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Username Post: Fixing a fix AHHHHH!        (Topic#342485)
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24272
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
02-07-17 06:06 AM - Post#2675591    

A friend calls me up saying a family member has bad headlight. HMMM, I scratch my head. Easy to change, right? Then he tells me that they tried to fix it. He says there is electrical tape there. I go check it out. The light bulb connector is broken. The wire insulation is toast. The wires are touching each other. I'm surprised the fuse didn't burn out. The other headlight still works. My friend picked up a new connector after I found a part number. He tells me the wire has no power. I assume the wire is toast somewhere.
Would it hurt to run new wiring from the other side? I sure don't feel like tracking down a bad harness wire. Well, maybe for a lot of $$$$ which they don't have. The car is a 2011 Buick Regal CXL.

'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 




wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 13966
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
02-08-17 07:48 PM - Post#2675857    
    In response to gchemist

The headlight circuit is split on newer cars. If you run a wire spliced from the other side you will more than likely blow the fuse for the side you spliced into. If there is no power on the wire, it probably did blow the fuse on that side when the wires touched each other. You should be able to splice in a new pigtail (or more acurately a used one with a plug), and replace the fuse. Or you can splice in new wiring and install it in the new plug if you have the right ends to fit the plug properly.

Jay
Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon


 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 3991

Reg: 12-29-02
02-10-17 10:43 AM - Post#2676132    
    In response to wagonman100

I agree with the above. It likely has a fuse for each headlight so check the under hood fuse box.



 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3288

Reg: 04-15-05
02-10-17 08:23 PM - Post#2676201    
    In response to gchemist

Just remember the 'rule of thumb', a robust, expensive circuit will fail, burn, melt to save a 50 cent fuse.



 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24272
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
02-11-17 05:07 AM - Post#2676236    
    In response to IgnitionMan

This car is the first I've seen with split wiring. There are four fuses. Two for high beam. Two for low beam. The low beams fuses were missing, yet one headlight worked. I replaced both low beam fuses. Neither have power. I used my power probe to find the dead feed. It's a yellow wire. I used the probe to confirm the connect feed by providing 12 volts. The ground wire is good. Could the ECM light driver be toast?

'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3288

Reg: 04-15-05
02-11-17 06:07 AM - Post#2676239    
    In response to gchemist

It could be bad, just have to go through the troubleshooting process to find the problem.

I had a Buick Regal that had an intermittent run issue, car got given to me after many parts had been replaced. Over the first week I had it, I checked all the components. Utter frustration.

Finally turned out to have a ground wire in the 60 wire connector for the engine management package that was damaged two decades earlier at the factory when a terminal crimp tool cut a number of wire strands on that wire as the connector terminal was installed on the wire. Years later, the rest of the strands finally broke.

The heat of operation then caused the broken strands to connect, then separate, on, and on.

Just have to do the checks, don't figure something is good simply by its looks.



 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24272
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
02-12-17 06:26 AM - Post#2676377    
    In response to IgnitionMan

Ok, I'm done check everything common and simple. It's down to pulling up the fuse power box. My Power Prove IV has ECM driver capabilities. However, I won't try it. It's beyond my technical experience. The PP IV can turn down power to simulate a control feed. Even 5V is more than I would want to provide into an ECM circuit.

We pulled the front bumper off in less than 10 mine to trace wiring. I think the electrical failure to the headlight is beyond my electrical experience.

'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24272
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
02-12-17 09:22 AM - Post#2676403    
    In response to gchemist





Attachment: bumper.jpg (155.78 KB) 65 View(s)

'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 
wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 13966
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
02-13-17 08:11 PM - Post#2676668    
    In response to gchemist

Not to say you haven't checked the obvious, but are the headlights on high beam? You said one headlight worked with the low beam fuse out, so to me it sounds like it was set on high beam and maybe one high beam bulb is bad or one high beam fuse is bad. Other than that, the relays would be the next place to check to see if power is at least getting that far.

Jay
Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon


 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24272
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
02-14-17 05:11 AM - Post#2676691    
    In response to wagonman100

The high beams work independently. They are the inside lights. Both work when activated. We pulled their fuses and they turn off. The working low beam lights turns off when high beam is activated. All other lights work. I'm starting to wonder if the switch could cause the problem?

It has only one relay labeled "High Intensity Discharge Lamps". Swapped it with another, same issue continues.

'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


Edited by gchemist on 02-14-17 06:26 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27353
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
02-14-17 12:24 PM - Post#2676736    
    In response to gchemist

If your car has four headlights, each outer has two separate filaments, one for high beam and one for low beam. All four lamps should be lit on high beam. Since you are getting at east some functioning lamps on both high and low beam, I would suggest investigating the wiring and all connectors before replacing the switch. This assumes you have already eliminated the relevant bulbs and fuses as culprits.

As I always tell people (and usually get ignored here), troubleshoot BEFORE you replace anything. A multimeter or even a test lamp should be all the equipment you need for this.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 13966
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
02-20-17 08:42 PM - Post#2677736    
    In response to raycow

All four lights should not be on when in high beam. Most cars have it so the low beams go off when high beams are activated these days. If they are HID lights, the control box that is bolted to the headlight could be bad or just unplugged.

I recently went through this with a Mitsubishi Lancer. A car we worked on before (not by me, mind you) was taken to the dealer for bulb replacement. When one low beam didn't work, the dealer told her to bring it back to us since we had worked on it before. I used a test light and found no power at the bulb plug and the fuses were all good. So we got a new HID control box for it. I removed the bumper partially and then the headlight. That's when I found that the dealer forgotten to plug in the HID box. I plugged to in and everything worked as it should. Nice of them to pawn their mistake off on us.

Jay
Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon


 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24272
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
02-21-17 07:25 AM - Post#2677794    
    In response to wagonman100

The light has a built in circuit connector plug. Two connections per light. So three circuits. The I used my power probe IV to find and test the headlight bulb. The circuit is good. The low beam ground is good. Power is not coming into the head light. The low beam circuits are independent or the left connection is toast. I can't find a wiring diagram to such a new car. I'm not sure what my friend did to it, but it's working now.

'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 
drummertom 
Member
Posts: 1917
drummertom
Age: 64
Loc: Durham NC
Reg: 09-03-06
04-21-17 08:14 PM - Post#2687690    
    In response to gchemist

Link to wiring diagrams
http://www.bbbind.com

www.picturetrail.com/drummertom

"Well my time went so quickly. I went lickety spickley out to my ol' 55"


 




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