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Old 12-19-2010, 06:23 PM   #1
rlessor
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Default 2005 Saturn Vue Headlight Issue

Unfortunately I had a small fender bender incident this past week in my 2005 Saturn Vue whereby the driver side headlight assembly absorbed the shock enough to shatter the plastic frame unit. The headlight assembly unit itself suffered no other damage although the bulb unit closest to the center of the car was split enough where the bulb wire was viewable. The outer most light (orange) remained to function but the other two were disabled.

I purchased a new headlight assembly with bulbs (same bulbs as in the damaged unit) and installed the assembly with no issues. The bad news is the lights are not functioning as expected. The orange parking light works fine but the driving lights are very dim and basically considered useless. My first thoughts were a ground wire issue but I can't find any. The wire harness did not appear to suffer any damage in the incident so I am now clueless as what to check next. The passenger side work fine and my gut tells me the same power unit is utilized although I could be wrong. Your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated!

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Old 12-19-2010, 08:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2005 Saturn Vue Headlight Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlessor View Post
Unfortunately I had a small fender bender incident this past week in my 2005 Saturn Vue whereby the driver side headlight assembly absorbed the shock enough to shatter the plastic frame unit. The headlight assembly unit itself suffered no other damage although the bulb unit closest to the center of the car was split enough where the bulb wire was viewable. The outer most light (orange) remained to function but the other two were disabled.

I purchased a new headlight assembly with bulbs (same bulbs as in the damaged unit) and installed the assembly with no issues. The bad news is the lights are not functioning as expected. The orange parking light works fine but the driving lights are very dim and basically considered useless. My first thoughts were a ground wire issue but I can't find any. The wire harness did not appear to suffer any damage in the incident so I am now clueless as what to check next. The passenger side work fine and my gut tells me the same power unit is utilized although I could be wrong. Your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated!
There are separate power fuses for left and right side lights and there are also separate grounds for low and high beam routed to BCM.

The collision could have whacked the fuse when the lamps were damaged. The fuses are located in the under-hood relay / fuse block.

If the fuses are good, check the daytime running lights (DRL) (trans out of park, parking brake released). Advise if DRL's appear to operate normally as this is a good clue.

...
Not a professional mechanic - advice and data are free - PM email address if I'm not logged on.

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Old 12-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2005 Saturn Vue Headlight Issue

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Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
There are separate power fuses for left and right side lights and there are also separate grounds for low and high beam routed to BCM.

The collision could have whacked the fuse when the lamps were damaged. The fuses are located in the under-hood relay / fuse block.

If the fuses are good, check the daytime running lights (DRL) (trans out of park, parking brake released). Advise if DRL's appear to operate normally as this is a good clue.
I should clarify a couple of things in previous post - the separate fuses power the head-lamps. The parking lamps are powered by another circuit.

The separate grounds to BCM are routed to both sides - so you're mostly assured the BCM is doing its job if one side lights OK.

...
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2005 Saturn Vue Headlight Issue

Finally got some good weather whereby I could work outside to further my exploration of my problem. The ground was intact but the drivers side headlight fuse was slightly loose but burnt out. I replaced the fuse and everything came back to normal. My gut tells me when the one light bulb was pushed back and the housing was split, a completed circuit was created and the fuse blown.

Thanks to your help a novice like me was able to fix my own problem! Have a great day!

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