Question about 1A Auto Parts 1998-1999 Pontiac Bonneville SSE SSEi Fog Light Pair

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98 bonneville ssei... short created after attempting to install a aftermarket radio. dash lights tail lights do not work. head light switch no longer controls head lights. i unplug the radio and chang

Short created with radio installation. now a few things dont work like: dash lights, tail lights, fog lights, replaced fuse and it burns. unplugged radio and replaced fuse and they work but wont shut off after i turn the car off. the headlight switch no longer turns off my lights. where could the problem be? please help. my bonnie is just sitting in the garage with these problems :(

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Check and see if you have any relays that control the lights and all the other things that have stopped working. There will more than likely have something in common that has burned out and a relay burned out would cause that. Also if it has a light sentinel on it then the problem could be in that circuit. You need a good schematic and try to trace the problem. There is so many things that can cause problems in some of the wiring harnesses that they put on cars that it is just a trial and error without the exact schematic for it. I would almost bet that it is in the relays that controls the lights. I have a Blue wire with a Black stripe on it in my Ford Explorer that just has one end on it! LOL! I've been an Electronic Technician for 33 years and the only way I will work on car electronics is if it is mine. Hope this helps. I had about the same thing to happen on a 93 Cadillac and i was in the light sentinel relay in the left side of the trunk.
Col. Dana Gillespie

Posted on Mar 23, 2014

Testimonial: "ok, would u think maby i melted something together along the way in one of the wire harness? i hope not. i would hate to have to track that down, probably under the carpet or something. i replaced the light sentinel switch and it didnt seem to change anything, unless something was wrong with that one as well as i bought it from a junk yard but nothing looked like was wrong with the one i took out originally. what would the relay i need to check be called? i believe there's some up by the fire wall on the passenger side under the hood. would that sentinel relay also be in the same location as the cadillac u worked on? thankx for your help and advice i rely appreciate it."

  • Col Dana Gillespie
    Col Dana Gillespie Mar 23, 2014

    I don\'t know what it is called, I always just went to the parts house :junk yard" and got a bunch of relays and started sticking them in. As far as melting something together I hope you didn\'t niether but if you did it would more than likely be a relay melted. As to where it is located ~ with my past experience in car electronics I would not rule out the tail pipe! Have you been to the parts house and bought one of those books on it? CHILTON puts out a book that covers used cars, it might cover several year models but a lot of times they use the same parts on several models. More than likely the schematic for your particular car won\'t be in there (sounds like your luck runs on the same tracks as mine) but ou can get an idea maybe. Also I keep thinking about those 60 amp fuses that are in some model GM cars. It don\'t sound like it makes sense but sometime in electronics if a fuse blows it could be what powers whatever turns the lights off. Now that\'s what you call real high tech talk. LOL! Look at those fuses and again they coud be in the tail pipe but I would look on the inner fender of the drivers side first. You mentioned some on the firewall look and see if there is some large fuses there - like 60 amp one of them could be blown and it be the one that activates the relay that shuts off the lights. Did you smell wires burning when it shorted out? If not then you have not melted any wires together like I did one time. I was smoke testing some tail lights for a short and as a last resort and a mad fit I put a piece of copper tubing in the fuse link. Somewhere in the process of replacing every single wire from the firewall back I must have found the short, not a good idea for trouble shooting. I would get a bunch of relays and fuses from the junk yard and just start replacing, well I would go [if you haven\'t already] and get that book then maybe you can find where all that sential wiring is located. If and I mean IF you are lucky you will get one that has the exact wiring harness that yours has. That Cadillac had 9 different wiring harnesses that they used on the 93 STS. No need to guess which one it was we couldn\'t find but 8 for a long time. These aforementioned suggestions are part of a method I use called the "SWAG" method [ Scientific Wild A-- Guess] it has proven to be quite helpful on ocassion. Keep me informed!

  • javier a
    javier a Mar 24, 2014

    thank you, i will go out and purchase that book soon. i looked at a few sketches on google and it shows more relays on the passenger side im going to have to take a look at them and figure out if any of them are blown or have anything wrong with them. im praying nothing is melted, i didnt smell any burning i just remember hearing the zap and lost power to what i was trying to install. i want to say it was an lcd monitor if i remember. my radio still works and i was trying to hook it up to the power on the radio and im not sure if i over loaded it or some how let it touch on the body of the stereo itself. anyway i will try to follow ur instructions and get back to you as soon as possible. thank you i appreciate your help and guidance.

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