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Car electrics problem.. help!

Posted by ElCid-184930 - Created: 15 years ago
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6 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 6)

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 15 years ago

As most French drivers happily drive with only one headlight (is it a motorbike, no it's a stuffing great lorry ....) and the police don't seem to give a toss,  I wouldn't worry.

On the other hand, as you obviously do care, I'd suggest you take your car to an auto electrician.

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Posted by ElCid-184930 - 15 years ago

Well I tinkered about last night and now its at the stage whereby the headlights are working properly and the brake lights work OK (headlights on or off), but the drivers side brake and sidelight doesn't work at all!Still at least its better than it was.. it was a dodgy drive home last night.. unsure whether to keep my lights off so the brake lights worked, or lights on and then have no brake lights! I made it in one pice though thankfully!

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 15 years ago

Check that all the connections are tight, also that there's no rust or damp which could affect your earthing (unlikely on a 96 Saab).

Car electrics are strange animals ..... 

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Posted by ElCid-184930 - 15 years ago

Hi MikeM/MikePThanks for your responsesMy car is a '96 Saab 900, and yes it has plastic lamp clusters... and I do recall seeing a brown wire on the connector which from your comments is most likely the earth.I didn't remove the connector to change the bulb.. just pulled the cluster out far rnough to get the new bulb in.. I'll check tonight though to see if the connector for that earth came loose.If the connectors for the earths look OK, is there any way I can check whether the earth connection is actually any good or not?I did check the codes on the bulb itswelf before I replaced it, so its definitely the right type.Thanks again,

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 15 years ago

As Mike says, you'd have a bad earth somewhere.  It may that when you replaced the plastic cluster containing the bulbs, you displaced one of the connections.  It is also worth checking that the bulb you replaced is of the correct wattage (probably 21w)

This type of problem is often beyond the scope of a normal mechanic,  you'd be better off going to an auto electrician,  specially if it's a newish or fancy car.

To be honest, English speaking doesn't matter, they'll see what the problem is and are no more or less likely to rip you off if they aren't English speaking.



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Posted by mikem-181687 - 15 years ago

Hello, the first thing to check with car lighting problems is for a bad earth on the brake light lamp itself.

When I was a mechanic the majority of weird electrical problems were due to this. Such as indicators coming on when you brake etc..

You dont say what your car is, so it's hard to be specific, but it's worth checking the earth before you panic.

If it's a modern car it will probably have a plastic light cluster with a common earth supplied by a brown wire. If it's older it could be earthed through the body.

If you are not competent to do this or worried, I stongly suggest taking it to a professional.

If you have a very new car beware of dabbling, even disconnecting the intrument panel or airbag sensor on a new Golf 1.8T will result in the engine not firing.

Good luck.