Jeep #4 Report: Instrument Panel Dimming Out Again

I made two short trips today:  first, over to a friend’s house (about 12 miles round trip) and not long after that to my favorite pizza place (about 12 miles round trip). Driving to get lunch, my instrument panel went dim on me again. The lights came back on after 10 or 15 seconds, and then it happened again, and again, and again. On the way home, the same thing happened five times.

It has been raining steadily since early morning, so I’m wondering if water is getting in again. (Some of the reports I’ve read about “fixing” broken sunroof drain tubes say that the “fix” is never permanent, and that bad design plays a role. Other Jeep owners were told that a certain amount of water is supposed to get into their car!

I had this problem the first few weeks of ownership, and my coworker said it was probably some settings, and if the lights were set to AUTO, they often dim like that. Ever since he told me that, I make certain not to set the lights to AUTO, but to ON or OFF.

There is no reason for this to be happening under any circumstances. Just like with my radio, sometimes it decides to go out for a few seconds and then come back on. Same reason? Water getting inside?

  • Youtube — One owner fixes his Jeep Commander himself (um, I won’t be doing that)
    As I suspected, if you have ice and sleet, the water will back up, which was exactly the problem Jeep #4 had while sitting on the lot before it was sold to me. As explained by this guy, most likely, my dash was full of water! No wonder Dulles Motorcars delayed the sale by 1 day, so they could clean up the mess! When I met the Service Manager (on my second service visit, the second week, she said “I’m familiar with your vehicle.” No doubt you were.)
  • Youtube — Another owner shows his Jeep doesn’t even have a drain!

Mileage:  3306

Visit the Jeep #4 Posts in Chronological Order page

UPDATE 6/28:  When I started the car this morning, the instrument panel was dim. After driving for about 4 minutes, the panel brightened and stayed that way for the full 12-minute drive. When I started the car to drive home, about an hour and a half later, the instrument panel was fully lit and stayed that way all the way home. The car was still wet from yesterday’s rain. We’ll see how Jeep #4 behaves the rest of this week.

Yesterday I learned that Fiat Chrysler is delaying the redesign of the Grand Cherokee by at least a year:

And other reports say that up to a dozen redesign delays can be expected across the Fiat Chrysler product lines:

One of the possible reasons for the delays is to provide Marchionne with time to find a partner that could co-invest in some of the development, particularly in areas such as powertrains and transmissions. 

Question of the Day:  Has anyone liked the 2014/2015 Jeep Cherokee 9-speed transmission? (cars.com reports on the untimely shifting and erratic city driving; I agree with #8, that the JC is “most relaxed during highway cruising.” Problem is, I’m rarely on the highway! I drive on the highway about 5 percent of the time!)

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