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No Tail-light on GEO

I have two problems with my 1991 GEO Metro. There are no dash lights or tail lights/running lights. If needed I will do without dash lights, but I think the two problems are related. I have turn signals, flasher and brake lights. I’ve been told I need a new light switch. Sprayed tuner / contact cleaner and that didn’t help. Another person says a ground wire problem. Where is that located? This is what I noticed; Rear lights-One of these bulbs does double duty as a turn signal and driving light, the turn signal works. If it is a ground wire problem why is the turn signal working? Does this mean the light switch needs replaced?

Chintzy-D

Hmmm. Yeah you may need a new switch. First thing would be to check the fuse box to see if any fuses are blown. Then I would check or replace the bulbs themselves. There are two filaments in the bulbs acting like two different bulbs combined into one. One filament is for the tail light and the other brighter one is for the brake and signal light. On a car that has not been maintained real well, it is quite possible the lights are burned out. The is not just one ground wire but every circuit has a ground wire attached at some point to the chassis. You could test if it is a ground problem but temporarily connecting a wire from the ground side of the bulb, to the chassis sheet metal to see if that made any difference. Given though that you have two sets of lights on most likely several different circuits, with the switch being the common device, it is likely the switch would be the problem. I don’t think they are that expensive.

On many cars, including ones that I have owned, the tail lights and the dash lights are on the same circuit. The first place to look is the fuse panel for a burned out fuse. The double duty bulbs have two filaments, so they are actually two bulbs in one. The turning signals are on a separate fuse. At any rate, I think you either have a burned out fuse or as yu suggest, a defective switch.

Thanks for the info. I’ll replace the fuses tomorrow. I checked/looked at them and they looked fine, but we know fuses sometimes look fine when they are really burned out.