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Old 01-28-2014, 07:33 PM   #1
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Rear Defrost turns on Dome lights & kills gauges

Howdy, I'm currently troubleshooting this, here's what I've done so far:

Jeep:
2006 Lj Rubicon, 6 spd Manual.

Symptoms:
Pressing the Rear Defrost button for the hard top makes the dome lights (LED) come on and the gauges die. The button lights up orange, but does not stay on if I let it go. The dome lights go off and gauges come back once I take my finger off the button. No issues with headlights or fog lights. Dome lights work as normal with door switches and multifunction switch.

I have no idea how long this has been an issue, just used the defroster today for the first time since buying the rig in October. I know the issue did not exist then.

What I've done:
Tried pulling fuse #4: No change
Checked fuses and relay in PDC: OK
Removed the wires for the LED back up lights installed recently: No Change
Unplugged the trailer wiring T connector harness installed recently: No change
Checked the tabs going to the rear window, plug in the hardtop, etc: OK
Pulled the dash panel and checked the plug on the switch: OK
Rear Wiper works OK

Are these the symptoms of a bad "timer relay" for the defroster or a bad switch itself? Any suggestions are appreciated!!!!!

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:04 PM   #2
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Find a wiring diagram and find where the two circuits come close to each other and find the short to power

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:07 PM   #3
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Maybe kill the objects you installed recently at there fuses and see if it changes it. Just an idea hope you find it very curious.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
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I think the timer in the cluster is bad. You can test the switch. I think it is a momentarily closed switch meaning when you push it it closes 2 contacts (1 & 2) & when you let go it opens them. 1 push is supposed to set the timer but if you push again the 2nd one signals the timer to open the circuit & turn the defroster off. The odd results also point to the timer. The dome lights are on a timer (probably the same one). When you turn the engine off & open the door do the dome lights come on then off after 20 seconds or so? I’m not sure why the gauges are acting that way but if you fix the timer they may be OK. The timer is part of the cluster & that is expensive so you may try using an external delay relay. Here are some links on that topic. The first one has a lot of info on this including whether the switch or timer is bad. I posted some wiring diagrams on there from my ’05 FSM & your ’06 should be the same.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/tj-r...-194655-2.html

Automotive Time-Delay Relay

Now available: A new version of the TDR (called TDR-MC) which is triggered with a momentary switch or signal, and during the turn-off delay can be canceled by pressing the switch again. Also available in long-delay version.

rear defogger red relay and red relay connector - JeepForum.com

Jeep Heated Backlite Window Defroster Defogger Relay 56005146 TRW | eBay
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:49 PM   #5
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Thanks Rubi. Dome lights work normally. Even time out as normal when I leave the door open. Thanks for the info I will dig into that. I truly appreciate the amount of knowledge guys like you drop on these forums, incredibly helpful.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:07 PM   #6
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I'm currently having the same issue with my 05 Tj rubicon, did you find what the problem was?

Best regards,

Tyler
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:27 PM   #7
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The only thing left is to cut the harness and jumper past the cluster or wire in a different one. All my troubleshooting has turned up nothing else. It's not my DD so I'm in no hurry to butcher the wiring. Sorry.

Any idea when yours started?
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
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Mine started today. When I put it into gear. Lose all power to my gauges. Fuse 10 was popped in my inside fuse panel, replaced that and cleaned up my terminals and it seemed to solve it. For now.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:25 PM   #9
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Finally got around to spending more time on this. Turns out the HBL relay was "kinda" bad. Swapped in a new one and everything is back to normal. Murphy's law being what it is, the relay next to it, for the front locker was also "kinda" bad and that was the one I was troubleshooting with. Now that I've put in two new relays in both positions I've fixed two problems. Happy day!! My lesson? When in doubt swap the cheap parts out.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:39 PM   #10
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Relays don’t usually go “kinda” bad but is possible, I guess but having that happen to 2 & right next to each other would almost defy logic. If the new ones happen to also “kinda” go bad you might want to lift the PDC & check the wiring & terminals to those relays, especially where the terminal ends are crimped to the wires. There have been a few reports of failures there on various components in the PDC. Also make sure the terminals are not pushed down in their sockets & only “kinda” making contact with the relays.

Just things to check if the problems come back but hopefully they won’t.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:42 PM   #11
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So typically the entire circuit would just be dead? If the relay was grounding internally do the do the symptoms make sense? I will check under the PDC for issues with connections, I don't have a warm fuzzy either. Just know that two new relays corrected the issues. I've been doing several wiring mods it's possible I shorted something in the process while I was mocking things up before I started soldering. Unfortunately I tend to learn through pain and suffering.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:29 PM   #12
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You didn’t specify what was actually happening causing you to say “kinda” bad. That made me think maybe intermittently bad. I would say in my experience relays actually rarely fail at all. When they do usually either the coil winding fails or the contacts go bad, probably from overloading the circuit. If the contacts get “burnt” I suppose they could cause intermittent contact loss but not to 2 relays on different circuits at more or less the same time.

If the relay was grounding internally, depending on where it was happening I would expect either it would blow the primary fuse 2 in the PDC in the case of the HBL relay or the relay would stay closed same as if the timer stayed on or blow the coil fuse 7 in the fuse block & not close at all. Again, not 2 relays at once.

I don’t see any of that causing the element to be on only when you held the switch down.

If everything works I would probably go with that. If problems return then check further.



What was happening to the lockers & that relay?
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:50 PM   #13
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How common is it for the terminals on the PDC to come loose? It's apparent the PO had the PDC out at some point, I think to wire a winch or lights into it. He pulled all that out when I bought it. Several of the pins come off fairly easily when I checked them. Everything is back together and the locker relay I thought was bad works in both the locker terminal and HBL spot. The old HBL relay still causes my original problem when its in. Anyway I'm glad the defrost is fixed. Thanks for the help Rubi. I've definitely gained some experience and de mystified my jeeps electronics. Cheers.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Symptoms:
Pressing the Rear Defrost button for the hard top makes the dome lights (LED) come on and the gauges die. The button lights up orange, but does not stay on if I let it go. The dome lights go off and gauges come back once I take my finger off the button. No issues with headlights or fog lights. Dome lights work as normal with door switches and multifunction switch.
I had the same problems with my 01 TJ. It turned out that Fuse #10 (10 Amp) behind the glove compartment was blown.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:27 PM   #15
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I am new to the forum. Really glad I found this thread. Had the exact same problem with my 03 Rubicon. Interesting that everybody on this thread with the problem has a Rubicon. The locker relays are identical to the HBL relay...wonder if that is somehow related. Anyway, like one of my other dudes on here I tried swapping HBL and locker relays with no success. However, then took some dielectric grease and lubed up the contacts on the HBL relay. Now it seems to be working fine (fingers crossed). Maybe those relay contacts get old and corroded and don't conduct the current properly, so either replace them or putting some dielectric grease fixed the problem.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:00 AM   #16
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I don't think dielectric grease promotes good electrical contact. It may help stop corrosion, however.

I use dielectric grease, basically a silicone paste, on sliding brake calipers on my F250. It is also recommended for spark plug boots to help prevent water intrusion.

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