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Headlights 'Blink' out for a slit second

 
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Frank3
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject:  Headlights 'Blink' out for a slit second Reply with quote

I have a weird problem with my 2001 Impala. When driving along at night, it seems that the headlights 'blink' out, then come back on. It is only momentary and seems to happen after a bump in the road. I have often asked others in the car if they saw the headlights sort of blink out or if it was just me. I am afraid of loosing the headlights permanently. I have been to the deal several times on this, and they applied Service Bulletin 01-06-03-005 to replace the voltage regulator grounding screw, but it still seems to happen. Any ideas?
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Frank
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I would check all your grounds and connections...the only thing that I can think of is a loose wire somewhere that is either opening or shorting when you hit bumps, or possibly a weak spring in the headlight relay...

Either that, or you may have a bad multifunction switch, but that would be the most expensive and pain in the butt thing to replace. Smile

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skater
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Or a bad headlight switch.

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Frank3
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:06 am    Post subject:  Throwing Parts at it Reply with quote

Is there any way to isolate what may be causing the problem like as in a votage monitor to trace back where the problem originates? While I do want to fix it, I don't want to replace averyting if I don't have to.
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skater
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:20 am    Post subject:  Re: Throwing Parts at it Reply with quote

Frank3 wrote:
Is there any way to isolate what may be causing the problem like as in a votage monitor to trace back where the problem originates? While I do want to fix it, I don't want to replace averyting if I don't have to.


Tracing it is going to be difficult - if it's as fast as you describe, a multimeter might not even pick it up. And if it only happens while you're moving, not sitting still, it's even harder.

Does the problem seem to be getting worse? Also, have you noticed if the dash illumination is doing the same thing? Finally, do you use the automatic headlights? Or do you have it set so you have to pull the headlight switch on?

My Cougar did this on a trip once. I looked and looked to see if I could find the answer, but I never was able to figure it out, and it stopped doing it. I assume I just hit a 'weak' spot in the headlight switch that caused it.

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Frank3
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject:  Flickering Headlights Reply with quote

Skater, the problem seems to be marginally getting worse. I use the automatic headlight control. The dash lights seem to be rock-steady with no flickering at all. My Tahoe's dash lights flicker and I was able to trace that to the illumination level control. I am just worried about loosing the headlights altogether one night while driving. (Could be a good excuse to tell the wife to get a pair of night vision goggles just in case Smile ) I suppose I could start by reseating the fuses. How does DRL come into play for all this?
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Frank
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:10 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

NVGs would work great until she has oncoming traffic that is using their headlights. Wink Plus, there's very little depth perception.

I doubt your DRLs would be flickering. They run off the high beams for 00-04.

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skater
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Sorry, but I don't think I'm going to be much more help on this one. I just don't know the wiring of the car well enough. And, knowing that the BCM might be involved... ugh. Good luck.

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Frank3
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject:  BCM Reply with quote

The flickering has been going on for some time. We just had the BCM replaced due to multiple DTC's and the service vehicle soon being displayed. The dealer was no help at all in this one except for "rearranging" the horn wiring and reseating the horn relay. The DTC's were for the horn, door locks and tire pressure monitor. I got the codes off of the repair order where they told me they reseated the horn relay and rearranged the horn wiring. I went back after looking up the codes and told them the only thing common with all of them was the BCM. As a matter of fact it would throw the codes and the light only when locking the car, when it would activate the locks and chirp the horn. Since it is still flickering after the new BCM, I assume that the BCM isn't the cause.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Is it both left and right headlights at the same time?

Does it happen only when the low beams are on, or does it do it when the highbeams are on as well?

BBEngineer

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Frank3
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:38 pm    Post subject:  Blinking headlights.... Reply with quote

BBEngineer, it seems to be both headlights, and i have seen it happen on low beam as well as high beam. Like I said, I and worried of the time when I am going along at night when they don't come back.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:47 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

The only things common between left & right, high & low beam is the grounding point, the headlamp relay and the multifuction swtich

I doubt it's the grounding point since it is shared with a ton of other systems

I would start with the cheapest/easiest... swap the headlight relay...

If it still does it, I would suspect the Multifunction switch

BBEngineer

PS: One other thing to try would be to turn on the headlights with the switch (instead of letting the ALC do it) and report back the results

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Frank3
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject:  Possibly the Automatic Headlights Reply with quote

The other night I was driving home when the headlights blinked out again right after going over a bridge expansion joint on the interstate. I then remembered to turn them on manually. They did not blink the rest of my trip. However I cannot be certain that they would have blinked the rest of my trip on automatic. I will be running them when I can on manual to further the test. If the automatic control turns out to be involved. What components make up the automatic control? I assume the BCM, which I already had replaced for another problem. Light sensor?
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