2000 Jeep Cherokee trailer lights

Tiny
BILLLEAST
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 131,445 MILES
2000 cherokee 4.0 automatic. Trying to hookup trailer lights, bought the adapter kit that says plug in and your ready to tow. Did that and lights woked as advertised, but the engine light came on after 10 miles and it started to run real erratic. Took it in and they said several error messages come up on the computer, after clearing them different error messages come up. Disconnected the trailer light kit and problem will go away after about 50 miles, engine light goes out and begins to run better. Did replace o2 sensor also. Dealer mech. Says something in the jeep itself is wired wrong or shorting out. Tried a different adapter kit with the same results.
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Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 AT 2:45 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
I've put in a lot of plugin trailer connectors over the years, but I've never heard this one. In addition, why the ECM is picking this up I'm not sure. I looked to see if there were any service bulletins out and found nothing. Does Jeep have any solutions? They must be aware of this. I would be hesitante to cut into the wiring and install a standard connector 'cause you need a convertor to make it work. I have built them in the past using a couple of diodes, but there has to be a plug-in solution.I just don't know of one. I'll do some more checking, but let me know what you find out.
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Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 AT 7:44 PM
Tiny
BILLLEAST
  • MEMBER
I have talked to three dealerships now about this and I have gotten alot of blank stares and shrugged shoulders. Most didn't even want to look at the problem. One service dept said they would have a look but said it would be expensive cause they would be tracing wires for a few days, they said probably a short or something hooked up wrong. Not the original owner so I don't know if anything has been messed with? I can find no add on features, everything looks stock.
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Friday, November 28th, 2008 AT 3:26 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Does the wiring where you plug in the adapter or under the bumper look like it has been tampered with in any way? Have you tried installing the adapter and before you start the vehicle hooking up to a trailer and seeing if the trailer lights work like they're supposed to? When you had the ECM scanned, and before they cleared the codes, what codes were stored?
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Friday, November 28th, 2008 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
BILLLEAST
  • MEMBER
The wiring does not look like it has been modified or tampered with anyhere I can see but I am continuing to look further.

I have tried to hook up the trailer without running the vehicle and the lights do work. The vehicle will run about 5 miles before the engine light comes on and it runs erratic, seems to have a lot of throttle and idle control issues, smells bad also (strong sulphur smell). If I excellerate hard it seems to run better but when I decell the problem returns. After unhooking the adapter it will continue to run with the same issues for about 20 miles before it runs better, then it is fine.

I am not sure of all the codes but I do know that the o2 sensor, the idle control and a transmission code have come up several times. There were others also but I don't recall what the were.
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 8:56 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
I have pondered over several wiring diagrams on your lighting problem. And at no point does the rear wiring system even come close to the ECM. It's got me baffeled. The diagrams show a factory trailer connector behinf the left rear inner panel. This may be the answer. If you have, or have access too, a fax # I will ship you a couple of diagrams. I could attach them here, but they are compressed so much they are hard to read. Please advise
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 9:16 PM
Tiny
BILLLEAST
  • MEMBER
I do not have access to a fax. I have a wiring diagram in my Haynes manual, it should be the same.

I did have the adapter in the same place, behind the rear left inner panel, it was not a factory adapter but I may try one, only $45 more.

I will continue to look for shorts or anything else, if you come up with anything let me know.

Thanks for your time and effort.
Bill
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 9:47 PM

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