ... no troubles. Then, after fiddling with things, the battery gauge dropped to nothing and by the time I was home, the battery was nearly dead with the added bonus of the airbag light flicking on.

I'm at a loss. My next step is to try a new ECM to see where that takes me, but before I toss that money in, I figured I'd ask the board of gurus here with FAR more experience than me ...

So. Am I missin' something, guys?

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
Escondido California
Check all the heavy-gauge battery connections, those going to ground too. Look where the connectors are crimped onto the cable, any corrosion? Your problem definitely sounds like it could be nothing more than a bad/loose/corroded connection somewhere. Check at the alternator connections, check the grounds at the firewall and on the engine block.
Canucklehead Cowgirl
Oct 14, 2018
SW Michigan
alright. Ran down the wires and all looks good, tight, and in decent shape. Self diagnosis gave it a code 47, which ... I was getting before I changed the battery (which was bad) and the alternator (which was just old, but still working). Damn.