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 it is 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 is corroded, batteries leak, it is 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 work space).
4. Remove Battery and Air Box.
5. Get the connector/harness from under the battery box.
6. Get enough wire for 13-wires in total. 11- 18 gauge wires, and 2- 16 gauge 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 they are handy if you do not want to get lost.
7. Clip, strip, and connect (I used solder-less connectors) each wire individually if you can to avoid getting them mixed-up. (NOTE: You do not need the connector/harness, and I am 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 is as good as new!
As an after-thought (to everyone else who reads this):
If it is just your high-beams, low-beams, or DRL that are out (just one), start with the DRL module (in the fuse box). If that is not it, and it is 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 is not it, it is probably the problem I have just gone over.
Saturday, June 7th, 2008 AT 12:44 AM