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Prizm electrical issues HELP!
07-31-2014, 05:03 PM
Post: #1
Prizm electrical issues HELP!
[attachment=579]2002 Chevy Prizm Lai 4 cylinder. Automatic in Midwest MN. Hello all I am having a recurring and complex problem which involves the tail light circuit. Tail fuse blows immediately after a new one is put in and the switch is turned to parking lamps. I will include the wiring diagram for my car as well as several pictures. I have been reading about about how this could be a short circuit and the problem boils down to finding the wire at fault. Since the tail circuit controls so many components I understand this is asking a lot. I took the steering and dash covers off to look at the wiring. There were a couple wires going to the headlight switch which looked rough one of which may be the ground wire (white and black) several of the wires are showing the copper conduit and I am wondering if their close proximity could be causing the short for the parking and marker lights? Also, how would one go about fixing this? Rewiring or electric tape? You're help is extremely appreciated as I am a part time Worker and full time student as well as a proud father!
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07-31-2014, 06:05 PM (This post was last modified: 07-31-2014 06:07 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #2
RE: Prizm electrical issues HELP!
With most electrical issues 90% of the job is finding where the problem is and that last 10% is usually the repair. Seeing as you already know it's the parking lamp circuit let's shoot for the obvious, which could be in the front or in the rear. (front parking lights are on the same circuit) Is there any body damage now or in the past? Old "repairs" done in a body shop or by amateur DIY types is the first suspect.... follow the harness and look for damage. Next suspect is junk in the trunk rolling around and damaging the wiring harness where it's exposed. Have a trailer hitch? Is that old tail light harness hanging around behind the bumper? The last suggestion will require some digging because the harness to the tail lights usually goes under the rug or along the rockers by the door sills. You may have to pull those out and inspect the wires. I have seen the wiring get damaged when rugs and seats are pulled up for custom stereo jobs too. They bolt the seats back in and pinch the harness then it shows up years later.

Hint: get a circuit breaker with the same rating as the fuse. Install it in place of the fuse then turn the lights on and walk around the car watching each lamp for say 10 seconds. (that's about how long it will take for the breaker to reset) You will notice some of the lamps will flicker dim / briefly and some will not. The ones that DO NOT flicker will point to the section where the short is. (front / rear, left / right) Only do this test for maybe a minute at a time so the wiring doesn't get too hot.

Let us know what's happening as you go along.
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