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Questions and Answers

Jeep Cherokee Rear Lights Out

Q. Dear Vincent, I hope you can help me out. I have a 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic. The other day I noticed the left rear brake light was not working. I purchased a bulb (the Auto Parts store sold me the wrong one along with the wrong windshield wipers) and I set to remove the brake light.

Jeep Cherokee Rear Lights Out

When I inspected it, it looked perfectly fine, no broken filaments or discoloration of the bulb, and I did not have a new one to test whether or not it was in fact broken. Then I noticed not only was the left brake light out, but the reverse lights were not working either when the car was put in reverse. The only rear lights that were working were the hazard lights.

I suspect there may be a problem with a fuse. I located a fuse box under near the dash on the right side panel on the passenger side. Basically it is a box with multiple colored inserts (fuses?) in place and I did not dare to bother them.

Am I getting to the problem? How do I check if the lights failure to work is fuse related. How do I check the fuses and know which ones control the lights.

I am trying to make ends meet here. Any help you can give me that will save me a few bucks is greatly appreciated.

Mary Lou

A. You were at the fuse box Mary Lou, you were close. The best way to check a fuse is with a test light. You can get a cheap one at any auto parts store. When you look at the fuse from the end, you will see two metal strips set into the plastic. Hook your test light to a good ground and touch the point to each of these metal strips in turn.

You should have power on both side of the fuse. If not, the fuse is blown. There is usually a fuse puller mounted inside the fuse box to remove them. If there isn't, you can use a pair of pliers to gently pull them out.

Since all three of these lights get power from different sources, I would check to make sure the connector is clean and tight and that the ground wires are good.

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