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I have a 1970 chevelle malibu and all the lights work properly until i turn on the headlights. When my car is running, my front running lights wont work, and neither will my turn signal. I am not very experienced in car's electrical systems. Please help.

thank you

im 16 and this is my first car.
 

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If all the turn signals work ok, with the headlights off, the turn signal power wires are ok. If the front stop working when you pull the headlights on, chances are you have a ground problem on one or both of the lamp sockets. Remove the left front plastic turn signal lamp lens. Turn the turn signal on left (key ON) and pull the head lights on. With a piece of wire touch the turn signal lamp base right where it meets the glass. Touch the other end of the wire to a good ground. See if it starts flashing. If it does the bulb base is not getting a good ground to the frame (dirty socket, bad wire connection to the socket, bad ground wire). If that doesn't work, try it on the front right side.
 

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To expand on what John said, the front parking lights use the front bumper as their ground return. The big problem I've encountered over the last 32 years with mine was the area between the parking light mounting bracket and the bumper would become corroded causing a faulty ground. This would cause the problems you describe. There are two choices here. The first choice is to remove the parking lamp lenses and then remove the lamp assemblies from the bumper. They are held on by philip screws which can be a bummer to remove if they've been in there for any length of time. After removing the lamp assemblies, clean the mounting surfaces with a wire brush or steel wool. Do the mounting surface of the bumper as well. Remount the lamp socket assemblies and see if the problem is gone. It should be. Now, for a more permanent repair, and the one I've performed on my Chevelle. On the outside barrel of each lamp socket solder a length of #10 or #12 wire..enough to reach the inside of the engine compartment. This will be used as a ground wire for each lamp. You can run it along side the existing wire from each socket if you like, even wrapping it with tape for neatness. Fish it through the grommet in the inner fender where the other wires make their entrance. You can now put an appropriate size crimp-on connector on each wire and attach each under an existing screw on the radiator support. Under the headlight grounding screw on each side is fine. Just be sure that all connections are free of any rust or corrosion. That's it! No more ground problems! Believe me, after driving one of these cars everyday for 32 years....there isn't much I haven't seen!


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MalibuJerry350
TC Member #1279
Original owner '70 Chevelle.
572,000+ miles on car.
Hey, if it's got wheels, DRIVE IT!
My Chevelle: http://hometown.aol.com/erie614/myhomepage/index.html
 
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