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Old 12-17-2007, 06:01 PM   #1
clydehorse
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headlight problems

My daughter has a 98 Prism the daylight lights work. But the head lights turn on when the car is started with the dash lights off , then after about 15 seconds the dash lights come on and the headlights go off , and they cannot be turned on with the switch. The switch turns on the marker lights and the taillights but no headlights all the fuses are good and the headlight relay is working . HELP
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:55 AM   #2
n1ckml007
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Re: headlight problems

Hi, check out this thread:

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbul...d.php?t=446242 I wouldn't be suprised if the grounding to the DRL module was at fault.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:42 PM   #3
clydehorse
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Re: headlight problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by n1ckml007
Hi, check out this thread:

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbul...d.php?t=446242 I wouldn't be suprised if the grounding to the DRL module was at fault.
Thanks I will have to check that out.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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Re: headlight problems

I KNOW THIS IS AN OLD THREAD BUT ............I think I can answer a lot of questions on this issue.

My 1999 prizm headlights went out.... I spent 2 days going over this car and changed the drl module without resolving the issue. ... finally resolved it but in searching I found this same question all over the internet without one real answer ... so read on and I hope this will help.

Problem ---> headlights would turn on when you start car.... if you turned the headlight switch to parking lights they came on with the headlights ... if you turned the switch to the headlight position the headlights go out....
After dark the sensor would kick in and all lights would go out after about 15 seconds.... leaving you in the dark.

#1 LESSON LEARNED = just because the ohm meter says a ground is good doesn't mean it will hold under load.


Here is what you want to know .... power goes from headlight switch ---> thru the headlight relay and then ---> to the dimmer relay then ---> to the headlights and then ---> thru the DRL relay ---> to ground and the DRL module... (and is the key word here)

LOCATIONS =
DRL Module is behind the glove box up high in the dash .... headlight relay and dimmer relay locations will be in the 2 boxes on the drivers side of the car under the hood. .... DRL relay location is in the box on the left front under the hood.

HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO WORK:
Turning on the Headlight Switch the Headlight relay clicks and sends power to the Dimmer relay which controls High and low beam.... power goes thru bulbs to the DRL relay and from there to ground which is shared with the DRL Module.

THE SOLUTION FOR MY PROBLEM:
If the ground on the DRL relay is not good ...things will work ... but they won't work correctly because it may or may not feed back to the DRL module ground ... see original problem above. If you unbolt the box housing for the DRL relay and pull the white plastic bottom you will have easy access to the wires and the ground wire is the white one. You can easily tap onto it with a blue connector and run an additional wire to any good ground screw in the area. My ground was intermittent .. tested good with meter but would drop under real life load.


SOME TESTING YOU CAN DO:

FIRST THING = check all grounds ... The DRL MODULE has 2 white/blk stripe wires on one end of the connector.... These grounds have been known to fail which is what kills the DRL MODULE ............ it is highly recommended to use blue splice connectors and run 2 additional wires from these wires to a fixed ground in the right passenger kickboard area .
Other locations for grounds = 1cluster on each side behind driver passenger kick panels -- 1 on each side under hood on fender wells -- 1 ground cluster in trunk at drivers tail light --

RELAYS -- you can pry the tops off and see if they look good inside -- no burnt points etc.
Plug them in with the top off and see if they engage when you start car and turn on lights. The DRL Relay and the Headlight Relay are the same so you can try switching them.

HEADLIGHTS AND DRL RELAY GROUND TEST:
If you are good with things like this then here is an easy way to test the headlights themselves.... and the DRL Relay ground.
KEY OFF -- HEADLIGHT SWITCH OFF -- If you have the DRL Module where you can get to it .. pull it. ( not required but it gets it out of the loop)

Pull the Dimmer relay... where it plugs in... the front 2 of the 4 plugs is High/low beam feed (front = towards front of car)
Pull the DRL relay ... where it plugs in ... the wider of the plugs is the switch to ground

Run a hot jumper wire from the battery + to one of the front plugs on the dimmer relay. ( just stick the wire into the plug)
(this will be one of the... high OR low beam)
Then run a jumper wire from the wider plug on the right side of the DRL relay to any good ground ...
be sure to try both plugs in the drl if the first one doesn't do anything. (one goes back to the drl and ground ... you are testing to see if this is good)
You should get headlights ... ( If you do not get headlights then you have a problem with the headlights themselves ... recheck all jumpers etc.)
Switch plugs on the dimmer to test both high and low beams. If you get both working now but they didn't when everything was plugged in then you can bet the ground is bad at the DRL relay. ... follow the directions above and put in a new ground wire.

Hope all of this information helps someone.... these wiring problems can really suck !

HOW TO DISABLE DRL MODULE:

This will keep the daylight running lights from coming on .. but your headlight switch will still control everything.
To disable DRL module ... don't cut wires -- to difficult to fix if you do it wrong ... just pull the module from it's location behind the glove box. pull the circuit board from the box you will see a number of rigid wires going from the plug receiver to the circuit board. On the top row .. cut the 3rd one from the left and bend it apart a little ... if you want to hook it back up later all you have to do is push it back together and solder it. (when plugged into the harness this rigid wire connects to a red/blue stripe wire.... check before you cut in case your car is different)

Last edited by imatkel; 10-13-2013 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
toni1595
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Re: headlight problems

Wow, that is a great description of the "how to" of getting this problem resolved.

My son, who is in college, is having electrical troubles with his '02 Prizm now. This is in addition to the oil usage, which I won't get into at this time.

First it was the deal with the High beam indicator turning off and on when he started the car up, this just started happening over this past weekend. We didn't know what to make of this.

He calls me tonight and says that his parking and instrument panel lights won't shut off. I told him to unhook the battery for now, if he could find a wrench that is........he had a 3 hour lecture to attend, and when that got over to hook the battery back up and head home so we can really get a look at this thing while he on his Thanksgiving break.

Hopefully he'll make it home OK.

I guess the first thing to suspect is the DRL relay or maybe a ground.

I for one am not too impressed with this car, so far it has been nothing but trouble.

Toni.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:01 PM   #6
imatkel
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Re: headlight problems

yea my prizm uses oil as well... I just buy it by the gallon at walmart and dump some in every 2 weeks... cheap car that I'll drive till it dies ... 210k and still going.
As for your headlights ... mine had the flashing high beam light for several years before anything else failed .... print out my post above and see if some of that will help you.
Different year prizm but probably very close to the same.
I think everyone goes for the DRL first and I'll bet in most cases it's a ground problem and not the DRL itself. After I found the bad ground on my car I disabled the DRL and my headlights work fine now.
Good Luck with your problem and have a great thanksgiving !
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:45 PM   #7
toni1595
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Re: headlight problems

Just as an update to my last post, we did end up buying another DRL module as the old was toast. I say "another" because a "new" one is nearly $300.00 from the dealer only. We found one on Ebay for around $50.00. Yes it's used, but it's been working good since we installed it and we did add a good ground directly to the module, so that should help. You could see on the old module where the some of the components have been heating up, so there is an issue somewhere in these things.


Toni
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
Tech II
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Re: headlight problems

Should check the electrical connectors(female) in the harness to the module that they are tight and not loose(spread apart)...a bad connection means heat, and heat will melt plastic...
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:02 AM   #9
blurb66
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Thumbs up LIghting Issues

Imatkel, thank you for post#4.

Just bought 2000 Prizm. Lights all working ok, except for little issue.

Start car and headlights come on, ok no problem, however, 80% of time the tail lights also come on, without me turning on the slight switch.

At this point there is no need for the car to have a light switch. However, about 5, 10 or 20 percent of the time the tailights do not come on, unless I turn on the lights switch.

So the issue is minor a this time, but fear it will become head banger in future.

Brights shut on and off ok, etc ok, just that those tail lights inconsistently come on or not, when engine is started maybe 5 - 10 seconds later.

A couple of times Ive had to turn them on when with the switch, but then they would not turn off, except when engine and key is off. I can live with that, as it is all good for saftey on the road.

Also looks like a new alternator was put on recently and Ive read these cars have laternator replaced more often.

If I start having serious issues I think I would like to bypass the daytime running lights module altoghter as that seems to be the main grounding or problems.

I did see someone says there is another grounding bar on firewall under dash somewhere, where wires are becoming overheated and this may go back to alternator problems also.

Going to do more research and have joined Edmunds forurm with no replys yet. Thx again, BL6
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