Headlights, dash lights and taillights not working

Tiny
XWAYNE2K17
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 CHEVROLET CAMARO
  • 156,000 MILES
Why are my headlights, dash lights and taillights not working? It is not a fuse but people say it is the ground wire. Where can I find it? I need help!
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 2:22 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Nope. All of those circuits have their own individual ground wires, and we know they are not all broken. You have to look at what all of those lights have in common, and that is the switch and the twelve volt wire feeding it. The fact that you observed there are numerous non-working circuits works in your favor. Working around the switch is easier than following wires to a bunch of lights.

What kind of help would you like? Do you want to do some voltage testing? If so, you will need test light or digital voltmeter. You will also need to pull the head light switch out so we can take the readings on the wires.
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 5:04 PM
Tiny
XWAYNE2K17
  • MEMBER
I have not done that yet. I got a reader.
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 5:33 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I had to guess that you have a 3.1L engine, then I looked at the wiring diagram, and found there are two different twelve volt feed wires to the head light switch. It is not likely both developed a problem at the same time, so we should go back further to the fuse box. Does your car have fog lights, and if so, do they work?

Look for the 20-amp "tail light" fuse. There will be two tiny holes on top for test points. Check for twelve volts on both sides of that fuse. If you find it is missing on both sides, a good suspect is a corroded connection behind the fuse box. GM experimented with aluminum wire around this time period, and it proved to be a disaster. Two different kinds of metal, and an acid, is a battery, and results in corrosion. The rivets connecting the wires to the fuse holders could be steel or brass, and salt is the acid. The biggest problems came from salt on your feet, but water is also bad news. The clue to this is the lights might start working if you push or wiggle on the fuse box.

Let me know what you find.
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 5:35 PM
Tiny
XWAYNE2K17
  • MEMBER
Okay, I plugged bite to the car where I screw was and test it. The light comes on. The fog lights do not work. They were never plugged up when I got the car.
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 5:55 PM
Tiny
XWAYNE2K17
  • MEMBER
Honestly, I thought it was my alternator cause the car does not want to turn over now. I am not the smartest person in the world but do that have to work for the lights/electric to function through the car.
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 5:56 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If the generator is not recharging the battery, you will still have lights, but they will be dim.
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 6:02 PM
Tiny
XWAYNE2K17
  • MEMBER
So you are telling me that my alternator is bad right?
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 6:22 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
No. Ia m saying you are falsely blaming the generator. It could be bad, but if other stuff works, like the interior lights and radio, the head lights will work too. They just might be dim.
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Monday, January 29th, 2018 AT 7:30 PM
Tiny
XWAYNE2K17
  • MEMBER
Okay got you. I will see what I can do when I get off work. Take your advice from yesterday and put them to use today. I will let you know what is my outcome. Thanks
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Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 AT 6:11 AM
Tiny
XWAYNE2K17
  • MEMBER
Okay, so I did everything you wanted me to try. Nothing happens. I pulled my fuse box and check the wires. They are clean brass.
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Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What did you find for voltages on those fuses?
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Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 AT 6:21 PM

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