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Troubleshooting a Broken Jeep Backup Camera

Troubleshooting a Broken Jeep Backup Camera

Is the backup camera on your Jeep causing you problems? It could be the backup camera flickering, showing no picture, or your Jeep Wrangler’s radio resetting constantly. You might be experiencing some electrical problems, or a faulty camera. This guide will give you some tips and tricks to make sure that your Jeep backup camera problems are solved, whether they are Jeep Wrangler JK problems or Jeep Grand Cherokee problems. 



What You’ll Need to Get to Work

Before you can get started on any repairs, it’s important to make sure that you have the necessary tools to work. While the list here won’t be entirely comprehensive, these items will be a good idea to keep on hand.

  • Voltmeter
  • Socket wrenches
  • Screwdrivers (phillips and flathead)
  • Wire cutter and stripper
  • Replacement fuses
  • Maintenance manual for your model of Jeep (optional, but helpful, it can give much more specific direction for your vehicle)

What's wrong with my Jeep backup Camera? 

Drain the Battery and Do a Reset

Many users online report that sometimes Jeep wireless firmware updates to your backup camera can cause errors. One of the best ways to do a flash reset is by draining the battery.

Here are the steps to drain the battery on many Jeep models and do that reset:

  1. Open the hood and disconnect the positive battery terminal. Touch it to a ground (electrical, not the physical ground) for 30 seconds. This will discharge the capacitors that are keeping the memory working in your Jeep.
  2. Reconnect the battery cable.
  3. Turn the ignition switch to the "ON" position but don’t start the engine yet.
  4. Turn the headlights on and off.
  5. Turn the ignition off, then start the engine.

If this doesn’t cause your camera to re-engage properly, try some of the steps below.

Check Your Connections and Circuits

A good next step is to start checking the different connections and circuits. It might be as simple as a burnt out fuse, which you can usually determine after a quick look inside the fuse box. But, if that’s not the case, you can probably start checking for ineffective circuits in any one of these areas:

A Bad Camera Ground Circuit

Check for loose or damaged wiring connections at the camera itself, the light bar on the rear of the vehicle, and the liftgate. See if there are problems with your voltmeter, and repair the ground circuit if needed.

Problem with the Camera Feed/Run Relay Circuit

Check for loose or damaged wiring connections at the camera, light bar and upper liftgate.

Non-functional Camera Return Circuit

Check for loose or damaged wiring connections at the right cowl side inner panel and your radio.

Bad Camera Signal Circuit

Similar to the camera return circuit, but a separate connection to check.

These are just some of the possible connections with a bad circuit to check. Once you’ve checked all of the above, consider doing a sweep of every circuit just to be sure.

Short Circuits

A short circuit is when electrical current is allowed to travel along an unintended path, which can create all sorts of problems for your vehicle’s electrical system. It’s unlikely that a short circuit is causing your problems, but here is a helpful video on diagnosing short circuits and determining if that’s your problem.

Many times, if you’re having a wiring or lighting problem, the culprit is often a blown or bad fuse. Pop open the fuse box on your Jeep. There might be one or two of them on your model, but they are usually located on the right kick panel and/or under the hood of the Jeep.

Installing a fuse is easy: Pull the old one out, and replace it with one of the right type. If your problem goes away, you’re good to go. However, if fuses keep blowing or the problem persists, you might have a short-circuit, which might necessitate a visit to the mechanic.

Diagnostic Tool

For the very serious DIY-er, a diagnostic tool is a powerful necessity for troubleshooting most modern vehicles, your Jeep included. Usually, a mechanic will plug into your vehicle’s adapter to run diagnostic tests, and most repair shops will have a huge supply of these adapters for different vehicles. Unfortunately, the connectors and adapters required for these tools and the requisite software required to use them can be expensive for at-home repairs. Here’s a link to get you started with JScan, one of the options for Jeep diagnostics.

Bad Camera?

Backup cameras are often exposed to some pretty harsh conditions, which means that they’re usually durable. However, just like any other piece of equipment, damage can happen. Simple tests you can do:

  • With the help of a friend at the wheel or the bumper, wiggle around or flick your backup camera while the camera should be engaged. If it comes back on, or gives a momentary flicker of some kind, it probably means you need a new camera.
  • You can also disconnect the camera and check and see if any moisture or condensation has gotten inside of it. If this is the case, the camera might be beyond repair, but you can always attempt the tried-and-true method of immersing it in a desiccant like rice to see if that solves the problem.

If your camera has given up the ghost, and it’s time for a replacement, you can turn to us. Camera Source has a massive inventory of backup cameras for your 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee backup camera, or for any other Jeep backup camera, so acquiring and installing a new camera is easy. We also offer cameras that can give you a front view of your vehicle, as well as providing continuous video so you can keep yourself protected from liability in the event of an accident. Get in touch with us, or browse our products to learn more