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Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

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Old 10-03-2003, 07:56 PM   #1
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Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

My headlights won't turn on. I pull switch, no worky worky. All brake lights are fully functional. All turn signals are fully functional. The interior gage lights are not coming on. The headlights are not coming on, the driving lights are not coming on, bright lights don't work either. It's as if the headlight switch itself is broken. twisting the switch to change brightness of interior lights has no effect. I don't want to replace the entire switch and not have it fix anything. I'm going to take apart the switch tomorrow, but I don't have an ohmmeter to check for opens, so I just get to visually inspect the thing. Oh yeah, I checked all the fuses, all were good. There's a big silver one, don't know what it's to, but couldn't see the fuse element because it wasn't transparent. Thanks.

FN Lavely
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Old 10-03-2003, 08:47 PM   #2
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sounds like the headlight switch to me
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Old 10-03-2003, 08:47 PM   #3
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holy good ***, how do you even get access to the headlight's switch? I took the front cover off, and it looks like the switch is mounted to the side of the speedometer? hmmm...that sucks. Well, if there's no other explanation for my problems, anyone know how to get this switch out without much pain? Thanks.
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Old 10-04-2003, 05:24 PM   #4
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You have to pull the guage cluser out then depress a button on the one side of the switch and pull the rod out of it. Then unscrew the nut on the cover of it. Unplug the switch, plug the new one in. Screw it in using the plastic nut and then put the rod back in, test everything. Put the Guage cluster back in and put the bezel back for the headlight switch.
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:08 PM   #5
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I took the dashpad off and took it out through the top. Wasn't that bad once I found out that little plastic thing was a nut.

Now, I checked the switch with an ohmmeter and it checked out okay. I'm replacing it anyways as the potentiometer seems to need replacing. However, I checked the "hot" wire going into the switch. it reads 0 volts. all of the wires going into the switch read 0 volts. car off, ignition on, car running, 0 volts. If I've got 0 volts in, I'm not going to get any volts out with a good switch. The ground tested good. I figure I'll run a wire from the fuse box (either from ignition or from battery) to splice into the switch wire. This should work, right? Next, is there some sort of fuse that could have blown? (Wondering why it just all of a sudden stopped working) I checked all the fuses on the fuse box under the driver's side dash. Any/all input appreciated. Thanks.

FN Lavely
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Old 10-07-2003, 10:22 PM   #6
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Not good

well, I ran a wire from the fuse box to the 'hot' wire of the headlight's switch. specifically, from the ignition part. However, whenever I turn my lights on I blow a fuse in the fuse box, the Gauges fuse. My lights won't work and my gauges won't work. To me, that's just weird. Sucks not being able to drive at night. Can anyone give me a hand?
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Old 10-07-2003, 10:24 PM   #7
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Hey, I'm having a similar problem with my gauge cluster in my 88 IROC with the interior dash lights not working properly.Have you replaced your headlight switch yet? And did it fix your problem? Does any of your gauges act funny while your having this problem with your lights? Let me know, I might yank my switch out too,because this problem is driving ne nuts. Thanks Cleve
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Old 10-08-2003, 05:40 PM   #8
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try running a "hot" wire from the fuse box to the headlight switch leg. dont bring it to the hot side because you might double feed it causing the fuse to blow. if you bring it directly to the headlight switch leg, have some1 check to see if they light up. if they do, ur problem lies within getting power to the switch. if it doesnt, something is faulty with either...let us know how it goes, ill pop some more ideas out there when u respond. (ps, im an electrician but never done DC but im learning )
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Old 10-08-2003, 08:34 PM   #9
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Cleve, I've replaced the headlight switch. It did not fix my problem. my problem lies somewhere in my "power in" wire not bringing any power into the switch. I tried to run a wire from fuse box to the switch, but I just ended up blowing fuses (but the headlights worked for a couple of minutes!).

mikes92rs305, I don't know what you mean by switch leg. I understand what you're saying about the doubling the current, though.

Someone suggested something about fusible links coming from the starter/starter solenoid that could have blown. Hopefully I can check this out over the weekend when I have access to a lift.

Thanks for input,
Ryan
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Old 10-08-2003, 09:46 PM   #10
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i dont believe there is a fusable link for the gauges although i could be wrong...? on the switch itself, there are 2 wires...1 wire goes to power and the other wire goes to the headlights. if you give the wire going to the headlights direct power, see if they turn on
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Old 10-08-2003, 10:38 PM   #11
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Well I have another Idea. My cousin has a 89' astro mini van that he put a 350 in . He said he had a similar problem with the dash lights and fixed by changing out the dimmer switch. Something about it was sending a ground signal to cluster. I going to check it out and I will let you know.
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Old 10-10-2003, 10:02 PM   #12
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I replaced the headlight switch. with a camaro, the headlight switch also includes a dimmer switch. so, you could say the dimmer switch has been replaced.

There's not 2 wires into the headlight switch. There's approximately 7. I know for a fact that there's 1 for voltage in, 1 for ground, atleast 1 for headlights, 1 for driving lights.

The headlights turn on for the moment before the fuse blows.
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Old 10-10-2003, 11:37 PM   #13
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the fuse keeps blowing because u are running a wire from the fuse box, and the headlights suck too much power for the fuse to handle, what is the problem, is that the original power in wire, has somehow been cut or there is a section inside the wire most likely that is broke, since headlights are meant to be on even with no key in ignition, all that one would have to do is run a new wire from batt to power in on the headlight switch, where usally the power in wire is a thick gauge red wire
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:02 PM   #14
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Can someone clarify what all goes into the headlights working? Like how do they work? You pull the headlight ****, and the lights turn on, i'm not great at reading diagrams, can someone put it in simple form?
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:58 PM   #15
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

The headlight **** sends power to the dimmer switch (hi/lo beams) and that power travels to the low and/or high beams. Is that what you were asking?

Btw, there was really no need to revive a 10 year old thread.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:13 AM   #16
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

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Originally Posted by BigBadLou View Post
The headlight **** sends power to the dimmer switch (hi/lo beams) and that power travels to the low and/or high beams. Is that what you were asking?

Btw, there was really no need to revive a 10 year old thread.

Well sorry for trying to use the forum to fix my problem, just thought most people wouldn't get moody about asking a little advice. I didnt know it was 10 years old, so excuse me...
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:47 AM   #17
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Did you manage to get it all fixed ?
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:29 PM   #18
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Has anyone fixed this issue? I'm having a very similar one on an 87 camaro. No lights, no radio, no heater fan, no horn and dome light. Everything else works. I replaced the switch and did the fusible links and still nothing please help me out here. Not getting any power from the constant live at the switch. The wire at the fuse link was all corroded and was falling apart. Should I run a new wire?
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:04 AM   #19
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

if you are going to run new wire. you would be better off making a new headlight harness. you can use led, hid, or whatever. I have all 4 set to low/ high beams. all 4 low with dimmer switch and a toggle switch for the highs.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:00 PM   #20
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Ok so should I go off the fusible link? I kind of want my horn and heater fan to work as well :/ it's getting cold out
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:46 AM   #21
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Avoid "running a new wire" at all costs. Repair what's there.

Don't mess with the headlight harness. That's not what's broke. It won't keep the heater fan etc. from working. It CANNOT be your problem.

See my signature for a helpful mental technique to keep you on the straight and narrow in situations like these.

Make sure your fusible links are actually good; remove them from the starter post, use your ohmmeter function, measure resistance from the ring terminal to the body of the main big red wires (use a sewing needle to probe the insulation if no copper is exposed that you can measure to). Replace the link(s) if the resistance isn't REAL CLOSE to zero.

Once you are CERTAIN that the fusible links are good, by checking NOT assuming, put them back on the starter post and see if all that stuff has started working. If not, the problem is farther downstream.

Next connection point is the main bulkhead connector, below the brake booster. It's actually 2 connectors, 1 for the car body which has the lights and a few other things in it, and one for the engine which includes the big red wires. There is a large screw in the middle of it, 8mm hex IIRC. Unscrew the screw, unplug the connector, inspect for burned big red wires, corroded connections where they come together, etc. The factory glopped it all up with some kind of brown gunk for waterproofing; you can put some lacquer thinner is a small coffee can or something similar and immerse the connector in it and use a small paint brush or something, to clean all that off to where you can see it all.

The connector on the inside of the car is in 2 pieces; the top one sort of unclips off the bottom one with 2 clips at the corners, then the bottom one unscrews from the firewall with 2 screws. If you haven't already found the problem by this time, inspect all of that carefully, again looking for burnt big red wires, corroded or burnt connections, etc. You can dunk that side of the connector in LT as well to clean it up.

Odds are about 99.999%, by the time you get this far, you will have found the problem. If you remove the factory waterproof stuff, smear "bulb grease" on all the connections, to replace it. It won't last more than a couple more years if you put it back together without something to keep the moisture out. You can use windshield sealer to replace the seal where the inside piece meets the firewall.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:17 PM   #22
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Ok so I checked the impedence at the links, all is good, I checked the wiring at the fire wall, getting constant live there and when I plugged it back in the heater fan works again along with the dome light. Still no radio and headlights though :/ it must be something behind the dash? When the lights went out I was using the high beams.. do you think it could have anything to do with the lever on th steering column!? When they went out I wiggles the lever on the column and they came on and of a little bit but then stopped entirely. I feel like I'm getting closer
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:08 PM   #23
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Light Not Right

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenny
think it could have anything to do with the lever on th steering column!?
Yes.

It sounds like the dimmer switch is not engaging properly due to misalignment.

If you have tilt steering make sure that is operating with no play.

You can adjust the Dimmer by loosening the hardware at the bottom of the column, then slide it into position, tighten it then test with stalk, then readjust as required.


Happy Racing !



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Old 10-23-2017, 07:29 PM   #24
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Dimmer switch won't keep the radio from working. LEAVE IT ALONE.

How many times do I have to use the words BIG RED WIRES before the concept sinks in? Those are what bring power to EVERYTHING in the car. If you have multiple things not working, the BIG RED WIRES are where the problem is.

If you walked into your house one night and no lights turned on and all the receptacles were dead, would you start swapping out light bulbs???? NO!!!! you'd look at the main breaker, the wire hanging across your yard from the pole, and stuff like that. SAME HERE. When MULTIPLE things don't work, IT'S A SUPPLY PROBLEM, not a bunch of problems with each little thing.

BIG RED WIRES. LOGIC. Learn it, love it, live it. BIG RED WIRES.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:06 PM   #25
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Hey I finally figured it out!! it was the connection at the fire wall, I pulled it out had a look seemed fine but when I put it back on I guess I didn't torque it down enough and still nothing. One night I decided to take it off with the lights on and as I wound out the bolt the lights came on. I tightened it till I wouldn't go any further and haven't had an issue since.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:09 AM   #26
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Re: Camaro Headlight problem(won't turn on)

Were you able to identify and repair the specific burned / corroded / damaged / loose / otherwise fornicated connection that caused all this in the first place?

If not, there's a good chance you'll be back there again.

Glad you got it fixed, in any case. Let's hope it stays happy for as long as it needs to.
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