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Engine cuts out when the headlight is switched on

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3 Answers

Headlights cut off while driving

If it is truly a ground problem you should be able to do the following.

NOTE* Sometimes finding the root of a ground problem in a wiring harness can be very time consuming and also drive you nuts.

First you need to establish if it is indeed a ground problem.
Check your fuses and make sure that none of them are bad or loose.
Look at the back of the headlight switch and determine if the connection is solid.
Do the same with each headlight. If you find a dirty connector then clean it gently and re-connect it.
Try the headlights again... If the same thing happens continue.


On the headlight connector there are usually 3 wires. 1 low beam, 1 high beam, and 1 ground,
Find the ground wire from the headlights and provide a solid temporary ground by adding an additional
wire into the ground socket. DO NOT CUT EXISTING ELECTRICAL WIRES ON YOUR CAR!!! Get a length of Electrical wire and strip off about 1 inch of the coating from each end. Find which socket is the ground, and slip the new wire into the socket with the bulb.
Take the other end of the wire and fasten it to a grounded area, "something made of steel, like the frame or part of the engine. NOT ALUMINUM...

Try the headlights again... If it works ok then you do have a ground problem.
The options now are to either secure everything down "as is" and consider it fixed, or, take it to a shop and have them fix the ground the way it should be fixed.

This is only ONE way to diagnose a ground problem but NOT the only one.

If it does not work then it is something else other than a ground, like a switch.

Nov 22, 2008 | 1985 Jeep CJ7

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