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Old 12-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
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Fog light switch question

I installed an inexpensive ($40) set of fog lights on my TJ a while ago. They came with a lighted switch. About a month ago the light on the switch stopped working and soon after the switch itself stopped working. I pulled the switch and found that it was melted. I purchased a new switch and a couple of weeks ago the light stopped working and now the switch seems to work intermittently.

I have the power running from the fuse block from one of the extra fuses. It shuts off power when the key is off. I am using the inline fuse that was supplied with the lights.

I have the lights grounded to the body in the engine compartment and the switch grounded to the body behind the glove box.

Any help in figuring out why my switches are burning out would be very helpful.

I do not know if this is helpful at all, but I have my CB wired the same way and every now and again, when I start my Jeep my CB will work for a second or two. The CB is not turned on. How is the power bypassing the on/off switch on the CB?

Thanks for any help,

Dan

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:19 PM   #2
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If you are running the power to the lights straight through the switch that is where your problem is. The switch itself isn't rated to have that that many amps drawn through it. The switch should only power a relay that the power for your lights runs through. Relays can be found anywhere for around 5 bucks and you will quit burning up switches. I'm sure someone on here will have a wiring diagram for what im talking about. Good Luck.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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So what does the relay do? I really need to understand this. Does this also go for the cb as well?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:38 PM   #4
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Yes - the lack of a relay is the problem w/ melting the fog switch. You need a relay.

A relay handles the load and controls the flow of power to the fogs.
Your switch gets a wire ran to the relay.
The wire from the switch tells the relay when to allow power to pass from the power source to the fogs.

In other words, right now your switch is what's telling the fogs when to come on and off by mechanically completing the circuit. Therefore, all the power going to your fogs is flowing through that little switch on the dash.

With a relay, your power source is wired to the relay and then to the fogs, but your dash switch simply tells the relay when to allow the power to pass through the relay. Now the heavier duty relay is handling all the power, while the dash switch is controlling just the relay.

Make sence?


As far as the CB - who knows, sounds like a problem w/ the CB or maybe the surge of incoming power is kicking it on.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
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Think of a relay like a starter solenoid. Big wires from the battery to the starter with smaller wires from the ignition switch to activate it. The switch controls the 12 volt power to the relay to turn it on and off. There is a seperate 12 volt power wire that comes from the battery to the relay and then to the fog lights. The relay is made heavier so it can take the higher amp draw of the lights that the switch cant handle. The ground wire for the switch is just for the light on the switch itself. The relay will have its own ground and the lights can be grounded to the chassis just like you have them.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick response on this.

Are there different size relays? If yes, what size would you recommend?
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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Do you still have your directions? There should be either a relay included or a relay reccommended.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:55 PM   #8
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If you don't won't to use a relay you can get away with it you just have to make sure you purchase a heavy enough rated switch. If you can find a distributor for GC elctronics they make excellent switches. IF you do run it straight to the switch make sure you have heavy gauge wire also. They are normally rated to about 40amps. I've actually have seen wire catch fire because it has not been heavy enough. On average a headlamp can pull up to 4 amps a piece, 8 amps for the both wired in parallel. If you go with a relay you shouldn't need anything heavier than a bosch relay.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Do you still have your directions? There should be either a relay included or a relay reccommended.
I do not still have the directions, but I do not recall anything about a relay.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:10 AM   #10
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Let me google that for you
Hope that helps ya out some, sorry I don't have time to search myself but I've got to get up in 4 hours Good Luck
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cjandthetj View Post
If you don't won't to use a relay you can get away with it you just have to make sure you purchase a heavy enough rated switch. If you can find a distributor for GC elctronics they make excellent switches. IF you do run it straight to the switch make sure you have heavy gauge wire also. They are normally rated to about 40amps. I've actually have seen wire catch fire because it has not been heavy enough. On average a headlamp can pull up to 4 amps a piece, 8 amps for the both wired in parallel. If you go with a relay you shouldn't need anything heavier than a bosch relay.
I don't mind using a relay, I just wanted to know the why and how. I am not very automotive electrical savy. I can re-wire things in my house, but I do not understand the whens and wheres for things like relays and resistors and things of that nature for vehicles. I like to know why and how to do things right instead of just blindly doing them.

Thank you for your help on this, I really appreciate it.
Dan
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:27 AM   #12
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Let me google that for you
Hope that helps ya out some, sorry I don't have time to search myself but I've got to get up in 4 hours Good Luck
That was nice. Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:56 AM   #13
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Here is how you wire a relay to turn on aux lights. It's the safest way.

The Bosch Relay Unraveled
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:19 PM   #14
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sorry I realize this is a little late but I just re-read what I wrote and realize there is a piece of info that was out of place, that 40amps is the general contact on a standard bosch relay you would find at your local auto parts store
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:19 PM   #15
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I put the relay in today. Hopefully I will not have anymore burnt out switches.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:42 PM   #16
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If you wired it up correctly, your problems will be solved. I remember when people would refer to relays and I was always like, "Whaaaaat?"

Easiest way to remember what a relay is...it's essentially just a heavy duty switch...and the coil is what switches it on/off.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #17
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for your cb, what brand and style do you have? if you have a nicer cobra like mine ( Cobra Electronics 29 WX NW ST Classic CB with NOAA Weather and NightWatch® ) it will self test the weather station as soon as it gets power. i have mint plugged into the cig lighter and is will do the test when i turn the key onn, and again after i start it. hope this helps.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:51 PM   #18
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for your cb, what brand and style do you have? if you have a nicer cobra like mine ( Cobra Electronics 29 WX NW ST Classic CB with NOAA Weather and NightWatch® ) it will self test the weather station as soon as it gets power. i have mint plugged into the cig lighter and is will do the test when i turn the key onn, and again after i start it. hope this helps.
I think that mine is the older version of yours. No "nightwatch". But hey, I got it for free. The weather station is what is broadcasting. The reason that I questioned it is because it does it when the power knob is in the "off" position and does it randomly.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:17 PM   #19
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I put the relay in today. Hopefully I will not have anymore burnt out switches.
You will be fine. I have 2 100W headlights wired to relays and 2 100W driving lights wired to realys (separate circuits) and my headlight and driving light switches have been fine for many years.

Take my word for it I have seen many poorly built commercial vehicles burn up because the upfitters were too stupid to do this.

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