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Unread 06-29-2010, 11:05 PM   #1
cadeucsb
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Electrical issues on hot days

So for the 2nd time driving my jeep topless, parked in the 90+ degree sun all day long...had several weird issues on the way home.

This morning the jeep ran 100% normal, but on the way home...

Started up fine, drove fine but about 5min into the drive, I look down to see my gauges are dead. Randomly a while later, the small gauges are back (batt, gas, oil, water) and continue to work all the way home. After a bit the tach/speedo come back, then die again on their own. I tap the dash at one point and they come back, but die off again, then about 2mi from home come back on (on their own) and stay on the rest of the way. When the gauges were dead, the airbag light was on but signal lights worked fine. Odo worked fine the whole way.

When I get home and let it idle a bit, I test the diff dash lights, signals, lights, etc (all work fine). I notice when I turn the lights on, the batt gauge dips...so I start playing....

If I turn the AC on (lowest fan setting) and spike it up to full blast, I get god awful belt squeak which gets worse applying gas and a good dip in the batt. Kill the fan (even just one notch down), squeaking gone, batt needle centers.

Its never done this before and the only changed variable is that sitting in the hot sun all day. Any of these problems individually would be easier to nail down. Heres my plan of attack per my research so far:

-Going to get the alternator checked
-Going to remove the gauge cluster and clean the connectors (which symptom wise seems right on, but odd thats its coupled with my other issues)
-My battery is only 1000 miles old, so it should be ok, but will test it.

Any other insight?

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Unread 06-29-2010, 11:23 PM   #2
Tex
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From just what I've seen a bad alternator causes all kinds of weird electrical problems. From gauges not working all the way up to setting off the security systems on some fords. I know that has nothing to do with your jeep. Just saying that an alternator issue could let all kinds of electrical gremlins loose.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 11:33 PM   #3
Keil1016
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sounds like your jeep needs a priest
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Unread 06-30-2010, 12:14 AM   #4
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from your description and actions [turn on this etc].... i'd ask how often do u use your a/c... sounds like the belt squeak came from the ac compressor engaging or a sticky pulley. if it hasnt been engaged in a good while the internals might be alittle 'sticky'. that would put resistance on the belt and slow everything down including the alternator as well as cause voltage issues by trying to keep the ac clutch engaged.

personally i'd check the ac unit compressor and clutch pulley as well as the alternator, possibly one of them may be going bad.

with the jeep in idle, and you pull the lights on, yes your battery guage will dip abit.

good luck... gremlins suck
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Unread 06-30-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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Thats true, this was the first day I tried to the AC full blast (since I was testing), as I dont usually run it with the top off and this is its first warm weather use (no AC in the winter obviously).

So this morning, gauges were on/off again...however I realized, its not tapping the top of cluster that gets them back on...if I push (even really lightly) in the area of this screw:



It comes back to life (then dies again after a couple secs/min)...I did have my whole dash apart for painting a week ago, so maybe something about screwing that panel back in is hosing a ground? When I get my hands on a screwdriver, gonna tighten it up or pull the screw and clean it, see if it fixes it....I wasn't aware of any ground in that area though.

First things first going to get the alternator a free testing at autozone as I agree with the above poster, a dying alternator can cause all sorts of issues. Then on to the AC
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Unread 06-30-2010, 09:18 AM   #6
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Hot weather can also kill a battery. If your alternator has been on the way out since you changed the battery, then you might have been slowly draining the battery itself. To my understanding, the Jeep alternator requires a 12 volt input signal before it even begins working...thus, if you're below 12 volts at times, the battery can go out on you and cause a plethora of gremlins.

I think your A/C pulley might be a separate issue, but don't take my word for it. I'm not sure why that would be related to your gauge problems, although either the alternator, battery or both could cause the dash to screw up on you.

Also, if you had the dash apart, your connector could be at fault...it's a known problem.

Your plan of attack sounds good to me. Also check your battery terminals and connections.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 09:33 AM   #7
cadeucsb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
I think your A/C pulley might be a separate issue, but don't take my word for it. I'm not sure why that would be related to your gauge problems, although either the alternator, battery or both could cause the dash to screw up on you.

Also, if you had the dash apart, your connector could be at fault...it's a known problem.
yea, any of these problems separately would make more sense and make it easier to troubleshoot. I didnt actually remove the cluster when I painted, so I didnt mess with the connector. However, I do plan to pull it/clean the connectors (mostly because I never have and the interior of the jeep was filthy when I bought it)
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Unread 07-17-2010, 09:49 PM   #8
monkeygruven
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ever figure this one out?
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Unread 07-18-2010, 05:29 AM   #9
wushaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadeucsb View Post
Thats true, this was the first day I tried to the AC full blast (since I was testing), as I dont usually run it with the top off and this is its first warm weather use (no AC in the winter obviously).

So this morning, gauges were on/off again...however I realized, its not tapping the top of cluster that gets them back on...if I push (even really lightly) in the area of this screw:



It comes back to life (then dies again after a couple secs/min)...I did have my whole dash apart for painting a week ago, so maybe something about screwing that panel back in is hosing a ground? When I get my hands on a screwdriver, gonna tighten it up or pull the screw and clean it, see if it fixes it....I wasn't aware of any ground in that area though.

First things first going to get the alternator a free testing at autozone as I agree with the above poster, a dying alternator can cause all sorts of issues. Then on to the AC
You have ground issues.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:09 AM   #10
MisfitSeven
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the gauges dying, spiking, dying again with the airbag light happens to me on hot days only as well. i dont have AC. like was said before, your squealing belt problem could be a sticky pulley or the like. i think, you should tighten your belt. the heat will stretch it out and it will squeal if its not tight enough.

after i did my AX15 swap, my airbag light is on all the time. it used to come and go with the gauges. i would like to resolve our issues.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #11
cadeucsb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeygruven View Post
ever figure this one out?
havent yet, but like the last two posts mentioned, thats been my plan of attack, but i have been out of town for the last week.

I need to pull that panel off and see whats grounding behind that screw (probably on the metal sheeting or something behind there.

The belt I believe just needs tightening to kill the squeaking. Also going to clean the gauge cluster connectors just because I never have and I bought my jeep with dirt dust everywhere you can imagine.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 09:42 AM   #12
cadeucsb
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the funny thing is, my jeep has really odd problems at both temp extremes...this issue when it gets to almost 100 and when its under 30 in the winter, it wont idle by itself without me keeping it alive with the accelerator...untils it warms up and I restart it, then all is well.
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