Headlight Flicker and Occasional Dim - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Headlight Flicker and Occasional Dim

I've noticed an issue recently: my headlights have a slight flicker. Doesn't seem to be happening all the time, I notice it most in the mornings when I'm sitting in traffic. I also get an occasional dimming and slight drop in RPMs when idling. In the 2+ years I've been driving this thing, it's stalled once or twice when this happens.

Any thoughts on what might cause and/or remedy this?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 12:33 AM
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I had one instance where my headlights flashed on and off for about a half hour this summer. I did some reading and found that the ignition switch and multifunction switch could cause the issue. I picked up a new ignition switch because my easy egress function was also intermittent so it seemed like it was the more likely choice but the problem never happened again.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 07:52 AM
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By flicker what do you mean?
Iím working on trouble shooting a car right now that has what the driver calls a flicker, what it does is the dash lights and headlights slightly dim and come right back. We are looking at the battery and alternator, which can be tested. Also considering the multifunction switch (headlight switch) and body grounds. Itís not a Jeep but troubleshooting is similar.

Not sure what Year and engine commander you have, in this app I donít see anything but the main post.
On our 2006 3.7 Commander Iíve noticed at stoplights lower RPM and almost a stall, then it self corrects. There does seem to be a electrical component, like maybe a dip in alternator voltage, however Iíve replaced: alternator, battery, ground straps, ignition coils, crank and cam position sensors (with mopar ), headlight switch, flushed transmission fluid, and randomly itíll still do the rpm drop and recovery at a stop light. Headlights, A/C, blower motor, rear air, nothing actually seems to contribute.
Itís a common problem to these years jeeps.
The alternators on the commanders are pretty high output so it really shouldnít be a demand problem unless the PCM is not adjusting the voltage correctly.

Transmission fluid level fixes the issue for some, or they say it does, theory is the torque converter needs proper amount of fluid to spin freely at idle. A few have said bad transmission or torque converters were their problem.

Another of the theories is weak CPS signal causing the PCM to do something that causes this. It wasnít so in my case.

I donít know, what I think contributes is the rpm is so low, 550, that slight changes can affect it more noticeably than in other vehicles with higher rpm at idle.


Not sure how bad your flicker is, depending on how bad it is it might suggest a place to start. Otherwise the trouble steps shooting I listed we are doing for another car are a good place to start. I wouldnít replace all the parts I did, some of it was to troubleshoot this issue but most of it was in the course of general maintenance..




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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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It's an '07 Hemi (in my sig )

The flicker is really slight, you have to be looking for it to notice. The dimming comes every so often while idling, or coasting to a stop. There's a slight dip in RPMs as this happens too. I've noticed a similar dimming when putting the windows down. Almost seems like my battery (which is barely a year old) doesn't have enough juice to fully power everything.

I've got no mods, other than the stereo, which is a Pioneer AVH-1330.

I'm not an electrical genius, but are there better options for a battery that might supply a bit more current? I'm getting ready to swap out the plugs. Maybe I should change coils and wiring while I'm at it?

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 09:32 PM
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If the battery is New I doubt it but it can be tested.
The battery cranking amps is a fairly strong, i think all GC and XK jeeps have H7 batteries. If you want to you can modify the battery tray for a more powerful H8, but I doubt itís do anything for this issue.
I just replaced our battery and it still did this rpm hiccup at a red light not running any accessories and no headlights just a foot on the brake.

On the car we are trying to fix for a friend it is doing exactly the flickering you are describing and we are pretty sure itís the alternator, we can see the voltage drop as it flickers but we are going to be cleaning and testing a few other things before dropping a few hundred for a rebuilt alternator. But her car doesnít stall.

On the Hemi engine Iím not too sure what going on there far as coils and other things.
Spark plugs are not a bad idea if you donít know how many miles are on them, ignition coils Iíd leave alone unless they fail, they are usually pretty good quality and if you replace them then Mopar or Low milage used are the best bet, the Chinese knockoffs sold at places like auto zone often fail after a little while. Oh BTW spark plug donít have to be anything fancy exact OEM make these engines the happiest.

I canít remember if the Jeep PCM has voltage in the OBD2 readout, Iíd think it does. This might be a way to check what the voltage does when it stalls.

Im not confidant in the solution for the Commander because ours with all those new parts still does it, also the alternators at least on the 3.7 &4.7 are 160 amp Nippondenso which OEM are high quality, no internal voltage regulator the PCM controls it.
Battery, alternator, battery cables might cause the flickering, and the stalling if we assume they are connected. If they are not it could be Crank or Cam position sensors,

And throttle body, I think 2007 went from cable to electronic control, so an electric actuator moves the throttle instead of your foot, if that or idle air controller are messed it could cause a stall.

But I know what you mean about the seeing a drop in power and the rpms act like itís going to stall, I would think those two events are connected. Ours never stalls and is a different engine, so Iím not sure how much is the same for your engine.

If you still suspect it and if the alternator is easy to get at maybe pull it and get it tested out side the vehicle. The test with the vehicle running at auto zone can help but for something like this it might not find the cause if it happens randomly.





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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 10:34 PM
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Check out this thread, https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...s/27890?page=1

Iím not sure if itís the same kind of stallling but the OP of that thread did the trouble shooting complete with mopar part numbers, answer was the wrong spark plugs. Even if itís not the same problem it is a better guide in trouble shooting


Also has your commander had the ignition switch recall done?


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2018, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Duvall, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conundrum2006 View Post
Check out this thread, https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...s/27890?page=1

Iím not sure if itís the same kind of stallling but the OP of that thread did the trouble shooting complete with mopar part numbers, answer was the wrong spark plugs. Even if itís not the same problem it is a better guide in trouble shooting


Also has your commander had the ignition switch recall done?


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Yes, the ignition switch has been replaced. I have a new set of plugs (Champion 570s) I'll swap in soon. Hopefully that's all it is...

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFisher View Post
It's an '07 Hemi (in my sig )

The flicker is really slight, you have to be looking for it to notice. The dimming comes every so often while idling, or coasting to a stop. There's a slight dip in RPMs as this happens too. I've noticed a similar dimming when putting the windows down. Almost seems like my battery (which is barely a year old) doesn't have enough juice to fully power everything.

I've got no mods, other than the stereo, which is a Pioneer AVH-1330.

I'm not an electrical genius, but are there better options for a battery that might supply a bit more current? I'm getting ready to swap out the plugs. Maybe I should change coils and wiring while I'm at it?
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Last edited by Big Blue; 01-28-2018 at 07:59 AM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFisher View Post
Yes, the ignition switch has been replaced. I have a new set of plugs (Champion 570s) I'll swap in soon. Hopefully that's all it is...
Also, you would be better served getting a set of replacement spark plugs straight from Chrysler - it's pretty well documented that certain after market plugs will cause problems, particularly on a Hemi.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Duvall, WA
Own a Commander?: Yes
Model year: 2007
Trim Package: Limited
Power-Train: 5.7L V-8 Hemi
4WD
If 4WD - system: QD-II
Current Mileage: ~131K
Posts: 26
Still haven't gotten around to the plugs, I'm thinking I'm gonna swap out the alternator as well, hopefully this weekend. Is there anything out of the ordinary I need to know? Looks like a pretty straightforward job (as alternators should be)...

I'm seeing a couple Duralast options from AutoZone, one has a much higher core charge. 160 amps which looks to be 10-15 amps higher than some others (Napa, Bosch...)

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