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Old 03-29-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Headlights turn on and off randomly while driving.

It only happens after i have been driving for a while(about 30 min or so) all of the other lights continue to work including the driving lights. The headlights will just randomly shut off and after a few seconds turn back on the length of time they are off or time between turning off varies and is not at all consistent with bumps in the road or anything of that matter. I don't drive it much at night and when i do its not for long so i almost completely forgot about this problem until i had to take the jeep for a longer trip while it was still dark out and i got pretty nerve raking but i needed to get someplace so I couldn't stop I made it to my destination safely but i NEVER want to have to do that again. I tried shaking the headlight knob to get them to turn back on but it didn't help i also toolk that whole switch mechanism out and looked at the wiring, it seems to be fine and none of the wires seem loose. this will be a hard problem to track down because if the inconsistency of it does anyone have some ideas on where to start looking?

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Old 03-29-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
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Your not running hids are you?

Does this happen after you hit any bumps? If so I would look for a loose or corroded ground.

Have you inspected the fuse? I know you said it only happens after they have been on for a while.

I'm just asking to get more info for someone who may be more knowledgeable in this area.

I hate tracing electrical problems... Good luck.

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Old 03-30-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
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Some times they shut off when i hit bumps but they mostly shut off on an even surface so that has led me to believe the bumps dont make much of a difference and I don't have hids I have these Autopal replacement lights(wichh are pretty nice for a decent price by the way), but the problem was occurring before I replaced them so I don't think that is the issue either. Ill take a look at those fuses and grounds and report back. thanks
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:56 PM   #4
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Sounds like something is getting hot and tripping an automatic circuit breaker, or your headlight switch may have an auto reset in it, which will reset after the overload cools off. Try checking all connections for any bad connections. The headlight sockets are a good place to start, make sure they are clean and tight to the headlight. I had an older CJ do this and it was the headlight switch.

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Old 03-30-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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My bet is your headlight switch is going bad since both headlights are shutting off. That is really the only common thing between both headlights. My '97 TJ's headlight switch went bad and it gave the same symptom. It's an easy job to replace it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:43 AM   #6
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Thanks jerry. Ill start pricing them how much did you pay for it? if you dont mind me asking.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepMedic1 View Post
Thanks jerry. Ill start pricing them how much did you pay for it? if you dont mind me asking.
It has been 12-13 years since I replaced my TJ's headlight switch but I think it was at or just under $40.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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How easy is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
My bet is your headlight switch is going bad since both headlights are shutting off. That is really the only common thing between both headlights. My '97 TJ's headlight switch went bad and it gave the same symptom. It's an easy job to replace it.
I'm having the same problem with my '97 and have a feeling it is the switch. How do I get the old switch out? It doesn't look that easy, but maybe with a little guidance from someone who has done this...

Yeah... I pretty much need step-by-step instructions. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:55 PM   #9
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It's easier than it looks. Remove the two screws that hold the lower panel that are under the steering wheel, then swing it down where it will come off its hinge. You'll then see two screws that hold the switch in place, remove them & drop the switch down & pull the connector off. Piece of cake.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:07 PM   #10
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Thanks, Jerry! I pulled the lower panel off today and looked around. I think I know which two screws you're talking about (for the switch). I'll find out tomorrow when the sun comes up and I give this a shot. You're guidance is deeply appreciated!
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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thunderjunction, JeepMedic1 -
I'm having the same problem and was assuming it was the switch because popping the in and out was the only way I could trigger the problem occasionally. Did replacing the switch work for you guys?
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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When both headlights have the same issue, it is invariably the headlight switch... and they do go out, I have had to replace two of them over the years. There is no relay in that circuit so it is the switch that does everything.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:51 AM   #13
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Autozone only carries the Duralast headlight switch. Should I order a better one or should that one be alright?

Thanks, sorry for the ignorance!
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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Autozone HL switch is fine. They come with a lifetime warranty. Mine started flickering a few mos back and I was so p**sed that night I machined gunned it off/on in a rage and it's been working since.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:29 AM   #15
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Great, I'll go grab one in about an hour and swap it out
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:54 PM   #16
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An update for people who are experiencing this problem: replacing the switch worked fine for me. I've driven it for 2+ hours at night now and have not had a problem.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:44 PM   #17
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mine (97) started this a couple days ago, I pulled the wires from the headlights both were loose and dirty. wiped them off and good to go again.
Mine would quit working when I hit the turn signals or high beams, then they'd work again. After wiping them off I could not make it do it again. If it happens again I'll replace the switch, thanks guys!
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:35 PM   #18
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Mine ended up being a relay issue (upgraded headlights and harness). When I wired it all up, I didn't think about Chicago's love of salt, and had some corrosion issues inside the relays.

I replaced the relays and they are now inside a sealed box. Now the lights work like they're supposed to, and I've got a spare headlight switch...
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:55 AM   #19
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Deoxit is your friend! Any time I'm opening up any electrical stuff I spray it down with deoxit.

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