Jeep Cherokee acting up out of the blue is a pretty common occurrence these days. Questioning if these issues occur due to the faults in the Jeep’s ground? Wondering how you can diagnose that?
The Jeep Cherokee ground plays the most critical role in the electrical system of a Jeep. It’s also known as a ground strap or ground cable which runs all of the Jeep’s electrical flows. In some cases, if for some reason it malfunctions, you’d face many problems while driving your Jeep Cherokee.
So what exactly are the bad ground symptoms in a Jeep Cherokee? When your Jeep Cherokee is having technical challenges like a dead battery, low voltage, or dimming lights, those are good signs that your 4×4 vehicle may have a bad ground.
Our Bottom Line Upfront: Jeep Cherokee bad ground symptoms usually appear in the form of technical problems such as a dead battery, low voltage, and dimming lights. If your Jeep Cherokee exhibits any of these symptoms, make sure to have them fixed by a professional Jeep mechanic—otherwise they can ultimately lead to more serious problems.
Interesting Read: The Most Common Jeep Cherokee PCM Problems.
Symptoms of Bad Ground in a Jeep Cherokee
There are certain common symptoms of a faulty ground you need to be aware of. These symptoms can seem insignificant initially but can become serious if they’re left unresolved. Believe it or not, you simply need to observe your Jeep Cherokee to know the bad ground symptoms.
Having said that, here are the main symptoms of bad ground in a Jeep Cherokee.
A Jeep Cherokee with a bad ground may often experience failure to start, meaning that the vehicle is refusing to start due to a fault in the solenoid.
The solenoid is that part of the engine that resides in any vehicle’s starter. It’s attached to the negative terminal of a battery which supplies the necessary power to the solenoid, enabling the vehicle to start.
But the connection between the battery and starter can sometimes get loose. Therefore, the solenoid becomes unable to start the vehicle. Instead, it simply makes tapping sounds due to the vehicle’s opening and closing.
If you experience the no-start problem, carefully examine the wire connection. Perhaps your Jeep Cherokee’s solenoid can’t suck up the required power from the battery because of the bad ground cable.
Air Conditioning Fails to Work
When a Jeep Cherokee’s ground strap gets damaged, it upsets the entire supply network of your vehicle. Thus, your air conditioner might stop working out of the blue.
It can be extremely frustrating if this happens while you’re traveling. So, in that case, stay calm and take a quick look at your Jeep’s connections to detect frayed or broken wires. Be sure to fix up any broken or frayed wire you find. But if you can’t find the problem, seek the help of an expert.
But treating this problem lightly can cause further damage to your vehicle, such as acid buildup which could be extremely damaging to your Jeep Cherokee. In that case, it’s best to replace the entire air conditioning system with something like the Vintage Air® Gen 2 Mini Heat Cool & Defrost.
While rare, unresponsive windows can happen due to bad ground in a Jeep Cherokee. Your car windows can suddenly get jammed or may not respond to opening and closing. While that problem may be due to several reasons, you might want to get your windows checked up by a mechanic.
As a result of bad ground, the Jeep’s motor can get frozen or broken. Or it could be an issue in the switch or cable that’s causing this kind of problem in your car window. If your vehicle experiences this kind of problem, don’t overlook it.
If you’re unable to diagnose the problem, leave it to a professional. Alternatively, you can take off your door frame and carefully examine the motor and connection. If you notice any fault, have it sorted out accordingly.
When the Jeep Cherokee has a bad ground strap, it causes lots of problems, including low voltage.
The low voltage could also be due to other reasons. Due to low voltage, the car’s fuel pump works slowly, which therefore adversely affects the Jeep’s energy supply chain.
If you find out that your Jeep Cherokee is losing its normal speed, make sure to test the voltage coming out of the Jeep’s battery terminals. If you somehow find that your Jeep has a lower voltage than its normal range, make sure to find out exactly why that’s the case.
During the process, make sure to take effective steps once you know that bad ground cable is at fault for low voltage. However, it’s better to seek the help of an expert instead of trying to sort out this problem on your own.
Your Jeep Cherokee’s battery may suddenly not be able to charge itself. If that happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the battery’s completely dead or damaged. Surprisingly, other factors could be behind the problem.
It might be possible that the wire connecting the alternator with your battery is defective or that the alternator just isn’t working. You might even discover that the problem is due to your Jeep Cherokee’s bad ground. And that impairs the engine’s charging system.
So, it’s best to give your car a full inspection to get to the bottom of the issue. Then you may either fix the issue on your own or get a professional to do it. However, if you find out that your battery is damaged, make sure to replace it immediately with the DieHard Platinum H7, 1000 CCA, 800 CA, 140 RC Battery or the Duralast Platinum H7-EFB 770 CCA Battery.
Dash Gauges Aren’t Working
Another problem in a Jeep Cherokee is when the dash gauges stop working. While the problem itself can be utterly frustrating, it can come with more bad news such as bad ground.
In general, Jeeps have three kinds of dash gauges, namely the fuel gauge, speed meters, and temperature gauge. Once dash gauges stop working, it can be very easy to identify bad ground.
Well, the Jeep Cherokee isn’t immune from this problem. But dash gauges might also fail to work due to a blown fuse or faulty instrument clusters. So, it’s best to find out the primary issue first before arriving at any conclusion. Only then can you figure out what to do to sort out this problem.
Dimming or Flickering Headlights
A Jeep Cherokee’s headlights may flicker due to many reasons. Among the various reasons, the main cause is the vehicle’s faulty circuit. If the car’s circuit isn’t designed properly, then there’s a huge risk of the ground cable being worn out or damaged.
If your Jeep Cherokee’s ground cable somehow got damaged, the vehicle’s headlights will lack power supply. As a result, you might see that your car’s headlights aren’t working properly. If that goes on, they may dim or flicker out of the blue.
If the vehicle’s ground strap is totally damaged, you’ll need to replace it with a brand new one right away. But if it’s simply a little loose, you have nothing major to worry about.
Visible Ground Cable Damage
To know the true state of your Jeep’s ground cable, you must carry out a physical inspection. Carefully inspect the ground cable to check for any signs of physical damage. If you find any, it’s best to consider an immediate replacement like the Mopar® – Ground Cable.
Recent Situation-Specific Jeep Cherokee Bad Ground Symptoms
Here are some additional Jeep Cherokee bad ground symptoms in recent years. If your Jeep Cherokee exhibits these problems, make sure to have them fixed immediately.
- The Jeep fails to start after numerous attempts
- The Jeep doesn’t stop after starting it
- The Jeep’s headlights flicker when the vehicle isn’t running
- Hazard lights fail to flash when opening and closing the Jeep
- All the memory seat functions come to a standstill
- Dash lights keep on flickering and don’t stop
- The belt light doesn’t go off even though it’s actually torn
- The overhead computer doesn’t display any information
- Interior lights stay on even when it’s unnecessary
- Sometimes the Jeep’s information center doesn’t display any information except for hyphens
- The Jeep’s bottom information center fails to work with the door open
- The Jeep’s automatic power lock feature becomes useless
If you notice some of these bad ground symptoms in your Jeep Cherokee, you have to take the right steps to resolve them. Otherwise, they might ultimately lead to more serious problems.
FAQs on Jeep Cherokee Bad Ground Symptom
Question: How Do You Tell If Your Vehicle’s Ground is Bad?
Answer: To tell if your vehicle’s ground is bad, check for these symptoms:
• Flickering lights
• Dim lights
• Dead battery
• Faulty fuel pump
• Hard starting
• Ignition coil failure
• Electrical devices working unpredictably
• Periodic failure of sensors
• Damaged transmission cables or throttle
• Burned out or slipping AC compressor clutch
Question: What Are the Most Common Issues with the Jeep Cherokee?
Answer: The most common troubles with a Jeep Cherokee include:
• Alternator failure
• Ignition switch malfunction
• Erratic electronic shifting
• Engine freezing while driving
Question: What Can a Faulty Battery Ground Cause?
Answer: A faulty battery ground can cause the following in your car:
• Dim interior lighting
• Slowly cranking engine
• Failure of engine to start
• Loss of electricity
• Stalling of engine if the car isn’t moving
• Clicking noise when the key is turned, but the engine fails to start
Question: What Would Make a Jeep Cherokee Not Start?
Answer: There are various reasons why a Jeep Cherokee can fail to start, including:
• Faulty spark plugs
• Bad battery
• Failing starter
• Faulty starter solenoid
• Failing alternator
• Corroded battery terminals
• Failed/faulty fuel pump
• Bad fuel injectors
• Faulty or clogged oxygen sensor
• Bad ignition coil pack
• Bad starter relay
• Clogged fuel lines or fuel filter
Question: Can a Faulty Ground Bring About a Misfire?
Answer: Yes, it’ll cause a misfire. In fact, a misfire can occur due to dirt on a coil, wrong plugs, faulty plugs, wrong wires, as well as a sticking valve.
Final Thoughts on Jeep Cherokee Bad Ground Symptoms
Now that you’re a bit more clued up about the symptoms of bad ground in a Jeep Cherokee, it could become easier to fix them properly. While all of these problems can be completely sorted out, it’s much better to avoid them.
To avoid these problems, you just need to take proper care of your Jeep Cherokee and take it for regular checkups. This way, your vehicle might stay out of any potential troubles.
However, even if your Jeep Cherokee develops bad ground symptoms, look for technical help from a professional Jeep mechanic before the problem becomes worse.