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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 47668
Experience:  16 years of experience
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2004 Pontiac Vibe has the high beam indicator light on all

Customer Question

2004 Pontiac Vibe has the high beam indicator light on all of the time and when high beams are turned on they are very dim but the low beams and fogs lights are fine. I am guessing that I have a problem with the dimmer relay or the DRL module or maybe both.
JA: Have you checked the bulbs? Have you checked the fuses?
Customer: Of course..
JA: Are you fixing your Vibe yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes I am...replaced all bulbs. Tried another turnsignal light switch combo with the same reults.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, that's it... What is the total cost of this?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Welcome, I'm Chris (aka Moose), my normal schedule online is around lunch and after dinner past midnight.

  • Sorry no one has helped yet for the question fees you have already paid.
  • I can help with this question.
  • Reply and let me know when your able to work on this concern.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I can sometimes throughout the day or at night after 7:30pm eastern time.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Here is your wire diagram. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/90220402/Vibe1.pdf

Remove ground 103 at the left front strut tower and sand it. Swap the dimmer relay. Remove the headlight bulbs and confirm neither has damaged filament allowing the low and high beam filament to touch each other. Let me know these results.

What now

  1. You have asked a question.
  2. You have paid a deposit and received an info request and or answer(s).
  3. Now it is time to follow up if needed or rate my answer, hopefully 5 STAR EXCELLENT. Sometimes the rating fails, responding with (I am a pleased) will suffice.
  4. You are more than welcome to still follow up. I want you pleased with me and my answer(s).

Thanks for using Just Answer, and rating me so I am compensated, Chris

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Light bulbs are brand new so they are known good. I tried switching the dimmer relay with the headlight relay and nothing changed. I tried cleaning the ground but snapped the bolt of and now the ground is not connected at all and I believe this goes to the DRL Module, so that leads me to believe that the module is shorting internally and causing the high beam indicator light to stay on all the time plus cause the dim high beams.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

You can drill out the broken bolt, sand the surface and wire end and install a new bolt to repair this ground and retest.

The high beam indicator is saying on because it is getting a ground from the dimmer relay. The dimmer relay is what provides the ground to the high beams.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The flow of ground if I'm correct goes from the turn signal/light switch to the drl module to the dimmer relay. That indicator staying on indicates a problem and now with no ground at all to the drl module, the symptoms are still that same. Wouldn't you say that it's a faulty drl module? What else can it possibly be? I am at work and don't have time to reattach the ground now but I don't believe that is the problem anyway.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

The DRL module controls the signal to the dimmer relay. The relay can either be on or off, not partially. We need to see why there is a ground all the time on the high beam circuit and why its not a good enough ground to fully illuminate the bulbs.

With the dimmer relay removed, is the high beam indicator still staying on?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
With the dimmer switched removed, the high beam indicator is still on until I flip the light switch to the high beam position.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

With the dimmer relay removed, is the high beam indicator still staying on?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Chris, I had already answered the same question earlier yesterday. The high beam indicator stays on with the dimmer relay removed with the low beams on and of course goes out and there are no high beams at all when the dimmer relay is not installed.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Earlier you said "With the dimmer switched removed" which is why I asked about the relay again.

Can you do these tests https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/90220402/continuity.png

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
With the dimmer relay removed and the two headlights uplugged, I did not have continuity on either of the red/white wires.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Install the relay and try again. You should get the same result since the relay is not being commanded on.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Now we have to keep in mind here that I have not had a chance to reattach the ground for the drl module and according to the electrical schematic, my left fog light shouldn't work but it does??? Anyway I checked both red/white wires with them unplugged and with the relay in and still had no continuity on either wire.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

With ground 103 not connected the left fog light should not work.

Does the WH/BK wire have continuity to ground? It should not. If so then there is something wrong with the wiring or fuse box, grounding this wire.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Unfortunately, I do have continuity to ground with the white/black wire. Now this car has an aftermarket remote start on it. I believe I don't that the Vibe came with one from factory or did it? Could it still not be the DRL module being shorted internally and feeding ground where and when it shouldn't?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

The vehicle did not come from the factory with a remote start. That was either added at the dealer or another shop. It could be a OEM add on accessory or aftermarket.

The DRL module is not connected to any of the wires we have tested. You can unplug the DRL module if you want. If all prior testing has been done right, this should still result in the high beam indicator staying on.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I believe the drl module is on the left side somewhere near the brake pedal but I am not sure. Assuming that this is not the problem, where would I go from here?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

The module is above the brake pedal.

If the module is not to blame then you need to check all the wiring we have been checking to see if its damaged or altered.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do I need to remove the bottom portion of the steering column cover to see it or the ash tray on the left side of dash. I did find the remote start module hanging from the right side of the steering column though.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Nothing must be removed to get to the module.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/90220402/DRLmodule.pdf

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Hello again Chris here,

  • Sorry you were not pleased with my help.
  • What would you like to do regarding your question now.
  • This post is coming up on the 7 day mark where it times out. When a post times out, that means it's no longer on my active list (you reply and I may never know it.)

Thanks Chris