Coolant Sensor Bad/VIC removal - Page 2 -
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Go Back > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Coolant Sensor Bad/VIC removal

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Unread 08-11-2011, 07:01 AM   #16
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Originally Posted by Glued2aPost View Post
Thanks for the feedback. This may need a little editing. I did most of my work with the passenger door open. Prevente4d the annoying key in ignition alarm and the lights turned themselves off after a few mintes.
Hey, Glued! Thanks for the great thread.
I do, however, think that you may have slightly simplified the issue of leaving the shifter in gear #1 position. On my Jeep, the shifter lockout prevents me from moving the shifter with the key in any position other than "off" or "on". But if you move the key to the "off" position (first click position); although you can now move the shifter you cannot remove the key if the shifter is not returned to "park". So if the driver door is open, you will get the damned continuous dinging telling you what you already know (key is in the ignition).
You can try to deal with this by doing most of the work through the passenger door. However, here's what I'd recommend:
Turn key to "off". Shift the selector to 1st gear position. Go under the hood and disconnect the battery negative cable. Do NOT disconnect the red positive cable. After finishing the job, reconnect the negative cable, shift back into park, and turn the key back to the free position.
Disconnecting the battery cable is advisable anyhow, since it prevents accidental drainage of the battery through the various bulbs, accidental activation of the airbags, and accidental shorts while you are working around all that under-dash wiring.
I agree that it is crucial to move the shifter away from the VIC. You will never get the VIC out (without scratching the heck out of it) unless you do.
Note that after disconnecting/reconnecting the battery cable, your Jeep may not want to idle until your computer "relearns" the correct idle speed. This always happens after a battery goes dead. If yours won't hold idle speed, depress the accelerator and hold the engine speed above 1500 RPM for about 2 minutes. When you take your foot off, it should hold the correct idle speed.
Thanks again.

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Unread 08-11-2011, 09:06 AM   #17
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1998 ZJ 
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Great write up. I also get the brake light message, I have all the correct bulbs and I'm just wondering if the solder joints on the VIC could be the problem and which ones they are.
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Unread 08-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #18
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Check the side market bulbs, out roll seen like there on in the day when there not. The are number 194 there are tons of threads were people got the message for years before realizingthat the little bulb was out.
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Unread 08-12-2011, 08:03 PM   #19
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1993 ZJ 
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I had the bulb alarm as well as the bad sensor alarm. I checked all the bulbs (missed the tracers first time) and eventually found there was a glob of electrical grease in one of the tail light connections. Cleaning that seemed to do the trick.

Thanks again for the writeup. It was very helpful!
"Wherever you go have a drink"

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Unread 08-14-2011, 06:45 AM   #20
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1998 ZJ 
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Location: Wasilla, AK
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Originally Posted by johnnygoose View Post
Great write up. I also get the brake light message, I have all the correct bulbs and I'm just wondering if the solder joints on the VIC could be the problem and which ones they are.
If all your lights are working, then maybe. I had the rear light failure alarm shortly after I swapped out my tail light housings. I turned on the running lights, and all was illuminated. I turned on the headlights, all bulbs were working. I tried the turn signals, those were fine. Then I hit the brake pedal that caused the alarm to go off. I put a weight on the brake pedal and walked around to the back and the right brake light was not illuminated. Replacing the bulb did nothing.

The brake lights are dual filaments. One is for the running lights, the other comes on when you press the brakes. I turned everything off and pulled the housing and noticed a wire was kinda crimped going in to the brake light. I put the weight back on the brake pedal, fiddled with the wire and the light worked! Instead of doing real trouble shooting with a multimeter or an actual repair like splicing in a new section of wire, I just used an excessive amount of duct tape to make a splint to hold the wires in that position and reassembled. All was well for one week.

When I installed the new tail lights, I went ahead and applied new grease to all the bulbs. Quite a bit had accumulated on one of the connectors and all it took was a quick swipe and the lights have worked perfectly.

I read a lot of write ups here about mystery bulb failures, but there are four in each tail light housing and two or three in the third brake light depending on what year ZJ you have. If any of them are out it causes the alarm. Switching over to LED's can also cause the alarm as they don't draw enough power for the computer to register that they are working. Hope this helps
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Unread 09-12-2011, 02:26 AM   #21
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1998 ZJ 5.9 Limited - fixed Coolant Sensor Bad

Like many others, I used this very useful guide to repair my "Coolant Sensor Bad" problem. Overall, the procedure actually went pretty smooth. The only surprise for me was how small the solder points were. Actually had to use a magnifying glass while soldering. Been a few days now with no more annoying message and beeping. Thanks!
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Unread 09-13-2011, 06:30 AM   #22
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It has been over one month since I repaired my VIC, and all is well.
I'm very glad that I decided to check this forum for information regarding the coolant sensor going 'bad'. It is unlikely that the dealer would or could have done anything.
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Unread 09-13-2011, 09:59 AM   #23
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1995 ZJ 
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I just did mine last weekend but the cracks were at the other end of the row. I would get in my jeep and the VIC would be blinking and I would have to reset the time.
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0L NP249 Transfer Case, 42RE, 206,000 miles
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Unread 01-30-2012, 02:17 PM   #24
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
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Just did it. Works! Hardest part is dealing with all the plastic snap on crap. Geeeze I wish someone built a real vehicle, now-a-days, instead of all this throw/snap together crap! I'm 62, and remember REAL glass park light, tail light lens. Metal dash boards. EVERYTHING screwed, no plastic, snap snap...... OK I'm done
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:29 AM   #25
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
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Nice right up and pics detail on the VIC repair. A few months back my dinger box wouldn't shut off and after about 2 minutes of dinging torture it would go to a a solid tone and wouldn't stop. Probably okay if you wanted to tune your guitar to an open D major. I removed the purple dinger box under the drivers side dash. Problem solved. My VIC comes on ocasionally. I reset the clock and after about 5 minutes it goes blank for another week or two. I was thinking about removing my VIC and replacing it with a piece of black Lexan plastic and sticking an oil pressure gauge in it. I'm also considering putting a small red light with a toggle switch in the new panel to illuminate my ashtray. Is there enough room behind the VIC screen to install an oil pressure gauge or is it crambed (sp?) up to the heater/ AC cabinet? I think an Autometer or Stewart Warner mini series gauge might need about 2" of clearance. Since you've had it apart and I haven't, do you think it would fit. Your experience would save me some time and labor. If its a no go then I'll eventually repair mine too. I'd appreciate you expertise on the matter. Thanks alot, Mark.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #26
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I'd say there is lots of room behind the VIC. Have lots of patience when you tackle the dash.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 04:49 PM   #27
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Great writeup!

I just did mine today, this helped alot. I didn't find anything that looked like it needed to be resoldered, so I just cleaned the connections. I didn't have any rubbing alcohol, but vodka did the trick!

No more "coolant senesor bad"!

Also switched the plugs, so now my VIC reads correct after the 242 swap I did a few months "service 4wd switch" message anymore.

All I gotta do is replace a rear bulb, and my VIC will be back to 100% functional.
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Unread 02-29-2012, 06:25 PM   #28
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awesome... works great.. even used this idea to fix my flickering headlights....
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Unread 03-17-2012, 04:16 PM   #29
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Thanks for Coolant Sensor Bad has been bugging the crap out of me... had replace the sensor, but like others that didn't help. Just got done buttoning everyting back up. Will have to see if it fixed mine, or if I did it correctly, the C.S.B. was intermittent, but had started at least being almost ever time I went somewhere.

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Unread 03-17-2012, 06:42 PM   #30
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Just out of curiosity, are most ZJs wired for a VIC but only have them if they're AWD? ie; Could I take my drive indicator out and put a vic in (or just put whatever I want there)?
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