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Bob, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience:  40 year GM Tech. +30 Certified. ASE Master Tech.(expired, retired) Medium Duty, Heavy Line, Retired
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87 pontiac firebird: the brake light and service engine light

Customer Question

i have a 87 pontiac firebird. none of the lights inside work other than the brake light and service engine light on the dash. only the turn signals work. is it the computer? i checked the fuses
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Bob replied 9 years ago.
Do you mean that the illumination lights for the instruments are not working, speedometer, gages, etc? The ones that get brighter and dimmer when you adjust the switch on the headlamp switch to change brightness? Does the high beam indicator work? Does the dome light work? Does the car have an idiot light for the oil and battery or does it have gages? What wires did you check and how did you check them? The more information you can give me, the better chance I can help. Thanks
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Its as if there is no power to the inside of the car. I opened the panel under the steering wheel and followed all the wires i could find, everything looked ok. the only lights on the dash as far as i know are the "service engine" light and the "brake" light. I havent seen any others come on. the dimmer dosent do anything the dome light dosent come on. the head lights wont flip on or come on as if its a fuse but the only fuses i can find are under the steering wheel.
Expert:  Bob replied 9 years ago.
If you don't even have power to the fuses, or part of them, you may have a blown fusible link. This is actually a special wire that is designed to burn in half to protect the circuits, much like a fuse. They are normally located on the starter solenoid, connected to the battery cable connection with the same nut on the solenoid. Some of them are on the battery plus cable connection or power wire on the back of the alternator and some are located on black plastic junction boxes that are on the fire wall or other various places where a bunch of wiring is connected together. Check the starter area first. You can tell if one is burnt by grasping the wire a few inches from the connection and pulling gently on the insulation. If the insulation stretches, the wire inside of it is burnt through. Then it is a matter of making a new fusible link and connecting it in the line. Use only fusible link wire, it is special and any other may cause something to burn up. Parts stores carry it and it is sold by the inch. Be sure you make good connections on it, soldering it is best and then cover the joint with thermal heat shrink tubing. Let me know what you find., but be assured this is not related to the computer. It is a basic open in the electrical system. If the head lights had worked, I would have suspected a bad head light switch. If the motor won't even crank, there is also a slight chance that you have a problem with the ignition switch, but I tend to think more a fusible link. Let me know how you progress. Thanks
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
i will check right now, the car starts up i just put in the distributer,cap and wires.
Expert:  Bob replied 9 years ago.
Thanks for the accept and let me know what you find. If you need one, I may be able to find a wiring diagram for it, that may help. Thanks