not the battery, not the alternator. what could it be?

Zandra Terry

Asked by Mar 12, 2015 at 08:44 AM about the 1998 Jeep Cherokee 4 Dr Classic 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

at first we figured it was just the
battery, so we had it tested and they
said it was fine. it wasn't one to really
trust though so we had it tested at a
different auto shop & they said it was
bad.. ran it again and it kept saying
the same thing so we got a new one
and it helped things for a few days,
then it kept cutting off again. so we
took out the alternator had it tested,
it was a bad alternator too. got a new
one & also bought new terminals for
the battery, ran for a couple days,
now it's down again. it'll start up &
run for maybe 5-10 minutes straight
if I wanted to, but as soon as I turn it
on the check gauges light comes on
& the meter shows it drop from 14 to
9 then eventually cuts off. something
completely drains the battery.
something electrically is wrong
obviously, but we can't figure out

3 Answers

Zandra Terry

by the way it's a grand Cherokee, not just a cherokee.


It sounds like you guys have tested, but I am not sure what procedure you are using, so I will describe what I would do. Make sure the battery is fully charged. using a multimeter on volts dc test the battery. should be 12+. start the jeep and again connect the meter to the battery terminals. if your alternator is working you should have over 14v. Another test you didn't mention is a battery load test. again, charge the battery fully and have it load tested. in this test the terminals are disconnected from the battery and a special tester is attached and a load is put on the battery for about 10 seconds. if it drops to 9 v or so, the battery is bad. I know you bought new parts, but sometimes they are bad right out of the box. sucks. ok now, you are going to have to check in a repair manual, or call a dealer to find out if the voltage regulator is in your alternator or not. in some jeep/dodge vehicles it is taken care of in the PCM. lets hope that's not the problem! If all of these things check out, type into your search bar "how to find a parasitic draw in my car" there are many good videos on how to do this. Hope this helps.. Mike.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
David Brock

Make sure you have right wires where they need to go on alternator if is not a plug had same thing happen to my f150 changed wires around runs fine now

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