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Old 05-13-2013, 06:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Help! Headlight switch overheating

So my dash lights are not working on my 2000 TJ but I can get them to come on at one point on the headlight switch. This causes the switch to overheat immediately when the engine is on. Any ideas?

I'm trying to figure out if it's the headlights causing it or if it's a short somewhere in the wiring - it's just weird it's only overheating in the position were the dash lights are on. The dash lights will not come on when switch is all the way out. All other lights are working correctly. The overheating only happens in the small window were I can get the dash lights to come on.

I have already tried 2 new headlight switches I also rewired the headlights with brand new plugs.

I have not cleaned the corrosion on the head lights yet ( I need to go purchase a new torx 15 to remove headlights) which there is a good deal. Could this be causing headlights to draw more power & over loading headlight switch?

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Old 05-13-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW, NJ
Posts: 4,034
Are there any aux lights wired into the headlight circuit?

Retired my 94 YJ 4cyl 5spd @ 200K
Now in a 04 TJ 4cyl 5spd CV @120K+
Both as a commuter vehicle in NW, NJ
April 2012.downsized and now a 99er.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
I have the Stock fog lights with the separate switch - although I do have them unhooked - I do have trailer hitch line. could it be that?
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:18 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North NJ
Posts: 2,273
Couldn't hurt to pull the trailer harness. A friend of mine recently blew a bunch of headlight fuses due to a defective aftermarket trailer harness/adapter. The previous owner of his Jeep had used a "U-Haul" or somesuch brand adapter spliced into the harness in the hollow area behind the driver's tail light and wheel well. Fast forward a few years and something melted in there and started eating fuses. Cutting out the weird looking adapter and re-splicing the wires back to stock corrected the issue.

Cruddy headlight connectors shouldn't be able to affect your switch; there is a relay in between that handles all the power. The switch side of the relay should be very low amperage (unless the relay is bad).
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:32 PM   #5
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Does your 2000 have the push/pull light switch on the dash?

My 97 has the push/pull dash switch and I had the same problem - lights would only work when switch was in a certain position between off and on.
I never ran mine long enough to find out if it heated up though - sounds like a bad idea.
I'm pretty sure the dash switches on the early models don't have relays.

In my case the problem was a blown fuse - when the switch is in a certain position, it bypasses the fuse.
Sorry, can't remember which fuse it was - but they are easy enough to check.
97 TJ Sport 4.0L Auto RHD
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Yes it is the push pull type - I have checked all the fuses - pretty much stumped at this point. I'm going to try to take the trailer harness off & re-splice to original setup today & see if it helps.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Trailer harness is off - still having same issue with lights but no overheating anymore.

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