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Old 12-01-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
fraggle
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Roll Eyes dash and running lights frequently going out

Hello! I have a 98 SL1. And the 10amp parking lights fuse.went out last week out.of nowhere. I replaced the fuse and everything was good. Few days later same thing happened. Then it happened 3x in a night. Now, whenever I replace the fuse, it instantly pops when I turn on the lights. :'( so now I can only drive my car during the day. The brake lights, turn signals and head lights all work properly. Just the running lights and dash lights are out.

I was told there was a recall on the s series. And the problem was caused by the tail lights warping from excessive use of the lights. So due to the tail lights warping,it caused all sorts of electricalproblems.But when I called GM, they told me they can't honor the recall.cause my vin doesn't match the batch that GM allowed to be fixed. I'm not sure where to.start with this. Although I DID replace the back left tail lights 4 wire brake light plug with a brand New plug of a different style that I modded to fit the tail light housing. Everything went back.to normal. But after getting gas, I started my car, and turned the lights on and once again the fuse blew! I know I.can easily get a new tail light harness from the junkyard but it could just as easily.go bad likemine...any ideas what the problem is? Oh and also, the small small bulb that's in the rail lights, those don't turn on. but everything does (minus the running lights when I have this pain in the ass problem) hankyou!!

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Old 12-01-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

When you replaced the wiring, did you test your work before driving off? It may be your wiring causing this issue. A simple test; remove all lamps from the wiring repair, just the ones on that wire terminal and test the running lamps again. If no short blows out the fuse then you miswired this connector.

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Old 12-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

First thing to do is disconnect both rear light harnesses, put in a new fuse, turn the switch to the parking light position and see if it blows. If it doesn't, try plugging in each harness, one at a time, to see if one or the other blows the fuse. That narrows down the cause.

If it blows with both harnesses disconnected, the problem is elsewhere. Most likely, the dash lights, or the dimmer for them. Is there an aftermarket radio in the car, by any chance?

That recall doesn't sound familiar at all; I'm sure it would've come up here on SF at some time. An Internet search on "Saturn recall taillight" only references a recall on the L-Series cars.

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

Thanks for the feedback, yes I did check.to make sure my work was correct. I had my dad go thru every signal and everything worked just like before. I drove it around for a day then after my.trip to the gas station when I went to drive away only my headlights turned on and I see exactly what you're saying about disconnecting both tail lights then reconnecting them one at a time to see if either one blows the fuse. I would try that but right now its only randomly blowing...sometimes it'll happen to where It's instantly and sometimes it'll take a day before it blows.

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

Oh, and also yes there is an aftermarket stereo. It had gotten stolen 2-3 months ago. And they ripped all my wires. But then I replaced it. But I do not recall wiring in a dimmer wire...could that be my problem? Because when we took my stereo out to check the connections for anything grounding out, it was all good. But after putting it back in, then the fuse started popping instantly. But then eventually went back to popping randomly. Also, I replaced the fuse with a 15amp, during the time when the 10amps popped instantly and what happened when I put the 15amp in was the running lights would dim for a few seconds (as if th dimmer knob was put to half way) then the fuse would blow.

Last edited by fraggle; 12-01-2011 at 05:57 PM..

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Old 12-01-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

Well, disconnect the radio harness, if possible, and check again. Leave it disconnected for testing to see if a fuse blows. Do not increase fuse ratings as you're asking for more problems; running a higher amp fuse will now allow more current into the same wires not rated for higher current = heating eventually to melting to smoking to possibly a fire. If one wire overheats and its bundled with others then the heated wires melts insulation that spreads to adjacent wiring to melt more insulation to possibly allow bare wires to touch. Short, melted wiring, smoke, fire, etc., etc.. Not a good idea.

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Old 12-01-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

Look for any radio wires that have any exposed wire at all. This is a common problem with people who install an aftermarket radio and don't tape off the two wires that typically aren't used with an aftermarket headunit. You could have a wire that has an exposed spot (either not taped/capped off, or perhaps damaged from when the radio was stolen), and with the right bump in the road, or moving around with temperatures (expansion, contraction) gets in the right spot to ground against the metal frame and blow the fuse. The problem could be in another area as well, but I'd be checking the radio wires first.

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Old 12-01-2011, 09:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

Okay, ill check.the stereo wires tomorrow morning. As for the dimmer wire, its not hooked up. I just double checked by replacing the parking lights.fuse and twisting the dimmer knob. Everything dimmed except the stereo.

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Old 12-01-2011, 09:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

By the way, this all started when I was backing out of my friends driveway at night. Went a bit faster than normal back out and the front end of the car dropped off the curb. jokting the car around. Not sure if the lights went out at that exact moment but I did notice once I was around the corner that none of my dash lights were on. got out, and only to see all my running lights had Shut off as well. Not sure if the sudden movement in the car has anything relevant to the problem but any sort of info helps...

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Old 12-01-2011, 10:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

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Originally Posted by fraggle View Post
Okay, ill check.the stereo wires tomorrow morning. As for the dimmer wire, its not hooked up. I just double checked by replacing the parking lights.fuse and twisting the dimmer knob. Everything dimmed except the stereo.
The dimmer wire is one that typically isn't used with an aftermarket radio. Be sure the end is taped off, even if it's not stripped.

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Old 12-01-2011, 10:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

Oh okay, it isn't stripped and is already taped off :/ I alredy made sure everything there was nice and covered up..

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

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... and the front end of the car dropped off the curb. ...
Check the front side marker lights, including the sockets.

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

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Check the front side marker lights, including the sockets.
Okay. What exactly.should I look for?

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

See if one is burned out, or one of the sockets or the wiring to them was damaged by the curb hop.

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Old 12-04-2011, 09:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

Will do. My friend works for GM AMD says there's wasn't a recall on the sl1s...only the sl2s. Maybe I misread the article. Can't find it anymore either. :/

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Old 12-04-2011, 09:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: dash and running lights frequently going out

The lighting is exactly the same on the SL1 and SL2.

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