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2002 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Headlights not working

So I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler Sahara all stock everything. The headlights were working fine the other day and then suddenly they stopped working.

Symptoms:

  • All of the other lights (parking, turn, interior, etc) work fine.
  • When I put on the headlights, the lights themselves do not turn on.
    • however, the high beam indicator light on the dash lights up.
  • When I ‘flash’ the high beams or try to turn the high beams on, nothing happens.
  • If I shut the headlights off, but keep the running lights on, I can turn on the fog lights (which is how I’ve been driving at night)

Initially I suspected a fuse, but after a day of no headlights, they miraculously turned back on again. except the passenger side light was significantly dimmer than the driver’s side.

while driving (with the headlights on) they shut back off again and I haven’t been able to get them back on again.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I’ve been leaning towards the multi-function switch, but not really sure. if it is the MFS, is there a repair I could do? (I saw the repair about the fog light issue turning on and off, but haven’t found one for the headlight switch)

There’s nothing else in the headlight circuit that could cause your problem but the MFS.

I don’t know of any method to test the MFS but to replace it.

Tester

Supposedly there is a relay somewhere in the line too, i’ll try that first.

do you know if there is any way to repair a MFS?

No there’s not.

The MFS’s are made so cheaply it’s a wonder that they last as long as they do.

Tester

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Before you start changing parts start tracing the wiring with a volt meter.

My son has a 98 Wrangler and had the same problem. It turns out the wire inside the fuse box broke @ the crimp. Did not look obvious but we had power on one side and none on the other as we traced the power. I could wiggle the wire a bit to see the break. Quite a PITA, pretty sure we changed the MFS also, made sense at the time. Same thing happened to the starter circuit. In both cases I wired around the fuse box with an external fuse.

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Another idea, There should be a wire from one or both of the headlight fixtures to chassis ground in the area of the headlights. Make sure that ground connection is making a solid contact.