Ethan

Burnt out rheostat?

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My headlights were not working so I traced the problem back to the switch, and I found this.  I believe this is the rheostat that is causing the problem. 

 

I do not know how to fix this problem.  Is it possible to get a new one, I dont believe this could be repaired, I could be wrong though. 

 

All other light switches I have found are aftermarket and do not have the three notches or settings like the original.

 

Any help is appreciated!! Thank you

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The rheostat serves to adjust the brightness of lights within the instrument cluster only. Not the headlights. 

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That you for your response.

 

Before I took out the light switch all the interior lights and parking lights worked.  Also I could dim the interior lights.  

 

What could be causing the headlights to not work? There was no power at the headlights or at the dimmer switch on the floor board. 

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Ethan, what car are we discussing?    The dimmer switch WILL NOT have power if the headlight switch does not. The dimmer switch receives power THROUGH the headlight switch.

 

  Ben

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Does the switch itself have a circuit breaker or fuses on it? Might be worth checking switch if it’s out of car with a hot lead on input and test light on the outlets and also check the input on car to make sure the switch is getting power,sounds like it is with the other lights working. 

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Yes that is important information!! It is a 57 Buick Special. No fuse on the fuse panel and that rheostat is the only thing resembling a fuse in the switch. I thought that was the fuse.  I am new and learning!! 

 

Thank you for your imput!!

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Headlight switches (or at least headlight switches that have a rheostat like what you posted) typically have a circuit breaker for the headlights inside. You might not be able to see the breaker. No fuse.

 

The circuit breaker is thermal and will TRY to turn the headlights back on after being tripped, unlike a fuse.

 

The wire supplying headlight power to the switch might be a different one that what powers the other lights. Some or all of the other lights are probably fused. If none of these guys know, you are probably going to need a wiring diagram to figure that out.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Sometime, and in the case of my switch, the slider block that controls the headlights and park lights will corrode. You need to disassemble the switch and clean the contacts in there so they are nice and shiny copper again. Be careful not to lose the tension spring. It is a PITA to put back together.

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