1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue Replaced bulbs and flasher unit.

Tiny
JOKEHEROS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
My parents Olds front turn signals stopped working, so my dad changed out both front bulbs but nothing changed. Here's the scenario:

With the turn signal lever to either the right or left direction, the front turn signal bulbs light up, but do not blink. The rear turn signal bulbs light and flash, but at a high speed. I replaced the hazard/flasher switch (100 bucks ouch), but that did not fix it.

I checked voltage at the orange wire at the front bulb socket (both sockets have a white, orange, and black wire). Both orange wires were getting 12 volts.

I took a look at the old bulbs my dad yanked, the filaments were good! The right front bulbs plastic tab, that plugs into the socket, was burned a bit, slightly melted. The left front bulb looked normal.

I took a look inside the right front socket, and there seems to be a small bit of scoring where the heat/melting took place. The left front socket looked normal.

The fuse is fine, though I noticed on the external contacts that plug into the fuse board also showed signs of heat. The fuse was still whole, but I replaced it anyways.

The sockets are modular/removable, could this be the problem? I found it strange that only the FRONT signals didn't work, as it's usually left or right.

I'm also curious about possible 'grounding' problems, but am not versed enough to test, though I have the tools.

Thanks for any information.
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Saturday, April 24th, 2010 AT 3:37 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
This is a good one since they run on the same circuit. Just for curiosity, if you remove the front bulbs, do the rear flash quickly? Also, if you have a good test light, get a good ground and see if the test light will flash. It could be ground related. Finally, if that all checks out okay, the only other thing I can think of is the switch itself.
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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 AT 12:29 PM
Tiny
JOKEHEROS
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply. With the front bulbs in, the bulbs light up, but do not flash, and the rear bulbs flash quickly. If I take the front bulbs out, the rear bulbs still flash quickly, no change.

I've hooked up a test light to both front bulbs and I get light when the turn signal is switched on in their respective direction. With a voltmeter I get battery voltage (12v) They do not FLASH, however.

When I turn on the hazard switch, the rears blink normally, but the fronts do not light up at all or flash.

I checked continuity between the black/ground wire at the hazard switch on the dash and the black/ground wire at the passenger side lamp harness and got some weird readings. I checked continuity from the lamp harness to the ground wires on the frame and the drivers side lamp harness and got consistent 0.0.

I think the problem is from the ground wire from the hazard switch harness on the dash to the first lamp harness because the readings were not 0.0. I am still sketchy on how the ground circuit is involved with the 'flash' ability of the switch.

I've tried a brand new switch (from the dealer) with the same result. I appreciate any other suggestions. I'm going to dig into the wiring to see if there are any open ground wires or corrosion that may be causing the lack of continuity from the hazard/flasher switch harness to the first lamp harness.
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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You are on the right track. As far as a ground, it is like any other. The fact that the rear lights flash fast tells me the system doesn't recognize that power is making it through the front lights. If I had to guess, I would say the ground problem is up front. Try running a seperate ground to the front bulbs to see it that changes anything.

Let me know.
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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
JOKEHEROS
  • MEMBER
I once again checked the resistance from the furthest ground (drivers side headlamp) to the hazard/flasher switch in the dash and this time I got a.10 ohm reading. This was with the battery disconnected. With the battery connected I was getting a reading at the same two grounds of 25 ohms. I'm still not sure how to interpret this, or if this contributing to my problem.

After reassembling all the harnesses and headlight assemblies, I noticed the drivers side assembly had some issues. At first, the inner amber indicator bulb was not lit with the lights turned on. I wiggled the switch and suddenly the whole assembly began to turn on/off. With enough force I was able to twist the harness so that all the lights came on. Then I tried my blinkers.

This time, both passenger side blinkers flashed normally and drivers side did not (front bulb lit up, rear bulb flashed quickly). This made more sense to me and tells me the problem is with that drivers side front assembly. After wiggling the switch again, the inner amble light went off. I tried the blinkers again and the original problem occurred (only back blinkers lit up, no fronts). Problem 50% solved, the circuit needs that inner amber light working.

I switched the bulb sockets from driver to passenger side and the drivers side was still out.

I tested continuity between the socket wires and the harness pins on both assemblies.

On the passenger side assembly (the good side), I got a.0 ohm reading on the white socket wire to the corresponding pin on the harness. I also got measurable readings on all the other lower pins.

On the drivers side assembly (the bad side), I got a.0 ohm reading on the white socket wire to the corresponding pin on the harness. I didn't get any open reading on all the other lower pins.

The lack of any open reading from the white wire to the other pins tells me that the circuit thinks this particular bulb is not working, which disables the flashing on that particular lamp assembly.

Does this sound right?

I was thinking of splicing wires to avoid the harness all together but am not sure if this would work. Thanks again.
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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 AT 4:04 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If you are getting nothing from the white wire when checking continunity, there has to be a break in the wire. Try a splice to see if that fixes it.
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Thursday, April 29th, 2010 AT 8:12 AM
Tiny
JOKEHEROS
  • MEMBER
Problem solved! The wiring harness socket on the driver's side headlight was bad. There was 12 volts to the bulb, but no continuity to the other bulbs in the circuit so the flasher thought the bulb was out and didn't flash.

Before I did any splicing, I wanted to switch assemblies left/right to see if the problem followed the bad assembly. The good assembly was acting up a bit as well, so we decided to dip into our savings fund and purchase a set of new headlight assemblies for safeties sake. The new set shone much brighter than the originals, all flashers/bulbs worked properly so we were happy.

Thanks for the info, hope this helps others in the future.
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Saturday, May 1st, 2010 AT 2:39 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Great! I'm glad you got it fixed. Electrical problems are always fun.

Let us know if you have questions in the future, and thanks for using 2carpros. Com.

Joe
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Saturday, May 1st, 2010 AT 12:57 PM
Tiny
LEXXXO
  • MEMBER
So how do I fix this in laymans terms. I don't know nothing about electrical issues not about cars. So how do I fix this with alittle less work? I'm desperate! Help Please.
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Friday, July 30th, 2010 AT 10:32 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I thought it was fixed. What is happening now?
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Saturday, July 31st, 2010 AT 12:25 AM

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