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headlight switch stuck


Quark's Avatar
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05-31-03, 05:47 PM   #1  
headlight switch stuck

1991 Geo Tracker

The headlight switch (which protrudes from the steering colomn on the turn signal stem) is stuck on. I had to pull the fuses to shut the lights off. I've taken the casing off the steering column and the steering wheel has to be removed before i can get to the base of the signal/lightswitch stem. Is there anything like a spring, or anything else that might fall out once the steering wheel is removed? And does the steering wheel need to be torked (misspelled) when it is reassembled?

The purpose here is to get the light switch (which functions by rotating/twisting the turn signal) unstuck. It seems like a painless procedure, but a little advice B4-hand is always better than a disaster, like a car without a steering wheel.

Joe...sorry bud, UR link to the autolibrary is a great one, unfortunately for me the tracker/samurai/sidekick has been omitted. And yes, i'll go to the library to search for the chilton book, as well, but if U guys have advice...it would be appreciated.

 
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05-31-03, 06:39 PM   #2  
Those headlight cluster switches get old and go bad. Usually you can diagnose a bad switch by just wiggling it to see if it eventually does what you want. If playing with it eventually works then just replace the cluster switch.

 
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06-01-03, 06:14 AM   #3  
You need to replace the switch you can not get it unstuck.Yes every nut and bolt on a vehicle has a torque spec.Steering column work can get tricky so you will need a book.

 
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06-01-03, 11:36 AM   #4  
Joe_F
A steering wheel puller rented from Autozone or bought from Sears is likely required to pull off the wheel. Check a parts store or the dealer (Suzuki or any GM dealer) for the right switch you need.

As Davo said, having a visual reference always helps.

 
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06-01-03, 01:35 PM   #5  
Won't start

ok...well now when i turn the key i get nothing. I check the voltage of the battery and it is at 11 volts (is the absence of 1 volt bad?). I have a charger (that plugs into the wall) and when i put it on start nothing happens (not even a click). Of course, i pulled the headlight fuse, because that switch is stuck. I checked the voltage when the key is in the ON position and it reads at 7 (this is with no accesories on) volts. Is there a short (or resistance) preventing all voltage ( i've simply disconnected the radio)? From what i've read, there is supposed to be about 9.6V when U have the key at START...but i don't have that at ON. One thing that i've noticed is that the tail/dome light fuse (15 A) blows immediately when inserted (gone thru about four so far), but the head light fuses don't do this (even tho the switch is stuck to on). Could this be my problem? This is getting messy, but bear with me.

 
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06-01-03, 04:03 PM   #6  
darrell McCoy
without a wire schematic, maybe you can find it with a 12 volt test lite, either buy one or make one. Put it between a battery post and cable that you will have to remove. If you have a bright glow, start pulling fuses untill it either goes out or dims, then trace the wires to that particular circuit. Maybe, just maybe you will find the right circuit that is causing the problem. Seems if the dome/tail lite blows fuses it would be in that area. It may be shorting in the light swx itself. Even tho that fuse is pulled.

 
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06-02-03, 03:43 AM   #7  
Joe_F
How old is the battery?

 
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06-02-03, 04:05 AM   #8  
The battery is not even an week old. I tested when the switch is at ACC and it's at 11.2V also ( to make sure it wasn't some rogue short ). Could it still be the battery even though it is at about 11.2V when the switch is off? Or is it simply the switch (at ON) that pulls the Voltage down?

 
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06-02-03, 06:06 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Check your connections carefully and start with a fully charged battery. You may have something draining it.

 
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06-02-03, 03:34 PM   #10  
Thanks for the tip on the battery. That did the trick. Unfortunately, i'm cursed. Once installed, the new battery cranked immediately, so i shut it off and put up the tools. When i try to restart it, there is not even the usual prestart on-dash (ie oil, etc) lights or anything, let alone starting (no i didn't reinstall any of those light fuses that drained the battery last time). Checked it with a multimeter, the battery is at 12.5V, zero corrsion good connection. This is bad...but its my problem and i guess i should try to solve it. Could it be that the electrical system in this vehicle is shot and has now burnt out the ignition switch? (The short in the fusebox mentioned earlier was tracked down to one of the tail lights, which was disconnected when the start with the new battery occurred) Also, i know joe is big on wiring diagrams, that i don't have, the library didn't have my book either (yes i'll buy one soon enough). If it's not the switch, is there possibly a fuse between battery and ignition switch?

 
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06-03-03, 06:02 AM   #11  
Joe_F
You sound like you still have a bad connection somewhere. Get the wiring diagram and go through it.

 
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06-03-03, 04:43 PM   #12  
ok...so i disconnect the battery and reconnect it and i now get power when the switch is turned to ON. Then i turn key to START and power (to the switch) dies and stays dead. Then i d/c the battery and reconnect it same thing. It's reproducable, so this would be my problem. From my research it appears to be a relay (since a relay works by connecting a switch when power is applied, and and d/c the switch when power is off). I look at the wiring diagram and there is a main relay (although i don't know where it is physically). This is far fetched, but could the battery that i put in there have too many Amps and overload the main relay when i attempt to start it? Or is there something else going on with the relay? Or am i incorrect in pegging it as a relay?

 
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06-03-03, 05:05 PM   #13  
jason1b
if you do need to take the steering wheel off and you dont have a puller try to pull it off by mounting your feet on the floor and put your legs straight and pull side to side on the steering wheel and it will come off

 
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06-03-03, 05:40 PM   #14  
It's not unusual to have a worn out main relay contacts causing
a fairly high resistance across the contacts. This sounds too coincidental to happen at the same time all this other stuff is happening. Could be a related problem in the same cluster though

If you find the main relay and there's another one that's the same, swap the two and see if you fix the original problem. Also if you have an ohmmeter, check the resistance across the relay switch contacts. It should not measure more than a few tens of
milliohms. If it measures 1ohm, a 6A load corresponds to a 6V drop. BUT, the starter and main relay are typically on separate circuits, so if one fails, it won't affect the other.

Well, this is all speculation. Best bet is to get a schematic and see what's going on :-)

BTW, those steering wheel pullers are about $20. You'll probably use it once and never again. Yeah, disassembing the steering wheel to get to those pieces is a hassle... just have to be patient. :-)


aaron

 
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06-04-03, 02:52 PM   #15  
Joe_F
Jason:

I have never taken off a steering wheel that way. Besides, you'll be there forever for a $20 tool (Less if on sale at Sears and has a lifetime warranty). You're also likely to ruin something by doing it that way .

Again, Autozone will rent the puller for free . Best way if you don't want to spend a whopping $20

 
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