Greetings and thank you for looking at my post,
I have an 87 Buick Skyhawk, 2.0 VIN: K. 87,xxx miles.
This evening I was leaving work and went to turn my headlights on, and they are now suddenly powering my left turn signal dimly (it is not flashing though, but the indicator on the dash comes on) as well as my washer fluid pump (IE it's spraying fluid onto my windshield, but with low wattage seemingly as it doesn't travel very far).
If I turn my left turn signal on with my headlights on, my left headlight will flicker along with my turn signal, but not the right. This flickering and all issues stated above applied to both low and high beams.
None of this applies though if i just have the running lights on; everything works fine until the headlights come on...
Does anyone have any idea on what to do? or where to start? I am rather handy when it comes to mechanical things, but as for wiring diagnosis I am not the greatest.
It did recently rain a LOT, as well as just before I left work. I'd imagine this has something to do with it...but this is my daily driver, and I need it running with headlights preferably as I usually get out when it's dark out.
Bad ground in the front harness. My 03 sunfire didnt have the ground hooked up and i had a stuck turn signal and my wipers themselves didnt work and all sorts of weir d things.
Do you know where the front harness is on this vehicle by chance?
More specifically, the ground...
I'm probably the last person on the board you want advice from, but if nobody else posts before you're ready to mess with it, I think the main ground is under the battery tray. I'd also check your battery connection.
I will not go as far as not to say possibly the ground from the under tray (below the battery) to the block but?I seriously doubt this as you said the left turn with the headlights on.I am betting strong you need to replace the turn signal assembly under the steering wheel itself.It has contacts on the part that operate the signals/hazards and the power to a degree ties into the lighting system itself.You do have to pull the steering wheel off (use a puller to do this) easy it is and the part itself is dirt cheap! I will try a pop a pic after this post to show the item I WOULD replace as these do wear out and cause rapid signals,no signal,signal stuck on,signal light weak even turned off.Most auto stores carry these in the HELP section close to the parts like tools OR paint area depending the stores layout.In short the contacts wear out or the housing being plastic cracks and creates a grounding effect and can make the lights in general do stupid stuff.I know auto zone has there HELP parts in there paint product area (advance auto has this section in there auto bulb/electrical wire area) or close too same aisle.Let me get that pic now.R
I had a disconnected ground to the block from the battery tray (from work i had been doing) and it did all kinds of wierd things. The most fun was that every headlight switch function and wiper function would activate the unlock to the drivers door, and ONLY the drivers door.
LOL I hate electronic stuff when it acts up.
I hope its just a ground, cause thats cheap and easy.
"A car just isn't a car without a little blood, sweat, and beers." -- Shadowfire
I have checked every ground BUT the one under the battery so far and all seem okay... out of my frustration last night I disconnected the battery and let it sit overnight. This morning after letting it dry out for a bit, I connected the battery and the headlights seem back to normal. I flicked them on and off several times, and everything seems to function fine..?
I don't trust it though. Did the rain affect a ground somehow? Could it? The car does not have a splash guard underneath and I imagine that doesn't help with water in the engine bay.
I will check the ground under the battery tomorrow morning. For now though, it's *seemingly* back to normal..
As for the turn signal assembly getting replaced; in the cold cooold days of winter, my wipers would sometimes go off once if i hit my turn signal lever when it was cold, but once warmed up all was fine. I'm curious if this is related to it.
Thank you everyone for the quick responses!
I'm at least going to check the ground underneath the battery tomorrow, and I want to fabricate a splash guard of some sort to keep water out as that is the only factor causing problems.
I thought on this some today.I just had a 13 hour day so let me do some double checking via my books and shop manual to verify my thoughts like tues(taking a vac day) and will research to see otherwise.I doubt blocking water would really be the issue personally.My cav is exposed in certain spots but in the day of daily driving regardless of the weather it was a ok.I am mega tired and will do a follow up when not so drained.
Yeah, weather can be a factor.
My Hawk's dashboard goes nuts in the colder weather, gauges doing what they want, sometimes dancing with the blink of the turn signal, but in nicer weather it usually doesn't happen at all.
Your bad ground could be affected by the weather, especially a change in temperature. I had a strange problem with my 97 Grand Am and couldn't figure out forever why it kept killing batteries and many times wouldn't start for me.
Turned out it was the negative terminal bolt. The bolt was just stripped enough that it would go loose when it warmed up, but stay tight when cold. So when warm, it would be loose enough that the alternator wouldn't recharge the battery.
Biggest pain in the rear end for me n my 84 skyhawk has been the alternator. If the battery and alternator is out of sync, for ex. Bad battery will screw up the alternator and vice versa. Also check the tension in the alt belt as it my come loose over time and may just need to be tightened. The turn signals staying on but not flashing is a dead indicator of not having enough juice in the system. P.s. The headlights really put a draw on the electrical system. My advice would be to test both and when you do get a new battery. Get the highest amp battery your car can handle without frying it. That problem had plauged me since day one. I replaced both and went with a beefier battery and she hasn't died on me yet.