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Steve, Auto Service Technician
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Experience:  25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
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Jeep Cherokee: windshield wipers go off and on while driving

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I am purchasing a Jeep Cherokee by private sale. Sellor says it has one problem. Every now and then the blinker, blinkers, radio, and windshield wipers go off and on while driving. What might be the cause of this and could this turn out to be a pricey investment for me? This is to take place in less than 24 hours, any ideas are greatly appreciated.

   Interesting combinatioon of symptoms, do they all go off and on at the same time?   Or do these items actuate independently?


   The first thing that comes to mind is a failing ignition switch; these accessories are all powwered up by an ignition accessory circuit somewhere (when you shut the key off, all of these items should be turned off by the key).   The part that puzzles me soemwhat is why they would all come on in the first place, even though they share a power circuit?   


  Jeeps are known for multifunction switch failures giving weird problems with lights and wipers, but this would not affect the radio.


   Body controller problems also come to mind, although this would not affect turn signals or radio.


   I would suspect possibly more than one problem; possibly a failing multifunction switch in teh steering column, and possibly some sort of ignition switch circuit problem.     If the items you mention actuate at different times, this would also tend to indicate possibly more than one source.


   If in doubt, why not ask the seller if you could have the vehicle diagnosed at a Jeep dealer prior to completing the purchase?  

Steve, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience: 25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
Steve and 4 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: Hello Steve,

Thank you so much for your help in my question. I would like to ask about your statement of the items actuate at different times. I was told by the sellor, when the vehicle is in motion, it tends to knock out different parts, such as a blinker, the radio, and the windshield wipers at different intervals. I believe they meant these items would stop working at seperate intervals, then suddenly return to normal. What could be the other source causing this, excluding the ignition problem that you metioned. It is an older model, 1988, and I have no way of having someone check it out, so I value your opion. I am to purchase this vehicle by 11:00 today, so this may never reach you in time for an answer, but if you have time, I would be ever so greatful. The rest of the vehicle is in excellent shape and I am in dyer need of one and would not want to pass it up if the problem is something that can be fixed for a low cost. Thank you so much.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: Hi Steve, again thank you for your help. I did purchase the jeep, not quite sure, but it seems to be the ignition switch. The blinkers, radio and wipers all shut down while in motion until you wiggle the key a bit. Seems the whole column will have to be taken out to fix it. I suspect it will not be a cheap repair. Other than that, for an old jeep, it's in really good shape, so far! Have a wonderful day. :)
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: Hi,

Buyer beware, what a bit of new paint and a few tires will do for a vehicle, (the outside that is) and since there are no lemon laws here, I got peeled on this deal. It changes my outlook on female's and, or teacher's as well. ;)

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