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Headlight problem

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by joemugg, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. joemugg

    joemugg New Member

    Hey guys, newbie here so forgive me if this topic has been discussed to death. I have a '96 Z71 ext cab that is having headlight problems. I have replaced all four headlight bulbs, low and high beam. When the headlight switch is in the off or parking light position the DRL's work. However, if the switch is turned to the on position, I have no headlights. I installed a "new" switch from the local salvage yard, but no change. Any ideas?
     
  2. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan November Beard Grower - Cancer Fighter Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    did you lose anything else recently? ie turn signals, brake lights, etc.
     
  3. joemugg

    joemugg New Member

    Not that I know of. Everything else seems to work. The blinkers go into a fast blink when I step on the brake.
     
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    How did the fuses for the lows and highs look?
     
  5. joemugg

    joemugg New Member

    Okay, went and checked the fuses, all good. Also checked the taillights again. When the light switch is in the off position, the blinkers work normally. When turn on the left blinker AND step on the brake, all the lights flash dimly and quickly (like the hazards have been turned on, but dim and too fast). With the right blinker on and stepping on the brake, the turn signal dims and speeds up, but doesn't activate the hazards.
     
  6. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    if your blinkers are speeding up that is the system telling you that something is wrong. if one of your blinker bulbs dies the same thing will happen. i will say pull your taillights out and pull the circuit boards that the bulbs are housed/attached to. if they are scorched ANYWHERE on them they are causing problems. if you replace on just do both. these are on of those things that can cause alot of headaches and are notorious in these models. you can get replacements for about 20 a piece. i know it seems weird that it could effect your headlights but it is grounding or shorting out the system when powered up.
     
  7. billnorman

    billnorman Rockstar 100 Posts

    Not to take away from the previous good post, it sounds like there is a bad ground in the circuit, because low wattage loads like parking lights work, but high wattage loads like headlights do not. The change in blinker speed when you put on the brakes indicates less current is flowing when the brake lights are activated. These can provide a ground path for the parking lights until they get activated, and then they go to +12 volts and that ground is gone. You might also check to see if there is a bayonet bulb that has slipped and is shorting the turn signals to the parking light circuit, but Chevy went to a straight-in bulb in the later years. A bulb might also be shorted internally with a piece of filament shorting the brake and parking light circuits.
     
  8. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I would replace the switch at the brake pedal. If it is not grounding correctly it could cause the problems you describe. The switch may be bad.
     
  9. darkness-lies-

    darkness-lies- Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    I would also look at the multi function switch.
     

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