Question about 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Dash board instruments died, along with electric windows

Noticed while driving my instrument panel had died. aircon stopped although fan and dash light on button still worked. Electric windows also died.

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  • Josh Soto
    Josh Soto Jan 20, 2009

    I have slightly the same problem, but my power windows/locks work. my lights shut off in the dash, and my horn sounds awful



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Under your hoods you should find a box like cover which covers your primary fuses and relays. In the old days, there were fusible links in vehicles which supplied primary power to different systems, for instance one to ignition, one to the interior dash panel and instruments, and another to exterior electrical and lighting. In newer vehicles like yours the old fusible links (which were basically a large gauge wire with a metal strip inline) have been replaced by heavy duty blade style fuses. You can purchase a very inexpensive automotive test probe which lights up when current is detected at almost any auto part store, or Wal-Mart (or similar stores). These probes look like a screwdriver with a pointed end and a wire coming from the back or out the side. The handles are clear plastic and have a bulb inside. The easiest way to test the fuses is to get one of those probes. If you choose to do so, simply connect the clip on the end of the wire to a piece of metal on or near your frame or engine. Remove the cover to expose the fuses. On each fuse you will see two metal points on either side that are exposed on the face of the fuse where the rating of the fuse is displayed. Turn the ignition key to the "on" position but don't start the vehicle. To verify that your probe is grounded (or earthed) touch the pointed end to your positive battery cable. It should light up. If not, select a different metal location to connect the ground clip to. Be sure that you are not connecting the ground clip to any wires, as they may be "live" and you could cause a short! After finding a good ground, test your probe again. Once you get it to light when touching the positive battery terminal, you can begin testing fuses. Touch the pointed probe end to the small metal pieces on the fuses one at a time. Be sure to test both sides of each fuse. If you get no light on a particular fuse, jot down the name of the fuse. If you get light on both posts of a fuse, that fuse is good. If you get light on one side but not the other, it is again a a bad fuse.

Now, if any of your fuses tested as bad, replace them with the same rated fuse and try your vehicles out to see if power is restored to the missing systems. If power is not restored, or if none of the fuses test bad, go back to your list of fuses that did not light on either of their test points.

Check the names or numbered locations of those fuses against your owner manual to see if they have anything to do with the place where you are missing power. If this is the case, you can try replacing the relevant fuse. However, normally if a fuse does not light on either test point it means that there is no power being supplied to the fuse itself, which means you likely have a broken wire or bad connection to the "fuse block" which supplies power to the fuse itself, and from there to your inoperative system(s).

Let me know how the tests go and I'll see if I can help you further if need be!

Posted on Feb 03, 2009


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