Lost all power

Aug 21, 2018
57
62
Choureau, OK
#22
No headlights is a key item here. Either cable connection problems or a bad battery would be my first things to look at. I would try jumper cables to your existing battery, that narrows it down to the battery post connections or the battery. Take the battery in for a free load test would be next.
 

GEEP4ME

New Member
Supporting Member
Jan 3, 2019
7
7
near Kansas City
#23
When I was test driving my '01 on New Year's day (prior to purchasing it), a buddy an I were driving it around town. Started it up after leaving a store, and the fuel gauge read empty and the low fuel light was on. I had put 5 gallons in it before our excursion and it was well past half tank when I picked him up. I wasn't too worried, other than a possible glitch in the Matrix, these things seem to have some issues after time and miles.

Pulled into his driveway with the squirrely fuel gauge and shut it off. Got out to unlock/open the tailgate to show off my cleaning job. Got back in and put the key in the ignition and went to start it. Nothing. No gauges, no radio, no odometer......nothing. Turned the ignition back, then on to try and start and still nothing. Hmmmmm. Sort of embarrassing and wondered if this was one of the reasons it got traded in at the dealer where I work. Turned the ignition off, pulled the key out. Couple gauge needles went wonky for a second. Put the key back in, and it fired right up. Fuel gauge working fine.

Now, the fuel gauge has been intermittent for the week and a half I've owned it. Most of the time, I can turn it off, then start it again and the gauge will function fine. But the starting issue was weird and hasn't done it since. The radio also reset itself when the starting issue was happening, just as if the battery had been disconnected. I had read about the column actuator, but I don't think this vehicle has that issue. Haven't pulled it apart to verify it yet, but just have a feeling it is something else.

I have not fully investigated all the battery, cable, ground connections to make sure everything is kosher. The fuel gauge issue is separate. The fuel gauge might be easy/cheap like a loose connection (maybe) or difficult/expensive like a PCM or Cluster. But I can live with it for right now. The totally dead vehicle syndrome has me spooked just a bit, however. But I still bought it, LOL.
 
#25
No headlights is a key item here. Either cable connection problems or a bad battery would be my first things to look at. I would try jumper cables to your existing battery, that narrows it down to the battery post connections or the battery. Take the battery in for a free load test would be next.
Ill take the battery in for a load test tomorrow since the jump pack cant really test that from what i understand.

I am leaning towards cable connection problems simply because the AAA person that came to jump the jeep was moving the PDC or applying pressure and i got power again.

I had a short that was grounding to the tub a while back. It was located in the engine bay, the wire that connects the PDC to the fuse box in the glove compartment was shorting on the tub because the insulator worn down. IIRC it kept blowing fuse 12 at the time. When we found the short we inspected all the wires in the area, fixed up the exposed wire and put some rubber hose around that whole bunch to prevent any more potential damage to the wires.

I know on XJs the ground on the dipstick always loosened up.

When was the last time you checked/replaced the terminals on your battery cable So? I had a Jeep do this to me and it was a bad battery terminal.
I replaced the battery terminal connectors when i went through all that i mentioned above, back in the summer.
 
Likes: skrelnik
#26
Sorry for hijacking this thread @skrelnik

For anyone interested, I started up the jeep earlier today and there were no issues..
My brother rattled the PDC under the hood in an attempt to recreate the issue from yesterday and sure enough after a few start ups it was showing signs of being completely dead again. At this point we were super confused.

I started taking things apart and checking the wires to the battery and the PDC as I had some issues before and was worried we might have missed something. Meanwhile my brother cleaned off the battery posts and the wire terminals.

Before we went out to get the battery tested, we put everything back together and it seems to be working fine after the cleaning. No issues at start, all the accessories come on, no codes, all is well in the world.
I'm hoping that's all the issue was and I don't end up stranded somewhere later down the road.

Moral of this story is even if you don't see any corrosion or the posts don't seem dirty just clean them!
:drive:
 
Likes: skrelnik
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skrelnik

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Jan 10, 2018
760
436
CT, United States
#27
Sorry for hijacking this thread @skrelnik

For anyone interested, I started up the jeep earlier today and there were no issues..
My brother rattled the PDC under the hood in an attempt to recreate the issue from yesterday and sure enough after a few start ups it was showing signs of being completely dead again. At this point we were super confused.

I started taking things apart and checking the wires to the battery and the PDC as I had some issues before and was worried we might have missed something. Meanwhile my brother cleaned off the battery posts and the wire terminals.

Before we went out to get the battery tested, we put everything back together and it seems to be working fine after the cleaning. No issues at start, all the accessories come on, no codes, all is well in the world.
I'm hoping that's all the issue was and I don't end up stranded somewhere later down the road.

Moral of this story is even if you don't see any corrosion or the posts don't seem dirty just clean them!
:drive:
Thanks for chiming in! Thankfully for me I have not had any other issues, so possibly the cold weather that day, was cold enough, that a poor connection was exposed. I really do not know what the issue was.

The only thing I did since it happened was to disconnect, and reconnect, the battery terminals.

Since I do not want to face this problem again, and I was previously thinking of replacing the power and ground cables, I ordered new cables from custom batter cables. I plan to install during one of the upcoming weekends.

https://www.custombatterycables.com/jeep-wrangler/
 
Likes: Schwifty Rich
#28
Thanks for chiming in! Thankfully for me I have not had any other issues, so possibly the cold weather that day, was cold enough, that a poor connection was exposed. I really do not know what the issue was.

The only thing I did since it happened was to disconnect, and reconnect, the battery terminals.

Since I do not want to face this problem again, and I was previously thinking of replacing the power and ground cables, I ordered new cables from custom batter cables. I plan to install during one of the upcoming weekends.

https://www.custombatterycables.com/jeep-wrangler/
I'll second the colder weather, we got about a 10"-15"snow over the weekend here in STL. Those are very nice and look well made. If I continuously encounter this kind of issue I may jump for those as a solution since I don't really care for the clamp style ones I put on.
 
Likes: skrelnik
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skrelnik

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Jan 10, 2018
760
436
CT, United States
#29
I'll second the colder weather, we got about a 10"-15"snow over the weekend here in STL. Those are very nice and look well made. If I continuously encounter this kind of issue I may jump for those as a solution since I don't really care for the clamp style ones I put on.
I can assure you they arrived well packaged and the Seller put a label tag on each cord so you can easily identify what you need to do. Good luck with your electrical gremlins!

Oh man lots of snow for you! We haven't even had an inch yet, up here in Connecticut.