96 Grand Cherokee door lights going off/on while drinving - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
MissyT
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Join Date: Aug 2019
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96 Grand Cherokee door lights going off/on while drinving

Hi all, I'm new here. Since last week, my car door lights have been coming on/off while driving. What's worse is that sometimes I have to turn my engine on off to get them to stay off, or they'll stay on after I shut engine off.

3 days ago, I got them to stay off (so I thought ) after the leaving the car. But today I happen to look inside and they were magically on again! (I have no idea when they came back on or how long they've been on) The car started ok...drove it for 40 min. The lights flashed a little more quickly this time but went off after shutting engine off. It's been 2 hours and I've checked several times and they appear to have stayed off.

Here some possible clues :

1) Right before the problem started, I had just put oil in and added some water in my radiator plastic resivour (whatever it's called/however it's spelled) and some water splashed around it, but not alot. I then shut the hood, turned the engine on and that's when the problem started.

2) 7 months ago , my starter was going bad and my battery died several times. Once when it was being jumped the car door light flashed and heard a loud "pop". Everything was OK after that, no problems then.

3) In the last year, my dash lights have been dimming off/on while driving. The headlights are not dimming and alternator checked out fine. (One of my high beams hasnt worked for 2 year's though).

4) My car horn started going off last year by itself when car was off. And the interior lights wouldn't shut off. The way I "corrected" it, was I just have been locking the doors manually instead of using my key fauber. This keeps my red blinking car alarm light off (on dash) which im guessing was related because horn hasn't gone off since not using fauber.

Any ideas what'a going on?
As you can tell, I just want it as a transportation car. I just put it $1300 for non electrical stuff and don't want to put a lot more $ into It.
Ps, I'm worried about the lights getting too hot or a short causing a fire while parked. Is that likely? (The door lights were a little hot today but not enough to hurt my hand).
Thanks so much!!😣

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 10:32 AM
Saudade
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1988 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Welcome to the forum.

First, you've post in the wrong forum. You should use the ZJ Grand Cherokee located here: https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/

Next there are small switches (more like buttons) in the door jams that works the cabin lights. With only one door open, you can simply push it with your finger to see if the lights go off consistently. Try this will all doors. If you have an alarm, a bad switch could trigger it.

Good luck
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
MissyT
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Thank you, you were right about the car alarm being related to the bad door switch. When I used my internal electric door locks, it kept the door lights off, but caused the horn to go off. I just had my mechanic take the lightbulbs out . For anyone who happens to read this, has the same problem, and doesn't want to spend $700 for a new door sensor (sometimes there can be more than one door that's the issue, or other doors can have the same problem in the future which would be costly) just remove the car door bulbs, and lock your car manually with key (don't use fauber or internal electric locks). Very happy I saved all that money!
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 07:41 PM
chris87xj
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Moved to ZJ tech.

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"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


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post #5 of 10 Old 08-26-2019, 10:12 PM
RedRiverT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissyT View Post
Thank you, you were right about the car alarm being related to the bad door switch. When I used my internal electric door locks, it kept the door lights off, but caused the horn to go off. I just had my mechanic take the lightbulbs out . For anyone who happens to read this, has the same problem, and doesn't want to spend $700 for a new door sensor (sometimes there can be more than one door that's the issue, or other doors can have the same problem in the future which would be costly) just remove the car door bulbs, and lock your car manually with key (don't use fauber or internal electric locks). Very happy I saved all that money!
If your mechanic is charging you $700 for a door switch, he is ripping you off BADLY. I mean, like ridiculously badly. Criminally.

Using the key is over-riding the alarm. There is a simple way to cut 2 wires and connect them together that will permanently over-ride the alarm, I think. I don't have the alarm, but I've read a bunch of posts about problems with these Grand Cherokees and the alarm is a common one. Something about a purple wire, maybe to the door switch, that you cut and connect to the ground wire and then the alarm never activates.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-27-2019, 10:57 AM
Mr. Puddles
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I had a similar issue shortly after I got mine. The door switch has a secondary pin in the center you can pull out to make up the extra distance needed to keep the lights off. I did it to all 4 of mine and the issue stopped.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-27-2019, 03:12 PM
Wookie06
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"Mechanic?" $700 to replace a "door sensor"? WTH? Anyway, my vehicle had this problem a long time ago. For some reason I couldn't find the switch or didn't want to spend the money so I disconnected the one problematic switch and haven't had a problem since. My symptoms were lights flashing on and off and doors constantly locking as it thought a door was opening and closing. I wouldn't like to have absolutely no interior lights at all. I can deal with none when a passenger door is opened.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-29-2019, 03:40 PM
igorhandsome
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Sounds like your headlight/dimmer switch might be faulty as well. It's a common problem
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-30-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
MissyT
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Thank you everyone, your replies are really helpful . I probably should've clarified that my mechanic didn't quote me for a new door sensor, I'd read it on a forum where one guy's mechanic charged him $750 for one door (then accidentally fixed the wrong door and wanted to charge him again for their mistake!!! ..Until he made a stink and then they did it for free) So, yeah, this mechanic doesn't sound too ethical. I think I read they can cost from $350 to $700, but maybe it depends on how long it takes to disassemble a particular type of door.
My dash lights have been dimming on and off for the last year, so maybe it is related. I'm just still doing an inner jig for it only being a $20 job (and that was a tip). My dome lights do come on if I push them on, apparently they aren't connected to the door lights .
It's great to know these other things I can do too..thank you!
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-31-2019, 05:24 PM
OverlandZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
My symptoms were lights flashing on and off and doors constantly locking as it thought a door was opening and closing.
I had this issue, the 3 torx bolts on door latch were loose.. not allowing door switch enough to depress. Before I figured the bolts loose I had glued a nickel to door to depress switch.. lol

OP's issue sounds like 2 issues, headlight switch solder fix we all know and the other could be his door latch.. not the striker.
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