Jeep Grand Cherokee:

Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

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#1 6/3/2010 12:03 AM

wkyle
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Registered: 6/2/2010
Posts: 1

Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

I am having problems cranking my 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited.  When key is inserted, a flashing light appears on panel (key with line through it).  Motor will turn over but vehicle will not crank.  Security system is totally functional.  Could this be a bad chip in key?

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#2 6/3/2010 1:34 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1298

Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

Do you have a spare key that you can use to see if it will start?

The keys with the transponder chip are gray, non functioning keys are black and will work the doors and ignition key will turn but will not allow the vehicle to start.

Did you buy the Jeep new, if you did it should have been issued two keys?

Did you recently get Mobil Speed Pass? There is a service bulletin on this issue. The Mobil Speed Pass radio frequency interferes with the chip inside the key and won't let the car start. The fix would be to just remove the Mobil Speed Pass off the key ring and see if the car starts.

If an invalid key is detected in the ignition key cylinder with the ignition switch in the Run/Start position SKIM (sentry key immobilizer module) will flash the VTSS (vehicle theft security system) indicator lamp ON and OFF.

Either a good lock smith or the Jeep dealer can program a new key to the system. They need a factory authorized scanner to reprogram a new key if one is needed.

The security system should be scanned for codes to make sure the immobilizer system is working properly.


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#3 6/6/2010 6:15 PM

Keiner
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Registered: 6/6/2010
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Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

I'm having problems to crank my 2000 Grand Cherokee, the sentry key signal appears with the key in ON position, its stay up for about 2 seconds and goes off (as normal), then almost immediately its comes back on and stays solid. At this point the engine runs but doesn't crank. How do I fix this without taking the car to a dealer?

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#4 6/6/2010 10:05 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/24/2009
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Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

When the ignition switch is turned to the On or Start positions, the Security Key Immobilizer Module (SKIM) transmits an RF signal to excite the Sentry Key transponder. The SKIM then listens for a return RF signal from the transponder of the Sentry Key that is inserted in the ignition lock cylinder. If the SKIM receives an RF signal with valid "Secret Key" and transponder identification codes, the SKIM sends a "valid key" message to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) over the Programmable Control Interface (PCI) data bus. If the SKIM receives an invalid RF signal or no response, it sends "invalid key" messages to the PCM. The PCM will enable or disable engine operation based upon the status of the SKIM messages.

The Security Key Immobilizer Module (SKIM) also sends messages to the Electro Mechanical Instrument Cluster (EMIC) over the Programmable Communication Interface (PCI) data bus network to control the Sentry Key Immobilizer System (SKIS) indicator lamp. The SKIM sends messages to the EMIC to turn the lamp on for about three seconds when the ignition switch is turned to the On position as a bulb test. After completion of the bulb test, the SKIM sends bus messages to keep the lamp off for duration of about one second. Then the SKIM sends messages to turn the lamp on or off based upon the results of the SKIS self-tests. If the SKIS indicator lamp comes on and stays on after the bulb test, it indicates that the SKIM has detected a system malfunction and/or that the SKIS has become inoperative.

Unfortunately the only way to take care of this is to go to the dealer for service.

I don't know if you have a Mobil Speed Pass or not, but if you do there is a bulletin on this where the Mobil Speed Pass interferes with the signal the key sends to the Immobilizer unit. The simple fix is to remove the speed pass from the key ring away from the ignition key switch so it doesn't interfere with the key signal.


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#5 6/7/2010 1:08 PM

Keiner
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Registered: 6/6/2010
Posts: 2

Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

Thank you so much for your help. Keiner Solis

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#6 6/11/2011 7:25 PM

tnriver
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Registered: 6/11/2011
Posts: 1

Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

I am having problems with my 2001 Grand Cherokee 6 cyl engine shutdown after driving for about an hour. I noticed at the time, above the check engine light, the sentry key light was on while the engine was in the process of quitting. Is it possible, the chip in the old key is going bad and causing the engine to stop?

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#7 6/11/2011 8:13 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1298

Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

It is possible for a key to malfunction; if it does give a problem then the SKIM (Sentry Key Immobilizer module) will store a trouble code in its memory.

There may be other problems causing the light to come on and causing the engine to cut out.

Scanning the computer system by a qualified mechanic can give the mechanic a more precise location of the problem.

The trouble code is number specific to the problem; it will direct the mechanic to the proper location of the problem.

If the key is bad then a new key will have to be programmed into the system by a specific procedure.


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#8 6/18/2011 5:22 PM

dcassidyii
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Registered: 6/18/2011
Posts: 1

Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

I am having same problem with my 2000 Grand Cherokee. After about an hour of driving it shuts off. I have had mechanics replace two of the sensors, one of them being the crank sensor, and I am still having the same problem. Next up it to see about replacing the computer (ECM). They are getting error codes but are having trouble identifying the problem. My Sentry Key light also comes on, but I had the problem before this light was coming on when the car died as well. I think its a symptom of a bigger problem than the key chip going out.
Does anyone have and thoughts about buying a rebuilt ECM?

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#9 6/18/2011 11:37 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1298

Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

An error code is being set because something in that circuit or area is setting it. Codes are very specific by the number codes that are assigned to them.

If your mechanic can't identify the problem by the codes being set then I would bring the vehicle to another qualified Jeep dealer. A new dealer will look at it with a fresh qualified mechanic who is may be more qualified than the other mechanics you are using.

A rebuilt computer can save you money but sometimes may not be the best choice.


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#10 7/31/2011 9:56 PM

Yaqui
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Registered: 7/31/2011
Posts: 1

Re: Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

I have read past posts and seem to have almost the same problem. The sentry light comes on, blinks and then goes out. After starting it comes right back on I have never had a problem with the cranking or shutting down after being driven. Other times it blinks and stays on but starts and then shuts the engine down. If you keep turning the key on and off it will finally go out, start and get you where you are going. No codes are ever shown!

2000 Grand Cherokee, V8

Thanks in advance!

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