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Old 09-23-2020, 09:23 PM   #1
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Clearance lights not working

My clearance lights stopped working a few months ago. My switch panel on the left has a switch labeled "CL / LPS" and this switch used to turn my lights on but it has stopped working for reasons unknown. I thought that possibly the switch itself was broken, but I took apart my dash today and verified that 1) the switch's yellow lead is connected to the clearance lights, and 2) the switch does work when on and makes a connection between the yellow lead and the black lead (which I'm assuming is the power to the switch).

IMG_2172.png

I happened to drive back to my lot tonight and had the headlights and panel lights on, and I noticed that all of the switches on my board were lit up except for the CL / LPS switch.

IMG_2176.png

I checked all my fuses and they're all intact, so I'm not sure what's going on here. Any idea what might be going on or what I can look for?
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:29 PM   #2
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My money's on a kinked / bad spot in the 12V feed or the ground (more likely) to the switch.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:33 PM   #3
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My money's on a kinked / bad spot in the 12V feed or the ground (more likely) to the switch.
Because a kinked ground would cause both the non-working clearance lights and the non-working light on the switch itself?
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:34 PM   #4
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Also, does "kinked" mean literally kinked? Like, the wire bends so much it breaks?
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:47 PM   #5
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Also, does "kinked" mean literally kinked? Like, the wire bends so much it breaks?
Yes, it's quite common in cramped quarters such as a switch panel. Also when the factory harness was not quite long enough to allow the wire a smooth transition into the connector and switch. Could also be a switch contact loosened or damaged from the terminals being in a bind from a bent / kinked wire.

It honestly sounds to me like you might want to invest in a replacement switch and pigtail connector.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:56 PM   #6
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If you have big spade terminals in the connector, you could try jumping pins with homemade jumpers. This will require a bit of homework on how the switch is wired, but if you can make the lights come on with a jumper, then its definitely pin fitment and/or the switch itself while also proving the circuity of the lights. Be gentle, don't wanna damage the connector if that's ultimately not the problem.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:13 PM   #7
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I wonder if I'd have an easier time hooking my clearance lights to a different circuit and rigging my own switch.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:16 PM   #8
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A factory replacement switch and connector can be installed far more easily than cobbling together your own bypass. For one, the replacement connector should come with factory color coded wires to match up to the existing wiring. Green to green, blue to blue, etc.

I always say, do it right, or do it twice.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:59 AM   #9
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Measure the voltage (referenced to ground) of all of the wires in the switch in all of the positions of the switch. That should tell you if you have power and how it is being routed.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:26 AM   #10
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Just took a closer look at the pic. If those exposed terminals are the underside of your switch, the two lowest terminals (red or orange wire and black or brown wires) look corroded or burned, and that could be your whole problem. Actually, they all look rough, but those two in particular. My guess is, those two are the 12V feed and ground.

If it's corrosion, you might try sanding those contacts to remove it and see if that fixes it. If they're burned, check the connector terminals to see if they are as well. Also check the switch terminals for looseness, this can create a bad connection and build heat, causing other problems. Once this sort of thing starts, it's like a domino effect. Replace as necessary. Also, if burned, a new pigtail could help lengthen the harness and fix the issue that caused this in the first place. Just my $0.02.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:21 PM   #11
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The biggest problem I have found behind my switch panel is there are no relays used on any of the switches. They are 30 amp rated switches, which is fine when things are new, but 250K miles of vibrating and dirt create too much resistance and almost all of my switches show signs of overheating and melting at the terminals. Needless to say, I am replacing all the switches with low amp switches and relaying everything.

In your situation, I would just swap that switch with a different one in your panel and see if the lights work. If they do, you know the switch is the problem, especially if the original switch in the swapped position, and that circuit no longer works.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:41 PM   #12
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In your situation, I would just swap that switch with a different one in your panel and see if the lights work. If they do, you know the switch is the problem, especially if the original switch in the swapped position, and that circuit no longer works.
I was going to try using one of the flasher switches in this way, but they seem to have a different number of prongs coming off the back side. I'll try to take a picture and see if that explains it a bit better.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:24 PM   #13
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I was going to try using one of the flasher switches in this way, but they seem to have a different number of prongs coming off the back side. I'll try to take a picture and see if that explains it a bit better.
Ya, it would need to be the same configuration. Same concept as swapping around a relay to see if the suspect one is faulty.
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Old 09-25-2020, 02:13 AM   #14
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Just took a closer look at the pic. If those exposed terminals are the underside of your switch, the two lowest terminals (red or orange wire and black or brown wires) look corroded or burned, and that could be your whole problem. Actually, they all look rough, but those two in particular. My guess is, those two are the 12V feed and ground.

If it's corrosion, you might try sanding those contacts to remove it and see if that fixes it. If they're burned, check the connector terminals to see if they are as well. Also check the switch terminals for looseness, this can create a bad connection and build heat, causing other problems. Once this sort of thing starts, it's like a domino effect. Replace as necessary. Also, if burned, a new pigtail could help lengthen the harness and fix the issue that caused this in the first place. Just my $0.02.
I dunno what you are seeing in the picture. I see the lower prongs in the shadow may be a bit discolored (perhaps heat), but not really corroded. Perhaps my tablet is not as crisp as your screen ... or maybe my old eyes are too tired.



However, a good cleaning/sanding (I use an eraser to clean contacts) can only help.
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Old 09-25-2020, 02:54 AM   #15
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I dunno what you are seeing in the picture. I see the lower prongs in the shadow may be a bit discolored (perhaps heat), but not really corroded. Perhaps my tablet is not as crisp as your screen ... or maybe my old eyes are too tired.

However, a good cleaning/sanding (I use an eraser to clean contacts) can only help.
Certainly. But what I see could be either one. Discolored from heat increases the likelihood the switch is burning up internally. Closer look with better light would tell the tale. I would still feel the terminals for looseness, that can indicate burned-up contacts inside the switch. This is what I see...


As I said, I believe you're going to wind up replacing the switch and the pigtail/connector, I've seen this sort of thing before. Had to rewire the headlight switch, multifunction switch and all three connectors about seven times in a year for one vehicle, before I figured out the headlight switch had a poorly designed / made rheostat.

It was overheating and burning up the contacts, slowly taking out the switches and wiring. Bypassed it by running the dash lights from the running light trigger, never had another problem. Very common with pull-out style headlight switches. But wiring and terminals in a bind and compromising the connection can overheat circuits and components too.
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:11 AM   #16
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Yeah, the two terminals in the left circle look a bit yellow and brown. The one in the right circle is a decent silver-grey.


A voltometer on each pin in the connector (to ground) will tell a lot of the story, especially since Musigenesis already did a continuity test on the switch.


It does seem like lack of power or poor grounding.
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:06 AM   #17
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first rule of electrics 'never assume'
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:09 AM   #18
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When you make an assumption, you make an ass out of u and mption.
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:37 AM   #19
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When you make an assumption, you make an ass out of u and mption.
When you assume, it makes an ASS out of U and ME. LOL. Better way to remember it
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:58 AM   #20
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When you assume, it makes an ASS out of U and ME. LOL. Better way to remember it
You hit the nail right between the eyes on that one.
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