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Help needed ... lighting


trinacriabob

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Hey folks.  Need some help with electrical issues on the Buick.

Tonight, I lost low beam lighting on one side.  Not only that, the backlighting for the light switches, at the left of the dash, went dark, too. 

Within the last month, I lost 1 low beam light, the most used one on the D.I.C., and I noticed the console lamp was also out.

Coincidence or connected?  (Considering the age of the vehicle and/or the sequential nature.)

I looked at the owner's manual.  There's a fuse center at the right side of the dash, but not for my issues.  For those, the (mini) fuses are located in a plastic box under the hood.  I'm wondering if fuse replacement is the place to start.  And, if this is interrelated, where to go next. Mechanical issues are almost easier than electrical ones.  They are easier to conceptualize.

Rear lighting, CMSL, interior lighting, gauges, A/C and radio functions, theater dimming, and turn signals work.

I would certainly appreciate some input.

 

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Looks like I'm not alone.  The car doesn't appear to have many electrical problems, except up front ... overwhelmingly so.

http://www.carproblemzoo.com/buick/lacrosse/buick-lacrosse-exterior-lighting-problems.php

And, true to CR, the car's weak points are electrical, power equipment, and suspension.  I'm thinking that's much better than other systems.

I tried the cheap fix - a solid state "plug and play" hdm, which was the cure for many, but it didn't work.

I'm still open to suggestions and opinions.  They were crafty and/or stupid in the design department.  The headlight bulb replacement up front is a major job.

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4 minutes ago, trinacriabob said:

Looks like I'm not alone.  The car doesn't appear to have many electrical problems, except up front ... overwhelmingly so.

http://www.carproblemzoo.com/buick/lacrosse/buick-lacrosse-exterior-lighting-problems.php

And, true to CR, the car's weak points are electrical, power equipment, and suspension.  I'm thinking that's much better than other systems.

I tried the cheap fix - a solid state "plug and play" hdm, which was the cure for many, but it didn't work.

I'm still open to suggestions and opinions.  They were crafty and/or stupid in the design department.  The headlight bulb replacement up front is a major job.

I know that I have hit my share of electrical gremlins in the past on various family members auto's. If you have a multi-meter, it would make sense to pop each fuse and test it to see if there could be a hairline crack that is causing the issues.

Yes a cost, but still cheaper than a mechanic troubleshooting is you could just replace all the fuses and then look at which main solid state boxes could be affecting this.

That is the fastest and cheapest way to try to fix the issues. Then you have tracing the wires and seeing if you have bad connections as sometimes cheap soders on the connections can cause this. 

Without looking at an electrical sheet to see the flow of current, I wonder if your alternator is going or look at any capacitors in the auto that could help store energy for bigger electrical loads and see if one has died.

Good luck, electrical is the hardest to chase down.

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5 hours ago, dfelt said:

I know that I have hit my share of electrical gremlins in the past on various family members auto's. If you have a multi-meter, it would make sense to pop each fuse and test it to see if there could be a hairline crack that is causing the issues.

Yes a cost, but still cheaper than a mechanic troubleshooting is you could just replace all the fuses and then look at which main solid state boxes could be affecting this.

That is the fastest and cheapest way to try to fix the issues.

I think the alternator is o.k.  My D.I.C. provides the voltage when I push that button and its performance is consistent.

Now that I've tried the headlamp module, and it didn't work, I could go to the fuses.  I should have done that today.  I will do it early in the a.m.  Most auto parts stores open at 7 a.m. and I've identified the fuse locations.

Or could it just be age ... slightly over 10 years?  Some of my friends say that.  One friend said his mom had a 2002 Olds Intrigue and it was coughing up quite a few inside lamps and headlights after some years and mileage.

Thanks.  I will go fuses first and then ... you know.  The YouTube to replace a headlight bulb is mind boggling.  Halogen or not, gone are the days of reaching into the back of the assembly and changing it out.

Just now, trinacriabob said:

I think the alternator is o.k.  My D.I.C. provides the voltage when I push that button and its performance is consistent.

Now that I've tried the headlamp module, and it didn't work, I could go to the fuses.  I should have done that today.  I will do it early in the a.m.  Most auto parts stores open at 7 a.m. and I've identified the fuse locations.

Or could it just be age ... slightly over 10 years?  Some of my friends say that.  One friend said his mom had a 2002 Olds Intrigue and it was coughing up quite a few inside lamps and headlights after some years and mileage.

Thanks again.  I will go fuses first and then ... you know.  The YouTube to replace a headlight bulb is mind boggling.  Halogen or not, gone are the days of reaching into the back of the assembly and changing it out.

 

Edited by trinacriabob
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6 hours ago, trinacriabob said:

I think the alternator is o.k.  My D.I.C. provides the voltage when I push that button and its performance is consistent.

Now that I've tried the headlamp module, and it didn't work, I could go to the fuses.  I should have done that today.  I will do it early in the a.m.  Most auto parts stores open at 7 a.m. and I've identified the fuse locations.

Or could it just be age ... slightly over 10 years?  Some of my friends say that.  One friend said his mom had a 2002 Olds Intrigue and it was coughing up quite a few inside lamps and headlights after some years and mileage.

Thanks.  I will go fuses first and then ... you know.  The YouTube to replace a headlight bulb is mind boggling.  Halogen or not, gone are the days of reaching into the back of the assembly and changing it out.

Age always plays a factor, but I know from my own 93 Suburban I still have, that once you get about 10 years, the fuses and solid state parts tend to start dying naturally. I have replaced them all on my suburban and everything works like day one, that is not to say that you still might have a bad wire from rubbing and a short is happening or a solder has cracked.

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Did the fuses prior to my appointment time.  They didn't work.  I took it in and they changed the headlight bulbs.  I waited for it and they worked quickly.  They also charged me a fair price.  Time to wean myself from the dealership for most things.  The time has come.

Thanks again for the tips.  And, hey, I now have an assorted fuse pack for about $4 that I can keep along with my car supplies in the trunk.

Let there be light.

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