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Old 01-22-2001, 09:23 PM   #1
Son93SL2
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Default Help, dim head lights

Hi all, my head lights are really dim, even with new factory bulbs, i don't know what's wrong, there must be resistance somewhere but where do i look? I bought some PIAA bulbs, but that just makes things look normal and not really bright as they should, so advice would be helpful.

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Old 01-22-2001, 09:33 PM   #2
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Poor electrical supply--alt gone/going or bad ground are the first things that come to mind.

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Old 01-22-2001, 09:45 PM   #3
sattech
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check the headlight fuses

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Old 01-24-2001, 05:18 PM   #4
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huh?
please tell us how fuses can cause the lights to be dim? aren't automotive fuses discrete? that is they are either good or bad.

perhaps corrosion on the terminals is what you're suspecting or is the saturn wired with dual circuits?
inquiring minds want to know. thanks.
D

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Old 01-24-2001, 07:32 PM   #5
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Well I checked the fuses, and they are good. I was told to hook up a multimeter, but i am confused on exactly what to test...next suggesstion please.

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Old 01-24-2001, 08:05 PM   #6
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Many years ago I had a similar problem on one of my cars. It turned out that the grounding wire(s) from the headlights to the chassis were slightly corroded. My mechanic told me that most other electrical components will operate properly with a slightly bad ground, but not the headlights because they draw so much more power from the system.

One way to verify this:
Purchase one new bulb socket from your local auto parts store and splice it onto 6' of wire (red/black) then plug in the bulb you normally use and touch the other ends of the 6' wire to the battery (red +ve, black -ve). You should see a big improvement in the light's brightness if it's only a ground problem.

Then, you need to find out where the headlight ground contact is and clean it up. Typically these are located near the front of the car, around the radiator. I'm new to Saturns so I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable for where to look.

If it doesn't make a difference then I would suspect a voltage drop in the charging system. If this is the case, you'll notice the car cranks slower than normal and eventually your battery will run down to the point the car will not start.

Good luck.

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Old 01-24-2001, 09:51 PM   #7
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I should have been more specific. If a headlight fuse blows It creates a ghost circuit in which the affected headlight is powered by the other headlight fuse, but in a diminished capacity. This will only affect the headlight with the blown fuse.
When you say the lights are dim are both the high and the low beam lights dim? The headlight switch grounds the circuit. The wiring is separate for high and low beam to the headlight. To make sure you have a ground issue locate the ground side of the bulb and add a jumper wire to a known good ground to see if the illumination of the bulb improves

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Old 01-25-2001, 01:46 AM   #8
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Ok, well I would like to try that light socket thing, but how much does it cost? Also, can you tell me where the ground is? Perhaps a tech would know. Both the left and right lights are dim. The high beams do not seem to be affected, do they share a common ground, as in the low and the high?

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Old 01-27-2001, 01:00 PM   #9
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Oops! Sorry I didn't check back for a couple days.

Anyway, the last time I did this for my car the socket cost $4 and the wiring about another $3. As per the ground, just about any metal surface on the car will provide a gounding point. If you're working under the hood of your car, you "could" just connect +ve and -ve wires (red and black) to the corresponding terminals of the battery. I would suggest using the +ve battery terminal for the +ve feed and the metal mounting plates for the alternator for the -ve feed.

If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, you should enlist the help of a friend.

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Old 02-09-2001, 11:42 PM   #10
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not to steal Son93SL2 posting but i to am having electrical problems with my 95 SC2, my problem is that the lights flicker at idol(sp?) speeds. I've taken into my Saturn dealer but they said my alternator was fine anyone have any suggestions?

i'm running:

50 watt amp
10 disc CD Changer

everything else is stock

thank for any suggestions

Shawn

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Old 02-09-2001, 11:42 PM   #11
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not to steal Son93SL2 posting but i to am having electrical problems with my 95 SC2, my problem is that the lights flicker at idol(sp?) speeds. I've taken into my Saturn dealer but they said my alternator was fine anyone have any suggestions?

i'm running:

50 watt amp
10 disc CD Changer

everything else is stock

thank for any suggestions

Shawn

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