1997 Tahoe weird Headlight switch issue

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by strabo40, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. strabo40

    strabo40 New Member

    I've just searched through almost 500 posts on headlights and either this hasn't come up or I missed a thread. I have an issue where when I turn my headlights on, the headlights don't light up but I have tail lights. When I turn the switch to the parking lights position, I have head and tail lights, but cannot activate the brights. So I figured bad headlight switch...no big deal. Got the new switch today, did the replacement and still the same problem.

    Any ideas where I go from here?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Partsguy198

    Partsguy198 New Member

    Sounds like the DRL lights are what you're seeing when the parking lights are on. Check the headlight fuses, or all the fuses for that matter, I'm not sure if they are on a seperate fuse or not. If I recall the headlight has an actual fuse apart from the DRL fuse.

    I would also double check the harness going to the switch. Mainly check the pins inside the housing. It's been a while since I've had one of those out but if it's got a connecter housing with a shell around it, it's possible that one of the pins may be be fried inside. It's common on older Ford alternator connectors and I've also seen it on a few Fullsize Chevy a/c blower motor switch connectors. You could also check that same connector for power coming out when the switch is plugged in. If the diagnosis has to go further, post up and I'll chime in with more thoughts ...
  3. strabo40

    strabo40 New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't had time to look further, so I'll check this out this weekend.
  4. Revredneck

    Revredneck Rockstar 100 Posts

    A faulty dimmer switch will cause your problem. Unfortunately, you have to replace the entire "multi-function" switch if it's bad. Take a good, hard look at that connector, too.
    Good Luck and God Bless
  5. strabo40

    strabo40 New Member

    This weekend I went through and checked all of the fuses, looked at the wiring harness for any burn or scorch marks, used the volt meter to see if I was getting voltage and continuity to the headlight switch and all checked out OK. I'm thinking it is the dimmer switch. So later this month I'll head to the local Pull-A-Part and retrieve a dimmer switch to try.

    BTW, any instructions on how to remove the dimmer switch. I started yesterday, but couldn't spend a lot of time on it. There were 2 torx bolts on the bottom of the steering wheel, so I removed those, but didn't see what else I needed to remove.
  6. strabo40

    strabo40 New Member

    Found the problem...it was the multifuntion dimmer switch. I went to the local 'Pull-A-Part' and found the switch I needed and paid only $9 (woot woot), and just finished putting it in. What a pain in the rumpus, but I now have headlights that I can control.

    My biggest obstacle was getting the bottom T-25 torx bolt out. I had to use a 1/4" box wrench and a T-25 bit. It was slow but worked.
  7. KidHauler

    KidHauler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Congrats on the repair!

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