Question about 1987 Jeep Cherokee

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87 jeep cherokee, headlights not working

When I turn on the headlights everything else dims (parking, brake, running, dash) but no headlights. If turn them off everything is fine. Any ideas???

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  • Shonna Jolicoeur Jan 29, 2009

    Yes, it starts right up runs, no problems there. There is proper voltage unless you turn on the headlights and if you just turn on the running lights w/out headlights voltage is fine. Just when I turn on the headlights that's when everything else dims and the voltage will drop to the 10's. someone suggested checking the automatic headlight circuit??? do you know where that is???

  • Shonna Jolicoeur Feb 09, 2009

    are there only ground points under hood???? Could there be any others???? Thanks for the help.

  • pkendall183 Feb 16, 2009

    1989 Cherokee. When I turn on the headlights the charge in the system drops below 10, and takes a while to charge when the lights are turned off. I have a loud squeal coming from the alternator(a bearing I think), but I didn't know if this could be caused by something other than the alternator. Charge also drops significantly when the defrost is engaged. Will changing the alternator alone fix this, or is there something else I must address?

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This sounds like you have a bad ground distirbution point is weak and the headlights draw right off this heavily

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

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Probably a stupid question, but does the car start? Have you checked the battery for proper voltage? (and charge rate). Other than that, I'd suspect a poor ground somewhere causing excessive resistance & draw on that system.(headlamps draw far more than dash lights so power is used up there first)

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

  • Richard Scordino Feb 09, 2009

    Ground points are generally on the fender near the battery as well as the engine block..secondary at block to firewall. HOWEVER: If the charge rate drops into the 10's with headlights on, this indicates a bad diode in your alternator. (will make the alt undercharge during load)
    Charging rate should be between 12.8-13.5 (Depending on battery condition) running wit all accessories off. Definitely should not drop below 12.5 with all accessories on.


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