94 Jeep Grand Cherokee needs help!

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by cwgrl23, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

    Messages:
    941
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    South Dakota
    I am hoping you all can help me! I just bought a 94 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with 179,000 miles on it. More like stole it for the price I got it for but that is another story. :eek: Anyway, I can not get the gauges on the dash to light up at night. This is a problem. The gauges work, they just don't light up. Now the blinker lights light up on the dash at night just not the gauges.

    I went through the owner's manual and replaced the fuse for that area with no change. Any thoughts or suggestions???

    Carrie in SD
     
  2. kinderfeld

    kinderfeld Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Indiana
    I don't know much about vehical's so I don't know if this will help you or not. Check the battery. We have a 94 Jeep Grand Cherokee. A couple years we started having a ton of problems wich we thought were electrical. We even took it to an electrical specialist, who found nothing wrong. Then a week later the battery died. It then sat for a while. When we put the battery in the problems we had before were gone. I still don't understand this. It worked.
     

  3. I had the same problem on a different vehicle . Turned out the light switch was bad .
     
  4. crispin

    crispin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Central TN
    I had this problem on a 97 Honda Accord.
    I ended up running a new wire from the fuse box to the Dimmer Switch.
    I cut the feed wire to the Dimmer and replaced it with the new wire I ran.
    Works perfect now.
     
  5. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    S.E. Ks.
    either the switch is bad or the lights burned out
    the simple quick redneck fix is to put a led book light shining on the guages .
    some double sided tape will hold it in place and you can still read everything fine .
    or ya can do like I have and wear a cats eye hat bill light (the advantage to this is when someones coming toward you ya click the switch twice and the bill light flashed red leds)
    they will dim their lights or pull over . found that out by accident lol
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,837
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    I had a 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee and it had the same problem. There was nothing wrong with it. One of the switches on the dash left of the steering wheel, I do not recall which switch, was turned off.
     
  7. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,225
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    My wife has this neat little LED light that plugs into the cigarette lighter and shones on the dash.
     
  8. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,093
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Look on ebay, they have these strips of LED lights that run off 12V. Or do like I did to avoid tearing dash apart on couple beater vehicles, just bought a little cheapie aftermarket license plate light and mounted it above the gauges. Ran wire so it came on with the lights. Very early civilian "CJ" Jeeps came from factory with little hooded light above the gauges instead of backlighting the gauges. Very practical and it worked. Made changing burned out dash light bulb super easy.
     
  9. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,011
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    Since it was said all the dash lights stopped working at once. I would check and clean all the ground wires. some of the ground wires are in low areas behind kick pads where winter salt slush can splash on them causeing corrison and even rust thru since many ground termanals are no longer any thing but cheap stamped steel.


    You can probably find a service manual at the libary that will cover electril trouble shooting.

    :D Al
     
  10. L.A.

    L.A. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,296
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    here, there, anywhere
    I'm guessing a ground wire also. I'm not familar with Jeeps, so can't give specific advice, but check wires bolted to metal.
     
  11. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,693
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Start with the basics. Find the dimmer switch and make sure it's turned up.

    If the dashboard lights never light up or flicker, get your meter out.

    The juice flows from the headlight switch to the dimmer switch to the dashboard lights and then to the ground(s). You should see a full 12 volts all the way to the dimmer switch, and reduced voltage out of the dimmer switch.

    Find where the voltage stops and fix that break.
     
  12. al

    al Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Highly agree with foxtrapper, the dimmer switcg for the dash lites is just left of the steering wheel. Probably just turned down by previous owner.
     
  13. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    Check the dash light dimmer to see if it's turned down.
     
  14. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

    Messages:
    941
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    South Dakota
    I will check this out as soon as it quits raining around here, as I don't like to work out in the rain.

    Some others mentioned the dimmer switch. The switch doesn't turn on the dash lights at all but will turn on the interior lights. So at least part of the switch works but unsure how to check the rest. I am hoping to find a manual at the library tomorrow!

    Thanks so much for all the help and ideas!!!

    Carrie in SD
     
  15. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    You say you replaced the fuse, did the fuse have any power to it with the lights on?
     
  16. ForestCoCabin

    ForestCoCabin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    I have a '95 Cherokee and the half of the bulbs have burned out over the years. I went to the self serve boneyard and for a used bumper got a handful of bulbs for not very much money. Now all I need to do is take the dash apart and install them.
     
  17. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,011
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    The dash lite system works on a reostat type circit. 12 volts MAY come into the switch but the out voltage can vary do to the postion of the contacts on the reostat and that is how the lights dim.

    Removeing the insterment panal isn't all that hard if you have a manual to follow the steps with. Some times doing the job blind you remove a bunch of screws you didn't need to and miss some you should have gotten. So the book is great to have. I paid 20.00 for the one on my truck. Has every thing, from overhauling the engine to all the wiring systems.

    :D Al
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011