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Headlights, tail lights stopped working


 
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jcrouse
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Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Headlights, tail lights stopped working Reply with quote

Hi,

The headlights, tail lights, and brake lights stopped working on my 1989 XJ. It has the 4.0. They worked this morning but not this evening. I checked the fuse (is it the same one for both headlights and tail lights, are they the same circuit?) and it is okay. The only thing I can think of right now is that the headlight switch may be bad but I'm not sure why this would cause the brake lights to not work. What else should I look at and how could I test the switch?

Thanks for any help.

Joe C
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jcrouse
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Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent an hour or so last night, in 10 degree weather, checking the fuse box, the headlight relay, and making visual checks for bare wires, burnt wires etc. Everything looked or checked out fine. I'm starting to think that if it was indeed the headlight switch then I should be able to at least get the lights to flicker on/off if I jiggled the switch enough. They never did flicker at all. At this point I'm thinking there is a bad ground somewhere. Is there some ground in the headlight/tail light circuit that is notorious for going bad? Are the headlights and tail lights even on the same circuit?

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks
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kaos
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Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Location: Iceland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked my FSM. It is for a '93 model, so it may not be the same, but in my case, a blown fuse #12 in the Power Distribution Center (under the hood, on the passenger side) would cause all headlights, park lights and tail lights to go out.

Quote:
At this point I'm thinking there is a bad ground somewhere.


"Fond" as I am of ground faults, I don't think there is any common ground connection for all of these lights.

HTH, best regards,
--
Kári in Iceland
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jcrouse
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for suggestion Kaos. I picked up a Chiltons that has numerous schematics in it but I'm not exactly sure of what year some of the diagrams depict. One of the diagrams shows the power distribution center that is labeled with " 40A Headlamp System Maxi Fuse, 40A Fuse Block Maxi Fuse, and 60A Ignition System Maxi Fuse". My '89 has a block of four relays directly behind the battery. I think they are relays. I took the one for the electric fan and tried it in place of the four relays behind the battery and the lights did not work.

My real problem is that I'm not familiar with the Cherokee electrical system so, at this point, I'm at a loss of what to check out next. I'd really rather not have to take it to a shop.

Thanks again.

Joe
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jcrouse
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know what each of the four relays on the passenger side of the engine compartment are for? The schematics I have do not show them. I'd appreciate any info on this. I've got an '89 4.0.

thanks

Joe C
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88WOWJ
Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Location: Hinesville Ga

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Headlight and tailights dont work Reply with quote

I have numerous lighting problems over the years.
The older ones like yours and my 1988 are know for frying the connector plug at the headlight switch and the ignition switch.
Check the switch and replace it if the wiring looks OK.
If not check the plug for the headlight switch. All lighting runs through the
headlight switch.
_________________
1988 Wagoneer Limited XJ Tellico Tested
Rocklizards panels, Tomken rear bumper and front Tow brackets, Rocket air intake, 2 inch lift,
30x950x15, 1991 coolant system with electric fans, 8,000 mile marker winch
1991 Cherokee Limited
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jcrouse
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip 88WOWJ. I'll go recheck the connections at the switch. I may go ahead and just replace the switch. Checker/Kragen has them for 14 bucks.

I just found out something else that doesn't seem like it could be related to the light issue but the 'Emissions Maintenance' light apparently came on the same time that the lights failed to come on. My son is using the Jeep and just told me this. I hadn't noticed as I've not started the Jeep since the lighting problem started. Anyone have any idea how/if these two things can be related? My muffler just gave out two weeks ago and I haven't replaced it yet. Could this somehow cause the emissions light to come on? The front of the muffler, right next to the catalytic converter, is rotted out.

thanks for any help

Joe C
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88WOWJ
Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Location: Hinesville Ga

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Headlights and tialights dont work Reply with quote

The emmission maintenance module triggers the emmission light.
It will come on every 68,000 miles regardless of a emmission problem.
The part can be only gotten at the dealer for about $45.00.
Just disconnect it and dont worry about it. Mine was disconnected when I bought it used in 1992 and has been disconnected since. 66,000 miles in 1992, present 316,125 miles
_________________
1988 Wagoneer Limited XJ Tellico Tested
Rocklizards panels, Tomken rear bumper and front Tow brackets, Rocket air intake, 2 inch lift,
30x950x15, 1991 coolant system with electric fans, 8,000 mile marker winch
1991 Cherokee Limited
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jcrouse
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the emissions info. Is the module under the dash below the steering wheel? I think I saw it yesterday when I was looking under there.

Also, what is best to use to remove what the manual calls the ferrule nut from the headlight swith? I was able to easily remove the shaft but the nut is extremely tight. My largest screwdriver (widest tip) wasn't able to get a good bite on the nut. Is there a special tool to remove the nut?

thanks again

joe C
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