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New Geo owner, can't drive it at night.
Topic Started: Jun 21 2018, 11:05 AM (364 Views)
seattle smitty
New Member
[ *  * ]
Just wrote out my story in the Introductions section, under "Bought a beater."

The first day I had this poor neglected little heap, I was driving it home as it started to get dark. I had already checked out all the lights, signals, et al, and all seemed fine. But, now with the headlights on, I switched to high beams. They worked as when I had tested them, but only for about one second. Then they went dim, dim on either high or low beam, AND the dash lights went dim at the same time (should be a clue for some smart guy here). The lights are now WAAY too dim for night driving, a serious limitation.

Any ideas where to look?
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Mrbreeze


Can you determine that your alternator is charging, a simple meter test across the post of the battery while the car is idling?
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seattle smitty
New Member
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I'm not where I can check it now, but the alternator is evidently keeping the battery up.
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ptcapboy


don't know bout the 90 but my 95 has a fuse for each headlight in the fusebox under the dashboard-may want to take a look-
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geogonfa
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Check the ground wires at the front corner of each side inner fender well near the upper radiator support
and the one behind the left front kick panel for starters...
Then check for a hot/burnt wire/connector at the headlamp wiring harness at the fuse box...
good info here:
http://geometroforum.com/topic/2575236/1/
Edited by geogonfa, Jun 21 2018, 02:53 PM.
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nwgeo


:gp

yep, and the fuse block is under the steering wheel under to the left.
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t3ragtop
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Turbo3 and Twincam Tweaker

replace the headlight lamps, too, after you fix the electrical issue as the filaments in the lamps are most probably crystallized at this point and will fail soon after they get back to full voltage. ;)

it's better to know this than to lose the headlights when you need them.
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Dystopiate666
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Tree Banger

geogonfa
Jun 21 2018, 02:50 PM
Check the ground wires at the front corner of each side inner fender well near the upper radiator support
and the one behind the left front kick panel for starters...
Then check for a hot/burnt wire/connector at the headlamp wiring harness at the fuse box...
good info here:
http://geometroforum.com/topic/2575236/1/
I think youll find a burnt pin in the connector on the fuse panel as well. Very common, happened on both mine and on the 94 the dimmer switch definitely affected it, I would lose all lights and lower wiper setting (?) when trying to use brights or at other random times.....I tried the fix on the post on my 94, and it didn't seem to work, but just getting in there and cleaning things up and bending them around to make contact has gotten me by for the last six months or so with no problems.
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seattle smitty
New Member
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Don't see how a blown fuse could make lights go dim. However, pulling the fuses a few times each does clean up the contact areas, a good thing. Similarly, checking (and refreshing) ground connections is always a smart thing to do on any old car, but again I don't see how a ground could go bad in an instant. A bad or burned connector just sounds more likely given what happened. FINALLY this weekend I'll get a chance to do some fixing on this car!!!! Thanks much for the responses and ideas, esp. that link, geogonfa.
Edited by seattle smitty, Jun 22 2018, 11:52 AM.
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ptcapboy


while you are pulling those fuses in and out to clean the contacts I hope you are looking at the metal strip inside because it is possible for a blown fuse to make a headlight look dim-that is caused by residual electricity traveling through the wires-if you have an owner's manual you may want to see what fuses you have-
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nwgeo


The lights in the geos use a weird ground path, you get dim lights due to if the proper ground or power path gets obstructed then the it grounds in another location through a higher resistant path.

Many folks here have had that problem including yours truly and the problem was fixed with proper grounds and fixing the wire problems at the fuse block under the steering column. Best of luck.

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solerpower
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For 89 to 94 the switch provides the ground. On my purple 92 it is the combo switch plug into the fuse link. The end is fried. In an emergency pinch you can always ground it straight at the left head light to the ground on the fender right next to the battery. Of the three prongs you leave power in alone, and the high beam ground. Hook a ground into the connector so it still can be easily removed to shut it off. This will turn on both head lamps in an emergency.
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seattle smitty
New Member
[ *  * ]
Finally got a couple of hours to work on this thing. Replaced the little poly-vee belt that drives alternator and water pump. The old one had long been doused with oil coming out the crank and probably cam seals while the PCV system was plugged up (which had lead to a major oil fart; story is elsewhere). Cleaned the oil off the general area; will see if the seepage rate has changed. I didn't have time to replace the seals.

Then to the headlights. Got down on a kneeling pad and twisting my old, achy, protesting bod to where I could sort of get at the fuseblock. Took out the two screws that let it drop down . . . a little. Not much, because like all modern cars (by my definition, any car newer than early '80s), where one or two wire bundles would have handled all the chores previously, now there are so many stupid buzzers and lights and safety interlocks and other modern garbage that there are half a dozen wire bundles, minimum. I hate modern!! Who but an idiot needs a light to tell them when to upshift?!!

To drop the fuse block some more so I could do something with it, I started pulling out wire bundle connectors. Or trying to. Those bleeping plastic plugs are great for assembling the car fast at the factory, and a total pain from then on. The little lock tabs rarely release with only thumb pressure, so you end up trying to hold them open with something like a jeweler's screwdriver while twisting and prying and otherwise trying to get the plug itself to release. On cars I keep, I always break off the lock tabs, and have never had a plug come loose (they usually are still a fight to get apart).

Having spent waaay too much time getting off the four or five connectors off the right side of the fuse block, I worked out all the fuses, looked at the holes they came out of as best I could, and put 'em back. Took all the connectors off the left side and looked. At this point I wanted to pull the connectors off the back, which is where you guys have told me I would be likely to find a burned terminal, figuring I would just splice a jump-wire in to bypass it. But I was so tired of fighting with connectors, and was running out of time, that I gave up and bolted the fuseblock back in place (a real fight itself because the brass reciever on the left side was coming loose). By the end of this, I'm hating the car, modern life, old age, the hot day, you name it!!!!

If that weren't enough, NOW the left turn signal no longer works, and just sets off a buzzing behind the instrument cluster. Oh, man!!! I would've been better off never to have tried.

BTW, there was some kind of hose, vacuum hose I imagine, hanging down behind the left edge of the fuse block. Has a hose fitting in the end like it had been detached from another hose that maybe would run across behind and below the dash, though I couldn't spot a dangling hose. Behind that hose fitting, the hose is clear and appears to have some sort of metal spring inside it. Any ideas??





Edited by seattle smitty, Jul 12 2018, 11:50 AM.
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92blumetro
jack of all trades, master of two

the hose you describe is for the rear wiper sprayer nozzle. lots of cars have that hose,but no rear wiper/sprayer/pump
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Metromightymouse
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Powdercoat Wizard

Pull the driver's seat out before you try again and fill the cavities with pillows or other padded items. It's much easier to work under the cash laying down with your test upon the back seat.
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