'11 Jeep Liberty -- I'm losing my dash lights

jeep
electrical-wiring
liberty
dashboards

#1

Hiya!

On my last car, my dash lights kept going out one by one until it was just illuminated needles. I really tried, but never found the loose connection (and its fuses and bulbs were fine). My motorcycle did the same thing, but face it; who checks the speedometer when riding?
Now I have this wonderful and dependable Jeep, and it’s started doing the same thing. The temp gauge on the far right flickers, staying off more than on. Now half of my tach is starting to flicker from time to time. Oddly it doesn’t seem related to road bumps or vehicle momentum (or smacking the dash like an idiot) so I would like to check any connections before the winter hits. Before I start mucking about under the dash, where should I start looking? Is this a known or common issue, or are there a set of connectors I should start with? Any thoughts?

Thanks!
-Spaz


#2

If the dash uses bulbs in plastic bayonet-style holders, the contacts in the holder may be weak and not making good contact. Bending the contacts a little will fix this.


#3

allpar.com specializes in Chrysler. The Jeep forum there may be worth a try


#4

It is pretty easy to pull most instrument clusters out of the dash.

You could do this and pull out each bulb and replace it with a new one.
Any auto parts store should be able to look up which bulbs and how many are needed.
I would also unplug and re plug in any wire harnesses…in case there is a little corrosion in the plugs.

Be fore attempting this, it would be good to purchase a Chilton or Hayes Manual for your specific vehicle and it will tell you exactly what steps are involved in this job. These books are only about 25-30 dollars at any auto p[arts store.

Yosemite


#5

Double check fuses m13, m15, m20, m34. There’s three electrical connectors, c1, c2, c3, look for loose or corroded. From what I see they appear to be located high up and behind, sort of behind the speedo. Not gonna be fun to find them I guess. Instrument panels these days have a bevy of complex electronics and it isn’t that unusual they fail in weird ways. Like when my cell phone got a glitch & started displaying everything in reverse, like I was looking at in in a mirror … lol … Sometimes it possible for a shop to repair the problem by removing the instrument panel(s), for example by re-soldering loose pcb solder junctions. If that’s possible and your shop is experienced w/Jeep repair, they’ll know about whether it is possible or not.

btw, There’s a known problem with the clocks losing time, about a minute a month. If you got that problem, ask your shop to check TSB 8-3-13A. If so fix that problem first, as it could be related to the other problems. Best of luck.


#6

Sounds like another TIPM problem with a Chrysler product.

Tester


#7

fyi, The clock problem I mentioned above is related to the power module mentioned in Tester’s post. Likewise are problems with the anti-theft alarm, vehicle no starts, & the active head restraint. So if you got some of those other problems, that would be consistent with the tipm being a suspect.


#8

I would think all the IP lights would flicker in tandem if the TIPM was at fault. That’s not what’s happening. Or am I missing something?


#9

In other words, having a vehicle with a faulty TIPM is like driving something possessed.

What don’t you understand about that statement?

Tester


#10

What I don’t understand is how it could make bulbs that are wired in parallel flicker independently.


#11

I really think you should change your driving pattern after you are done fixing the dashboard lights. I recall you said you have had similar experience from your first car then your bike. Also, the road you normally ply but most importantly, driving style.


#12

How could driving style effect dashboard lights?

Although it is strange that the OP has similar problems on two cars and one motorcycle. I’ve never had any such problems with my 11 cars over 60 years.


#13

Instrument panels on newer models seem have a lot of electronics designed in, special purpose panel computers, printed circuit boards, associated multi-pin connectors, electro-mechanical actuators and the like, all of which combine to make them failure prone. It’s possible to have a lot of electronic complexity with desktop PC’s and still be reliable b/c there’s not nearly as much vibration and temperature/humidity variations in the home/office vs inside a Jeep. Compare OP’s Jeep to my 46 year old Ford truck for example. It is configured as

  • speedometer, mechanically driven by a cable from the transmission
  • alternator charging meter, a standard magnetic coil/spring design, input from a simple current divider in the charging circuit
  • fuel tank gauge, again a magnetic coil/spring design, input from a float/resistor in the fuel tank
  • oil pressure gauge, from a mechanical pressure sensor screwed into the engine

That’s all there is to the display console besides a few indicator light bulbs. I didn’t realize at the time, but the roof rain gutter leaked allowing water to the inside of the cab and behind the instrument panel for 2 entire winters and water got on all that stuff, everything still works like new.

Oh, my truck has a clock, just like the Jeep. In my truck’s case, it’s a little battery operated LCD unit I bought at a dollar store. For one dollar. Attached to the dash with Velcro.