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Old 02-12-2008, 09:53 PM   #1
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All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Well if you guys read my previous post I was replacing my headlight switch because it wasn't functioning fully. Well I got everything working and decided to do an oil change.

I drained the oil and replaced the filter and while underneath my car I found this dangling connector with a sharp needle in the middle. I also found the spot where it appeared to go; which is a sensor near the starter; believe it is the knock sensor since I did do a search and it looked like it. I plugged it in.

I turned on my car and turned on my lights a bit ago and started fiddling with the lights; turning them on and off when they (headlights) went out...

The headlight switch seems fine and everything clicks except no lights!

Even tried the moving my tilt column in different spots since that had something to do on my high and lowbeams turning on; except in this case no lights work.

My signal lights work, my dimmer switch control on the headlight switch works when I turn it, the orange lights on the front of the car (parking lights?) also work, my interior lights work, dome etc., every light in my car works except those in the headlamps. Specifically the lowbeams and the high beams don't work.

Not sure if it was a smart thing to do but I had some 18 gage wire and and held it to the high beam headlight and it glowed very faintly. Thinking of trying this with heavier wire to see if I can confirm that along with the lowbeams.

I also lifted my car and disconnected that plug. If someone can post the picture of the plug that goes into the knock sensor I can confirm that. I go to work at 430am so I'll get some pictures later but going to sleep now.

Any suggestions before I pull the the cluster out again and start swapping the headlight switch again? I swear I hate removing that thing .

Checked my fuses and they all looked ok.

Attached a picture of the sensor, mine looks pretty dead on to that and it was on the passenger side near the starter.

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/el...eadlights+work

This guys issue was the most similar except my interior lights work...

If I created a short when I hooked up the knock sensor where should I look?
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Last edited by mercdeking; 02-12-2008 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:03 AM   #2
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Well still awake, damn when i start working on something I can't stop until I find the solution. Anyways, my brother has a bluepoint multimeter so I went online and found a bunch of howto's on how to use one.
http://tangentsoft.net/elec/movies/tt06.html

Still can't read a diagram worth a damn but eh...

Read the battery it was reading at 12.XX so it's fine now with the headlight switch pulled all the way out I should have highbeams or lowbeams, I'm I correct? And I should have power?

Nothing...

Did this test on all my light pigtails both connected and not.

Any suggestions? Still new to the multimeter but I get the basic idea since I also have my old broken switch and a replacement to fiddle with. Will need to pull my ****... But that's for tomorrow.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:10 AM   #3
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

I know you said that you can't read wiring diagrams, but if you're going troubleshoot you're going to have to, so here is a link for wiring diagrams just go to 85 body wiring.

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us...rInfoPages.htm

I would suggest starting at the headlight switch with a test light or multimeter and test where power is. If you have power at the switch and it isn't going through then your switch is bad. If you don't have nay power at the switch then follow the wiring diagram back until you get power and figure out why power is stopping there.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:46 PM   #4
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Well had to wait a couple days until I got a day off; when I dropped the column in the night my lights briefly came on but then went off when I moved the steering column.

I figured that the turn signal switch was bad so I disassembled my entire steering column using the rent a tool #36 (steering wheel puller) which had everything I needed to remove the steering wheel.

I replaced the switch and plugged everything back in and still no go.

Anyone know of a good electrical shop near 85323 (Avondale) with no exorbitant rates? I'm pretty much out of ideas plus I really don't want to cut or scrape more wires to see.

Can someone answer this question; if the headlight switch is good but the short or lack of power is coming from the steering column is this possible?

I didn't think the steering column had an effect on the headlights but i did realize after a while that the turn signal lever activated the high or low beams.

What would cause neither of those to come on when everything else works?

My neighbor is going to take a look at it, he has a test light which I could not locate. Still have a multimeter a bluepoint that belongs to my brother but I didn't get anywhere with that.

So far money spent, 12.99 for new headlight switch, 30.99 for turn signal switch at column, plus a continuity tester which I'm returning and a GB livewire tester.
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Looked over my harness and it seemed a little hacked together which I didn't notice before, anyways someone had a 86 iroc headlight harness so I bought it for 20 bucks. Where it connects at the firewall, what would be the best way to disconnect it to plug in the 'bettter one'?

It is in pretty good condition, no cuts although I replaced a 2 ft section of plastic loom that had broken; the other parts were still solid.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:39 AM   #6
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Don't laugh but will this work for the moment if I can't get the replacement harness working. Figure it will until I can get someone with some knowledge so far others are stumped...
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

If you do that you're gonna need a switch that can handle at lot of amperage. I think each high beam is 60w, which is 5 amps per bulb, which means you need a switch that'll do at least 20 amps. That's easily a $40 item. You can buy two relays and hook them up to a much cheaper toggle switch.

Like thus.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:00 PM   #8
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Thanks for the diagram, seems my old one is giving me some trouble. I think my grounds are messed up since either way the switch is connected will trigger all the lights unless I remove the high beam ground. How would you wire the grounds in your 'version' of my diagram?
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:04 PM   #9
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

You can run them all to the battery if you want. It's just a temp fix, so it shouldn't be that much of a hassle to have the extra wire. Just put the toggle and the relays near the battery.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:28 AM   #10
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Right now with my toggle all my lights turn on so somewhere I screwed up; by unplugging the ground that goes to the high beam (green in the diagram) the high's turn off leaving just the low's.

Oddly enough, if my dimmer switch is bad would this stop my headlights from working?
http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductD...pe=404&PTSet=A

Picture of the replacement part...

Wondering if I've been chasing my own tail...
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:30 AM   #11
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

That I don't know. There are a few wiring harnesses running down your steering column. I'd look there, because you said you dropped the column and they came on. Any wires that get hit by your column are suspect.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:34 PM   #12
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

On your headlight switch check the yellow wire and make sure it is connected good. If its not tight/on good the headlights wont work but everything else will.....Now help me. That dimmer switch you posted up from parts america, what exactly does it do and where is it located on the car. I got one but Im not sure if its what I was needing.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:14 AM   #13
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

It's located at the steering column. There is a bar that goes to your turn signal lever and that is attached and routes down the steering column to this white component where the rod (now I remember what the bar is called) sits into a small hole. As you pull on the rod it pushes into that hole where there is a spring mechanism that controls your high or low beams.

From reading it seems to complete the headlight circuit so if it is broken then it needs to be fixed.

I'm off on Friday so I'll be swapping that part on that day and I will post if I was successful or not.

Just fixed the side marker lamp connectors since the contacts where broken on one side and corroded on the other on my new/used harness. They were probably fine but I figured that replacing them was easier now than when installed, plus one was burned out from the broken connector which had corroded inside the plug thing.

So also need to put in my replacement headlight harness and reattach things as well as connected the c100 connector back to the firewall.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:19 AM   #14
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

So basically it has nothing to do with dimming the interior lights?? It is just used to switch from low to high beams?
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:25 AM   #15
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

This link is sort of helpful...
http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/el...=switch+dimmer

and this one

http://www.austinthirdgen.org/index.php?pid=16
Seems you have similar problems.

I had a burned out connector and a damaged headlight switch; replaced it and my lights started working.

But I also noticed after a bit that depending on where my column was my lights would turn off. Seems it could be the dimmer switch from searching.

Still need to try it but in the meantime I toggled my lights then I ended up scratching that idea since I thought my headlight harness was a little 'chewed' up and hacked so I figured to replace it with one in better condition.

Need to complete replacing these parts before I can find out which one was really the cause or if I still have issues. In the meantime I found the cause of my fan not working!

Eh...

Pic below of where the dimmer switch is located. Autozone called it an ignition dimmer switch or was it Checkers? Not sure but It could also function as something else. I'm doing the whole process of elimination and trying to make good guesses to fix my car.

If you remove the dimmer switch to replace it, I would first tape the rod into place in order to slip the new switch into place. Having to remove the steering wheel and the internals to get to putting the rod back into place is a pain in the ***. I used Checkers complete steering wheel puller kit #36.
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Last edited by mercdeking; 02-28-2008 at 01:43 AM. Reason: Forgot to explain a few things
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:26 AM   #16
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaropunk View Post
So basically it has nothing to do with dimming the interior lights?? It is just used to switch from low to high beams?
Yup! The headlight switch does dim the gauge cluster light though.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:29 AM   #17
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Looks like someone removed the beeper from your car. Doesn't yell at you when you leave the door open and the lights on, does it?
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:29 AM   #18
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercdeking View Post
Yup! The headlight switch does dim the gauge cluster light though.
Your saying it only flicks the high beam indicator light on and off correct? and not the lights for all of the gauges and hvac and shifter?
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:57 AM   #19
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Pretty sure that is right camaropunk, When I tested my switch it wasn't activating the headlights but the interior lights worked. I then fiddled with things and have to get my dome light to work again, I left one wire detached and figure that is the one; was missing the metal connector that goes into the plastic connector housing that attaches to the headlight swithc. So left it off for the moment.

It does activate the high beam indicator if I recall correctly but I figure since my sitch is broken that is why the high beam indicator light on the gauge cluster is turning on.

The scary one the noise does come from the dash area if I leave the headlight switch pulled all the way out; I just don't have lgihts turning on.

WIll find out this friday if all the fiddling I've done is working!
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:40 PM   #20
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Well it was a victory of sorts!

My headlights work, and it was the dimmer switch!

I started working on my car at 950am and finished about 10pm today.
I even rigged up my fans a little better; they don't come on at 200+ degrees... So the toggle stays...

But mainly reconnected my new headlights, routed everything the way it should have been and then I spent about 2 straight hours trying to get those 8mm screws into the dimmer switch; upside down, sideways, etc...

Also put back some trim pieces and replaced some lost trim screws.

IT was a partial victory because although the headlights work the fog lights don't and my interior dome lights along with my hatch switch don't work.

I'll save that for another time...

I plan to go to the junkyard for a replacement fan relay or does someone know what the part number is at autozone or checkers or elsewhere?


cleaned up my car and removed my tools and other stuff since I plan to go get new tires! My current ones are 3 diff. tires and the 2 front's are sun damaged... Been sitting for too long...
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:47 PM   #21
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Just go in and tell 'em what you have. My relay went bad. At the same time my temp gauge did. So I had no idea HOW hot the car was. Made life interesting.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:17 AM   #22
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

They didn't have it in their catalog... not even sure if it is the relay that is broken or the sensor. Will probably have to replace both but that is a task for another day/s off...
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:13 PM   #23
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

camaropunk if your interior/instrument lights are not dimming/working they are controlled through the headlight switch.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:00 PM   #24
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

have 2 91 camaro here, same thing, NO headlights all lights work fine.

first is a 91 rs, v8 car, told there is a fuse link under hood somewhere to lights, but cant find. never has had lights since owned

2nd, lights use to work, something happened and now dont work.


There is a glitch some where in the 3rd gen with lights failing.

replaced light switch 2 times. not it, fuses on dash good, no burnt wires can find. NO power 12v to any headlight line except runners.

White low and high are not working need help too.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:59 PM   #25
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Fuse Fuss

There’s no fuse for the headlights.

There is a Breaker in the switch, and a Fusible Link near the battery.

So, using a voltmeter or test light
(the type for testing for voltage, not a continuity tester) probe the 12 AWG red wire going to the headlight switch.

Is there power there?

If no, check for a bad fusible link near the battery.

Now, put the switch in the headlights on position.

Probe the
yellow wire at the switch.

Is there power there?


Happy Racing!



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Old 06-27-2012, 07:15 AM   #26
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Re: Fuse Fuss

Quote:
Originally Posted by NINÅ View Post
There’s no fuse for the headlights.

There is a Breaker in the switch, and a Fusible Link near the battery.

So, using a voltmeter or test light
(the type for testing for voltage, not a continuity tester) probe the 12 AWG red wire going to the headlight switch.

Is there power there?

If no, check for a bad fusible link near the battery.

Now, put the switch in the headlights on position.

Probe the
yellow wire at the switch.

Is there power there?


Happy Racing!



If You’re Passed By Your Own Tire On The Track, It’s Time For A Pit Stop

.

Is there a way to reset the breaker in the switch? I just performed the upgrade for the headlight harness and swapped the grounds and trigger between the two relays. On one, I had the trigger on 85 and ground on 86, on the other, I had trigger on 86 and ground on 85. When I turned the headlights on, I had low beams, switched to high beams and now have nothing. No high beams, no low beams. Hopefully, I popped the breaker and can reset it. Maybe the fuse link...Looks like I'll be following the rest of your trouble shooting guide this morning.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #27
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Re: Fuse Fuss

Maybe I fried the new relays, or they didn't work to begin with...

Here is what I am seeing, any input from you all will be appreciated.

On the trigger wires (original factory headlight wires) I see 11.85 volts when the lights should be on. That is with the wire disconnected from the relay, just open circuit. I verified continuity to ground (0.5 ohm from the ground connection on the relay to the chassis). When I connect the trigger wire to the relay, there is only 3.x volts across the relay and it doesn't change states, no power to the lights. I checked the alternate output terminal and if I connect the output wire to it, the lights come on and cannot be turned off. That shows the wiring from the 12V supply to the lights and then to ground works, just my relays are not changing state to put power to the lights.

So either the relays are no good or there is enough voltage drop on the trigger wires that when they are under load (ie, when I try to turn on the lights) there is not enough juice left to change the relay state. Open circuit they have almost 12V, connected, and they have 3.8V...

EDIT: It must be the voltage dropping. When I put 12V directly on the relay inputs, they changed and the head lights came on. Guess it's off to the parts store for a new switch.

Last edited by JDud; 06-27-2012 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Added new info
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:34 AM   #28
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Re: All Interior lights work, Headlights don't; Details inside!

Coming back to that connector with the needle, I just pulled out the starter on my project car and found it just hangin' out... the plastic has been destroyed though, can I buy the fastener alone? the cable itself looks fine... annnd is it actually the knock sensor? looks like that little plug up over the starter on the engine block (Below the spark plugs, if I remember correctly). Here's a pic I took while under the carClick the image to open in full size.

Last edited by 87GTABlackbird; 07-03-2012 at 11:41 AM. Reason: -clarification-
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:34 AM
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1992 Camaro




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