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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 17264
Experience:  Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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headlights wont work cherokee xj 96. parking works. tail works.

Resolved Question:

headlights wont work cherokee xj 96'. parking works. tail works. high beams not work. when turn signal on, head lights blink in the same frequency.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

When you turn the turn signals on and the headlamps flash, do both headlamps flash or only the same side as the flashing turn signal?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for fast reply!


 


As a matter of fact, I today saw that I previously was mistaken regarding the flashing headlights. They are flashing alright, but its the paring lights flashing. They are flashing brighter than when the parking light are on, thats the cause of the confution.


 


They are both flashing, no matter whitch side I'm signaling to. In the back the turn signals are working as normal.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Do you have a test light or voltmeter to do some testing?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I have.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Let's first go to the headlamp switch and find the tan/black wire. With the switch plugged in and turned on let's backprobe on this wire and see if there is voltage there. Let me know what you find and we'll go from there.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, I remember I saw that tan/ black yesterday. But what's backprobe? Do I understand you right if I will check if there is 12v in that wire by putting the voltmeter into the socket where this wire goes into the switch?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.

Backprobing is inserting a test probe into the back side of a connector while it's plugged in, contacting the back side of a terminal in the connector. You'll leave the switch plugged in, turn it on and see if there is power leaving on this wire.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, I think I understood correctly. I tested it to 8,08Volts, while there is 12,24 on the battery.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Great!

What do you see on the red/white wire at the switch? You can leave the lamps off for this one.



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

12,32V on the red/white (fatter than the others wire) , black/tan was 8,30V this time...

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
You've got full battery voltage going into the switch but just over 8v coming back out, which tells us the problem is internal in the switch. You've got over a 4v drop through the switch, anything more than a couple tenths of a volt is excessive and would call for switch replacement. The reason the lights aren't working is proper voltage isn't making it through the switch, and it will need to be replaced.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I totally understand the logic in that answer. The case is that the switch is new. The problem appered after changing the switch. The switch before was not giving headlights, but was not making these confusing problems with the signal lights. I have tried to put in the old switch to see if the problem lies in the new one, but now the confusion is total even with the old switch installed.


 


Could it be more we can test?


 


I will go to the aftermarket tomorrow morning and get a new switch anyway and test your conclusion.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
If you put one meter lead on the red/white wire, one on the tan/black and turn the switch one what voltage do you see on the meter?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you please put that in another way?


 


Can't make anything out of it with my english, sorry.


 

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Take the black meter lead and backprobe on the red/white wire.

Take the red meter lead and backprobe on the tan/black wire.

Turn the switch on and read the voltage shown on the meter.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok.


 


I was pushing those probes as best as I could, but read nothing but 0,00V. Could it be right or should I give it another try?


 


If your theory is right, then that should open for the possibility of jumping from the red to the black/ tan, and the head light should be on? If you understand me correct? putting a clean wire between those two...

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, jumping between those wires would do the same job that the switch should do. If you have a jumper wire go ahead and jump between them and see if the lights come on.



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jumping gives the same results as turning on the switch, but without the "buzzer" sound.


 


But this time I was able to read -3,99V when testing the red/white, black/tan.


 


Can we so far conclude that there is a voltage loss in the switch, but that is not the problem?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Did you unplug the switch and jump between these two wires? Let's unplug the switch and put the jumper in if that's not the way you did it the first time.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

didn't do it like that. You're right. I used the probes from the voltage meter and attached them to a jumping wire...

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Let's unplug the switch and put a jumper wire between the two terminals and see what we get. While you have it unplugged check very closely for any signs of corrosion or heat damage on the front of the terminals as well as on the back side and the wiring leaving the switch.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The same result, but this time the parking lights shining brighter.


 


No visible corrotion or damage in any way.


 


What next?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
You're still seeing battery voltage on the red/white wire, correct?

With your jumper in place what do you see if you backprobe on the tan/black?



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

tricky one. Could'nt backprobe both because of the fact that I am just equipped with two hands, but:


 


ok. 0,00V jumper to jumper.


 


0,91V. Jumper to backprobe black/ tan


0,00V Jumper to backprobe red/ white ( could be that I was'nt able to push the probe good enough.)


 


 

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
If you put one end of your jumper wire in the terminal for the red/white connector, black voltmeter lead on ground, what voltage do you see if you touch the red meter lead to the other end of the jumper wire?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

probing in the end of the jumper 12,47V


backprobing 12,42V (tricky one to get to as you probably noticed)

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Let's access the multifunction switch now and find the tan/black wire there. Leave the jumper wire at the red/white wire terminal on the headlamp switch, take it to the tan/black wire at the multifunction switch and see if the lights come on.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No result. But I thin kI have blown a fuse, because now the jumping as we did is not working.


 


By the way; read 12, 32 V on the black/ tan on the multi-function switch when jumping as we did.


 


Do you know which fuse?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
If you still have 12.32v on the wire then the fuse isn't blown.

With your jumper in place what voltage do you see on the violet/white wire at the multifunction switch? Check this in both the low beam and high beam position.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Something I missed maybe. How can I check in the low beam and high beam position when the jumper is in place instead of the headlights switch?


 

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Simply pull the dimmer switch as you normally would while driving. If you have the multifunction switch off the column for testing you can hold the base of it with one hand and pull the dimmer with the other hand.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That would do any good as long as the multiF is of. I'm sure its something I'm missing here, bu I just can't get it.


 


But, I remeber to have seen somewhere that those wires next to black/ tan in the multifunction swith is for the high/ low beam(headlights). Can't I just jump from red/white to those and see if lights come on? Then I can also backprobe them....?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, you can just jump to the violet/white if you want.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok, I got you. Sorry. Obviously I should'nt have taken of the multifunc. I tested as following: black/ tan: 12,14V. Purple: 11,89V, flashing high beam: 11,98.


 


Jumping purple: same result (parking lights)


 


Jumping the other neighbour (not purple, not tan, don't know color): same result (parking lights).


 


Multifunc ok?


 


No fuse blown as you said. It was'nt working because I had the MultiF taken of.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
WE'll have to go out to one of the lamps next. Remove one of the bulbs and find the black wire in the connector. Connect your black voltmeter lead to ground, red lead to the black wire in the bulb connector. With the meter set to 200 ohms, read the resistance.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok, was out trying to do that. This might sound totally weird, but how do I get to it? It seems like its behind solid steel. (It was'nt me changing the light bulbs).

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
They're sealed beam lights which are going to be held in with a retainer around the outside. The service information doesn't appear to have a bulb replacement procedure, but I believe you have to first remove a trim bezel around the lamp which is held in with philips or Torx screws.

Another option may be to get at the lamp connectors from the rear. Can you see the connectors from the back side?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I took out the hole lamp. Seamed to be the only option.


 


Anyway, they both tested 0,00 ohm. But, I can tell you that it was'nt very clean there. Testing the 12V maybe?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, let's go ahead and check the 12v circuit now. Let's run the jumper from the red/white at the headlamp switch over to the violet/white at the multifunction switch and then see if one terminal at the bulb has power.



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

When jumped as we did first and with the multiF installed it tests as follows:


 


upper pin: 3,28V Right 4V Left, adn 12,28V (!) on the "left" pin (both sides)


 


when as you said, jumped to purple when MultiF taken of:


 


"left": 0 both sides


upper pin 12,28V (!) both sides.


 


 


I'll go and chack the bulbs in the meantime....

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Bulbs fine both visual and gives 0,00 ohm both pins on the meter.


 


I am obviously not into electrics, but should'nt the bulbs light from these circumstanses?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

By the way. The parking lights are not shining while the head lamp is disassembled. As fast as I assemble and put on the plug, the parking light lights up on that side Iam assembeling the head lamp.


 


This also makes the sigal light indicators in the panel behind the steering wheel light (those green arrows) , both of them.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, if you have 12v on one terminal at the bulb and ground at another then the bulb should light.

Do you have a test light we could use instead of the meter?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I could use the bulbs? They should be working fine. I've checked them properly.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Have you applied power and ground to them with jumper wires and they light up?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, lets try that.


 


But I managed to get the probe in on the top pin when I assembled the headL bulb now. Both parking lights shine, and I test adrop to 12,02V on the upper pin. This pin is 12,28V when it is not assembled.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Let's use a couple jumper wires between the headlamp bulb and the battery to see if it will light up that way.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It does! The laws of physics have to be rewritten.


 


Does it make any sense at all?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What about ampere? Maybe it not enough of it for some reason?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
One thing bad about using a voltmeter is that you can have 12v on a wire but a problem in the circuit that will prevent current flow, so it won't light a bulb. That's what we have going on here.

If you don't have a test light let's take this headlamp bulb inside and use it like a big test light.

Take one jumper wire and go from the bulb to a good ground inside, take a second jumper wire from another bulb terminal and we'll use the second end for testing.

Let's first go the red/white wire at the headlamp switch and see if it will light the bulb brightly.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

it does until taking out 12v jumping from the "terminal" tan/black when the multiF is taken off/ disassembled. How to test if its in the MultiF the problem lies?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As a matter of fact, that multiF is a assemble point for many of the "symptoms" as of the blinking parkinglights when turning. I was acctualy the one I had in mind to change to start with.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
The jumper needed to be removed from the headlamp switch wire. We need the jumper going from the red/white wire at the headlamp switch straight to the bulb.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

done that. It lights up like it should.


 


next I jumped from red/white to tan/ black in the headlight switch. then put a new jumper to the multiF socket where the tan/ black is coming. Still shining bright. Did I understand right?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
That tells us power is making it to the multifunction switch one with the headlamp switch jumped. Let's leave the bulb jumper wire at the multifunction switch, take the jumper out at the headlamp switch connector and plug the switch back in. Turn the switch on and see if the light is still bright at the headlamp switch connector.



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It does when pulling the head light switch to the outer position. (high beam). Not at the first position.


 


I checked the switch while it was not assembled, it gives no readings to th e ohm (1) in the first position. Shoudnt it do that?


 


 

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
The first position when pulling the headlamp switch out is park lamp, second position is headlamp. If you found power at the tan/black wire at the multifunction switch then the headlamp switch is ok.

Next backprobe on the violet/white wire at the multifunction switch and see if the bulb lights brightly with the headlamp switch on.



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, I'm on it. Is it any chance that we can continue this tomorrow? It's getting early morning here (02:44). I'll let you know about the purple one right away.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, we can continue whenever you'd like. I knew it was getting late there. I'm in the US and it's 8:48 PM here.

I'm a full time tech and will be at work during the day tomorrow but I do get to check in here periodically, if you post while I'm offline I'll get back to you as quickly as I can.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Did you get the last one? No life in the bulb from the back of the purple!


 


I'll replace the MultiF. Then I need your help to put the car back together. Obviously joking. Thanks for today! See you soon! I think we can call it a fixed problem. Have to be. Impressing job.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
If you didn't have any voltage from the violet/white wire then the switch was either in the high beam position or the switch is bad. With the wire and bulb still attached click the dimmer and see if the lights come on. If not then the multifunction switch is bad.
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 17264
Experience: Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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sprinkles08
sprinkles08
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