Headlights and tailights do not turn on after engine repair

1998 Honda CRV

Had my engine repaired…Everything seems to work but discovered my headlights and taillights won’t turn on. The signal lights work fine.

The mechanic says the lights are not burnt out … so the light switch must be damaged. He did not mention any fuses or other causes. So I buy another light switch (the light switch/signal light combination stick on left side of the steering column) and install it but they still don’t work. It seems really unlikely that all 4 fuses (2 x each head lights + 2 x each taillights) would blow all at the same time.

What could be causing this? It seems really simple like they forgot to connect some wiring harness somewhere but the mechanic didn’t mention it the first time I took it in for the problem.

What repairs were done before you noticed that the lights don’t work.

Something may have been shorted out when those repairs were done. Or as simple as a wiring harness not plugged back in. There also may be a fusible link involved in the wiring, but you’d have to refer to a wiring diagram that I don’t have.

I’d also think about finding another mechanic, if that’s the extent of his diagnostic’s skills, ie; “there’s no lightbulbs burned out, must be the switch”.
Unless you just stopped by out of the blue and he said that along with, “bring it back in another day and I’ll find the problem”.


Maybe your mechanic didn’t reattach the ground strap? I agree with @Yosemite, your mechanic lacks a bit in the diagnostic department. Do the basics. You need power and ground to light a bulb. What is the common point between these circuits other than the switch? Power? Grounds? Relay? Fuse? Fusible link? Work it back from the lights to the switch with an eye to the area in which the mechanic was working. Somewhere there is a point of failure. Maybe the mechanic caused it, maybe he didn’t. Impossible to tell until you find the problem and even then may be tough.