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1994 Jeep Cherokee Sport, 2WD Is it the light switch?

jmrec100 jmrec100
Enthusiast | Posts: 477 | Joined: 09/10
Posted: 05/04/12
08:33 AM

My headlights wouldn't go on last night. No brights, no dim lights.  But the steering column pull arm for flashing brights works. Tail light works. Brake lights, turn signal - all work. I had to tape the pull lever in to keep brights on and drive home. Had a quirky thing happen 6 months ago where headlights did not go on. I pushed the switch in (off) and pulled it out (on). Got lights. Not this time. Leads me to believe its the switch. Other than taking the switch out and checking it with a meter, is there another easier way to check it?  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 823 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 05/04/12
11:29 AM

the headlight switch has multiple power feeds for different sections..

the headlights are on one feed...    one in..    one out.. with an internal circuit breaker hidden inside the switch body...

the tailights have their own power wire also... usually with the front parking lights..  the fuse is in the fuse box for this...

the instrument lights are usually fused externally...  as they have probably a 5 amp fuse to protect the dash board harness...   the instrument lights usually get their power from the tail light fuse circuit..
the instrument lights have the big ceramic resistor to vary the amount of power to change the brightness..

the dome lights are also powered through the headlight switch .. not always.. but sometimes..   the dome lights do have a ground connection inside the switch. when you turn the knob all the way to the left the dome lights are usually grounded and the lights come on..

now there is one more hidden circuit..  the mounting bracket of the headlight switch has to be grounded..


so .. lets get back to the headlight circuit..

one in .. one out..  the out goes into the dimmer switch.. where its sent either to the high beams or the low beams..

do you still have the wiring diagrams in the repair manual .. ?? do you need a diagram.. or colors of the wires..

there is a chance the headlight switch failed...   there is also a chance the dimmer switch failed..

the FLASH to pass power comes from a different circuit..

to remove the headlight switch PUSH ROD..   DISCONNECT the battery...  pull the headlight rod to the second position ..   there is a spring loaded button on the metal side of the headlight switch..  if you push the headlight switch in ever so slightly from the fully out position..  you can depress the side button and then yank the rod out the front..    this will allow you to get at the retaining nut .. so you can remove the switch from the dash board easily..   warning.. this leaves the headlight switch in the ON position..  please do not twist the rod as you remove it..

to install.. just shove it back in..   you might need to sometimes have to push the button on the side to get the rod in.. usually it just pushes in and latches  

jmrec100 jmrec100
Enthusiast | Posts: 477 | Joined: 09/10
Posted: 05/12/12
07:05 PM

It was the switch. And I basically took alot of the dash apart to reach it. Removed the lower knee plate, the Speedometer instrument panel to see what I was trying to get. The connector harness was just long enough to plug into the switch with no extra to manipulate the connector off. After I put it all in, checked it and the lights worked.
It wasn't until later at work that I realized that the ground wire to the switch was left off. Found this out when I replaced the brake light bulb that burned out. With lights on and press the brake, the tail lights would go off. Got me thinking. Luckily I knew what it looked like and was able to reach in and attach it with little trouble. So its all good now. Anyone replacing the light switch, remember the last ground wire.  

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