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Scott, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 1638
Experience:  25 plus years in bumper to bumper auto repair, G.M. trained
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what would cause both my headlights to go out at the same time.

Customer Question

what would cause both my headlights to go out at the same time. Have running lights and high beams work if you hold them on. Went to store worked fine,came back out started car heard poping sound, no lights. I have a 97 sunfire
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Scott replied 5 years ago.


My name is Scott and I will gladly assist you with your vehicle concern.


As you can see by the above diagram, if you hold the high beam switch, and the lamps light, you are introducing a ground to the headlamps that are receiving voltage all the time.

As you can also see, your DRL {Day time Running Lamps} relay is powered by the Left head lamp fuse, while the high beam "Flash to pass" is powered by the right headlamp fuse. If the left headlamp fuse 15 amp is blown, you will not have DRL or low beams.

I would check that fuse first. It is in the instrument panel fuse block.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
checked all fuses, they are fine, that was the first thing I checked any other Ideas.
Expert:  Scott replied 5 years ago.
Looking at the diagram, the DRL relay is next. Now if this were at the shop, I would go to the lamp switch at the column, and verify the switch is sending the ground signal to the DRL. My bet says it is the Head Lamp switch. If you plan to probe, remember you have Air Bag wiring in there.

One other thing. If this vehicle has been damaged or had accident damage along the front left fender, there is a ground point there. I have run into that also.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I just went out to my car. I started it, turned light switch on, nothing but high beams only if you hold them. Put car in gear, I have all my running lights, front and back, still only have high beams when holding them on and running lights stay on when light switch is turned on, only lose lights when in park. I will check ground in fender, the car was wrecked before I got it, 3 yrs ago, it's my work vehicle didn't care if it had a few bumps and bruses, gets great gas millage. If the switch isn't sending a ground signal to the DRL would they still work properly?

Expert:  Scott replied 5 years ago.

Different pew. You can have head lamps and a bad DRL, they can work independently.
Check that ground point, but I think we are looking at a switch. Hey, goo news, it is 200 buck less than the one on my beater. 1992 prizm. 42 mpg. All High Beam, all the time.

Rule of thumb, Never buy the mechanics car. Wifes, mothers... that's o.k. Maybe

his sisters if he likes her.