Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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Instrument panel problem

My 1998 Jeep cherokee is having erratic electrical problems with the instrument panel, all gauges including the speedometer go out and will stay off for days or sometimes will go off and on several times a day. And the airbag light will come on at times, what could be the problem.

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  • rayterrygill Aug 22, 2008

    I have the same problem on my 1998 Cherokee Classic. The local Jeep dealer has advised me the only fix is to replace the guage cluster with a new one. At a cost of over $1000.00. Granted, that is not going to happen!!!

  • Anonymous Oct 07, 2008

    I have the same problem. I usually do a Fonze tap to the dashboard and it will come back on. Seems now Im having to hit a few more times with just a little bit more force. Can anybody be a little precise as to where this wire comes in to the guage cluster?

  • Anonymous Oct 30, 2008

    I've had this same problem since I bought my sport new. The dealership couldn't find the problem after numerous attempts.

  • thebutler Oct 31, 2008

    My jeep does the same thing and just started about 2 weeks ago. Sometimes, the mph goes out and other indicators go out as well. When that happens, the airbag light comes on. Now, everything is working except the water level gauge. It shows low while I am driving and when I am parked, it goes back to normal. Ugh....

  • ajacobs03845 Oct 31, 2008

    OK....I posted my problem here in another spot, but just found these posts. Obviously this is the exact same problem I am having. It started 2 days ago...mysteriously disappeared. The, it started again. the first time, it was just the tachometer and speedometer; now it's the entire panel. Is this a recall item?

  • Anonymous Nov 08, 2008

    I have a 1998 Jeep Cherokee also that sometimes the dashboard/instrument panel gauges sometimes does not work. And the airbag light sometimes goes on and off when the gauges start fluctuating. 

  • Anonymous Nov 12, 2008

    Same problem here, when the speedometer stops working, so does the mileage gauge, and the horn! Is the horn problem related to this?

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I just unplugged the instrument cluster, sprayed the connection spades and pins with contact cleaner and now everthing works fine and has for a couple of months now.

When I priced the replacement connectors and wiring, they were less that $7.00 for the kit. Not bad fron Chrysler now is it?

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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When you take the dash apart to get at the back of the guage you'll see that the connectors for the panel are attached to a molded piece of black plastic and the panel sits on top of them. The solution I used was to actually cut the plastic back (you can break it back too...) and insert the plugs tightly, then put a dab of hot glue on top and bottom to keep them from backing out. It keeps them nice and snug and you can remove them in one minute with a razor knife if you need to. After about a year I haven't had the problem since.

BTW - your mileage is not accurate if you have this problem. I noticed that when the gauges are off, it does not count mileage...went about 5000k miles without an oil change once...Just some addt'l info.

I know it's not a factory fix, but it costs about $1 for a glue stick and it only takes about 30min.

Hope it helps you.

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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A poor connection at the back of the instrument cluster. There was a t.s.b. for this which was to replace the connector ends

Posted on Aug 20, 2008

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