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Electrical problem? Headlight/signal issue

This is a discussion on Electrical problem? Headlight/signal issue within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hello, I have a 99' Trans Am. Not sure if this is posted in the right section. For a while ...

  1. #1
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Electrical problem? Headlight/signal issue

    Hello,

    I have a 99' Trans Am. Not sure if this is posted in the right section.

    For a while now my passenger turn signal has not been working - the light on the hud stays green and does not flash. Sometimes it would randomly start working for a couple of hours and then eventually die again for weeks. Anyways, a couple of days ago my front passenger headlight stopped working as well. The left bulb works when set to bright, but the main bulb does not work on normal. After this happened, my signal started to work again, but today has stopped. It seems that the two problems may be related, although I am not sure.

    How should I go about troubleshooting this? Check fuses? Where are they?

    Thanks.

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    Army of 1 wooddaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetroubledguy View Post
    Hello,

    I have a 99' Trans Am. Not sure if this is posted in the right section.

    For a while now my passenger turn signal has not been working - the light on the hud stays green and does not flash. Sometimes it would randomly start working for a couple of hours and then eventually die again for weeks. Anyways, a couple of days ago my front passenger headlight stopped working as well. The left bulb works when set to bright, but the main bulb does not work on normal. After this happened, my signal started to work again, but today has stopped. It seems that the two problems may be related, although I am not sure.

    How should I go about troubleshooting this? Check fuses? Where are they?

    Thanks.
    The problem is most likely your bulb sockets. The factory blinkers hold water like a sonovabitch and it causes them to corrode. I drilled small holes in the bottom of mine and replaced the socket and they work perfect now.

  3. #3
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. How about the headlight?

    I want to check the fusebox, but I'm not sure which one relates to the headlamp. Here's the section of the manual I'm referring to:

    http://64.233.169.132/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=1&gl=us

    Which one would it be?

  4. #4
    Army of 1 wooddaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetroubledguy View Post
    Thanks for that. How about the headlight?

    I want to check the fusebox, but I'm not sure which one relates to the headlamp. Here's the section of the manual I'm referring to:

    http://64.233.169.132/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=1&gl=us

    Which one would it be?
    It may be the same thing; Im not sure though as I have never had issues with my headlight. You may want to take it in somewhere and have the light checked out.

  5. #5
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Yeah, I will probably just end up taking it somewhere. That's what I want to avoid though, if possible.

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    Member Fearls1's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of crappy sockets and light bulbs. You most likely have a crack in your turn signal housing... That needs to be sealed or replaced. Also, if you take out the sig bulb and its rusted, be ready to buy a new socket at AutoZone... inexpensive and easy to fix. Look for part number #85881 its usually NOT behind the counter and you can get it yourself. As for the headlight issue... When it gets cold, our crappy sealed beams have a tendency to crap out if they are jar'd when you turn your lights on and off. My best method is to turn your lights off in phases... Turn the knob to parking then finally turn them off completely.

    Also, you might try to get the sealed headlight conversion so you'd only have to replace the bulb itself instead of the hole damn light. Also, you might go LED turn sigs.

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    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the informative reply Fears1. Actually, it just started getting quite cold here, so you may be onto something about the headlight.

    Can you go into more detail about the "sealed headlight conversion" and what that consists of me having to do?

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    Member Fearls1's Avatar
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    I'm on my cell phone so I can't give you a link until I get home. But if you do a search here I know somebody has it somewhere. Just do a search for "sealed conversion". Once apon a time I owed a ford probe, and did the conversion. It allows you to get cool HID "look" bulbs. I talk more when I get home.

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    Member Fearls1's Avatar
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    I found this about HID conversions for a descent price....
    http://www.fbodyonline.com/f26/head-...nversion-3187/
    Last edited by Fearls1; 12-13-2008 at 04:02 PM.

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    Its a nightmare..

    Change both DRL housings and sockets. probably a total of 75 after all the trouble.

    Get a new bulb for the headlight. 13 bucks

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    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. So I can just replace the bulb instead of having to replace the entire light?

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    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    I took a look at the light and see how it works now...may just get an hid conversion.

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    Junior Member Bones87's Avatar
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    This process is not difficult. Check the fuse panel on the left side of your dash when your door is open. The cover is attached with velcro so pull that off then pop the fuses out one at a time and make sure everything is still a-okay.

    DRL / Turn Signal
    The turn signal problem is something that you can fix easily. Buy a wire crimper and get two of the wire/crimp tubes and splice the new socket onto the original wires if your original turn signal is corroded. I bought the #85881 socket from the bulb/electrical section of Advance Auto for like $5-8. Make sure you splice the right wires together, on the bottom of the original socket it will say A B G....the corresponding wire colors for A B G are ...
    (A) = BLUE wire
    (B) = BROWN wire
    (G) = BLACK wire. Repeat this combination for installing the new socket.

    To easily access the turn signal and turn signal housing, you can remove the 2 bolts holding the cover/plastic flap underneath the car right under the turn signal --OR-- remove the black plastic molding that surrounds your headlights in the UP position -- its attached with 3 phillips screws. Either of those methods will allow fairly easy access to the turn signal, turn signal wires, and housing. You might want to jack up the car on that side to get better ease of movement if you choose to work under the car...and don't forget to set the e-brake.

    A small wrench will take the nuts & bolts off the plastic DRL/turn signal housing. Check and make sure its not cracked -- but if it is you can reseal a crack, drill holes in the bottom, or apply sealant around the lens edge, whichever you prefer. Some people prefer to fill the bulb sockets with dielectric grease. Personally, I think it only led to the corrosion problems in my old socket since it was full of carbon/heatdamage buildup and clogged the socket connections preventing a good contact.

    Headlamps
    Replacing your headlamps is super easy too, don't worry about HID conversions or fancy bulb seals and LEDs. Just go to an autoparts store and look for some Sylvania H4703 headlamps. If you don't have the money, just buy a single lamp, but generally most people repalce headlamps in pairs so that you don't have one dimmer than the other.

    As I stated above, remove the 3 screws holding the plastic surrounding molding, then unscrew the bottom screws of each headlamp, slide it down, and pull out the connection in the back. Grab your new headlamp and perform the previous steps in reverse (connect, slide up onto top screws, tighten bottom screws back in to hold lamp in place, plastic molding, test your headlight switch, done.)

    Whatever you do, I would advise you not take it to a shop. You will regret shelling out money for labor and parts once you see how easy it is to fix a DRL and headlamp, not to mention its a great sense of accomplishment when you can fix a mechanical car problem yourself, no matter how easy it is. PM me if you have any questions. Good luck.
    Last edited by Bones87; 12-16-2008 at 12:30 PM.

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    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for that Bones. Like you said, I wanted to avoid taking it to the shop.

    I ended up buying new bulbs and replaced both headlights. That was simple to fix. I then realized that the front turn parking signal light was out. I turned on my hazards and noticed my back turn signal was flashing, so I thought maybe the front signal being out was causing the back to not work as well. The front socket was definitely rusted, but I ended up just changing the bulb. Although that fixed the light (obviously), the signal would still not work. I made sure the connection was flush and eventually it did start to work. I think the rusty socket is causing it to get a bad connection sometimes and am not sure how long it will last, but it's been a couple of days now and no problems.

    On a second note, I just ordered a new headlight motor - my passenger motor has a stripped gear (both sides) and the once-sealed cover fell off while driving lol. Once I get that fixed then the only thing left is my AC knob. It's simply broken and stuck blowing air all the time.

    You are right. It does feel good fixing the problems yourself, despite how simple some of the solutions are. Though, I was pretty impressed with myself the first time I had to do the headlight temp fix.

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    <----replaced a bulb this weekend.... socket is rusted again

  16. #16
    Junior Member Bones87's Avatar
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    Yeah when I replaced mine last week, I dumped out about a 1/4 a cup of water (okay not that much but it was a lot). I didn't have a bulb in it for about a week or so and I was amazed at how much condensation was in the housing.

    I realize that drilling holes in the bottom could help alleviate this, but for everyone having water issues make sure the bolts are screwed in tight on the back of the housing and your gasket around the bottom of the socket seals tightly.

    I never found any cracks in the housing, so I'm still not sure where its coming from.

  17. #17
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Well, my turn signal just stopped flashing again. Don't know why...maybe needs a new socket.

  18. #18
    Junior Member Bones87's Avatar
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    Go to Advance Auto, Autozone, etc. and buy a new socket part #85881. Don't throw away the bulb, its probably not the cause of the problem.

    Follow the directions on this webpage and you should have yourself a new socket in no time. Its stupid-proof. Have some needle nose pliers and a crimper/wirestripper on hand.

    http://www.ls2.com/forums/showthread...threadid=15143

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    this should be sticky

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    War Machine BIG GUNS's Avatar
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    Yeah, no shit. Mine had the intermittent thing about a week ago and I got tired of it and then Joshie posted.

    Found the bulb to be waddled out. Worked if I fucked with it. Changed the bulb and it worked fine.

    Hey, I'm over a week now with enough silicone to make Pamela Anderson proud.

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