1999 Pontiac Sunfire - No High Beams

Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 PONTIAC SUNFIRE
  • 134,000 MILES
For a very longtime my 1999 Pontiac Sunfire has not had any high beams.

If you use the column switch the lows work but when switching to high the headlights go out completely.

today I finally bought a new switch and replaced and guess what the same issue is present with the new switch in place.

I have no idea where to go next. A while back I had a ma and pa mechanic shop look at it and they said it was the switch but at the time the car was not driven much and didn't want to shell out hundreds of dollars to fix it.

So hoping someone can clue in me on the next area to look into to get the high beams working again.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 8:57 AM

25 Replies

Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Daylight running lights work? Does HIbeam indicater light up? Have you checked for voltage at both headlamps in Hibeam mode?
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 10:04 AM
Tiny
UPMM019
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Yes, only when you try high beams. It does not work. Didn't try the voltage check.

I read on another forum now that the likely cause is a wiring issue for the front end wiring harness for the headlights. Something with wires getting pin holes and corrosion.

I have the head lights out and the wiring harness pulled from the passenger side over to the drivers side. Initially I don't see any areas that are suspicious but I still need to unwrap the loom and tape to look at the wires themselves.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 10:09 AM
Tiny
UPMM019
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The only area that seems to be a PITA is where the wires enter the front end through the area of where the windshield fluid tank is located. I am thinking perhaps the issue could be in that area but not sure yet.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 10:11 AM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Checxk voltage at lamps before dismantling wiring harness
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 12:27 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
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I'm all torn apart now. Have only seen one area that is questionable for corrosion. Seems like a good connection to me.

I do not have a digital volt meter. I have one a meter one. Tell me how to check the voltage correctly?
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 12:39 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
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Ground black NEG term to body then probe into light sockect with red POS lead lights on high does it rad BATT voltage
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 12:44 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
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On the light socket there are two blues and a pink. Which ones to probe safely?
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 12:54 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Pink HI blue Low
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 1:14 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
Assuming I did it right, both instances low when the only headlight works is a bit over 12v more with the car running.

If I change the probe to Pink the same thing but no lights.

I know this is totally stupid. But could the high beam be out in the blub? I've never checked that. I feel like and idiot if that is the possible issue.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 1:23 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
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Yes that is quite common one burns don't notice then other burns then you notice
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 1:36 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
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Manual inspection of the blub does not show a break in the filament.

Also did a continuity test and that sounded across all leads.

Not sure where to go now.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 1:41 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
Both blubs checked.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 1:42 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
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I got all the way down by loop area by the windshield washer tank (removed).

I am not thinking these connections are bad.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013 AT 3:07 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Connections and wires seem fine check back at switch. Does Hi Beam indicater come on in dash? Does day light running lights work?
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Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 AT 9:42 AM
Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
Does Hi Beam indicator come on?

NO - with switch in either position it does not come on. However, I know it works as if I disconnect both headlights and turn on the headlights it lights up on the dash.

Does the Day Running Lights come on?

YES - all running lights work.

Again, I replaced the switch before starting this thread.

I got a digital voltmeter and this is how it read with the car off:

Pink - 12.10 and then pressing the switch 11.29

Blue - 11.94 and then pressing the switch.37 on the far outer blue

Middle Blue - 11.62 and then pressing the switch 11.77
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+1
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 AT 2:48 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
I pulled the front harness completely and found this. I suspect this is the issue.

I am still putting it back together and will report back if issue is solved.
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Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 AT 9:21 AM
Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
Well now the switch works however there is now a new problem.

After soldering that wire back together to make a good connection I put everything back together.

Now, when I start my car the headlamp dash indicator blinks. When I turn the headlights on it goes off.

What could cause this issue?
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Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 AT 1:06 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
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Voltage readings was info I needed from voltage on Blue switch shows poor ground check a ground connection to body just in front of left fender.
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Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
Is that why the headlamp dash item is blinking? Bad ground?
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Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 AT 1:24 PM
Tiny
UPMM019
  • MEMBER
New issues.

So given it appeared the high beam issue was a bad wire I removed the new switch so I could return it.

However, now. With both the new and old switch I get lows but one light is on sometimes (drivers side) and then under high beams the passenger side does not light.

I think the drivers side had a short so I will go get a new socket but not sure why under high the passenger will not illuminate.

If I pull the switch and hold it both light up so it is not a blub issue.
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Monday, June 24th, 2013 AT 6:31 AM

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