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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey, another problem!! i have an electrical switch in my pathfinder that apparently runs headlights, tailights, turn signals and park lights as well as the interior dash light for the speedo and tach and stuff. this blew on me at 200k, so i thought maybe it was just time for it to go... however i got a new one (cost of $180) installed by our local mechanic and just yesterday i turned my lights on and in about 4 minutes my cab was soo full of smoke i had to get out! thought the truck was on fire but it was just the brand new switch that went again. it keeps blowing the rh driving light fuse as well. anyone know what i should do about this???

now that it blew, i have only 1 headlight. when i turn my lights on i dont have rear taillights, in dash light, rh light, park lights etc. what i do have and only have is brake lights.
Any ideas? should i buy a new one and put it in myself without figuring the problem out or does someone out there know what the prob is?
thanks

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slightly modified pathfinder, still 235 tires soon to grow into 31's. Always remembering to KEEP THIS SIDE UP
 

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wiring problems are one of the worst automotive probs to diagnose. you probably have a short somewhere in your wiring and it could be anywhere in the truck. dont replace the switch until you find it. youll just keep having melt downs until your truck burns up. pull the switch out and look for burnt wires going into it.if you find one and you can deteremine where that wire goes, start there. do you have any aftermkt lites? if so check out there wiring very closely. look for spots where the wire is rubbing on sharp edges or where it goes thru the firewall. pull all the tailites and park lites out and inspect the bulbs very closely. ive seen bulbs have a meltdown inside the glass and cause all kinds of greif and yet they still looked ok. if it also blows the fuse( if it blew the fuse it shouldnt have melted the switch) you can replace the fuse with a low amp breaker fuse. this kicks the power on and off as the short heats the breaker up.you can use this to your advantage by installing all the lites an hooking everthing back up and turn on. the litesll kick on and off as the breaker overheats. watch your lites and look for the dim one and chances are that the short is in the wiring for that particular lite. always start at the end (lites) and work back to the switch. a bad ground can cause problems as can a bad connection.(low amps = high heat. bad connection = low amps.)there are many things to consider in diagnosing this.is the lite switch in the st column? if so pull the plastic covers and make sure the minimum wage earner that installed the swich didnt pinch a wire some where. if there are individuall fuses for the different lite systems in your truck, pull them all out. make sure they are the recomended amperage fuse, and replace them one at a time checking for probs. there are so many possibilities that it is nearly impossible to determine without having the truck. another way would be to unplugg the switch, and using a fused piece of wire apply + power to each terminal on the switch plug one at a time. then go around and check each lite system as you do this.dont forget about the dash lites. make note of any that are dim, or dont work, or blow the fuse, and start there. dont attempt any electrical repairs unless you are knowledgeable and have the propper tools. this could turn into disaster very quickly. if you have to take it to someone give them as much info as you possibly can about the short.when it happened ,any relative stuff like i just had a stereo installed or anything like that. bla bla bla . and remember that wiring shorts can be very difficult to find.
ps . there are tools to aid in such things. snap on makes a short finder. i have one but i seem to have better luck finding them the old fasioned way. anyways good luck. just speaking from my own experiences.

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if you cant lift it, slam it
 

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If youcan't get A wiring diagram, email me and I'll print you off one and send it to you.
I need to know year and prod date.


Steve


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88 Pathfinder,stock susp.30" tires still working on it
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ahh, this is why i love this board, everyones willing to help out and vica versa. 73f100 thank you very much for the great insight. i will go out and pull the cover off the column later on today and check all that wiring. with the fuse however, the smoke show started before the fuse blew, then once i shut the lights off the fuse blew then the smoke subsided. after this i put in another properly rated fuse (15 amp) and it blew as soon as it went in... i do have a few offroad lights hooked up but they are only wired from the battery to the switch inside(seperate from anything in the truck) and then to the lights. i never thought they would do anything with the headlight switch but i'll check.
Hey streestocker, i might need your wiring diagram as mine comes from an very, very complicated diagram but i will have to check on the production date for ya, thanks very much for the offer.
I'll start work today, if i find out what caused it i will post it here so hopefully you guys dont do wrong what i did wrong. thanks

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slightly modified pathfinder, still 235 tires soon to grow into 31's. Always remembering to KEEP THIS SIDE UP
 

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in that case the aftmkt lites shouldnt be a prob. if there was a smoke show going on then there will definately be a burnt wire or two. you need to find that wire and trace it to the source. i think the best way will be with a hot fused wire, touching each terminal in the plug one at a time. make a list of what each terminal does and by process of elimination you should be able to figure out which lite the burnt wire goes to. good luck
grant
Originally posted by Parnelli_001:
ahh, this is why i love this board, everyones willing to help out and vica versa. 73f100 thank you very much for the great insight. i will go out and pull the cover off the column later on today and check all that wiring. with the fuse however, the smoke show started before the fuse blew, then once i shut the lights off the fuse blew then the smoke subsided. after this i put in another properly rated fuse (15 amp) and it blew as soon as it went in... i do have a few offroad lights hooked up but they are only wired from the battery to the switch inside(seperate from anything in the truck) and then to the lights. i never thought they would do anything with the headlight switch but i'll check.
Hey streestocker, i might need your wiring diagram as mine comes from an very, very complicated diagram but i will have to check on the production date for ya, thanks very much for the offer.
I'll start work today, if i find out what caused it i will post it here so hopefully you guys dont do wrong what i did wrong. thanks

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if you cant lift it, slam it

[This message has been edited by 73 f100 (edited March 17, 2002).]
 
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what kind of truck is it? i have heard about a problem like that in s 10-15 blazers the wire for the tail lights is run under the carpet vinel floor under your feet on the drivers side and causes a short maybee somthing to check if its a gm
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah i have an 89 pathfinder but i can still check on the taillight wire. i think i will have to stick with 73f100's suggestion though. sounds like a good way of eliminating options. what gets me is that the right hand driving/highbeam light constantly blows its fuse. ive checked and rechecked the wiring. it has a spliced wire that is twisted with its original mate but isnt touching anything and should be shorting out... its a possibility though. guess its back to work on it.


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slightly modified pathfinder, still 235 tires soon to grow into 31's. Always remembering to KEEP THIS SIDE UP
 

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is there a fuse for each left and right headlite? thats weird but if thats the case then thats where id start. first off unplug that lite and make sure that isnt the prob.ugg!! wiring probs can be a nitemare. but on the upside they can be quite a challenge with a greast sense of accomplishment once youve figured them out. good luck again.
grant
Originally posted by Parnelli_001:
what gets me is that the right hand driving/highbeam light constantly blows its fuse.




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if you cant lift it, slam it
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Actually yeah there is a seperate fuse for the left and one for the right headlights. i couldnt find anything worth worrying about yesterday but i shall try again today. thanks

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slightly modified pathfinder, still 235 tires soon to grow into 31's. Always remembering to KEEP THIS SIDE UP
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well i checked, re-checked and checked again until my hands were soo numb i couldnt feel how much blood was dripping from my freshly cut hands so i then thought 180 bucks to make it someone elses problem was worth it. i checked all the wiring and re-connected all the connections and still blew fuses. so its at the pro's now, i'll be sure to post the problem when he finds what it was. thanks ya'll

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slightly modified pathfinder, still 235 tires soon to grow into 31's. Always remembering to KEEP THIS SIDE UP
 
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