gauges all dead, lights all on - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 25 Old 05-03-2011, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
jay2msft
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Wj gauges all dead, lights all on

I encountered a problem that seems to be popular: gauges all dead, lights all came on the instrumental panel.

It first happened two weeks ago but when I arrived at an auto shop, it was gone and the mechanic could not reproduce the problem. Four days ago, it happened again. I took it to an auto shop again. The mechanic chacked the wires, gounds, connectors etc. carefully in the past three days and could not find anything wrong.

I searched here and did not get a solution. Below is what I searched from another forum (http://forums.cnet.com/7723-7811_102...tentMain;posts).
"- Gauges do not work, go to zero
- Odometer does not count mileage
- No AC
- No Electric Windows
- Never Stalled the engine
- P1687 and P1686 are the errors stated on Odometer

Normally I do hear a "click" noise on passenger side before this happens.

Normally I do solve this problem by cutting off the battery for one night and in the morning everything works perfectly.

I'm on the mood to solve this problem as I like the car as it is safe and confortable."
I felt really desperate after I reading all the discussions because no solid solution was provided after the users took their WJs to garage or dealders. Can anyone who met with the same problem provide some help?

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post #2 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 12:59 AM
85IrocZ-28
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How old is your battery? Jeeps like strong batteries and will have weird issues when one is getting towards the end of its life. I had gauge problems similar to yours (flashing on and off) just before I replaced my battery.

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post #3 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 05:31 AM
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I agree with 85IrocZ-28 and if you haven't cleaned your terminals yet do so and make sure you have a good solid connection. My gauges went haywire like a UFO was hovering over my Jeep, so I cleaned my terminals and all was good. However, my battery also died a week or two after that so...

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post #4 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
jay2msft
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Thanks. My battery was replaced in Dec 2009. I'd check the terminals again.

What I read from forums is even after replacing BCM, PCM or cluster, the problem would come back. I fear that.
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 06:46 AM
CarlJH
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when you clean the terminals make sure all the ground points are checked as well.
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
jay2msft
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Thanks, CalJH. I forgot to mention that with all the symptoms, it was driveable. One temporaty solution for some people was to disconnect the negative terminal and reconnect it later, it could get back to normal for a few hours or a couple of days.
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
jay2msft
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Update:

I have a reputable mechanic checked all the wires. He found nothing and suggested I bring it to a dealer 'cause it seemed a PCM or BCM issue.

On my way back, most of time, all gauges pointed to zero. And check engine light, check gauges light, ABS, brake, air bag and a key-like icon, virtually every light was on. The power window did not work. The fan could work but the a/c not.

For a few seconds, randomly, some lights were out, but the air bag light was always on. And, the power window worked for a while when I could hear some clicking noise from power window buttons. The speedometer and tachometer also went back to normal for a few seconds only.

This is exactly what many other 90s WJ owners experienced. What frustrated me most is that I have not seen one solution to this issue.
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post #8 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
jay2msft
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I found another victim from Edmunds.com. Hope it helps solve the problem.

Quote:
479 of 481 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Electrical Problems by cathalynn Apr 08, 2011 (10:10 am)
have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, v6, 4.0l. In January 2011 my children took my Jeep from mild weather conditions to snow. When they turned on the jeep the next morning it worked fine but when they stopped to eat and started back up these problems occurred:
1. No gauges
2. No electric windows, power locks either.
3. No overhead console
4. No air conditioning...works but not cold.

They brought it home and dropped it off. They next morning everything was fine. A couple of days later my battery was dead. I decided to purchase a new battery thinking this was the problem. A few days later traveling down the road all gauges quit. I found a place to pull over and just before they popped on again. A while later again they stopped. I was upset and jiggled the ignition back and forth...it started working. Then the new battery was dead. Charged it and it worked for a week. If left more then 2 days without starting the battery dies. So we checked the alternator, it was fine. So my next jiggle of the ignition didn't work..frustrated I opened the door and the gauges came up. I hired a electrical person to work on it. 1.Switches fine 2. Ignition shouldn't be the problem because the engine is not dieing. 3. He found that when the car is sitting without ignition on the front doors are drawing electric from the battery...a large amount..enough to make the battery die. When the battery is low opened right door (front passenger) shut clicking noise. Sat in the Jeep with the key off backglass heater light was lite up on the dash. Then it switched to the overdrive light, then back to the backglass light. So I decided to order a BCM which is what the electrical man said I need. Back order till May 2011. Questions: 1. Could this be ignition instead? 2. Could this be a door wire? 3. How about a wire in the tilt wheel? I haven't ask the kids if they moved it yet? Just saw that on the forum. Will ask them today. So I have time since it is not available for a month. Any ideas?
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-11-2011, 10:00 AM
dizzle247
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I just started having this problem as well this morning on my way to work. My power windows were working though as I was able to roll them down and back up to have a smoke, and I didn't check the AC. All gauges quit working on me while on the freeway, but started working when I got to my office, turned my jeep off, then back on. Mileage hasn't been counted since it stopped, so I don't know if anybody else has figured out a solution and/or root of cause for this issue. I'll check my battery terminals tonight and see if that helps fix the issue.

I have had my cell phone charger plugged into the right side cigarette light (always on), but I didn't have it plugged into anything else (wasn't charging anything) .. It was like this for about 3 days, could this have drained my battery enough to cause this issue?
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post #10 of 25 Old 07-28-2011, 10:35 PM
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Wj

Are there any updates to this thread? I'm trying to help a friend diagnose her 2001 WJ (250k miles). Her Jeep started doing everything mentioned in this thread tonight.

At first it had trouble starting (never had this issue before). I manipulated the wheel and some wires underneath and it started. While idling, the gauges, warning lights, headlights, stereo were behaving just like someone else mentioned - a UFO hovering overhead or possessed by demons. I went to turn it off and was able to remove the key without killing the engine; it was still running and the ignition was in the OFF position with the key in my hand.

She stated that the battery is brand new as of a couple weeks ago.

I think more than one thing is going on:

- ignition switch is bad (why?: steering wheel was not locked with the engine off; should not have been able to turn ignition off and remove key with engine still running)
- faulty battery or battery connection (why?: the last thing I did was manipulate the battery cables. Everything smoothed out after I did that fo her ride home)

I just want to bounce these ideas off people who may know better. I'm recommending she replace the ignition switch and have the electrical connection at and near the battery checked.

Thanks!
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post #11 of 25 Old 07-28-2011, 11:26 PM
85IrocZ-28
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Remove the battery cables, clean the connections, re-install. Jeeps like batteries with proper voltage.
Take it to an auto parts store and have the battery tested. If it is bad, replace it.

More often than not, this is a battery issue.

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post #12 of 25 Old 07-29-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85IrocZ-28 View Post
Remove the battery cables, clean the connections, re-install. Jeeps like batteries with proper voltage.
Take it to an auto parts store and have the battery tested. If it is bad, replace it.

More often than not, this is a battery issue.
Thanks for the reply. For my specific case, would you agree that the ignition switch could stand to be replaced as well?
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post #13 of 25 Old 07-31-2011, 03:55 AM
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I wouldn't do that until after verifying that the battery is in good condition, and that the connections are clean.

If that doesn't do the trick, try wiggling the gear selector. I have seen many neutral safety switches cause problems in Jeeps, but the ignition switch doesn't seem to be a very common failure.

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post #14 of 25 Old 08-02-2011, 07:25 AM
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I was having electrical issues with my 2000 WJ.. doing strange stuff.... one of the strange things was power windows & locks that would/would not work, plus numerous other issues.... found a write up about wires that run tru rubber boot between drivers side door and kick panel going bad and shorting out.. fix was not hard, but not easy (bad knees), but it was cheap (slice in new wires)..... all my electrical issues went away and have never returned. Best I can tell is there was just a massive power drain and this drain starved other systems of power they needed to operate.
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-02-2011, 08:41 AM
4Tom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85IrocZ-28
Remove the battery cables, clean the connections, re-install. Jeeps like batteries with proper voltage.
Take it to an auto parts store and have the battery tested. If it is bad, replace it.

More often than not, this is a battery issue.
Totally agree. Poor battery connection or weak battery will cause these problem. 99.9% of the time.

Battery drain can often be related to broken wires in rubber door booth causing the BCM to do strange things including drawing more current when vehicle is not in use resulting in flat battery and eventually battery failure.

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