Stereo cuts off, dash and head lights dimming down - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-25-2012, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
LordBronz
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Virginia
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Stereo cuts off, dash and head lights dimming down

Here is the timeline of my problem starting maybe one to two months ago...
  • Purchase new door speakers which are above the head unit rating (haven't hooked amp up yet)
  • Stereo works fine for about two weeks and then starts cutting off if the volume is too high
  • Test battery and it checks out fine from Advance Auto
  • Clean the terminals of corrosion and the stereo doesn't cut off for a few days no matter the volume
  • Whenever I cleaned the terminals it would work better for a little bit, eventually only working for 10 minutes.
  • Doesn't work at all now, it just stays off.
  • At the same time as the stereo not working, my head lights and interior lights are all getting very dim.

The battery is pretty old, but it tested okay. Should I get a new battery anyways, or is it the alternator? Maybe a loose ground? I am not sure about a loose ground because it all has just gotten worse, and usually acts fine for the ten minutes after I clean the battery.


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post #2 of 9 Old 01-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Chrisp929
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Check all the grounds on your vehicle .. dead center behind #6 cylinder is a ground. Remove bolt, sand down, reinstall bolt carefully and snugly .. there is a nother ground next to your oil filter on the engine block. On the block its bolted on to a male spade, and from the male spade, to a female spade, then to the fire wall i believe .. look for the rest, clean them up with sand paper, and reinstall .. look for brakes in the grounding straps ( the flat ground wire attached to your grounds ) ... it may have broken or almost but not quite.. creating a poor ground . I bet thats it ..
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-27-2012, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
LordBronz
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Virginia
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I cleaned the wire from the negative to the fender as well as the bolt on the firewall leading to the back of the block. I don't know how I am going to get to the bolt on the block itself because it is in a hell of a spot, but it is caked in oil and that may be a problem.

Either way it was starting up rather fine, but I reattached everything and tried to start it to no avail. It sounded as if it turned over and I let off, only for it to die off and then not try to turn over again. It clicks though. I just replaced the starter, so I don't know what's going on.

This Jeep is really falling apart lately and I just want the dang thing to run.


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post #4 of 9 Old 01-27-2012, 10:40 AM
chriskeenan
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my guess is the battery is shot, or the alternator is not charging it, most batteries only last about 4-5 years, even the high dollar ones.

Try jump starting it.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-27-2012, 10:57 AM
svshaw82
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1989 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Escondido
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I had a bad alternator recently, battery would show as good, but I wasnt charging. So stuff acted up. Here is how I checked it.

Using a volt meter, check the battery terminals, should be around 12 volts with the engine off. Now with the engine running check the terminals again and you should have roughly 13 to 14 volts. If not your alternator is not charging.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-14-2019, 10:39 AM
Lucky2BHere
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I have a very similar problem with my 98 XJ. The dash goes down, sometimes all at once, sometimes a light or gauge at a time. When it's hotter, it's worse. I had an electrical shop look at it, but it was too cool that day and they couldn't replicate it. However...using an old-school approach, I popped the top of the dash above the main cluster once in frustration and it came back up. Not an aggressive pop at all, but it works every time - then goes down again, specially when warm (I'm in Vegas). Is there something known, like some kind of connector/bus/ribbon cable that is most likely a culprit? I've tried looking at the same things you (above) have, and none of it worked. Even had the battery tested and replaced the connectors. Thanks!

(BTW, I know this is an OLD thread. Hope it pings someone out there!)
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-14-2019, 01:06 PM
ciucia
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Had this happen in my Tj. My issue was fixed when I replaced the ignition actuator.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-14-2019, 02:07 PM
CJ7-Tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky2BHere View Post
...using an old-school approach, I popped the top of the dash above the main cluster once in frustration and it came back up. Not an aggressive pop at all, but it works every time - .....
You are describing a well known XJ Cherokee and TJ Wrangler issue, and it is just one of those Jeep Things. The two connectors on the backside of the instrument cluster are subject to corrosion. Remove the cluster and use some electrical contact cleaner on them. Back in the day Jeep had a fix-it kit that the Dealership would use or you could buy and do yourself.

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post #9 of 9 Old 06-14-2019, 10:08 PM
Lucky2BHere
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Thanks so much for that. I was hoping this had to be a known issue. Makes sense. Will give this try and report back. Awesome.
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