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Headlights do not work, but tail lights do

My tail lights work, but my headlights are not working when turning on the switch. The lights flicker when the dimmer is operated

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  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    Year , make, model, engine , please.

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  • 14 Answers

Replace head light switch

Posted on Apr 21, 2009

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1 Answer

Tail lights not working


All of the marker and tail lights are powered from a 15amp fuse going thru the headlight switch on a brown wire. Do you have power from that circuit coming out of the headlight switch ?

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Sounds like just a bad switch, replacing it should solve the problem. however, check the ground strap that is attached to the firewall to give all the body electrics a ground. they get dirty and need to be cleaned,

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Could be the headlight switch.
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1994 silverado illumination on instrument panel doesn't work, parking lights and tail lights do not work but headlights and brakelights work fine. All fuses are good. Is this a bad dimmer switch?


No. Dash lights being out could be a bad headlight switch, since the dash lights are routed through the headlight switch, not the dimmer switch. Park and tail lights also controlled by the headlight switch.

Oct 23, 2012 | Chevrolet Cars & Trucks

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1993 chevy silverado parking lamps go of when i turn on headlights, signal lights flicker when i press on brake.


Yes I would look for a ground circuit problem. I would look at the ground wires for the headlights first. Even run a new ground wire for the tail lights to see if it helps.
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Aug 10, 2012 | Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Cars & Trucks

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Dash Light Flicker on and off and taillights work sometimes. Tail lights are out now but I have Brake lights, turn signals and 4 ways. Any ideas how to fix these issue would be helpful. I have also checked...


Hi, if they work better with the headlight switch in the park position, suspect the switch. If not, you may have a loose or damaged wire at the switch or the fusebox.

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Jan 26, 2011 | 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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I have a 1996 Saab 900 when I start the car and turn on the head lights the dash lights will turn on and then go out. Along with the dash lights, the radio lights and the lights along the shifter...


It could be a bad connection or a bad headlight switch, but there is also a safety switch on the car that turns the dash lights out when you lose your tail lights, so before you go any further check if your tail lights are working, your car may just be telling you about another problem.

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1 Answer

1988 escort tail lights & dashboard lights go out when I turn on headlights. Brake lights & turn signals work fine.


JIGGLE HEAD LIGHT SWITCH,MOVE IN AND OUT REPEATEDLY , WHEN ON AND SEE IF THEY FLICKER OR TRY TO WORK.IF THEY TRY TO WORK YOUR HEADLIGHT SWITCH OR HARNESS PLUG MAY BE BAD

Dec 25, 2010 | 1998 Ford Escort

1 Answer

What started this mess? tailights, fog lights, brake lights....


The relay has nothing to do with the tail lights, but replacing the switch sounds like a good idea. There's a nut holding it in place, see http://www.skandix.de/en/spare-parts/electrics/switches/switch-headlight/1027524/ to get an idea of the construction. And the price. This is not worth fiddling about unreliable workarounds...
In addition, if fuses 15 and/or 16 burn frequently there might be a problem with the tail light cabling.

Good luck
Ingo

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either the headlight switch is defective or the dimmer is, it can't be anything else, do the hi beams work ok, have you tried wiggling the dimmer switch to see if the low beams flicker?

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