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HVAC Blower issues and airbag light Jeep TJ

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  • HVAC Blower issues and airbag light Jeep TJ

    The newest threads I found were all around 2014 and 99 percent of them did not cover my issue. After much trouble shooting and random googling I found the issue and thought it would be a good little read for you TJ guys.

    So even the first day driving this thing home, I noticed, every now and again, the airbag light would come on and off. Well I haven'e been using the AC or heat much this year until recently. So I kept noticing a faint electrical smell last month and noticed my HVAC controls getting warm around the edge. Did some googling, found out that as the blower motor ages it draws to many amps for the wires. So I swapped the blower motor and the smell went away along with most of the heat from the controls. Three days ago I noticed my airbag light staying on, then the next day my blower didn't work. I did not tie the two issues together as the blower I thought had been working all along and figured the airbag light was the clock spring. So I go to reading tech articles. Pulled my HVAC controls and walla, melted bliss every where. No biggie I thought I had found my culprit and could get her squared away. Broke off some of the melted pieces, connected everything and nothing. Did some testing and no juice. Did some more research and realized they were all grounds. So got to checking my fuse panel and no heat at the number 8 fuse which is HVAC/blower. Pulled the fuse panel and all was connected. Checked the number 1 fuse under the hood, even direct linked it and still no power at the fuse panel. Bizarre ehhh. So randomly while searching I noticed a blower issue that also tied into the airbag. Well the ignition switch apparently turns on random banks of fuses. Jerked, wiggled and turned the key a couple of times and boom, power at the fuse. Hooked up the blower again, and crossed the two wires I am about to show you and walla, blower function. So, just FYI blower issue are not always panel related but glad I pulled it.

    So the cliff notes. Your ignition switch going out, takes out your blower, back up lights, and airbag. Also you might want to eyeball your HVAC controls.Ignition switch was like 35 bucks and looks like a 20 minute job. I may get pics if I am not lazy. You will need a 10 security Torx though I believe to get it off.

    These wires are all grounds so no biggie they are bare. The little one on tops triggers the compressor, the middle green one runs over and to the speed switch and and the black one is the main ground coming into the system. There is no power up here all grounds. I think I am going to buy the 60 dollar panel on ebay and a new plug though. My speed switch looks good but I figure why not. I think I am still building a little heat as these three wires were originally a solid one piece connector that just plugs in. I do have heat shrink and new switch but I think the actual prongs are corroded from the plastic that melted away thus causing resistance. Some people put relays in here but hey, I figure it made it 18 years.

  • #2
    Pfft, 20 minute job to change ignition switch. Contrary to the video and I believe he did a right hand drive jeep, you don't need to pull the blinker assembly. I loosened it a little but did not pull it. I pulled the bottom trim off the dash, then the three screws from the bottom of the steering plastic and the one screw which is a 10t security Torx and swapped it out. Hook up the harness afterwards to the new piece as it takes some finagling to get it straight and slide it on. Then I cleaned and used some needle nose to tighten up the spade connectors on the wires, slid some heat shrink over them and put it back together. I didn't heat the heat shrink as I am betting it will do the job itself. I will swap out the whole panel and that harness later maybe. Going to monitor the heat with the cleaning and re crimp. It seams to be better. All is functioning and no random airbag light.

    The little 10 security Torx (has a small hole in it) is just under that black flap on the blinker switch. It goes were that little copper looking hole is top right on the new ignition below. The front of the ignition switch that goes towards the column slides completely over a white guide and kind of clips to it.


    • #3
      This should be a sticky somewhere.
      97 TJ, 4 squirrels and the awesome AX-5, Sunray 9" axles, 37" Toyo's.


      • #4
        Good Job!


        • #5
          Originally posted by FluffyBunny
          This should be a sticky somewhere.

          It is now.


          • #6
            Just trying to be helpful. I am a fairly decent electrical guy as I did stereo and alarm installs growing up. I knew if it had me scratching my head, others might be perplexed also. Like I said 99 percent of the articles if you search blower motor issues, deal with the fried harness behind the AC panel. IF you put your finger to the right of the AC selector switch, it will be putting off some heat when your blower motor starts to go and these wires are melting. I mean it is warm to the touch anyways after running a bit, but mine was actually almost hot. Plus I am sensitive to the electrical smell. I have burned up some amplifiers in my time.