Need help understanding mechanical work being done

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. My car is at the mechanic and they’re replacing some of the re-wiring system to the rear lights. It’s a 1997 Saturn. Can anyone recommend a good website for me to learn what’s going on?

Is this a double post?

No, it’s at least a quintuple post.

and would have been a single post if someone had taken 20 seconds to answer “don’t know but good luck” or “do a google search on ‘saturn wiring’”.

And, the OP began multiple postings within less than an hour of the first post. Just imagine how much bandwidth this impatient person is using up because of his/her impatience with getting free advice about a car issue that is…let’s just say…not one of pressing importance, as compared to many others.


You want something about electrical wiring. has some tutorials. You can get basic information about automobile wiring at You can get Haynes Automotive Electrical Manual at an auto parts store. Visit your public library.
The rewiring of the rear exterior lights isn’t complex. The hardest part is actually finding the particular wiring.

Nobody was suggesting anything other than perhaps a bit more patience–and maybe a bit less caffeine.


we could continue this back-and-forth but let’s not. it may not be of pressing importance to you, but today it cost me more than $200 to get this repaired. that’s why i was impatient; the car had already been taken to the shop.

and, for you and anyone else who complained about “the impatient quintuple-poster”, please see below for the perfectly reasonable, non-judgmental, informational answer i was looking for all long.


It’s not exactly quantum physics. The mechanic either found bad wiring or guessed that you had bad wiring and is changing your money for good wires. I can’t remember what the problem was. Wasn’t there one? If the problem gets solved, it will be worth it. If not, you got cheated by guesswork. You could talk to the mechanic. He might only hurt you a little. You would have to pay me more than $200 to get me to change those wires. That’s in addition to my regular pay. That is; if I ever work again! No way I can see.

What was the problem with the rear lights? What was they doing or not doing?

Well, other people may be spending two grand today and they don’t post 5 times. I think it was 4, actually. It seems a little selfish, to be frank, but I suppose there’re no forum rules against it. It’s just that if everyone who was impatient posted 4 times in one day, I mean, gee, this forum would be one confusing mess.

I see nothing in your posts indicating you needed the info ASAP. If you’d have originally posted what you just said in your above post about needing the info by the end of the day you probably would have gotten a better response.

In responding to Ed Cadalzo (post 1-18-08; 3:05:53 PM); you sounded awfully sarcastic. I think his question meant, What reasons has the mechanic given for replacing the wiring? You didn’t try to “meet him half way”, which would seem to undercut your contention that you were kind of desperate for info.

Don’t take this question the wrong way. Are you under the impression we get paid for giving this advice? We’re just automotive enthusiasts who like to see if we can solve people’s problems over the net; not mindreaders. To be honest, your disposition seems like that of a customer in a restaurant who didn’t get proimpt service.

Multiple posts leading to much confusion and it’s still unclear to me what the exact symptoms were. How is anyone going to ever be able to determine what was needed or what was done considering the near total lack of info and the fact the car has now been repaired, which makes the whole thing a moot point anyway.

As far as I know, there is no website in the world that is ever going to be able to explain your specific problem to you. About all you’re going to find is something along the line of general electrical principles and schematics.

wow. i feel like Chris Mathews. first of all i heartily apologize for the mutliple posts. i hate car repair, no, it wasn’t earth-shattering to spend $240 yesterday, yes, it was selfish and i’m sorry.

i wish i could delete my previous posts (and tried).

i greatly appreciate all the information given and i have learned a lot. the autozone site was helpful many thanks to all!

the whole story: the left rear brake light was out and so was the license plate light. i needed them fixed for state inspection, for which i had been ticketed, so there was some urgency. i had been to this mechanic before but they had only done minor work. they checked the fuses and the connectors (didn’t know what that was). then they said they would have to re-do the wiring to the rear lights. they charged $25 for the 2 bulbs, $45 for wire and clamps, and 2 hours of labor @ 62.68.

I don’t know about the cost of materials; but, that two hours to get to, and replace, the wire harness is what I meant about a nuisance to get to. The trunk has to be emptied of stuff, the plactic panels and mats unclipped, and un-screwed, wire bundles unwrapped. Inside the car, the door sill plates have to be removed, the floor mat pulled back, wiring harnass opened, dash panels removed, more wiring harnass unwrapped…etc.

Yopu can try There are web sites for many specific vehicles.