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#1 09-07-2015 09:22:29

Registered: 09-07-2015
Posts: 1


I have 1997 Cherokee. I pull the light switch knob to the parking light click I get NO lights anywhere. If you lightly move the knob in and out the parking lights come on but before the click. Pull the knob to headlight click, headlights come on but No parking, side marker and tail lights. Also, activate HIGH beam it is driver only that comes on. All bulbs, headlight switch, turn signal switch have been changed.

Any help would be appreciated!!


09-07-2015 09:22:29



#2 09-07-2015 09:35:50

Registered: 04-29-2009
Posts: 213


I have seen this problem many times before. I even had the same thing happen to my 95 XJ. The switch is made by Indak, the same company has been making headlamp switches (and many other automotive switches) since 1947 for Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, AMC and others. Versions complying to FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards)supplied mid 60's and later have a built in automatic reset circuit breaker for both the headlamps. These units switch the parking and tail lamps from a separate fused battery circuit and not the same battery circuit supply to the headlamps. They also contain a reostat for dimming the instrument lamps and provide a ground for turning on the dome lamps. The only part of the switch controlling the headlamps is the terminal with the 12 gauge Red w/White battery supply and the 12 gauge Tan w/Black wire which goes to the dimmer switch. It is common for either or both of these wire terminals to relax their tension and grip on the switch terminals over time. This lack of positive electrical connection causes the terminals to become hot. Sometimes hot enough to melt the plastic connector and or the switch body. Generally the switch's circuit breaker fails from this heating. Replacing the switch without replacing the overheated terminals will fix the problem for a while. Eventually the same thing happens again. Since it has happened to you 3 times now it is a pretty sure bet your terminals are toast. Many times the plastic connector is so distorted and brittle from the heat you cannot remove the terminals without braking the connector. Sometimes if the brass terminals are not too far gone you can bend the contact tabs of the terminal enough to make a better connection. The best fix is to replace these 2 terminals with new ones and crimp or solder them properly to the wires. If the connector body is melted or broken replace it with a good used one or new one. If your repair shop is not that thorough to check the wires and terminals you can do all this yourself. They are not the easiest to get to on a Cherokee but not all that bad. You need to learn how to remove the knob and shaft by pulling it all the way out then depressing the release button on the switch. The release button is located on the bottom of the switch as installed in an XJ with an access hole in the panel. With the knob and shaft removed you can unscrew the hollow nut holding the switch to the Instrument panel. You have to first remove the instrument bezel panel, instrument cluster and lower bolster panel. You will have to remove the steering column nuts on a 96 and let it hang down to remove the bezel.

This same condition is also common in the heater control and or blower switch or its various connections. Both of these are relatively high current circuits and can produce heat if there is anything less than a positive electrical connection between the terminals.


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