2001 Chevrolet Impala, No Low Beam Headlights

This 2001 Chevrolet Impala came in with the complaint that the low beam headlights would not work. I went to the headlight bulb and found power on both terminals of the low beam bulb. This indicates that a ground is missing. After looking at a wiring diagram I determined that there were several possibilities: broken wire, loose ground connection at left side of dash, blown fuse,faulty headlamp relay, faulty dimmer switch and faulty body control computer. The dimmer switch however was the one point were most things could be checked. I removed the lower dash cover and the metal bracket behind it to access the wiring connector.

The yellow connector is for the airbag system and the connector that I was looking for is just below it.

Working room was pretty tight and the plastic edges are very sharp so I pulled the connector down to gain better access.

The white lever has to be flipped over to separate the two connector halves.

With the connector separated I decided to reattach it to it’s mounting clip. You can see the mounting clip for the air bag connector just in front of the connector.

From looking at diagrams earlier I had determined that I needed to check terminal C4, Dark Blue for bleed through power from the low beam headlight bulbs. It is the second terminal from the right in the second row down. Terminal C3, Light Blue is the ground supply wire that is sent to the dimmer switch from the headlamp relay. I do not know why the color codes change from the main harness to the combination switch harness but on the main harness side the C3 wire is Light Blue and on the combination switch harness the wire is yellow. On the main harness side the C4 wire is Dark Blue and on the combination switch side it is Brown.

Anyhow, I had bleed through power on the C4 terminal and I had ground on C3. I could touch the two wires together and the low beams would come on. Diagnosis of a faulty combination switch. Now that I had it diagnosed, all I had left to do was to change the switch. I had to remove the steering column cover. There are two torx screws attaching the lower cover and the tilt lever had to be pulled out of the column. There are two inverted torx screws holding the upper cover from the inside that have to be removed. Once the covers are removed the two attaching screws can be removed.

I use a torx bit and 1/4″ ratcheting wrench because it allows me to change the switch without removing the steering wheel and air bag. Takes a little coordination and effort but it saves a lot of time.

There are a couple of wire ties that have to be removed and one harness support that needs to be unclipped. Then the cruise control subharness can be detached.

The wire connector also has to be removed from the shifter interlock solenoid.

Out with the old and in with the new and all is well. I took a picture of the headlight relay. It is the upper, larger rectangular box that cannot be fully seen in the picture. This view is of the backside of the fuse box that is at the left end of the instrument panel.

50 discussions on “2001 Chevrolet Impala, No Low Beam Headlights”

  1. Thanks a lot. I was able to follow your instructions and trace the wiring to find the problem being under the dash. Before I traced the dark blue wires there Iswapped the whole fuse box and now they are now working! I’ll be making a donation!

  2. Go to your low beam headlights and check for power on the orange wires. With the bulb still installed check for the bleed through current on the dark blue wires. If the re is no bleed through then either the bulbs or the sockets are faulty. If the bleed through current is present, you will need to follow the harness back to the dimmer switch and check for breaks along the way.

  3. Hello Sparky. I believe I followed this article along with the comment solutions to a tee but I believe my situation isn’t covered here. Please help. Only the Flash to Pass brights work and the DRLs work.

    My low beams do not. I checked the bulbs. They work. I checked the dimmer switch connections. They all checked out good for continuity.

    I checked for ground (C3) at the multiswitch. It works. BUT I could not get any signal from the bleed though (C4). To confirm I tried connecting both C3 and C4 to get the low beams on but they did not come on. Also, I don’t hear or feel the Headlamp relay doing anything. Even when the flash to pass is pressed.

    So where do I go from here? Thanks a lot Sparky you are a great help!

  4. Connecting C3 & C4 together is only completing the circuit that is normally made within the dimmer switch. The two wires should be removed from the connectors and joined without having a connection to the dimmer switch. As long as it is secure and protected from shorting out it should be fine. I am concerned that you stated that the high beams work though. They should not be working except in the flash to pass position. If they are working, I suspect that you have joined to two wires without separating them from the dimmer switch. I do not recommend doing that.

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