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Putco harness causing electrical issues?

Old 09-03-2015, 03:39 PM
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Default Putco harness causing electrical issues?

Hey all

So I have a weird issue. A few weeks back, the right headlight went out on my 98xj. I replaced it, but when I replaced it, only the high beams would work, and it wouldn't switch to low. Turns out one of the bulbs was busted from the get-go, so another new bulb and everything seemed ok.

However, lately I've noticed that occasionally the low beams still don't work, only the highs, and occasionally, all of the electronics cut out. Windows, radio, A/C, locks, everything goes dead. A quick shut off and restart of the engine, and everything returns to normal.

My mechanic seems to think that the Putco harness I installed has something to do with it, and suggested I yank it out immediately. I installed the harness last fall, and it worked perfectly up until the headlight went out.

Any suggestions as to where to start? I really hate the thought of yanking it all out and going back to stock headlights. Anyone had this issue before? Crappy harness relays maybe?

I also noticed a red wire underneath the dash that was hanging conspicuously close to the pedals that I had never seen before. It doesn't seem unattached to anything, but strange nonetheless.

Electronics are not my forte, clearly.

Thanks guys
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:54 PM
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Try replacing the putco relays first...

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/rep...arness-181772/
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:00 PM
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I've only replaced one original relay in 2+ yrs. I replaced it with a BWD R4136.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:04 PM
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Going on 4 years here no replacement of any thing yet...Guess it just luck of the draw...
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:37 PM
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I believe if they were major issue we'd hear more about it. Actually the original relay I replaced will work. It intermittently doesn't but if you squeeze the housing just right it will activate. Hard to do and drive at the same time though.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:51 PM
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The relays in this harness are prone to going bad because of moisture exposure. When you install them, try to insulate them the best you can with electrical tape.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dannymac1216 View Post
My mechanic seems to think that the Putco harness I installed has something to do with it, and suggested I yank it out immediately.

Is it possible? Well, I suppose.


Is it likely? No.

Much more likely is that you have some bad grounds that need to be cleaned up. I suggest you start there, since that never hurts.


Oh, and it's almost certain that electronics are not your mechanic's forté, either.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:57 PM
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Then there's that strange red wire.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:11 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone! First thing on my list Sunday is to check all of the grounds, and investigate that red wire a little more. Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeMark View Post
Is it possible? Well, I suppose.


Is it likely? No.

Much more likely is that you have some bad grounds that need to be cleaned up. I suggest you start there, since that never hurts.


Oh, and it's almost certain that electronics are not your mechanic's forté, either.
Well stated Mark.
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:02 AM
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Thanks, cruiser.

I suspect the percentage of mechanics that have a good understanding of electricity is very small. Unless that is the guy's specialty, people should take anything a mechanic says about electricity with a grain or two of salt.


20 or so years ago I seriously considered switching from communications engineering to wrenching, specializing in electrical systems. A friend who owned a shop was looking for someone who could do that for him and he was ready to pay more than I was making at the time. Mechanics who could work on electronics/electrical systems were that rare.

The only reason I didn't pursue it was a back injury, and I didn't think I could handle bending over engine compartments all day.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeMark View Post
Thanks, cruiser.

I suspect the percentage of mechanics that have a good understanding of electricity is very small. Unless that is the guy's specialty, people should take anything a mechanic says about electricity with a grain or two of salt.


20 or so years ago I seriously considered switching from communications engineering to wrenching, specializing in electrical systems. A friend who owned a shop was looking for someone who could do that for him and he was ready to pay more than I was making at the time. Mechanics who could work on electronics/electrical systems were that rare.

The only reason I didn't pursue it was a back injury, and I didn't think I could handle bending over engine compartments all day.
Agreed.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:24 AM
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Hey all

Did some quick investigating. Turns out the red wire I described was actually black, and looked like some sort of audio wire. Pics to come tomorrow.

Also, I was thinking, I have yet to replace the Putco relays to see if they're what's causing the electronics (windows, A/C, radio, wipers, etc) to cut out, that's next on my list, but could it possibly be an ignition switch issue since shutting off the jeep and turning it on sees to fix the issue?

I'm perplexed.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Dannymac1216 View Post
Turns out the red wire I described was actually black, and looked like some sort of audio wire.
Heh. Grease and grime make fools of us all!

Originally Posted by Dannymac1216 View Post
Also, I was thinking, I have yet to replace the Putco relays to see if they're what's causing the electronics (windows, A/C, radio, wipers, etc) to cut out,
Well, I haven't done the Putco myself, so I'm only going on what I've read, but it seems it's just a plug in, so it should be easy to UNplug it, put things back to normal (as a test) and then you'll know without buying any parts.

Test, don't throw parts.
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