Question about 1986 Nissan 300ZX

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WHY WOULD MY HEADLIGHTS GO ON AND OFF EVEN WHEN THE CAR IS TURNED OFF?

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Probably because there's a short circuit somewhere. Knowing that is the easy bit, finding it is why automotive electricians earn so much. Sometimes the fault can be due to a faulty aftermarket alarm system which is able to flash the headlights when the ignition/headlamps are turned off.

Note that your problem may be a potential fire hazard so first try isolating the circuit by removing the headlamp fuses and if that fails then make a note of your car radio security code (if appropriate) and then disconnect the battery.

Your car is now 24 years old and there's no way for folks here to know how many repairs and modifications its had, nor to know the standard of previous work. You should start by looking for chafed wiring at every point where it passes through metal bodywork. Then check near the fuseboxes and headlamp switch and finally check the wiring of any accessories which have been fitted (such as an alarm). Almost as importantly, check for signs of removed or disconnected accessories and the quality of wiring repairs after removal.

Unless you get lucky, do not expect a quick fix. It's all about being patient and methodical and correctly using a continuity tester. You'll also probably find wiring faults which must be repaired as you go, but which have nothing to do with your headlamp issue.

Good luck.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010

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