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Old 05-11-2016   #1
MikeM
89 GTA
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 11


Strange Electrical Issue

I have an 89 GTA 5.7L with 65000 miles. Driving it the other day after dark and all of a sudden the headlights and interior lights all went out. They were out for a couple seconds and came right back on. The engine never quit, kept running fine. No other issues. A couple days later, I was driving at dusk and they flickered again - did not shut off but I saw a quick dimming and then right back on - millisecond stuff, not seconds. Quick flicker and then fine. Again, no issues with the engine or anything else. I didn't have the radio on either time so not sure if that lost power as well.

Anyone experienced this? I am looking for a new headlight switch to start with but I am not sure that's the issue, just the most obvious place to start. Any thoughts? I'm a little afraid to drive it after dark!

Thanks.
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Old 05-12-2016   #2
merc3065
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Re: Strange Electrical Issue

I would check your electrical system to be honest.
Alternator, Battery.
Then check your fuses, make sure they are seated well and that there are no frayed wires.

Headlight switch might be the next step as well.

It's hard to say unless some troubleshooting has been done/explained.
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Old 05-12-2016   #3
JonBlake
Hopefully soon to be restored Third Gen owner.
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Pacifica, CA
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Re: Strange Electrical Issue

From my personal experience, I've had an alternator start failing on my Chevy Tahoe and it caused the lights to flicker every so often. Probably the shift going from alternator to battery power.

Also I've read somewhere of a similar issue that an owner was having. Turned out to be a pinched wire on along the exterior lighting harness. Apparently the owner was having electrical issues (surges/flickering, etc.) and discovered when removing an exterior light lens that the previous owner had reinstalled the lens in a way that pinched a wire on the lighting harness. The wire was pinched between the lens assembly and the frame of the car. This caused the wire insulation to fail resulting in exposed wire to the frame of the car.

Good luck and hope you get her fixed.

Jon
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Old 05-12-2016   #4
MikeM
89 GTA
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 11


Re: Strange Electrical Issue

Thanks guys. I'll start running through this over the weekend. As a side note (or maybe related), every so often the ignition doesn't work. I turn the key and the lights come on the dash and the needles on the dash move but no starter. Wondering if these are connected somehow. Just purchased a new VATS key. Does it with the old and new key.
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Old 05-12-2016   #5
JonBlake
Hopefully soon to be restored Third Gen owner.
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Pacifica, CA
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Re: Strange Electrical Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
Thanks guys. I'll start running through this over the weekend. As a side note (or maybe related), every so often the ignition doesn't work. I turn the key and the lights come on the dash and the needles on the dash move but no starter. Wondering if these are connected somehow. Just purchased a new VATS key. Does it with the old and new key.
Might be a related issue. Have you checked the starter wires? Maybe lose?

BTW - I've read stories about the so called VATS thing. Sounds like a very big headache with that system. So much where I am steering clear of a third gen with one of those in it. But that's just me.

Last edited by JonBlake; 05-12-2016 at 01:59 PM.
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