"Rear Lamp Failure" When Headlights Are On - 97 Grand Cherokee - JeepForum.com
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Unread 04-20-2009, 07:18 PM   #1
muellmk
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Charlotte
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"Rear Lamp Failure" When Headlights Are On - 97 Grand Cherokee

I am getting a "Rear Lamp Failure" message in my 97 Grand Cherokee Laraedo. The brake lights work. All three bulbs in the upper brake light are working. The sequence to reproduce the message is:

1. Insert key into ignition and turn to Start position
2. Press the brake pedal (brake lights work, no error message)
3. Now, if I turn the headlights on via one of the following:

- Explitily turn on headlights
- Turn on front wipers
- Turn over my Jeep (did this at dusk with headlights in auto mode)

I get a Rear Lamp Failure in the VIC. The brake lights still work, but I am stuck with the error message.

I noticed that during the day, if the headlights never come on, the error is never displayed. Once I do something to get the headlights to come on, that is when I get the error. Also, both headlights are working fine.

Any ideas?

Marc

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Unread 04-20-2009, 07:19 PM   #2
Greeeeenberg
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Suring, WI/ Houghton, MI (School-MTU)
Posts: 1,157
Must just be one of the running light bulbs in the brakes. Sure your brakes light up but is once you let off do you still have light from both tails?
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Unread 04-21-2009, 12:14 AM   #3
SylarDX
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Denver
Posts: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by muellmk View Post
I am getting a "Rear Lamp Failure" message in my 97 Grand Cherokee Laraedo. The brake lights work. All three bulbs in the upper brake light are working. The sequence to reproduce the message is:

1. Insert key into ignition and turn to Start position
2. Press the brake pedal (brake lights work, no error message)
3. Now, if I turn the headlights on via one of the following:

- Explitily turn on headlights
- Turn on front wipers
- Turn over my Jeep (did this at dusk with headlights in auto mode)

I get a Rear Lamp Failure in the VIC. The brake lights still work, but I am stuck with the error message.

I noticed that during the day, if the headlights never come on, the error is never displayed. Once I do something to get the headlights to come on, that is when I get the error. Also, both headlights are working fine.

Any ideas?

Marc

Hmm ..

I am having the same issue man, It's rather annoying! I had my 3rd brake light fixed, and still nothing, it gives me this everytime I turn on my headlights!
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Unread 04-21-2009, 02:47 AM   #4
dcvance87
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
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mine is saying that too right now. look really hard. we have lotsa bulbs back there lol. check the 194 bulbs on the sides of the tail lights too. That's where mine is out and it was hard to even tell until I looked for a while. check each and every bulb.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 09:23 AM   #5
SylarDX
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcvance87 View Post
mine is saying that too right now. look really hard. we have lotsa bulbs back there lol. check the 194 bulbs on the sides of the tail lights too. That's where mine is out and it was hard to even tell until I looked for a while. check each and every bulb.
Got ya, I will do that. thank you!
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Unread 04-21-2009, 09:42 AM   #6
Mickey_D
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1997 ZJ 
 
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Location: 40 3'42.36"N 112 2'16.73"W, Utah
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I had a momentary message display like that when it was raining really hard last week, but I knew what the problem was right away since my trailer light socket got trashed last time I was wheeling. If you have the towing package also check inside the plug for corrosion.
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Unread 06-14-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
S_U_F_F_I_X
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Location: Cape Coral
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I got the same problem in my 94 .v6 all the lights work except for my rear running lights all bulbs are new and all fuses are fine. i can't fig it out.....
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Unread 06-14-2009, 11:57 AM   #8
sprocket1200
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: bc canada
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when I had this issue, all bulbs and fuse were fine. took the bulbs out and cleaned them and connectors even though they look like good contact was being made. added that battery grease to make good contact and now works like a charm
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Unread 02-04-2011, 02:41 PM   #9
billybixby
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Location: Rancho Cordova, California
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Rear Lamp Failure

OK, so for our proposes the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over only to come to the same result. Well, This seems to be an issue a lot of people are having.
I'm working on a 5.9L Grand Cherokee, Obviously we all know the year!

Ok, went through this same issue, "rear lamp failure" nonsense. checked around the entire jeep, 5 times, and stupidly started replacing rear upper brake lights, of which there are 3. Often times you go to another person when you think your going crazy, like I did. Both Auto zone guys couldn't figure the problem either. After feeling like I wasted money on the rear upper brake lights(which I did) I brought it home, and a nothing is like a systematic check of the vehicle's lighting system. Tedious and boring.

Since the problem also could have been caused by the dangling trailer wires, I started there. I used bulb cleaner and a plastic brush to clean off the points on that connection in back, then wiped them, and tested. No dice.

I moved on to the tail light as I already had replaced the top rear brake I knew they were good. I Pulled the right rear lights off, checked them applied that bulb cleaner to them tested all the bulbs. They were good, frustratedly moved on to the left side. As I pulled off the bulbs and listen carefully those who add after market Euro Lights to your Jeep. As the design reflects alot of light off, and in the dark it doesn't fully illuminate well. I was unable to see, in previous checks that the bulb had burned out. Yes I felt stupid.....

How to remedy this. Well, it's a bish to put all of it back togeather head over to napa, autozone or kragen to get a new one. So Heres how a bright guy dealt with this. Also this is really crucial to getting your man card back so listen up. Go to your, glove compartment No offense ladies..
(I can't believe we call them that who puts gloves there, reg, manuals, insurance... seriously)
There is a bulb that illuminates that compartment, bulb size (194), same as the marker light. Swap burned out bulb, for working 194 from glove compartment.
Now check... ah ha it works, no " rear lamp failure ", now, when you have time drive to the auto store when it's convenient, and get one for your glove compartment. (bulb size 194) There are other places on this vehicle you can get this bulb, but this is the easiest.
Genius.....
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Unread 02-04-2011, 05:28 PM   #10
holdon
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Location: Arizona
Posts: 23
Always make sure when you replace bulbs in lights, to use the same wattage and brand bulbs. Most light "check" modules measure resistance to determine if a bulb is out. Sometimes different bulbs use different resistance and trick module into thinking the bulb is out ,when it is not.
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Unread 07-30-2011, 02:12 PM   #11
Glued2aPost
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 365
Same problem. Right rear running light is out, brake lights work fine. Stupid electrical nonsense...
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Unread 12-30-2011, 09:32 AM   #12
GC08
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How did you fix it?
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Unread 01-02-2012, 04:38 AM   #13
Chinadoll13
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1997 FSJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Modesto, California
Posts: 1
Had the same issue...fixed it!
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Unread 01-02-2012, 07:51 AM   #14
straight-pipe
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Posts: 113
take your screwdriver and remove cover...remove the message board by removing more screws...remove board....unplug board...tape up connections .install board...buy a self adhesive clock from a store....enjoy your drive. fixed
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Unread 01-02-2012, 08:37 AM   #15
jeepgirl1321
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mine did the same thing and i thought there was a mis communication, but then one of my brake lights went out like a week later...
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