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84 Headlights Don't Work

7070 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  bogacsur
I drive an 84 242--something bad happened when I was driving from Baltimore to Phoenix. Mostly it is now that I live in a very hot desert. But the thing with the car involved a short period (15 seconds) where smoke came out of the center console (behind the heating controls). After this the headlights didn't work.
Everything else in the car works fine. I've checked the fuses--they are all good (both visual and by running a battery and flashlight bulb through it on the lighting fuses).

Of course when the headlights are off there isn't an issue. The lights are off. When I turn the headlight knob to the driving lights (center position) the parking lights come on.
It is when I turn the knob to the headlights (rightmost) position that things go wrong--not only do the headlights not come on, but the parking lights go off.

Could this be the switch? Or more likely the step relay? And if it is the step relay does anyone know where it is?

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The High/Low beam relay is behind the battery.


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I haven't had the smoke issue that you've had, but aside from that I have a very similar problem. My parking lights work in the parking light position, but my headlights don't, and neither do my parking lights in that position.

I'm curious to know if you solved your problem, and what it ended up being?

Personally, I took my car into a shop at the beginning of july, where they claimed to solve some electrical problems for me. I haven't driven the car at night until recently, and I don't know if the lights have actually worked between then and now. The shop is not as reputable as I thought it was and I won't be going back there. I'd like to avoid going back to a shop if possible.


Hi Brooks,

I had a similar problem, with out the smoke, but one day headlights and driving lights worked, the next day, no head lights. When I would turn the light switch nob to first click driving lights came on, then when I would go to next stage on switch nothing. Some one either on this board or swissbricks told me about the relay that on my 89 would be along the inside of driverside feder up above your left foot, if you take down the cover. The plug goes into what looks like a lead relay. My wire was fried. I still have to figure out how to put on a new connector to connect to new relay but I'm pretty sure thats what the problem is. I will try to include picture if I can. Good luck


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pre-88's are known for bad engine bay insulation for the wiring, but I guess it can go further. Check instrument cluster for burnt circuits. JIC.
Hi again brooks, I found that mine was the problem. It is the small lead looking relay with electrical tape, go figure. It is a bosch relay. The Bosch number is 0332015012 If you contact fcp gorton, they can get it for you in a day. I believe they are like $15. This relay from what I understand, switches on the head lights when you move to the next position. Mine had a fried connector as well. If you google bosch wire connectors can find those as well to replace the connector as well. Good luck and hope it solves your problem.
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Hi Brooks, wanted to add these two pictures, you may have the same problem. I have a picture of the connector and relay together in other post. These are fried connector and the bosch relay # 0332015012 5 pin 12v 2x 15a available from fcp gorton for $15. or so. Hope it helps


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I have a similar situation. The other night I tried driving home from work when I realized my low beams weren't working. I checked the fuses, they are good. I changed out the bulbs just to make sure. I get high beams but no low beams. Everything else at the moment seems to be ok. Could it be the same relay Bosch # 0332015012 causing the problem for me as well? I have already changed out the headlight relay by the battery and there was no change. I also tried replacing the dimmer switch with no luck. Thank you for any advice in advance
The likely cause is a fuse, headlight relay, headlight switch, dimmer switch or a wiring fault. About the only cause that is an easy fix is a blown fuse. Consult your owner's manual to locate the main fuse for the headlight circuit and replace that fuse with one having the same amp rating.
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