The decorated Jeep leaves their owner stranded

Sam Mobile Technician Michigan Posted   Latest   Edited  
Case Study
Driveability
Security
2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 3.8L (1) 6-spd (NSG370)
No Crank / No Start
Immo Light On
No Keys Stored

This is the story of a very decorated jeep that has left its owner stranded, Lets start off by saying this jeep has had every possible aftermarket decoration added inside and out. Also I would guess the owner is a female. Just a guess. Hopefully you get the idea. I am a mobile tech in the metro Detroit area. One of my regular shops calls and they are replacing a WIN Module on a wrangler. Due to the failure of these I almost don't ask questions. I advise the job may require new keys as sometime the old ones will not program. 

Job is sold and scheduled. The day has arrived. New WIN module installed. Vehicle still apart. No big deal. Install old module and retrieve the PIN. Plug new module in and it is obvious somebody has attempted to program as the WIN as the Pin is not the same as the old one. No biggy. Use witech and the setup runs perfect with the new pin. The keys fail to program. Cut a new key and bam it is programmed. OK. Typical Chrysler product. Cut and program a second key as per customer request. Jeep is running. Get paid and on to the next job. 

A few hours later the phone call. Tech finished putting it together and now it wont crank. WTH? Return next morning and sure enough the module has 0 keys learned. Check the ring for activity and it is dead. I remove clamshell to check for power. Thinking it must have blown a fuse. As soon as the clamshell is down I turn the key on and it starts right up. Now I am thinking it has a bad connection. Check pin fitment, Reinstall clamshell, and it wont start. WTH? I glance at the clamshell and it has a decorative piece glued to it. diag​.​net/file/f5wiofv0b…

Will this prevent the signal from the key from getting to the module? I scrape it off. We can always reglue if needed. Wala it starts and runs, I hold the piece back where it was and no start. This is likely the cause of the entire problem. I advise shop to have customer leave it off unless they just want to look at it. Sometimes the simplest things cause the biggest problems. 

Hope this saves someone some grief someday. It about drove me crazy. 

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Nicholas Mobile Technician
New York
Nicholas
 

I bet that was the original problem haha. Great case study.

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Paul Technician
California
Paul
 

Great case study Sam! Thsnk you!!

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Fred Business Development Manager
California
Fred
 

That resembles the trunk lock guard plate from the New York City crack war days of the 80's! Thank you and more stories please.

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Christopher Owner/Technician
Arizona
Christopher
 

I had a bmw someone put a bling ring of fake diamonds around the ignition….same thing,,,blocked ring signal…

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Timothy Owner/Technician
Wisconsin
Timothy
 

Anything metal around the transceiver will definitely cause issues. There was an old TSB from Ford IIRC, that indicated, too may keys on the ring, or Mobil Pass would also cause no-start/theft issues…since all of these systems work approximately the same way, I'm not surprised that it had issues with a big chunk of metal around the key slot

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Stephen Owner/Technician
California
Stephen
 

Good stuff!

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Geoff Diagnostician
Hawaii
Geoff
 

That's awesome! Bling bling bling….no start….LOL

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Michael Owner/Technician
New Jersey
Michael
 

Been there, done that. My experience was with a Nissan Altima which had been “bedazzled”. Same issue, start and stall. We removed it and Success!

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Good find Sam! Interference can be a real issue and not always easily diagnosed. I had something quite similar today. I have two classrooms and I have only used one since returning from vacation in late August. Since I had a request for a single course delivery while I'm running a string of the same course in Room 1 and didn't want to spend time prepping that room twice over, I instead decided…

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Christopher Technician
Virginia
Christopher
 

Good catch, Sam. The simple things are what always get me. A question, though. What method/ tooling do you use to verify the output signal from the ring? Do you look for a model specific signal, or just any signal at all? I have tried to investigate this myself with various rigs on my scope, but the research is inconclusive. Thanks for you insight. Chris A.

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Timothy Owner/Technician
Wisconsin
Timothy
 

It depends on the system in question. Many systems use a Tx/Rx system (some Fords) and you can actually see the transceiver ‘ping’ the key and the response. Some send a bus message. I use a scope for checking it.

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Sam Mobile Technician
Michigan
Sam
 

For testing the ring for a signal i use a vvdi mini. There are several inexpensive tools and usually all you need to know is if it is transmitting a signal. Vvdi mini also tests tbe keys and does some cloning. So it is a more all around tool. About 150usd on the web

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Christopher Technician
Virginia
Christopher
 

Thanks for that Sam. I'll look into it.

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Damon Technician
Florida
Damon
 

Great case study. We had the exact same problem on a Honda.

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