1995 Saturn SL1 reverse/back-up lights & switch

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by Roger E, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Roger E

    Roger E Guest

    Car: 1995 Saturn SL1 SOHC.

    Symptom: Both reverse/back-up lights do not turn on when in reverse gear.

    My troubleshooting: From reading my Haynes manual.... I located the
    Back-up Light Switch on top of the manual transaxle.
    1. The Back-up Light fuse is good.
    2. Bulbs test fine.
    3. There is circuit continuity between Back-up Light fuse (at front
    engine fuse box) and lamps and also from the Back-up Light fuse and the
    right contact of the switch plug (view w/ clip @ top).
    4. With ignition ON (engine not running) I read 12.7V at the right
    terminal of the Back-up Light fuse. In this state I read only 60mV at
    the right contact of the switch plug and the lamp terminal with the bulb
    5. Wires and Wire-harness look in good shape.

    From the circuit diagram I should be reading Voltage on the battery
    side of the switch connector, then also on the ground side of the switch
    when in reverse if the switch is good. Right now it seems that I cannot
    conclude that the switch is bad by testing it properly.

    *from a suggestion on another forum....
    With ignition key OFF, I unplugged the 2-wire connector from the switch,
    closed (short w/ wire) the circuit on both terminals of the
    connector.... turned ON ignition key.... still no light, also ran
    engine.... still no light.

    Any thoughts? Thanks very much for your assistance, much appreciated.
    Cheers, Roger
    Roger E, Jul 18, 2008
  2. justastreekin, Jul 18, 2008
  3. Roger E

    Private Guest

    Sounds like you are doing all the right diagnostics, I suspect your problem
    is in the wiring between the fuse and the switch, my guess would be in or
    near the switch connector. Wiggle the connector with the voltmeter
    connected to see if you can get a connection inside a possibly broken wire.
    In the old days we would probe the wire but today we realize that will allow
    moisture to enter and corrode the wire and the wires are so thin they are
    easily damaged, (save this test for last, but I suspect this will be the
    only way you can verify the connection at the fuse and the wire itself.)

    If you are sure of the correct side of the fuse connector then check the
    resistance and continuity of the wire to the transmission switch with the
    fuse removed. Also with the fuse removed you could jumper from the battery
    hot side to the lamp side of the trans switch connector to check that the
    lamps light correctly, if this test fails then I would suspect grounding
    problems but would expect this to also cause problems with other tail

    Good luck YMMV
    Private, Jul 21, 2008
  4. Roger E

    Roger E Guest

    Thanks Folks

    When looking at front engine fuse box on the driver side (normal view &
    fuse out) I do have continuity (0.00 ohms) from the right terminal of
    the fuse socket to the lamps and also from this same point on the fuse
    socket to the right terminal contact of the Back-up Light switch plug
    (view w/ clip @ top). What is strange is that with the ignition on
    RUN/ON (engine not running) I do have >12V at the right terminal of the
    fuse socket but this voltage does not appear also at the other two
    points of continuity mentioned above. This voltage should appear at all
    3 points if the continuity shows this to be the same node
    electrically.... there are no components on this portion of the
    circuit... from the Haynes Manl, this looks like a simple circuit....
    but measurements point to something faulty in the wiring. A tell sign is
    that when I short the switch connector bypassing the switch I get no
    light at all w/ the ignition on.

    Thanks, Roger
    Roger E, Jul 21, 2008
  5. Roger E

    Dev Null Guest


    I would like to ask you a question offline.

    If you don't mind, please send me an email at (rot-13)

    Thank you
    Dev Null, Aug 4, 2008
  6. Roger E

    Private Guest

    With respect, I am sure you will understand my hesitation, but I do not have
    any online or other relationship with you. Could you give me a hint or some
    other motivation?

    I do after all try to be Private.
    Private, Aug 5, 2008
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