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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- Headlights have failed me
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Headlights have failed me
Bug, Baja, Thing and Buggies. Most every thing that will not fit any any other area. See list of other Forums for better topic placement...Volkswagen General Discussion
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ditch68
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Post Post subject: Headlights have failed me
Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 05:17 AM
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I installed a second set of aftermarket running/turn/brake lights, and have been driving with them daily for many days.

Well, I take my first night trip of 3 blocks, and I blow 2 fuses, lose headlights and turn signals/brake lights. I pull over, replace both fuses, and well....no headlights or running lights. I have turn and brake lights now, but no headlights or tails.

Did I smoke a relay or something? How can I test that? The wiring harness is largely modified by a previous owner. But everything worked up till now.

I find it hard to believe 2 little tail lights added would overload that circuit so much as to smoke everything at once.

I have not found any obvious bad grounds or bad insulation, etc., and all the fuses (both fuse blocks, dash and underhood) are good. There is also an inline fuse on the battery accesory wire, but it is good.

Poo.

Jeff


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57baja
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Post Post subject: Re: Headlights have failed me
Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 08:08 AM
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What size are the fuses you're blowing? Maybe the addition of the extra lights would cause an excessive amount of amperage on the circuit. Remove the lights you added and run an amp-draw test. Check it against your fuse. Add one light and run it again. Add the other one and run it again. This should tell you a bunch.

Another thing that I find QUITE OFTEN, in fact I found it today on a vehicle I was working on: The #1157 (dual filament) bulb was installed backward in the socket, causing big problems in the running light and brake circuit. Don't ask me how, but this happens a bunch. I've also seen quite a few #1141 (single filament) bulbs installed in dual filament sockets (and vice-versa) which will drive you a bit crazy. Check those things out real quick.

Another thing that you might find relevant that you might not have thought of.... Ohm's Law: If the voltage drops on a circuit, the amperage goes up. Say your circuit has a 15 amp fuse and it is using 14 amps at 13 volts (engine running). That means your circuit is using 182 watts of power (14amps x 13volts = 182watts)

When you start your car, the starter is drawing a ton of power from your batteries, which causes your voltage to drop to, say 9 volts. That same 14 amps that it was using before now turns into 20.22 amps, since the wattage will always remain more or less the same!!!
(20.22amps x 9volts = 182 watts)

I didn't lose anyone did I?


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57baja
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Post Post subject: Re: Headlights have failed me
Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 08:10 AM
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POW! That 15 amp fuse is toast now with a 20.22 amp load.

... Just a thought ...


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chrispy56
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Post Post subject: Re: Headlights have failed me
Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 12:06 AM
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If they have been working fine for several days you may need to think what you might have done differently that night? I think if it were over loaded that the fuse would have blown the first time, not days later. doesn’t make sense….?? check to see if there are other resistors (anything that drops voltage including corroded wires) in the circuit. Or a possible short to ground?????????????? The problem with electricity is that you cant see it. Multi-meters are great tools, they let you see whats going on.

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ditch68
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Post Post subject: Re: Headlights have failed me
Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 02:07 AM
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Great info, both of you. Thanks.

However, I have found the problem - it appears there is a bayonet fuse sticking out the side of my headlight switch, which was of course blown.

Well, I'll be dipped in....well, you know. I did not know there were headlight switches with external fuses. It was hidden behind the wiper bracket.

There was a bare wire slightly rubbing at the headlight bucket, which I am sure caused the short and fuse explosion!


I am a mechanic....but I HATE wiring. Give me a complex mechanical system any day. Wires are instruments of VOODOO.

Jeff


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Beer is NOT AN OPTION....

(meaning not optional)

1961 Baja www.azbaja.com/ForumsP...=3203.html
1600 DP, IRS, LP... and lots of spray paint.
1971 Type 3 Squareback FI/AT
1988 Porsche 924S (Yes, it's a Porsche engine)

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Athlon64
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Post Post subject: Headlights have failed me
Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 03:16 PM
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Well I don't know about VWs but the american car headlight swiches have built in circit breakers right in the swich so they will cycle on and off if a problem arises. Seems the americans are conserned about them working for safety reasions?


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