2000 Chevy Cavalier 4 cyl Wheel Drive Type unknown Automatic 96000 miles
Hi. I have a 2000 Cavalier. The Daytime Running Lights aren't working. When I start the car and put it into gear, the DRL light on the dash comes on and starts flashing and I hear a clicking noice and the headlights flicker off and on. When I turn the switch to headlights, the flashing stops but my headlights don't come on. High-beams work no problem and so do signal, brake and parking lights. I was trying to replace the DRL sensor but the one I got from GM doesn't look like the one that's in there. Any ideas?
Well, believe it or not, there is a pin-out connector under the battery box (located in the front on the driver's side) that may be corroded. It is attached to the underside, and not easy to see without a mirror. If there is corrosion on the battery box, this connector is probably corroded as well.
To me, this is a MAJOR SAFETY ISSUE, because all of your lights come into this harness/connector and could go out at any time while driving down the road.
I have a 2002 Cavalier, and I was experiencing the exact same problem with the flickering (when started), non-functional DRL, but my high-beams were not working, while my regular lights did. This was also accompanied by a 'Service' light on the dash. The reason for the DRL going out first, is that the DRL ground wire is the closest to the post-side of the battery, where the acid leaks from. No ground = no lights!!! Your regular headlights going out along with it is because, for your car (being a 2000), the DRL are run on the regular headlights. Mine, being a 2002, were run on the high-beams.
Now for The Fix:
1. Check the battery box (under the battery) for corrosion. Chances are, it's corroded, batteries leak, it's what they do.
2. Take a small mirror on a stick, and look underneath the battery for the wires running into a black blob. That used to be your front-end light connector/harness (now corroded). If it is intact, stop here.
3. Remove headlight assembly (optional for more workspace).
4. Remove Battery & Air Box.
5. Get the connector/harness from under the battery box.
6. Get enough wire for 13-wires in total. 11- 18 guage wires, and 2- 16 guage wires (for the main positive and ground). Each wire should be similar in length and about 8"-12" long (so you can avoid putting the wires back under the battery box where they could get damaged again). Color coding is optional, but handy if you don't want to get lost.
7. Clip, strip, and connect (I used solderless connectors) each wire individually if you can to avoid getting them mixed-up. (NOTE: You do not need the connector/harness, and I'm REALLY not sure why they even put it in there... but it is the source of the problem as it is easily corroded).
8. Make sure your connections are sealed well and wrap them up/bind them together with electrical tape for extra protection. Snake tubing, although optional, will also help avoid any future problems. Plus, it looks cool.
9. Put everything back where it should be.
...and before you know it, it's as good as new!
As an after-thought (to everyone else who reads this):
If it's just your high-beams, low-beams, or DRL that are out (just one), start with the DRL module (in the fuse box). If that's not it, and it's not the DRL, try the multi-function switch (the thing attached to the left of your steering wheel, the headlight switch/cruise control switch). If that's not it, it's probably the problem I've just gone over.
February, 25, 2009 AT 5:16 PM
I have a 2000 cavalier that was doing the same thing. When I put the car in gear the DRL symbol well flash for about 8 secs along with comes a clicking noise from the DRL relay in the fuse box in side the car My low beams work fine but my high beams do not work at all. I replaced the DRL relay (big waste of money) still had the same problem. I cleanded and checked all the grounds and still had the problem. I replaced the head light bulbs ( twice) still had the problem. Then I found this website with this great guy who had the same problem. I followed what he said to do and with no problem my lights works perfect. It was a time consuming process but it is deffently the best fix for this problem. This is a well known problem with cavaliers and chevy says it isn't a defect and doesn't require a recall. I'm here to tell that is the biggest load I have ever heard. Why the hell would ever but the wiring harness under the battery and washer fluid fill. They don't want to recall it because it is a $900 part plus labor. So I just want to say to all you cavalier owners with this problem follow this guys directions and your problem well be fixed in no time. Thank you thank you for the help.
January, 24, 2010 AT 5:33 PM
I used the fix described above to replace the corroded connector on my 2000 Cavalier, and it worked great! Fixed the problem completely. I used a slightly heavier gauge of wire for all of them, so I didn't use solderless connectors, but the old-fashioned twist and tape method worked just fine.
July, 11, 2011 AT 9:06 PM
So glad that someone posted about this issue. I too have a 2000 Chevy Cavalier that suddenly started having DRL problems. Same as mentioned above. Put the car in gear, DRL symbol starts flashing and "clicking" profusely and the service light comes on, DRL symbol goes out and no lights. Also, no low beam lights.
Taking the car to the garage this evening with this information.
Again, thanks for posting!
April, 2, 2012 AT 8:07 PM
Really hope someone can help me out here. I'm having the same problem as the original post and nothing I do to remedy the problem seems to fix anything.
It's not the bulbs, fuses, relay, multi-function switch, grounds or the 9 pin connector. I've been almost a year and a half into having no low beams, and I'm sick and tired of people flashing their lights at me at night and blinding me out of sheer ignorance to my problem.
My lights used to flash when I locked my car with the remote, and now they don't even do that anyone.
Is there anything else it can be? I just can't believe that I've had to go through all of this pain and self diagnosis just to find nothing wrong with ANYTHING. I can't afford to have some shop over-charge me for a possible 20 minute fix either.
Please, someone, help. My email is adparker80 at hotmail. Com if for some reason I don't get a notification of a reply.
December, 14, 2015 AT 9:26 AM
Hey I got a 02 cavalier and i've done so much work to it and I started getting the same kind of problems with lights. If you have power windows underneath the center console switches in my car there is a wire that should be on a connector with one screw. See if that connection broke mine did and every time it grounded out you can hear the relay and lights go crazy. That was a problem that drained my battery if I left it without starting it for 24 hours if you have any more questions hit me up and I can give you as much info as I can. Hope this helps.