1998 Cavalier Headlight draw issue - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-09-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Unhappy 1998 Cavalier Headlight draw issue

I am having a problem with my wife'* 1998 Cavaliers headlights. I cant turn the headlights on without a noticeable drain on power. All lighted objects in the car dim, and it even affects the idle a little. I can run the heater on high with the radio on and all that kind of stuff, but as soon as I turn the headlights on, everything dims out. Sometimes the radio doesn't even work after this power draw takes place.
I hope someone has some insight for me, as I have only one more day off lol.

I checked the block ground, both battery terminals and wires, fuses, and the connections to the starter. Everything was remarkably clean as a whistle. I stopped digging once I noticed that it was limited to the headlights. I just have no idea what to do now.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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not really sure what your problem is, the headlight switch gives them their ground, so i suppose if something were shorted to the control wiring somewhere power for the radio and that, it would short when you turned on the lights. what do the lights do when you turn on high and low, do the drl'* work?
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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I never even thought to flip between high and low beams. I will check into that today.
My wife is bad for using tilt steering every time she enters or exits the car. I actually had a few problems with wires that way in previous cars. I don't want to say this, but what are the odds of it being something inside the column.
"the headlight switch gives them their ground, so i suppose if something were shorted to the control wiring somewhere power for the radio and that" I assume this is in the column (where the headlight switch is in this car).
Thank your the diagram, and the thoughts on this issue. Once I get out to the car I will check those things and let you know what happened.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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yea im curious to know also... when i turn on my headlights for some reason my aftermarket stereo thinks i just plugged in my ipod to the usb port.. im wondering if the cause might be related.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:23 PM   #5
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The parking light, hi/low beams all do it. The signal lights, brake lights etc do not do it. Also the radio and all interior lights are fine....until I flip on headlights in any form.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:29 AM   #6
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thats all i can think of trace the wire back from the switch to the light to see whats going on
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