How-to: Jeep Cherokee Power Window and Door Lock Switch
Whether it's the legendary longevity of a Jeep XJ
Cherokee or just the nature of manual electric switches, the power window and door lock switches do wear out over
time. The troubleshooting will be easier with a factory workshop manual for your Jeep XJ
Cherokee. At left is the original right side front window and door lock switch for our 1999 Jeep XJ Cherokee
four-door model. A new replacement Mopar switch is at
Warning: You're working with the vehicle's electrical system. Disconnect the battery negative
cable before this repair work. This eliminates risk of shorting wires or frying a difficult to replace,
The symptoms for a defective right front door lock and window switch on our 1999 Jeep XJ Cherokee were three-fold:
1) the passenger could not operate the power window or door lock, 2) the driver could not operate the
passenger window or any door locks, including the rear hatch door, from the driver's door switch panel,
and 3) the remote key fob door lock activator did not work. The driver could operate the other
three power windows. Switch replacement begins with the door panel removal.
Here are the
official functions of the Driver and Passenger Door Modules (switches):
"A Driver Door Module (DDM) and a Passenger Door Module (PDM) are
used on all models equipped with power locks and power windows. Each door module houses both the front door power
lock and power window switches. In addition to the switches for its own door, the DDM houses individual switches
for each passenger door power window, a power window lockout switch and the power mirror switch. The PDM contains
the control circuitry and the power lock and unlock relays for the entire power lock
"In its role as the power lock control module, the PDM receives
inputs from the battery, the ignition switch, the DDM, the driver door ajar switch, the key-in ignition switch, and
the headlamp switch. It also receives a hard-wired input from the remote Keyless Entry (RKE) receiver, if the
vehicle is so equipped. In response to these inputs, the PDM sends the proper outputs to control the power lock
motors through its integral power lock and unlock relays.
"The DDM and the PDM are mounted to their respective front door trim
panels. The DDM and PDM are serviced individually and cannot be repaired. If the DDM or PDM, or any of the switches
and circuitry that they contain are faulty or damaged, the complete DDM or PDM unit must be
Our system's symptoms met each of the requirements for a defective
PDM. We ordered the right front door switch from a Mopar source. Practical troubleshooting can save
considerable time and money. If you're having trouble with a diagnostic procedure or isolating a symptom, the
4WD Mechanix Magazine 'Tech and Travel' Forums provides a free information resource...In our case, the right front
door module (PDM) contains a range of functions and potential trouble symptoms!
There are three large screws supporting the armrest on the 1999 XJ
Cherokee. Remove all screws before attempting to unclip the panel. At right, carefully slide your hand
or a plastic putty knife behind the panel and find the plastic clips. With a light hand, you
can loosen the panel without destroying the push clips. Do not force parts. Replace broken or distorted
clips as needed.
Make sure all screws are out. Separate the panel clips from the
door's metal skin. Do not damage the plastic sheet cover that fits between the panel and metal door
body. These parts must all be reused if possible. The plastic push clips can be found at an auto parts
house or your Jeep® dealership's parts department. Some installers replace the clips as a matter of
course; however, they can be reused if undamaged.
The panel rides in the window glass rubber seal's channel. With all
screws and clips loose, lift upward to free the panel from the rubber channel. The switch is now
exposed, along with a lot of wiring for this circuit! This is why you disconnected the battery
There are three screws holding this switch to the panel. (Count
screw holes in your switch and identify the mounting points.) Once screws are removed, you can pull the
switch carefully to a position that enables unplugging the harness clips. There are two in this
application. These plugs have latch releases that are easy to identify.
Press latch release and carefully rock the plug from the switch. Let
the harness stay in its original shape when installing the new switch. You want wires to route the same way
they did before. At right, the old switch is completely free, harness plugs are undamaged. Older
plastic can be brittle. Always exercise caution when plugging and unplugging the wiring harness plugs.
Do not bend the small contacts!
As a precaution, use a small dab of dielectric grease on each of the
plug terminals. This will create a moisture and dust barrier. If you live at a humid climate,
dielectric grease makes a huge difference in protecting electrical connections from corrosion and moisture wicking
into the contacts.
Switch is now installed, all three mounting screws securely
tightened. The factory plastic sheath is in position as you align the locating sleeve pins and clips
with the door skin slots. Your goal is to make all pieces fit as they originally did, with wires and the
sealing sheath in proper alignment. The goal is to do this one time—correctly. Avoid the need
to remove the panel again.
All hardware installed, with panel clips firmly snapped into their slots,
the door looks right! The new switches should be fully operational, and the battery negative cable
can be reattached. Always protect electrical circuits, make sure wiring is not pinched or laying against
sharp edges! Door panel back in place, you want the electrics secure and safe.