Driving in the dark. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old May 19th, 06, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Driving in the dark.

Last night I was driving home and my headlights went dark on me. Luckily I was able to get pulled over with no problems. I thought that I had blown a fuse but none blown. So I shut the light switch off and then back on. And they came back on. What might have caused this? Is it just a bad switch?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old May 19th, 06, 10:48 AM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

Turn on your headlights and shake the headlight switch and see if it the lights go off. If they do, then you have a bad switch. If they don't, then check for a loose connection around the switch as well as the connector at the dimmer switch.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old May 20th, 06, 10:41 AM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

How long did you leave the headlights on the second time? If they go out again after leaving them on, there might be a large current draw in the headlight circuit causing the internal circuit breaker in the switch to trip. When it cools off, the circuit breaker switches back on until it gets hot again.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old May 20th, 06, 11:47 PM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

I have had this problem before on different cars I have owned. Nine times out of ten it's the switch.

ERIC
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old May 21st, 06, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Driving in the dark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-er
How long did you leave the headlights on the second time? If they go out again after leaving them on, there might be a large current draw in the headlight circuit causing the internal circuit breaker in the switch to trip. When it cools off, the circuit breaker switches back on until it gets hot again.

Larry
When they went out I pulled over just long enough to check the fuses. When I saw they were not blown and my dash lights were still on I just flicked them off then on. Then I drove the 10 - 15 miles to get me home. No more problems the rest of the way home.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old May 21st, 06, 11:26 AM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

double check the dimmer switch at your left foot. those sometimes are loose and can trigger the lights off and on too. It also needs to be tightly secured for ground.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old May 21st, 06, 11:47 AM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

I put a second vote on the high beam switch.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old May 21st, 06, 04:41 PM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

You're right Jim, I forgot about the dimmer switch. It really is the weak link in the headlight system.

BTW, the dimmer switch doesn't need to be grounded. At least I don't see why it would need to be grounded. Power comes in from the light switch and goes out to either the low beam terminal or the high beam terminal.

Larry
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 06, 08:04 AM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

true, when I say grounded I meant "tight" to the floor with the screw. Ive had some that the screw hole got rounded out and it wasn't tight, so it wobbled around when your foot hit it and eventually the wire clip was loose from being kicked too.
Ground = Tight on the foot switch (my slang)

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 06, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Driving in the dark.

Need to clarify that my 69 does not have a floor dimmer swtich. At some point in time someone has changed the column. What year I don't know. But the dimmer switch is with the turn signal.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 06, 04:22 PM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by click
true, when I say grounded I meant "tight" to the floor with the screw. Ive had some that the screw hole got rounded out and it wasn't tight, so it wobbled around when your foot hit it and eventually the wire clip was loose from being kicked too.
Ground = Tight on the foot switch (my slang)
Gotcha Jim!

Well now, we have a whole set of different circumstances with the dimmer switch in the column! I guess it's time to do some long distance troubleshooting. It would be nice if the problem wasn't intermittent. We could get some good troubleshooting done without shotgunning the whole system with new parts until the problem stops. I would definately check all the connectors for security and damage before changing parts. Let us know what your plans are, tgifford5.

Larry
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 06, 04:46 PM
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Re: Driving in the dark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgifford5
Need to clarify that my 69 does not have a floor dimmer swtich. At some point in time someone has changed the column. What year I don't know. But the dimmer switch is with the turn signal.
It should be a floor dimmer through 1981 if I recall correctly. Given that you have a someone elses modification... that will open a whole new can of worms...

I'd start looking into how it's wired. Look for bad connections/shorts.

Good luck.

Steve
1968 that started life and a 6 banger with a PG. Now it's a 350 Holley Terminator EFI with a TKO600, Moser 12 bolt (3.73), Speedtech LCA/UCA, ATS AFX Spindles, Hotchkis Springs, Forgeline ZX3P, C5 (Kore3) brakes with other cool stuff.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 06, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Driving in the dark.

I have been doing that since I bought the car last fall. I have found a lot of splices and connections just twisted together and taped. Instead of using elec. connections and some heat shrink. What year column might I have that has the hi/lo beam in the turn signal. The column also has tilt and cruise. Thanks guys!
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