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bill
bill, jeep master tech
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 1563
Experience:  25 years with jeep drivability and electrical expert
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Back lifts and dash lights not working on a Jeep Wrangler

Customer Question

Back lifts and dash lights not working on a Jeep Wrangler 2003. Fuse changed, bulbs changed and rheostat handle changed. Headlights work, flashers, interior roof light, turn signals, brake lights and backup lights but no back lights with headlights and no dash lights. Any ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

do you have the vin so I can pull a wiring diagram, all our wiring diagrams are vin specific,also are you referring to the INSTRUMENT CLUSTER lights?

do the heat and a/c back lights operate?

you will need a test light and the ability to use it along with a digital volt/ohm meter

what is your skill level?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm a newbie and I'm referring to the lights that light up the dash panel and the lights on the back that light up when the headlights are on.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My ac-heat panel never had lights but the stereo lights work
Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

ok can you use a test light and can you remove the instrument cluster for testing?

I still need the vin for a wiring diagram

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1J4FA49SX3P305319
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a tester and my bf is the one who'd take it apart but he isn't here atm
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only thing I haven't changed is the relay on the rheostat/wiper handle ears
Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

if your radio lights work that is a strong indication there is a wiring issue NOT a relay

Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

give me a minute to look up the wiring for the dash lights

Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

OK you have a pretty basic wrangler no a/c and a decent factory radio, and my favorite color red looks so good on a jeep, the heater controls SHOULD have lights that light up when you put on the headlamps the feed wire for these is spliced together with the radio lights and the instrument cluster lights do you have the factory radio still or is it an aftermarket one?

I have a wiring diagram I will send you and you WILL definitely need a test lamp and digital ohm meter to determine if you lost power or ground

Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

a jumper wire to provide power to the circuit will be helpful BUT all the power for the dash lights and back lighting originates inside the instrument cluster so you MAY be looking at a failed cluster

Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

and lastly does the trip reset button work?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where is the trip reset button and do I have to disconnect anything to do that? The radio looks original to me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only fuse not in is the one for the fog lights
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wait the seatbelt indicator and stuff is on in the dahs but still no dash lighting up
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Fuses
Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

there is a fuse box inside the jeep behind the glove box

Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

fuse 10 feeds the instrument cluster lamps see if it has blown remember BEHIND the glove box

Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

the glove box should drop out easily look for 2 stops and squeeze them together and then pull out the glove box

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Glove box out and 10 amp fuse replaced and still nothing
Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

ok you will need to do some testing now do you think you and your partner can read and follow a wiring diagram? there is 1 wire that feeds all the back lights

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We'll try when he gets off at 11
Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

ok before you tear into everything just check each of the fuses in that fuse box for any that are blown if they are all ok the easiest thing to pull out looks like the heater control, there will be an ORANGE (small gauge) wire on one of the connectors that wire should have POWER with the headlamps ON if it does then the instrument cluster is sending out power, next you will need an ohm meter to check the small BLACK wire in the same connector as the ORANGE wire this wire should show continuity to ground if not the lights will never come on you need power AND ground to make a light operate.

here is a link to the back lighting for your jeep the extra switches are for options you do not have, please download and print it out and ask me any questions you have about it, it is in WORD format

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ir8cg0hp9u4xvo/New%20Microsoft%20Office%20Word%20Document.docx?dl=0

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will let him read it when he gets home. I have to get in bed because I have to work 12 hours tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday but I'll get back to you
Expert:  bill replied 1 year ago.

I also have to log off for the night its pouring here in Connecticut and there are major thunderstorms in the area, I will be logged back on tomorrow after I get off work, FYI I do check my emails throughout the day BUT can only respond on my breaks, I as most of the experts still work in the field