Mastering the Art: How to Start a Jeep Cherokee Without the Key

how to start a jeep cherokee without a key. An image of a keyless vehicle.
how to start a jeep cherokee without a key. Source: offroadpulse website.

Do you want to know how to start a jeep cherokee without a key?

Jeep Cherokee has been in production for a long time. 

It is a small Sports utility vehicle that is affordable and enjoyable to drive as it is an off-road vehicle.

Imagine you’re away from home and suddenly realize that you have left your Jeep Cherokee’s key inside the house. 

The feeling of panic sets in as you realize you’re stranded and have no way to get back. 

Alternatively, perhaps you’ve simply lost your key and you need to use your vehicle. 

A photo of a woman who's lost car keys.
A photo of a woman who’s lost car keys. Image from Vivint website.

Regardless of the situation, starting your Jeep Cherokee without a key is surprisingly simpler than you might expect.

It is very possible to start your jeep cherokee without the key. Here are five possible methods of doing so:

Method one: 

check if your vehicle has a manual override because this feature will allow you to start the vehicle without using the key. 

Look for a release lever near the steering wheel that allows you to disengage the steering wheel lock. 

If you need to start the car without a key, you can bypass the ignition switch with a metal hanger or a piece of wire. 

When starting a car without a key, this method is commonly used.

Method 2: Start Your Jeep Cherokee using a smartphone.

Thanks to SiriusXM Guardian and Uconnect remote services, modern Jeep Cherokees keep you connected to your vehicle. 

You can use your smartphone to start your vehicle from a distance, lock and unlock the door, and even sound the horn. 

You must have downloaded and registered the Uconnect app for this smart feature to work. 

Start your Jeep Cherokee and launch the Uconnect app to unlock it without a key. It’s really that simple. 

Method 3: Start a Cherokee using a screwdriver.

Starting your Jeep Cherokee with a screwdriver is the quickest way to get the job done. 

To do this correctly, you must first gain access to the screw that secures the key cylinder. 

It’s located at the very back of the cylinder.

Once you’ve found it, unscrew it and remove the key cylinder to see the tumblers. 

Insert your screwdriver into the tumblers, and the tumblers will pop out once you’ve found the correct position.

Now that you’ve removed the tumblers, you can turn the key and start the Jeep!

Method 4: How to start your jeep if it has an electric keyless system.

To start your vehicle, follow these steps: First, turn the ignition to the ‘On’ position. 

If you have an electric keyless system, turn it to the ‘On’ position while the ignition switch is in the ‘Off’ position. 

Wait for at least 5 seconds, then press and hold the gearshift lever either up or down, depending on your gearbox. 

You should hear a chirping sound from the keyless entry system, indicating that you can release the gearshift lever without any further action. 

Next, press and hold the steering wheel-mounted button that corresponds to your shift position, usually marked with a yellow arrow.

This will activate your vehicle’s immobilizer system, allowing other cars to start their engines by bypassing security codes. 

Remember that this could take a few minutes. If it doesn’t work on the first attempt, you can try the following steps: Open the hood of your Jeep Cherokee, locate the battery, and disconnect the negative battery terminal

Wait for 10 seconds, then reconnect the negative battery terminal.

Method 5: Start your Jeep with a dead key fob.

Jeep Cherokee owners may encounter a problem known as the “dead key” issue. 

The key fob, a small device containing a unique code for unlocking the Jeep, can be affected by extreme temperatures. 

When the key fob gets too hot or too cold, it can lead to a drained battery, resulting in the Jeep not starting. 

To address this issue, you can follow these steps: Clean the key fob using a cloth dampened with alcohol and then dry it with a lint-free cloth. 

Turn on the ignition and hold down the start button for five seconds until all dashboard indicators light up. 

Use your keys to turn off the vehicle and then restart it again.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you reprogram a jeep cherokee key fob?

To unlock the car, insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “RUN” position while simultaneously pressing the “UNLOCK” button on the driver’s side door.

To unlock the car and activate the panic alarm, hold down both the “UNLOCK” and “PANIC” buttons on your key fob.

To unlock and lock the car, repeat the previous step but this time hold down the “UNLOCK” and “LOCK” buttons on your key fob.

How do you remote start a jeep cherokee?


In conclusion, starting a Jeep Cherokee without a key is possible through various methods;

  1. Checking if the vehicle has a manual override to disengage the steering wheel lock and start the car without a key.
  2. Using a smartphone with the Uconnect app to remotely start the vehicle, unlock doors, and sound the horn.
  3. Starting the Cherokee with a screwdriver by accessing the key cylinder, removing the tumblers, and turning the key.
  4. Following specific steps for vehicles with an electric keyless system, including pressing and holding the gearshift lever and the steering wheel-mounted button.
  5. Addressing the “dead key” issue by cleaning the key fob, turning on the ignition, and restarting the vehicle.


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