Low Beams Will Not Work, High Beams work fine

Hey all,
1997 Chevrolet Lumina 164K
I am just absolutely lost at this point and need to get this issue fixed by Monday morning.
A week ago my driver side low beam went out, maybe 4 days later the passenger side low beam went out also. I stopped and grabbed some new bulbs and when I went to replace them notice a huge amount of dieletic grease buildup in the sockets. I tried the bulbs but they didn’t work so I figured the sockets were shot. I replaced the sockets and am still not having any success. So to summarize new bulbs, new sockets, fuses are all fine, and my high beams still work. Any idea what my next step is here? Thanks!

What I’d do if I had this problem, after checking the fuses, is measure the voltage with a dvm at the pins on the socket, see if juice is getting to the right pins with the hi beams selected. If no juice was detected at the socket, I’d trace the harness until I found out where the juice is getting cut off.

The only other thing I can think of that might help you is there is often a relay used for the headlights. Not on every car, but many cars. My Corolla for example uses a headlight relay. Those can go bad. That’s something an auto-electric shop or an inde mechanics shop could easily test for you.

Do you have a voltmeter to see if power is getting to the sockets? If it is, you’ve got a ground problem. A ground problem is confirmed by checking voltage from the (+) battery post to the ground pin in the sockets.

If I HAD to have 'em working by Monday (and since you’ve already been cutting and splicing the wires), I’d go to an auto store, buy a bunch of 14GA wire, a 20A fuse holder and fuse, and a switch and wire those suckers directly to the battery.

With all due respect, I’d advise against any electrical modifications

Either get yourself a voltmeter or test light, diagnose and repair it yourself . . . or bring it to a shop for a proper diagnosis and repair

I’ve seen many problems caused by electrical modifications, by guys who didn’t really understand what they were doing

I don’t know if this guy knows cars and electricity very well, but if he doesn’t, don’t mess around

First step should have been to verify that voltage is available to power the lights on before heading to the parts bin.

A test light is dirt cheap and should answer that question in seconds.

Get a volt meter and start checking from the bulbs back to the fuse box to see if you have 12 vdc. Or start at the fuse box and work to the light, but the only way to find the problem is to check each connection. It is a PITA but you will find the problem that way. I had a similar problem and found the wire in the fuse box had pulled away from the terminal, was probably crimped to tightly when it was made and eventually gave way. If you do not have a meter, or are unfamiliar with car electrical systems, find a local shop to handle this.

I’ll just add this that the fuse should be a circuit breaker so it will trip and then come back on again when it cools off. So if you checked the circuit breaker and that was ok, fine. Also there is a relay in that circuit also that could be bad. You can swap out another relay with the same part number on it to see. Use a relay for something not important right now. Also the low and high beams are on separate circuits. When my low beams would shut off while driving, I just quickly switched to high beam instead of driving in the dark. For me it was a faulty twilight sentinel that I just pulled the fuse on. So yeah, bad breaker, switch, relay, ground, or other wiring issue.

Not much but a switch, circuit breaker & ground.

Dimmer switch ?
( Hiding in the column activated when you pull the lever. )

BUT, why would the low beams fail 4 days apart??


This is a dumb circuit. No modules involved.

I would look at the splice where the single wire from the dimmer switch goes into two wires to each low beam.