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Tom, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 25954
Experience:  Qualified to repair all makes and models.
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1997 chevy cavalier: has headlight problems..low beam..fuses..bulb

Customer Question

My 1997 chevy cavilier has headlight problems. The low beam will come on the right side and not on the left and the high beams won't come on at all. I have checked the fuses and the wire with a test light at the plug in for the bulb. Help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Tom replied 5 years ago.
Has the headlight switch been checked?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Tom replied 5 years ago.
How was the headlight switch tested?Also are the correct bulbs in the vehicle ?Was the vehicle in an accident or any added electronics?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The headlight switch seamed to test all right. The bulbs are the correct ones and the vehicle was not in an accident. There also is no added electronics but the car has been sitting for at least a year
Expert:  Tom replied 5 years ago.
Ok if the vehicle has been sitting theres a good chance a rodent chewed through a harness which can be the exact cause for this issue.If the harness along with the bulb sockets are not damaged then you need to have the headlight switch tested correctly .This would then be the most likely problem for this issue if all the other items check out correctly including fuses.These are the next steps.If you need any further assistance please let me know.Positive feedback and bonuses greatly appreciated.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. The headlight switch is part of the multifunction switch on the steering colum. What is the best way to test the switch?
Expert:  Tom replied 5 years ago.
Remove the right and left headlight assemblies.On the right side there should be an orange wire running to both headlight bulbs .We need to know if battery voltage is present with the headlights on.Let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok. I tested the orange wire and there is power on the right side and no power on the left. I traced the orange wire from the left side and it splices into a relay in the front. I tested the wires in the relay, no power with the key on or off and the same when I try the headlight switch. The right does not go to this relay. Also I can get no power to the high beam side on either side.
Expert:  Tom replied 5 years ago.
Ok there is a break in the wire somewhere.If the headlight switch is not shorted out this needs to be checked next .
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What is the best way to do this? The switch is in the coloum and if the switch is bad would the right side work. Now I do believe the switch might have something to do with the high beams not doing anything.
Expert:  Tom replied 5 years ago.
Yes the switch can fail and only affect one side.Let me see if I can find the test for the headlight switch.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well twisting, pulling, probing, and changing switches, bulbs and fuses, they finially work. Thanks for your help
Expert:  Tom replied 5 years ago.
Anytime .