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headlights flicker randomly

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22 Nov 2013, 04:00 pm
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Default headlights flicker randomly

I searched around to see if anyone else was having this problem but nothing percolated to the top.

I've had my 2007 for about a month and I've noticed that my headlights will randomly flicker...I thought at first it might be a loose connection somewhere and that it would do it going over a bump or something in the road but it's not that...it can do it on a glass smooth road. Not sure yet if it's low or high beams cause it does it on both.

My first course of actioon will be to check battery terminals for tightness and see what's going on with the power ground...it might be loose too...

Other that that issue, the car runs great. Are there any other places I might look? I will definitely check the bulbs themselves and see if one (or more) of them might have an intermittent connection to it's socket as well.
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 04:18 pm
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

sheesh.. i just went through that. two weeks after i noticed the first flicker, the lights went out for good.

if i were you i'd check the grounds on both front fenders. the passenger side should be tucked in behind the engine mount. it's hard to see. after that i'd check the connectors under the column from the multifunction switch. also check the power wires going to the underhood fuse box. you may have to take it apart a little to really see where things go.

unfortunately, it'll only get easier to fix once it fails completely.

here's my story, although my older car has a completely different wiring setup. can't see the road!
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 05:00 pm
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob342 View Post
here's my story, although my older car has a completely different wiring setup. can't see the road!
YIKES!

I'm guessing the problem I'm having isn't as bad as the one that caused yours (at least I hope it's not). I'm an electronics technician/troubleshooter by trade so I have a fair amount of background in troubleshooting circuits. What I find confusing is reading auto schematics because they don't tend to follow "standard" symbology a lot of times. I can usually muddle my way through them after a fashion though.

I'll let you know how I make out...Hopefully will have some time to look at it tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 05:26 pm
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo View Post
I searched around to see if anyone else was having this problem but nothing percolated to the top.

I've had my 2007 for about a month and I've noticed that my headlights will randomly flicker...I thought at first it might be a loose connection somewhere and that it would do it going over a bump or something in the road but it's not that...it can do it on a glass smooth road. Not sure yet if it's low or high beams cause it does it on both.

My first course of actioon will be to check battery terminals for tightness and see what's going on with the power ground...it might be loose too...

Other that that issue, the car runs great. Are there any other places I might look? I will definitely check the bulbs themselves and see if one (or more) of them might have an intermittent connection to it's socket as well.
I too, would be interested in what others have to say about this. In 01/14, I will have had my '06 Touring Edition for 8 years and it has constantly done this. It happens maybe a couple of times a week, they just do a quick flicker, but don't go completely out. After the first few times that it happened, I began searching the net for a cause/fix and I think that the best that I could find then was that it was just a quirk of the PT. Also, it was time for a new battery anyway but it still does the same thing, so that wasn't the fix. I just live with it until there is a hard failure of something, then it will be easier to fix.
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 05:33 pm
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

a troubleshooter's bane is intermittent random events. I'd rather it would just hard fail.

Sometimes one gets lucky and will be able to duplicate an intermittent problem by moving a part, such as a wire bundle or tapping parts with a stick or back end of a screwdriver. Other times, not so lucky.
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 06:49 pm
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

My 09 does the same thing. I always thought it was the TIPM controlling the voltage as the load changes.
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 08:08 pm
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

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Originally Posted by Ray_Dockrey View Post
My 09 does the same thing. I always thought it was the TIPM controlling the voltage as the load changes.
It's interesting that you bring this up...I have noticed that it seems that certain "events" seem to cause my lights to flicker but I thought I was imagining things...things like stepping on the brake...brake lights come on, a bit of a voltage drop, and the front lights flicker a bit. I would consider that "semi" normal. But, I've imagined that when it changes gears sometimes (I have a 4 speed auto), the lights flicker....real or imagined? I don't know. Ray, you may be onto something.
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_Dockrey View Post
My 09 does the same thing. I always thought it was the TIPM controlling the voltage as the load changes.

I notice it on mine when i have the High beams on and the a/c kicks in. Just a quick dimming.

2005 Touring Auto

Last edited by podo2000; 22 Nov 2013 at 11:22 pm. Reason: add more info
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Old 23 Nov 2013, 04:43 am
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

You will also notice it when the radiator fan kicks in. Seems to be the nature of the beast on the 2nd gen TIPM vecicles.

To the OP...the front and rear lighting isn't like anything you have ever seen on a car in the past. It is all controlled via data bus (CANBUS and LIN) talking between various modules. Of course, check the battery terminals and the grounds...especially the crappy sheet metal screw grounds on the left inner fender. Cleaning all that up on mine and replacing the battery cables with heavier duty style helped but didn't completely eliminate the flicker.

If you have ever seen the inside of a TIPM you will understand why there is voltage drop when the relays change state...small pins and printed circuits carrying substantial current.
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Old 23 Nov 2013, 11:07 am
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Default Re: headlights flicker randomly

There was a lot of reports of the flickering headlights with the early Cruisers. I had been under the impression the problem was fixed with the '06 and newer. I guess not.

The problem seems to be with the PCM which controls everything including lights. It senses and decides what systems to send power to and sometimes cannibalizes from one power user to support another. In theory there should be enough power for all systems but sometimes the computer brain thinks otherwise and messes up.

A little bit of old school technology can probably cure the problem. Wire in your own relay with direct power from the battery and just use the original headlight wire as the signal wire to trigger the new relay. That should make the power steady and continuous.
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