Winches are an important safety accessory that can easily be attached to your Jeep. Most models only require that you remove a few screws and attach it to a power source. But a winch can only be useful if it is in proper working condition. This is why we are going to share some common problems that winches experience and how to fix them.
If the motor of your winch will only run in one direction you may have a defective solenoid or stuck solenoid. If you think this may be the problem you should shake the solenoid to free the contacts and apply 12 volts to the coil terminal you should hear an audible click. Another cause could be a defective remote control switch. To remedy this problem you will need to disengage the winch clutch, remove the remote control switch plug from its socket and jump pins at 8 and 4 o’clock. This should cause your motor to begin running in the proper way.
If your winch motor tends to run extremely hot it may be caused from overuse of the winch. This can be fixed by allowing your winch to cool off. When you are running your winch over a long period of time you should allow cooling off periods. This will allow the winch motor to cool down and not become overheated.
A slow running motor or not low power output can be sign of an insufficient battery. To fix this you should check the battery terminal voltage under load. If it tests at ten volts or less you should replace the battery. You should also check your connection; this is another source of low power output. Look for any corrosion on the battery cables. The final cause could be an insufficient charging system. If this is the culprit you will need to replace your existing charging system with a larger capacity charging system.
A winch motor that will not operate could mean that you have a defective or stuck solenoid. To repair this you will need to loosen the solenoid to free the contacts. You can test each solenoid by applying 12 volts to the coil terminal; if it is working properly you will hear an audible crack. If you motor is still not working properly you may have a defective motor. If your solenoids functions properly you will need to check the voltage at armature post, if that is the problem you will need to replace the motor.
Winches can be a lifesaving accessory for any off-road enthusiast, but they are at their best when they are properly maintained. Just like any other part of your Jeep you should regularly check and test your winch to ensure that it is in proper working condition. It’s better to know that it works before you are stuck on the trail and find it to be defective.