Intermittant electrical guages at start up -
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-12-2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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1996 ZJ 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Huntingburg
Posts: 303
Intermittant electrical guages at start up

Hello folks and a good day.

I have an odd problem and not quite sure where to start looking first. The problem is normally at a cold start, but sometimes happens at other times as well.

When I start the Jeep, there are days when I have no gauges and/or warning lights. If I activate the turn signal lever then the gauges come to life and function like they normally do. Most often if I travel any distance, park the Jeep for bit then restart, the gauges come to life. There are times when they don't and the turn signal lever trick seems to get them going again.

I'm assuming there's either a short in the steering column or the turn signal assembly is failing. Just not sure where to look first to try and figure it out.

Another thing is, my "airbag" light is always on. Could the two issues be related? Maybe a bad clock spring is causing my problem? I hate to start throwing parts in the thing since my budget doesn't allow for it.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

greyhnd is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-12-2013, 01:13 PM
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1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,138
I agree with a short in the steering column, especially if everything works when you mess the signal switch. It could also be a bad BCM, but I would start with the lever. A T25 torx will remove the bezels around the switch, and the switch itself. Inspect all the wiring. I have like 3 or 4 signal switches if you end up needing one.

As for the airbag light, check the sensor connections.

1. There is one sort of under the right headlight/turn signal/side marker. Make sure the plug is tight. I would simply unplug/plug back in.

2. The main control module is under your center console next to the E-brake. It will be obvious to you when you see it. It's the ONLY module under the center console next to the E-brake.

3. The last and possibly most likely culprit (short of a simple 'battery' reset) is the clock spring, located directly behind the airbag on the steering wheel.

JasonStebbins is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 11-12-2013, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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1996 ZJ 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Huntingburg
Posts: 303
Jason - Thanks for the info. I wasn't sure how complicated it would be to check the turn signal lever, sounds fairly straight forward.

I'll check the airbag sensor. My Jeep has a broken header panel so maybe it's been banged in up front at some point. Could have knocked the sensor loose I suppose. I'm like you, I almost bet the clock spring is the culprit, but I'll save that until last.
greyhnd is offline  

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