Underhood Light Switch Fix - Jeep Cherokee Forum

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Underhood Light Switch Fix

Old 03-09-2016, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Earth
Posts: 324
Year: 1998
Model: Grand Cherokee
Engine: 5.9 V8
Default Underhood Light Switch Fix

This same light is used in many models over many years. Frequently they do not operate, the culprit in my case was the gravity switch. Check your bulb and for 12V power at the top of the switch before cleaning. If there's no power the problem lies elsewhere.

To clean the interior of the switch you will need: small flat screwdriver, pliers, razor blade, 10 mm socket(not pictured), volt meter, WD40 and canned air.

To start, unplug the light, take off the cover, then remove bulb and 10 mm bolt.

The switch is the small bullet shaped brass piece with a copper pin inserted in the plastic cap on the bottom. Inside is a steel ball. When tipped into an upright position the ball contacts the side of the brass chamber and the copper pin, closing the circuit. Mine was corroded internally.

Pry up the switch from the top to remove.

Using a razor edge and a flat screwdriver the copper pin can be pulled out partially, then removed with pliers.

Couldn't get a good picture of the ball inside.

Kind of dirty, pic was taken in the middle of cleaning.

WD40 is probably not the best cleaning agent, it's what I had on hand and did the trick.

Blast the residue out with canned air. I bent the nozzle up and held a shop towel around the bottom, there was a lot of fluid inside.

Replace copper pin and put switch back in the housing. Check for continuity with ball in the bottom of the chamber. (Clean again if necessary)


Zero Ohms means it's good to go.

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Old 11-07-2016, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,553
Year: 2000 and 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default what a contraption!!

once i got it apart i couldnt believe it was made here on earth!
i usually break plastic retaining clips on electrical connectors and this was no exception. i still cant figure how to remount it to the firewall.
never saw a light bulb like that in all my messing with cars and lights
corroded contacts cleaned with a tiny file still make intermittent contact.
ive decided to get a regular light socket and a switch. i would expect this thing to come on overnight and kill my batt!!
love my jeep but nix on this xxxxxxt!! like to meet the engineer who did this!!

btw the oddball gravity sw works fine!
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:03 PM
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Location: Jax, FL
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Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L

Good on you! Submitting for write up?
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 26
Model: Cherokee

Good write up.
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