View Full Version : Switch for headlights problem and question

11-11-2012, 11:29 PM
Hello, I'm new too the fourm but have been on here many times to read how too and information just never signed up. For my problem and question I couldn't really find threads on it. So here they are:

Problem: when night time comes I have 2 levers on my left side steering wheel. One for signal light and other for lights. When signalling to the right only it sometimes hits my lights on and off. And if I test the fact and push my signal up which is right signal hard enough my lights with flash. What is causing this?

Question: I'm wondering how much work and if it is possible to take that lever out and put a 3 position switch or 2 switches to replace that lever?

( three position switch- off, interior lights and headlights with interior lights
Or 2 switches- one being headlights and other being interior lights.

Thanks, hope we can solve and answer my question


11-12-2012, 08:03 AM
Well taking that stalk out took me like 10~15 minutes... but that is granted that I've done the ignition switch work before.

There is a write up for ignition switch replacement. and all you need to do is to loosen up a few more parts to get to the switch stalk.

There is a listing on ebay for a new one for like $90 and used for $50 or something like that.

Grab a wiring diagram and check for the pins to see if it is the stalk problem or the problem lies somewhere else, but from your description that if you force it up, it will work, i would lean more into the stalk itself.

I took it off to test cruise control btw

11-12-2012, 08:09 AM
Link to DIY


I do not remember if you have to or not, but you do not have to take all of the screws out from the metal plate.

There is a clamp on the top of the stalk that needs to be loosened

Also connectors are not clip on type so just use a screw driver and gently pry it off & pull it off

11-12-2012, 12:11 PM
So the problem could be the switch its self then?

Is it hard to remove that switch lever and grab those wire to run switch on my dash for those lights?

11-12-2012, 01:08 PM
Well I think pulling the stalk and do electrical testing with multimeter would be the first thing to do if you can find a wiring diagram.

It is actually fairly easy to remove the wiring that connects onto the switch.

You need to undo 3 wiring connectors: 1.Lights, 2.Cruise Control 3. Wiper

and pull both stalk out.

I am not sure if you can just pull one side (light and cruise control side) out, but I think pulling both of them out as a whole unit was not a hard job.


Toward the very bottom of the 1st page, you will see the whole stalk pulled out just like that

It is not a hard job, but the hard part would be to find a wiring diagram and to see which pins to test for the Headlight functionality. Walky would know more about that.

11-12-2012, 01:31 PM
Can you be more specific about the symptoms? You say the right turn signal will engage the lights.

A - Which lights? Parking lights? Low beams? High beams? Be specific.
B - The turn signal lever also has the "flash to pass" feature (for people from the USA this is better known as the "visual horn" feature, lol). Perhaps you are engaging that by accident?

11-12-2012, 05:23 PM
Yeah from the looks of it it doesn't look like a hard task. I do all my own work mainly so it should be bad. Very mechical inclined and love electrical work.

So the problem more in depth:

When I'm night time driving I have to push my light lever all the way on to get my interior lights on( gauge cluster, ect..) as well headlights. Now when sometimes signaling to the right my headlights with flick off and then back on. Now to make sure this is what was happening and it was my signal lights and not my headlights being grounded or something I was testing switch my right signal on alittle harder then usually and it does short out and makes my headlights go off and then back on.

I want to relocate the switches just because have a good spot for them and don't like the lever

11-12-2012, 05:57 PM
Ah, gotcha. You're actually losing the headlamps when you do that. Scary at night, I bet!

These headlamp switches are somewhat "high failure". It seems yours is breaking contact when the assembly flexes a bit (rotational pressure from pressing the turn signal lever up). These switches fail, in my opinion, because they are overloaded from the factory. The FULL current of the parking lights, low beams, and high beams flows directly through that little switch on the column. Other [perhaps more sensible] manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Volvo, Nissan, Chrysler, Ford...well, basically everybody else drives the headlamps via a couple relays. This means the switch doesn't deal with the high load and thus never fails. And the relays are rated for the load and last a good long while.

I suggest if you choose to wire up your own switches, you take this into account. I would recommend you drive your headlamps with a good quality relay (denso, bosch, etc). I would not recommend you drive your headlamps with a $3 chinese switch from Auto-zone. But that's just IMHO.

11-13-2012, 02:16 AM
Yeah exactly what is happening and I loose them sometimes for a quick sections or two. I run HIDs and it's hard on the HIDs to be Flicked on and off like that which bothers me.

So it is possible to run just quick switches to replace the 2 and 3 position on the lever 1 st being everything off and just day time running lights, 2nd being gauge cluster and 3rd being headlights.

I want to just ran either a three position switch or a one position switch and have headlights and gauge cluster separate. I just don't know how I am going to wire this up!

11-13-2012, 06:27 AM
You want the gauge cluster separate for a blackout "night mode" type thing? I plan on doing that someday (a switch to kill all my backlit gauges and the cluster for better night vision).

Anyway, the headlamp switch (the short lever) is actually a 3P3T (Triple Pole, Triple Throw) switch. But it's unnecessarily complex (Big Surprise, right?). You could definitely replace it with a simple 3 position SPDT/center-off switch (DRL, OFF, Headlamps). That switch would drive the parking lamps and a low beam relay. I would recommend you leave the HI/LOW beam switch as stock (forward backward movement of the longer stalk), so long as that still works well. That particular control should not be moved away from the steering wheel for safety reasons.

Wiring this up will require understanding of the factory wiring diagram, but would be relatively simple. There are only a couple wires involved.

11-13-2012, 10:50 AM
Kinda, but just more or less have them separate kind of thing. I might separate them, but if I can find a nice 3 position switch I will just have them together.

For high beams of course I'm going to keep them on the signal light way faster to access, as we'll safer like you said. I just want to get rid of that one lever and have my lights on a switch.

Know where I can get a manual?