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  1. #1
    Nicutlass_Supremacy's Avatar
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    Low Voltage problem with low beam headlight

    I have an oldsmobile cutlass supreme 94 3.4L v6. The problem is that when I turn on the low beam headlight the voltage meter goes down almost to 8 volts but the thing is that when I switch to the hig beam the voltage goes up and turning other things also makes voltage change but sometimes it goes down. So I think that the alternator was bad and I made this test. With the car turn off I switch the lights on and nothing happend the voltage was good about 10 volts but suddenly when I change to low beam voltage drops and lights and everything almost went of. So I turn off the lights and the voltage went up again. I ve tried this several times and sometimes it happens and sometimes not. I think theres something wrong when I switch the headlamps because when they are off the voltage is good over 13 volts with the car on. I don t know what could cause such drain in the battery without blowing a fuse or something. What can I do? Thanks

  2. #2

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    First thing I would do is unplug the bulbs and see if it still does it. If so, then you know there's some kind of short in the switch or wiring. If it doesn't ever have the problem without the bulbs, then try plugging one bulb at a time and see if one bulb causes the problem. I've never heard of a shorted bulb, but I think it's theoretically possible.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat View Post
    First thing I would do is unplug the bulbs and see if it still does it. If so, then you know there's some kind of short in the switch or wiring. If it doesn't ever have the problem without the bulbs, then try plugging one bulb at a time and see if one bulb causes the problem. I've never heard of a shorted bulb, but I think it's theoretically possible.
    X2 - unplug lowbeams and make sure fog lights are turned off. Because the high beams work fine but lows don't, to me it sounds like a short/high resistance... must not be fused at that point in the circuit, whatever it is. I'd be careful while testing in low beam mode, because that power is going somewhere, and probably trying to burn up a wire or two, though this heat could help hint at where the problem is.


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    RobertISaar's Avatar
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    i would think the headlight circuit breaker would trip/reset if it were drawing that much current.... but maybe not.

    another vote for remove the bulbs and retry.
    King of Code
    1995 Monte Carlo LS 3100, 4T60E... for now, future plans include driving it until the wheels fall off!



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    rich_e777's Avatar
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    I have a similar question about my headlights, im just wondering if the interior lights are suppose to dim when headlights/foglights are switched on? It kindof annoys me on cloudy days when like to have my lights on for visibility and it dims my sterio and guages making them harder to see.

    1994 Olsmobile Cutlass Supreme SL

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  8. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich_e777 View Post
    I have a similar question about my headlights, im just wondering if the interior lights are suppose to dim when headlights/foglights are switched on? It kindof annoys me on cloudy days when like to have my lights on for visibility and it dims my sterio and guages making them harder to see.
    Yeah, the displays like stereo and climate control are supposed to dim because it's considered "night mode". I don't remember on a 94, but I know on my 89 you can put them back in "day mode" by sliding the interior light brightness control to the position right before it turns on the dome lights. Not sure what you mean by gauges? Analog gauges only light up when lights are on.

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  10. #7
    Nicutlass_Supremacy's Avatar
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    Yes, I think Iīll try with the bulbs first. Iīll be posting my tests. Thanks!!

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    Nicutlass_Supremacy's Avatar
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    A friend told me to look for heat within the wires, also. I think thatīs a good hint because the power is draining through somewhere and that would be heat. Thanks

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    Nicutlass_Supremacy's Avatar
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    I also think of that, it could be the relay but I donīt know, I think Iīll try everything you told me. Thanks

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    These cars don't have a headlight relay (though using an add-on headlight relay harness is a good idea).
    Yes, there could be heat in the wires from an area of abnormally high resistance. Usually this happens in connectors when the contacts don't make good enough contact and heat builds up there. I had this happen and it melted the firewall connector. It made my headlights and foglights non-functional since they were powered by the same wire. I had to bypass the connector.

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    Ah shouldnt have been drinking and i could spell. Instrument cluster is probably better than gauges, On my CS there is a slider like what you are refering to but even on its brightest setting its still to dim under certain daylight conditions. I thought i might have had a problem other than OEM design. I plan on going aftermarket soon as funds allow it so i can deal with it for now.
    Last edited by rich_e777; 08-10-2012 at 07:16 PM.

    1994 Olsmobile Cutlass Supreme SL

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    Here is a VERY likely scenario to look into, you may have a
    REMOTE AUXILIARY POWER TERMINAL PROBLEM:
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy K View Post
    POSSIBLE SOLUTION:

    The cable has come loose on several different cars I have from there. First things first, if you have the thin copper/brass washer... GET A REAL NUT. real nuts were used on that power contact starting around 1995, that is where I have source all replacement nuts on every vehicle I've touched. DO NOT USE A "CRUSHED" NUT, such as the ones used on the strut tower: though they are the right thread pitch they can snap your power stud off. The proper nut will spin freely on the stud. Once/if you have a real nut, add a stainless steel lock washer between the nut and the cable end and tighten snugly.


    BUILDER AND DESTROYER OF FINE(?) AMERICAN CARS.

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  19. #13
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    Iīm still with the problem but now the left low beam headlight stop working. I was very busy this weekend and I coulnīt fix anything but with this new problem I think I could narrow the searching and testing. Iīm worried about the heat, the failure could cause something to burn out!!!

  20. #14
    Nicutlass_Supremacy's Avatar
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    The remote auxiliary power terminal is the thing next to de cruise control?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicutlass_Supremacy View Post
    The remote auxiliary power terminal is the thing next to de cruise control?
    yes


    BUILDER AND DESTROYER OF FINE(?) AMERICAN CARS.

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