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CarJunky AutoAdvice

No Headlights

Showing 3 out of 3 Posts
Question From Edfireball on No Headlights

95 Suzuki Swift (same as Geo Metro) headlights flickered and went out. Came on again later, but don't come on now. Daylight running lights work. Neither high or low beams work. High beams do come on when flashed on turn signal. Relay #1 energizes marker lights. I can feel relay #2 energizing, but no headlights. Swapped #1 and #2 relays with no change. Chilton manual shows drl control module, but where is it? and does this seem like the next step?

Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!

Response From steve01832

You may want to check the headlight switch. The DRL relay is pulled in when the ignition is turned to on. The headlight relay is pulled in by the headlight switch. If the headlights work on flash to pass that rules out lamps, fuses and wiring on the headlight side. Sounds like you lost the relay control which is the headlight switch itself.

Steve

Response From Edfireball Top Rated Answer

Thanks for the help Steve. I actually tested the headlight relay and it is energizing and closing. The crude wire diagram that I have leads me to believe the "hi-low" switch is bad. I do have ground going through the relay. I guess that means pulling the steering wheel and light switch.

Thanks again
Ed

Dash Lights Problem

Showing 8 out of 12 Posts | Show 4 Hidden Posts
Question From RyanV on Dash Lights Problem

Hello,
I got such great help with my stereo in the stereo forum, so I thought I would post about my dash lights here. I have a 1997 Geo Metro 4 cyl. hatchback. The kid who owned it before me put in a stereo, and he did not know what he was doing, and apparently he caused some electrical problems. When I bought it, the tail lights and the dash (instrument panel) lights were not working. The turn signal indicators worked (and still do) and check engine light and so on, but not the lights that light up the spedometer. I checked the fuses right after I bought it, and there were a few blown out. So I changed those out, and the dash lights came on, as well as the tail lights, and that helped me get home, but then they would go out if I hit a bump in the road, and by the time I got home they were out for good. Changing the fuses after that has not helped, and the fuses seem to be fine.

Anyway, I rewired the stereo, and now the tail lights work, but the dash lights still do not work. The radio works great now. I checked the fuses, and they seem to be fine. I bought a circuit checker thingy with a light that lights up in the handle (in order to check the wires in the radio, which were fine), and I checked the wire connector going to the dimmer adjuster dial switch thingy to adjust the brightness of the dash lights, and I got no light coming on. Perhaps I did it wrong. I clamped one side of the circuit checker to a hunk of metal and used the needle-tip awl thingy to touch inside the connector in all three ports, but no light came on. So anyway, does anyone know what could be the problem?

Thanks,
Ryan

Response From Sidom

Yea there is a couple of pretty sharp guys over in that section, Jk306 is one of them. Problem being Tom pretty much keeps em locked up over there with his darn "attack cat" so we'll have to try to muddle thru here on our own.....

We really need to look at a wiring diagram, I'll try to see if I can't find one.

Most dimmers are basically an adjustable resistor of some sort that lower the power source to dim the lights depending on how many wires goes into yours will determine if it has it's own power source but one wire should have power on it. The feed from the rest of the lights.

On thing you can check is to see if the dimmer works on any other lights inside other than the dash. Usually it will control the lights in the switches and other stuff. If it's controlling other lights then you are going to have to focus on the leg that feeds the instrument cluster.

From what you've posted it really sounds like you have a short somewhere, it was working, you hit a bump and it went from an intermittent to a hard short. Some of those can be a PITA to trace down but depending on what you got, we'll see what we can do. There are a few guys here that are pretty good at tracing that down....

In case someone has a diagram you may want to also post the engine size.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Oh come on Sidom! Kitty is harmless little thing..........



Just don't come home with the wrong "Kitty" food and she's fine,

T

Response From Sidom


Response From RyanV

Okay, so the engine is a 1.3 liter Suzuki, 4 cyl., even though the car is a Geo Metro. I think the Geo Metro was based off of a Suzuki car or something like that. Anyway, when I turn the dimmer adjuster knob, the check engine light for instance does not change. There aren't a lot of other lights. I have to get a bulb for the dome light to see if it even works.

The wire connector that goes to the dimmer adjuster knob has three wires going to it.

Cheers,
Ryan

Response From Sidom

Ok.....We'll start backwards on this. Your switch has 3 wires, 2 are power & one ground. 1st thing to do is verify power on both connecters and make sure the ground is good. If that is the case the switch is bad. By the diagram you can see there is multiple legs going into the switch. If all lights work except the dash. The you will need to trace down the dash leg. If none of the wires have power. Then you have to go back to the gang connection (I can post the other diagram) or where the power comes out of the distribution center. Before you get to deep there is a light relay I would check before tearing things up.....

Grab your voltmeter or test light & have fun....

?t=1282191022

Response From RyanV

Okay. So I was trying to test the relays, but didn't really know how to test them. I tested the wires that they plug into in the engine compartment, and those tested good, they lit up the test bulb.

Also, I have had a turn signal problem at the same time, so I was trying to figure that out as well, and now I think they may be related. I had tried to test the turn signal socket with the bulb tester, and it didn't work before, but when I unscrewed the plastic case (which is broken) and let the wiring hang out, then it did light up the tester. So what I think I discovered is that because the case is broken it was holding the turn signal bulb socket at an angle, and it made a short, or grounded out on some metal. So I disconnected the turn signal socket, and I am going to get a new one with the plastic case at a junkyard.

However, I was hoping that after I disconnected the turn signal bulb socket that the dash lights would work (thinking they might be connected), but still nothing. But, I did check the wires that go to the dimmer adjuster again, and now they work and they light up the test bulb (presumably they work because I got rid of the short in the turn signal bulb socket?).

So, could the short have burnt out the dimmer switch or a relay somewhere? And, how would I test these? It seems that the wiring is good as far as I can tell.

Cheers

Response From Sidom

Ground the red/green wire (not the red/yellow) and see if the dash lights come on. If the do you either have a bad dimmer switch or ground. To check the ground hook your test light on the pos batt term & probe the ground wire (black), the test light should light up if the ground is good......

When you say "they", I'm assuming both the red/green & red/yellow wires have power.....

Response From RyanV

okay, so I think I tested them the way you explained. I clamped one end of the test light to some metal, and I used the pointer to touch the wire connector that goes into the dimmer switch. I put it in both the power wires, and the bulb lit up with both, but the dash lights did not come on (I did this at night to make sure I could see them if they came on - i also made sure the car was running and the headlights were turned on). I haven't checked the ground yet, as I am not sure which ground wire it would be.

Please let me know if I did the test wrong, and if not, let me know what you think the problem could be. I appreciate your help.
Cheers

Response From Sidom

Well you did pretty good but missed a couple of points.....

Real quick & I try to keep it short so it doesn't get confusing. There are 2 types of basic circuits. Series & parallel. Series is hooked together all the way down the line. It's like the old Xmas lights, one goes out & they all go out. Parallel shares a common power & ground but has it's own leg so if one leg goes out the rest of the circuit isn't affect & keeps working..

About 98% of all automotive circuits are parallel. This one here is a perfect example of a parallel circuit. Each leg of this circuit has one load on it. Think of a load as a pig that eats 100% of the power for that circuit. When the circuit is working properly, the load uses all the voltage and there is no voltage on the ground side. When you have an open circuit the load turns into a switch and passes the voltage on thru, using none of. In an open circuit you will be able to measure voltage right down to the open spot, WHEREEVER it is....

Ok knowing this, test the circuit again. Look at the wiring diagram. You will see 5 or 6 loads (I'm to lazy to scroll up) going into the dimmer. They all come together at on point & go into the dimmer..

The 1st test is, do all the legs work, some of them or none of them? Read the schematic and see all the different lights on that circuit. With the dimmer hooked back up, turn on the lights (we already know the dash lights don't work). Do any of lights on that circuit work & can be controlled with the dimmer? If they do, then that sux cuz it means the circuit, the dimmer & ground are good and you have a bad leg for the dash lights. That circuit will have to be isolated & tested.....A total PITA.

If none work, then that's good, you have already verified power on both wires but still need to check the ground. Take that end you put on bare metal & attach it to the battery positive. Then touch a bunch of ground stuff, engine block, fender, anything metal. Each time the light should light up. Now touch the ground wire for the dimmer switch. It should also light up. If it doesn't then you have a bad ground. If it does then it's really looks like you have a bad dimmer switch. But just to be sure there is one more test......

This is the part some guys have trouble with, running a wire with 12v on it, directly to ground, you can't use a test light because that won't ground the circuit. You now know if there there is load up stream with an open circuit the ground wire will measure 12v and that is what you are getting, so grounding that wire will just complete the circuit.
Now this is very important you ground the correct wire. The power wires have different color tracers to identify them, I can't see the diagram right now but believe it was a red w/yellow tracer for the lights. I don't remember the power source for the dimmer...... Ground the power coming from the lights directly and all the lights should come on.... If by chance you ground the power source wire for the dimmer switch ( which has no upstream load, the dimmer is the load) then your new name is going to be Sparky or Smokey because you will fry something......

If you aren't totally sure, then don't ground the wire (this is where a power probe comes in handy).

So in a nutshell....

1st hook the switch back up and see if ANY of the lights work.

2nd test the ground with a test light off the pos bat term

3rd ground the light circuit in front of the dimmer to see if the lights come on (ONLY IF 100% POSITIVE OF CORRECT WIRE)

UPDATE......

Red/green is the wire coming from the lights
Red/yellow is the power source for the dimmer-----DO NOT GROUND THIS WIRE........

Response From RyanV

Thanks a lot for your help. I did the two easier tests and discovered that everything was fine, so I am assuming it is probably the dimmer adjuster switch. I looked into buying one, but it was too expensive, so I am just going to get a small battery powered light to put in the dash for now.

Thanks again,
Ryan

Response From Sidom Top Rated Answer

If you ground the red/green wire going into the dimmer switch, do the dash lights come on?

If so and is was mine, I would be tempted to run that wire to ground with a toggle switch in line. It would be full bright with no dimmer control but you could always switch if off if need be.....

Head Lights not coming on

Showing 2 out of 7 Posts | Show 5 Hidden Posts
Question From 1994lhs on Head Lights not coming on

About year ago my head lights would work just fine. Id drive and they would go out, and id pull over turn off engine and turn back on and they be back.

Well they finally stopped coming on, just my running lights come on and my amber turn signal lights are on when i turn the switch to on. No head light or fog lights come on. Only way i can drive is hold back my hi beam lever to have light at night. Even the Hi beam level wont stay on, i pull that back, you hear the click and it wont stay. I had to readjust the level of the headlights so their on the road and not ppls eyes.

Today I decided to give another stab at it and replaced the Headlamp delay/relay in the fuse box. and to no surprise nothing but a $11 waste.

My next move is to just buy a HID kit and hard wire it all to a switch in my dash if i cant fidn whats bad.

Any Ideas

Response From Hammer Time Top Rated Answer

Are we working on a Maserati or a Geo?

Response From 1994lhs

Figured my username would of given it away.

1994 chrysler lhs

Response From Hammer Time

Why would you think that? Don't expect us to play guessing games. We have people with mustang user names asking about Chevy pickups and all other kinds of unrelated user names.

You could have a bad dimmer switch but it needs to be troubleshooted with a wiring diagram to be sure.

Response From nickwarner

When you changed the relay, I'm guessing you didn't test it beforehand to see if it was functioning or to see if it had power to it or the control side was receiving power and ground when energized. These simple tests will narrow down rather quickly what the fault is and is a hell of a lot cheaper to buy than an HID kit. Quite frankly, if you don't know how to do such simple tests you aren't likely up to the task of properly installing an HID kit either. We can talk you through the tests to isolate the issue if you would like, and the tools required are inexpensive.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

A maybe is the lights share one common ground that's bad. If you could catch this when they don't work you could check that clearly but if they are working no testing is going to help much,

T

Response From 1994lhs

They dont come on at all now. Just the Daytime running lights on at all times and my amber turning lights come on.

I was thnking like stated of getting HID kit install that with a bypass relay harness to a switch under my dash