The smell of hot wires and a whip of smoke from steering column...

Magus2727

New member
On a short trip I smelled a faint smell of warm / melting wires and was not sure if it was from my Jeep or not. It was not very strog. When I pulled up to the house (less than 2-3 min drive...) I removed the key and turned off the Jeep and a small whip of smoke came from under the steering wheel column cover.

I have removed the covers and had the Jeep running for 15-20 min to try to find a warm or hot wire. The only thing remotely close is this wire from the ignition switch. It started getting a bit warm. After idling for about 10 min.

Looks like it has seen some heart as its suppose to be red.



It is corroded a bit.


Do people think this is just a corroded high resistance on a wire due to terminal that I can just cut, crimp, and solder the connector on? Or think this is a problem from the ignition switch? It's fairly new, just a few years old and has not problems starting or putting the car into run or accessory mode.

Thanks for any help that can be offered.
 

Tim_MN

Freakish Hand Strength
NAXJA Member
Corrosion is high resistance. High resistance is heat. Fix what you can see, and whatever is cheapest. I would cut back the wire a good distance and consider increasing the wire size. If that doesn't solve the problem, dig deeper.
 

Ecomike

NAXJA# 2091
NAXJA Member
If the wire is overheating, the Ignition switch is also likely damaged, time to replace the switch (again) and repair the wire/connector before it strands you or gasses you good. Ben there done both. What year is it?

On the older jeeps it is common for the head light and AC blower circuits to get much worse than that. Newer ones I think have the headlight issue still. That is not an older GM column switch, not sure what years yours is?

If it is the headlight power wire, then get an under the hood headlight relay harness on amazon, an add on for about $38 and solve the problem for good. They are simple to install and they stop the early death of headlight and starter switches and the wire.
 

Magus2727

New member
Mine is a 95. I will look at getting a new switch also.

I have replaced the head light switch/nob already and had to repair the wire on that. But that was because the head lights would just go out and when taking it apart the connector just exposed into little bits.

Is the head light relay harness a universal type thing?
 

Ecomike

NAXJA# 2091
NAXJA Member
Yes, this is the one I have on 2 xj's. Reviews are mixed, but more good than bad, but they work and they price is awesome. If I have any problems with the relays (I had mine upside down and water got in them and shorted them out) I will upgrade with the XJ standard low cost bosch relays. I already bought the pigtail-female sockets for the upgrade.

http://www.amazon.com/Putco-230004HW-Premium-Automotive-Lighting/dp/B001P29X4G/ref=au_as_r?_encoding=UTF8&Make=Jeep|42&Model=Cherokee|347&Year=1994|1994&ie=UTF8&n=15684181&newVehicle=1&s=automotive&vehicleId=9&vehicleType=automotive

There are other more expensive harnesses out there. You have two bulbs right? Not 4?
 

Ecomike

NAXJA# 2091
NAXJA Member
Yes, just 2 main bulbs that have both a high and low beams in a single bulb.
Then either one of those will work. If I buy another one for my newest Renix, I may try the $20 one, I like the relays and specs way better on it, but I have not thoroughly checked out reviews on that one yet.
 

Ecomike

NAXJA# 2091
NAXJA Member
This looks just like the Putco's I bought 3 years ago, but much lower cost

http://www.amazon.com/Relay-wire-harness-Headlight-vehicles/dp/B002TNX6OI/ref=pd_sbs_236_5?ie=UTF8&dpID=41uCTsRi6bL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=0DPQQNYX9FP78826ZTN1

The $20 rig has fuses, but some are saying the fuses are low a wattage, at least for hella upgrade bulbs (higher wattage), but the Putco style and one I linked above doesn't come with any fuses.

I think they are a great start as any fuse issue is an easy fix. Any way do some shopping, there are heavy ones out for up to $100 if you want to upgrade the bulbs and have heavier wires etc.
 
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