2001 Dodge Ram headlights

  • 2001 DODGE RAM

Electrical problem
2001 Dodge Ram V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 91,000 miles

Everytime I tilt the steering wheel down the headlights go off. The parking lights and fog lights stay on but there are no headlights. If I tilt the wheel all the way back up they come back on. I was told that it may be the combo switch that controls the wipers, high beams, and hazard lights. I replaced that and that wasn't the answer. So, I put the old part back in. Any ideas?

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have the same problem?
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 AT 1:26 AM

1 Reply


Real easy diagnosis. There are frayed wires in the steering column from repeatedly tilting the steering wheel. The switch should not be suspected simply because you're tilting the part of the column it's mounted on. Good thought to put the old switch back.

The most effective repair is to install a new wiring harness from the bulkhead connector up to the switch. As an alternative, you can splice in new wires just in the area where they flex, but the soldered splices should not be in that area. Use the same size wire as what you're replacing. Cover the splices with heat-shrink tubing, never electrical tape. The tape will unravel when it gets hot and you'll end up with all kinds of short circuits and blown fuses. The location of the break in the wire can usually be identified by a light spot in the color of the insulation. You can also tug on each wire. It will act like a rubber band in the area of the break.

Another alternative is to find a connector in the salvage yard and snip off a bunch of wire with it. They should be the same between the tilt and non-tilt columns because they use the same switch. It would be smart to replace all the wires right away since they have been flexing just as much as that first one that broke.


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Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 AT 2:15 AM

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