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Smart Key Fail error

6579 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  tak0629
Hi guys
My Cherokee Longitude (2016) karked out today.
Door opened fine, but when pressing the Start button, there was no response.
A recall part message on dash relating to steering lock, but that went away.
Then I also get a 'Smart Key Fail' error that seems to be more persistent.
So...steering locked, handbrake on and cannot start the Jeep.

1. Had roadside replace the battery - no change
2. Tried 2xclick to start remotely - no go
3. Tried pressing keyfob against push start button - no go
4. Another spare keyfob doesn't work either
5. Car will lock/unlock. Flashers work. Rear lift will open/close. Emergency flashers will work

Car now towed into Jeep dealer service centre and they tell me that it will be TWO weeks before they can even LOOK at the car. Geez!

Trying to find out what the problem could be and if anyone else has had this issue

Thanks in advance
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Thanks for the input - we THINK we have isolated the problem. Will know 100% for sure next week. Will post update when confirmed.
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The final outcome is as follows as reported by Jeep service:
Start/stop ignition not working
'smart key fail error'
So it appears that there is a module in/on the steering column that engages, unlocking the steering wheel first before supplying power to the ignition circuit
Total cost of 'module = AU$723 + AU$450 labour
Hard to say Michelle. First level diagnostics indicated multiple module failures on my Jeep and (higher price), but I was told a more thorough check will be needed. It may well be that more than one part is needed for your problem.
Here is the part ($US) that was replaced on my Jeep. Chrysler part # 68145593AF
I think you are being ripped off price wise. It sounds opportunistic. You may want to confirm the part number.
Generally you expect a car part to attract a 40% to 50% margin - so cost=AU$350, sell = AU$700. Anything more is a rip-off.
No way should it take a whole day. Sounds like your mechanic has to learn and figure out how to do the job on your dime. My case labour is estimated 4 hours.
That being said, I am not a mechanic and can only go from my past ability with car mechanics and what my experience was with this problem.

Parts availability may be a problem. I was lucky.

If you are stranded car-wise, it may pay you to take thing into your own hands. Call around the country to all Jeep Dealers and ask about the part number (I don't know the part # of the 'receiver hub'). You may get lucky. There has to be a part somewhere in Oz!

One option is to use your research and approach your mechanic. Hopefully, if you have a good relationship with him, he will see reason and compromise.

The other choice is to speak to your local Jeep Dealer (if you have one) and see if it will be worth getting them to do the job. I am usually against taking my cars to authorised dealers as I am not the trusting sort. In my case, it worked out because they had the part and the know-how to do the job. I doubt the average mechanic has the know-how.

Hope that helps
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New thought - maybe your mechanic has to buy the steering module from Jeep and they only give him a 20% discount on RRP. So he may be paying $AU600 for the module and selling at $1300 which is (I guess), not absolutely unreasonable in business.
$185 for diagnostic is fine. Sure, give it a try to see if you can source. I would clear it with the dealership. There MAY be subtle differences between US and AU versions of a part. Double-check compatibility. If the dealership is happy for you to source, then great. On the other hand, you may find one in AU, even if it's more expensive, at least you can get your car on the road.
And unfortunately, if it is a dealership, you are pretty much tied in to the 'allocated' hours to do the job even it actually takes half the time. Be nice, smile at them, maybe they can negotiate and things will turn out ok.
Look further up the page: Discussion Starter · #9 · Mar 17, 2022
The part number is shown there as well as following discussions
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