Driving lights don't come on? - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Driving lights don't come on?

Hey guys, I've had some recent problems with my driving lights (and I'm not good with electrical work) so I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone could help me. About 2 weeks ago I put a new head unit in my car and everything seemed fine. Then, about a few days later I was driving at night and pulled up behind a car at a red light. I can usually see the reflection of my lights off of cars infront of me but as I looked it seemed like my driving lights were off (have them hooked up to corner lights via relay so they always come on with them). When I got home, I looked and sure enough they were both out. Now, I pulled one of them out and took the bulb out. I hooked the bulb up to a 9 volt battery (touched positive on positive and negative to negative) and the bulb came on so I put the bulb back in and turned the lights on and still got nothing from them. All of my other lights are on, so I'm not sure if maybe the head unit may be using a little too much power (though my battery gauge appeared normal after putting the head unit in and still appears normal) and isn't allowing the lights to come on for some odd reason or maybe it's the small white thing on the wire hooked up to my battery or the small box the four wires on hooked into (I forget which one is called the relay.. Like I said, I'm not get with this stuff).. I had the mechanic down the street do it and they worked fine, but I just think something blew. if I take it to him, I know he'll charge me since it's been over thirty days.. Any ideas/solutions are greatly appreciated, I miss those lights
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 04:51 PM
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The head unit drawing too much power wouldn't make the lights go out; it would make them dimmer. Do you know if your mechanic wired in a fuse? If so, I would check that. The small white thing on the wire coming from the battery might be a fuse. Does it look like a capsule? If so it might twist open and reveal a fuse. The box with 4 wires going to it is the relay. If you have a multimeter, I would check the power wire running to the relay (maybe right after the white thing to the relay?). If it has juice, have someone turn on the lights and see if the relay clicks. If it doesn't, for some reason the relay might have gone bad. If you're not too savvy with electrical, it's gonna be a real bear trying to figure this out (because it's strictly an electrical problem!). Good luck!

--Chris

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so the box is the relay and the "white thing" is the fuse. Why didn't I know that? lol.. I'm not the BEST with electrical, but I know a few basic things. I was going to attempt to open the fuse but it seemed like it shouldn't be taken apart, so I didn't, lol. If I take it apart, are there going to be any small pieces that fall out that I won't be able to find? And you said I can test the fuse by having someone turn on my lights for me while I listen to the fuse? It SHOULD click if it's okay, correct? I'll have someone test it with me in about a half an hour.. In the meantime, are they easy to replace if it is that? Such as, go by a new one and throw it in? I hope it's that easy . Thanks for the help
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 06:08 PM
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Ok, if the white thing is the fuse holder that I'm thinking about, there will be one of 2 ways to open it.

1) It will twist open. The only things inside of the housing are the fuse and springs. Be careful not to lose the springs. You can look at the fuse and determine if it's bad or not. The wire inside the fuse will be charred and broken if the fuse has blown. If it's ok, it will be solid.
2) The housing will have clips that open up. The components inside will be the same as I listed above.

If the fuse is blown, you can just take it to any parts store and they'll set you up with another.

You got something a little backwards. You won't be testing the fuse, you'll be testing the relay. The fuse won't be clicking (at least it shouldn't be, lol). If the fuse is OK, have someone turn on the lights and listen to the relay for a clicking sound. If it doesn't click, it either doesn't have power correctly or it's no longer any good. If it's no good, replacing should be as easy as unplugging it and plugging a new one in. You will of course have to go buy one that is identical. Once again, a parts store should be able to help you out there.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ah, gotcha. I was out there trying to listen to the fuse! I heard a clicking and I was like "MAN, I can NOT tell where that clicking is coming from, but it doesn't sound like the fuse!". Lmao, so it was the relay, gotcha. The relay is fine then. I opened the fuse with no problem and looked at it. Honestly, it LOOKS okay, but I do see some black stuff around on the inside. But the actual "rod" in the middle doesn't look to be broken or damaged. Should I just replace it anyhow?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 06:39 PM
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If the actual "rod" isn't broken then you don't need to replace it. Fuses can sometimes get discolored just from getting hot from the current running through them.

Have you verified that the relay in question is actually the one clicking and not the headlight relay? An easier way to tell rather than just trying to get real close to it to hear it is to press your finger against it when the lights are turned on. You'll be able to feel it if it turns on.

If both the fuse and the relay are fine, then the problem must exist in the wiring from the relay to the lights, or there is a bad ground. Determining which of these is the problem will require either tracing out the wires or using a multimeter to test them.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Verified it is the box clicking.
I actually checked a majority of the wiring the other day and it all appeared to be in perfect shape.. I might just buy a pack of fuses anyways since they're cheap and see if that fixes it.. It'll be good to have extra fuses :P
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 07:52 PM
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Fuse is working - Check
Relay is working - Check

The only thing I'm thinking now is it has to be wiring to the lights that is messed up somewhere. I'm assuming that you're looking at the right relay because it is clicking when you turn on the lights. The fact that the relay is actuating means that it has power AND is correctly being turned on when the headlights go on. This leaves the wiring from the relay to the lights and from the lights to ground. I don't know if the lights are wired in series or parallel but I would hope it's parallel. In either case, since the lights work (you did test both, didn't you?), it has to be a ground or a power lead. If the lights are wired in series and one is burned out, it would explain why it's not working because if one is burned out, the circuit isn't complete and there is no path to ground.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 08:39 PM
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You forgot a minor detail Chris , he could have correct power and ground to the relay coil and that would make it click when it should, but if the power input to the relay contacts wasn't there, you'd be switching dead contacts.

I'll try to explain this as simple as I can...

Can you see numbers on the relay near the terminals (where the wires connect) anywhere? If so, grab a test light or have someone do it for you and make a few checks:

Connect your test light's wire to ground, and see if there is power at terminal 30. This supplies power into the relay.

Now with the lights on (the relay should click on, as you said it did) see if there is power at terminal 87 (there may be a terminal 87a, don't get them confused) this carries power out of the relay and to the lights...

If you have power at both places, then the issue is probably in the wiring from the relay to the lights (from terminal 87 to the lights, if it helps any) or as mentioned the lights could simply have a bad ground. This is probably a black wire that leaves the lights and connects to the body somewhere, although it may go back to the relay first.


Hope I was clear enough...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, I've been really busy lately with some other stuff..
Let's see..
master, BOTH bulbs were tested using a 9v battery and both came on. Yes, I'm looking at the right relay as well, I was watching him (the mechanic) install the lights and specifically remember the relay.
hotbird, I kind of understand what you're saying, but not fully.. Few questions ..
Quote:
Can you see numbers on the relay near the terminals (where the wires connect) anywhere? If so, grab a test light or have someone do it for you and make a few checks:

Connect your test light's wire to ground, and see if there is power at terminal 30. This supplies power into the relay.
"Grab a test light", meaning? Take off one of the driving lights? I'm just REALLY confused at this part. I can read the relay fine, just don't understand the instructions.. Sounds like I'm supposed to pull out one of my driving lights, hook up the negative lead to terminal 30 (assuming I unplug what's there?), but what about the positive? Sorry, I read over it a few times and just don't understand, lol. Maybe I'll just get the mechanic to check since I have to go up there soon for brakes anyways, though I would really like to be able to do this myself..

I checked the grounds and they look fine. I took them off and reput them where they were just to see if maybe one had come loose or something, but they look perfectly fine.

Are you guys sure that blackish stuff in the fuse is okay?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ahh, it was the fuse! lol.. I replaced it today and the lights came right on.. Whew, I'm glad it was that rather than the wiring I didn't feel like messing with :P. Thanks for the help though guys, if I have the same problem now, I'll be able to fix it easier.
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