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Unread 06-24-2008, 11:28 PM   #1
ww50th
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Tail lights won't light up

I can't grt the tail lights to light up on my 2001 GC Ltd. New bulbs, no help. allother lights work fine. Where is the fuse for the tail lights? Can't find it in the owners manual. Any help appreciated.

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Unread 06-25-2008, 07:43 AM   #2
Double E
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It may be in the engine compartment by the battey, under a black cover or near the hood release lever inside the drivers footwell area.

In my experience however, it's not the fuse, If the CHMSL (3rd light) comes on at all, the fuse is probably fine & you need to adjust the lightbulb socket to match the housing contacts. Those housings are notorious for a poor design that make you "hunt" for where the socket needs turned in order for the contacts to work. They're probably also starting to look brownish from heat. I'm probably going to get an aftermarket set when I have the next issue.

With lights on, a meter placed on the housing contatcts will tell you if you have power and where the problem is.
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Unread 06-25-2008, 08:38 AM   #3
Neongirl4ever
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I am having the same thing going on with mine. I was beginning to wonder if it was a electrical issue. I was planning on replacing my tails with aftermarkets hoping it would work but if you say that its just the tails are a poor design, thank god. Cause i was scared getting aftermarkets wouldnt work. So i guess Im going to be off looking for new tails. Thanks!
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Unread 06-25-2008, 10:13 AM   #4
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I had a similar problem. Found out one of the sockets was smashed in kind of weird. and the connection pionts were touching in the wrong place. It acted like a short for a long time, some times it worked and some times it didn't. Eventually it blew my fuse. I was in denial because I looked at the fuse and it looked ok. But after lots of wasted time I decided to stop by the auto store and get some fuses. I replaced it just out of not knowing what else to do and it worked!

SO then, I removed the smashed socket and arranged the sockets to where I now have turn signals and a brake lights. I'm still missing the whole socket for one of my reverse lights. I guess I either have to by after markets or go to the stealership.

Hopefully this will help. http://wjjeeps.com/fuses.htm
mine was clearly marked on the fuse box.
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Unread 06-26-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
ww50th
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Well thanks for the suggestions. My third brake light works fine. I also found a fuse under the hood (50A) that I checked with a meter and it is fine. All three of the sockets and bulbs (3157) are the same so I swapped them around to see if it was a bulb or a socket. No help. I paid special attention to the tail/brake light socket to insure that the double contacts on the socket were mated up to the double contacts on the housing. Still no tail lights. I am not getting a good power signal on my meter for the tail light power. Without a wireing diagram I'm at a loss as to where to look next.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 02:31 AM   #6
theksmith
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check that the ground is good... perhaps both the left/right lights share a frame ground connection that is bad somewhere

i think the solid black wire at the rear lamp connector is the ground

UPDATE: its is the black wire, pin 5... and all the rear lights share a common ground that connects strangely enough to the body up near or under the front passenger seat

Last edited by theksmith; 06-27-2008 at 03:03 AM..
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Unread 06-27-2008, 04:53 AM   #7
georged
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Bend the contacts in the housing and the sockets so they make contact. Also put some dilectic grease on all the contacts.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 10:09 PM   #8
ww50th
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If there is a common ground for all the lights through pin 5 to the frame then this can't be the problem as all the other lights work fine. It's just the tail lights that don't work. I will try bending the contacts on the housing next. How could both side tail light contacts need adjusting? This is a very odd problem. Normal common sense troubleshooting has provided no results. 1. Fuse intact with meter and third brake light works. 2. Swapped known good bulbs and sockets with no help. 3. Ground intact as all other lights function normal with common ground. 4. There is a 12 volt power source to that socket for the brake light and it works normal. 5. There is a lack of 12 volt power source to the same socket for the tail light bulb and neither side tail light works.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 10:56 PM   #9
ww50th
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It gets worse. I have power to pin 4 on the lamp housing connector with the headkights on. It's the green and red wire. I have continuity from pin 4 on the housing to the single terminal under the housing for the socket. I have continuity from the single pin on the socket through the bulb. I have continuity from the double pin on the socket to pin 5 (ground) in the housing. There is absolutely no reason that the tail light bulb should not light. If I have to thak this thing to the dealer for this problem and he finds something stupid I will loose it. I'm still open to any other suggestions. Oh by the way, while I had this all apart, I carefully bent the socket and housing contacts to insure a good mating surface and then applied dielectric grease to all three contacts on every socket. Still no tail lights on either side with all other rear lights working normal. Perplexed to say the least. I've never owned a car that I couldn't get the lights to work on.
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Unread 06-28-2008, 04:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ww50th View Post
If there is a common ground for all the lights through pin 5 to the frame then this can't be the problem as all the other lights work fine. It's just the tail lights that don't work. I will try bending the contacts on the housing next. How could both side tail light contacts need adjusting? This is a very odd problem. Normal common sense troubleshooting has provided no results. 1. Fuse intact with meter and third brake light works. 2. Swapped known good bulbs and sockets with no help. 3. Ground intact as all other lights function normal with common ground. 4. There is a 12 volt power source to that socket for the brake light and it works normal. 5. There is a lack of 12 volt power source to the same socket for the tail light bulb and neither side tail light works.
sorry, from your first post i thought you meant the ENTIRE tail-light assembly wasn't working but all other lights on the vehicle were
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Unread 08-12-2008, 08:41 AM   #11
ww50th
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I'm still fighting this tail light problem. I need access to a wiring diagram. The tail lights, license plate light, radio clock, A/C panel lights, & console lights are not working. Is there anywhere that I can view a wiring diagram for the light circuit for a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited? Something has to be common to all of these ligh issues.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 05:42 PM   #12
ratmonkey
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the circuit board in the housing fails on every single wj at some point, if you can't get it to work by adjusting the socket, and you've confirmed your bulbs are good, then you need to get a new housing. only one bad housing will cause all sorts of different problems with both sides.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 08:24 PM   #13
ww50th
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Thanks ratmonkey for the responce. I'm still asking a very simple question that someone from the Jeep world should be able to answer but so far no help. WHERE CAN I FIND A WIRING DIAGRAM TO TROUBLE SHOOT THIS PROBLEM WITH!!!!
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Unread 08-13-2008, 05:19 AM   #14
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you're gonna need to look at the circuit board and trace out the paths if you want to fix it. you'll either see a crack, bad solder joint, or most likely a burnt area. the wiring outside of the housings is likely still in perfect shape.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 06:42 AM   #15
LaCeS OuT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ww50th View Post
WHERE CAN I FIND A WIRING DIAGRAM TO TROUBLE SHOOT THIS PROBLEM WITH!!!!
Go pick up a Haynes or Chilton for about $15. They have wiring diagrams. Or you can purchase a FSM (Factory Service Manual).
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