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Old 2nd June 2006, 14:36   #1
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Default rear lights not working

Hi all
I have a 98 zen and when i switch to lights the headlights come "on" but the rear lights dont.
also the meter (dashboard) lights dont come "on" neither does the dimmer lights.
During driving no fixed period of time the dash lights come "on" . I parked the car and checked the rear lights come "on" too. At this time i checked the dimmer lights and they too were"on".
The check:---
Now I switched "off" lights and then tried checking the lights. The headlights were "on" and NO dash NO rear NO dimmer light functioning.

driven the car around and the dash lights suddenly came "on" so also the rear and dimmer.

I have checked for all fuses, got them out cleant with WD40 and installed back. Still this problem continues.

Pls help ur views.
thanks
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Old 2nd June 2006, 18:13   #2
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common techie guys I bet we have many of them on this forum who could give their valid inputs.
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Old 3rd June 2006, 10:55   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2fast4u
Now I switched "off" lights and then tried checking the lights. The headlights were "on" and NO dash NO rear NO dimmer light functioning.
Do you mean to say that the headlights were on even when they should have been off?

In adition to checking the fuses (which you have), get the relays checked.

cya
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Old 3rd June 2006, 15:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan
Do you mean to say that the headlights were on even when they should have been off?

In adition to checking the fuses (which you have), get the relays checked.

cya
R
missed info on my part - highlighted in Bold.
should read
Now I switched "off" lights and then I SWITCHED "ON" AGAIN and tried checking the lights. The headlights were "on" and NO dash NO rear NO dimmer light functioning
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Old 3rd June 2006, 17:18   #5
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Loose wiring or bad relays is stll where i would start looking.

cya
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Old 3rd June 2006, 21:33   #6
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Maybe a faulty combination switch assembly.

This is the one piece thing-o-magic that the stalks on your steering column connect to. It controls everything from the windshield wipers to the indicators to your lights.

I assume that you have not replaced it in the life of your car (since 98) ... very likely that it is worn out. Show the car to a MASS and tell them that you suspect the combination switch... but tell them that if that doesn't solve the problem, you won't pay for the new switch.

The original switch costs around 2k for an Esteem! Beware of non-genuine parts... I remember reading on TBHP about a car that caught fire because of a faulty combination switch.

- T u r b o C -
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Old 4th June 2006, 08:19   #7
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I would attribute it to the combination switch too. The first click, when you use the lights stalk, will turn on your park lights, your meter lights and your tail lights. The second click turns on your headlights, while keeping all of the first mentioned on. It looks like the contacts for the first step/click are worn out and hence keep coming on & going off.
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Old 4th June 2006, 08:53   #8
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One of my m8s had a similar problem in his Matiz.

Get you earthing checked, tightened and electric grease coated.

As all the lights you are mentioning are low voltage consumtions lights and could have a common earthing point which works at times when the car is in parked condition.

cheers,
ash
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Old 6th June 2006, 01:00   #9
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Good call Turbo c and Jyobeb,

That diagnosis definitely makes the most sense!

2fast4u, let us know...
cya
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Old 6th June 2006, 15:32   #10
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Default got it sorted

Jyo & turbo
u both were right. it was the stalk switch which had some minor rust / grime developed over the 15yrs and its been cleaned off with wd40 and the switch is working fine back to normal.
Ash
u also are right in a way as i checked with the auto electric guy and he says bad earth, loose earth can give similar problem and also sometimes the fuse which is 10amps for the Meter may have a hairline cut which gets in contact occassionally.

he did 2 checks first replaced fuse, problem still there
second check for current from fuse box below steering driver side and then the switch.
interesting thing to note is the Meter & Rear Tail Lights work on one circuit. So if ur Meter lights are not working (other than the bulbs of Meter fused) it should be 100% that ur tail lights are not working thats what the auto guy said.
its an offence here in gulf if ive been caught with no tail lights working potential danger. some fine but still costs some bucks.
anyways thank you all for the help and diagnosis.
cheers
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Old 7th June 2015, 12:53   #11
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Default Re: rear lights not working

I had a similar problem with my A-Star with a different root cause.

Symptom :
When headlamp combination switch is in first position none of the expected functions work i.e pilot/parking lamps, tail lamps, speedo/tacho and dash illumination do not turn on.
The battery is strong. Low and high beams work. All indicators, reverse lights, brake lights, cabin lamps work.
No change in engine response.

Cause :
Blown fuse identified by Surakshaa, Bhomanahalli. The 10A fuse below the dash was blown.

Solution 1 :
Fuse was changed and all looked normal. Lights started working as expected and continued to work after multiple on-off cycles. Drove for about 5 km and then fuse blew again!

Root cause :
Rat attack on the rear number plate illumination wires - see image. The +ve and -ve wires had their insulation chewed causing a short.

Solution 2:
Replaced fuse after insulating exposed wires.

Personal experience:
I did suspect the fuse before reaching out to my SA. The fuse description for the blown fuse in the manual is "Tail light". This description made me suspect a non-fuse issue since many other lights had gone off too. Turns out that this "Tail Light" fuse cuts-off the other lights mentioned above too.

PS:
A short is a potentially dangerous issue and must not be ignored. If you have a similar problem, get it checked ASAP.

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