I know there are a ton of headlight questions on here and I searched, but most seem a little different than what I am experiencing. I left for work this morning (dark out) as normal. Headlights operate fine. Got to work, turned off lights, headlights closed fine except the passenger side motor did not stop trying to retract the light. The lights operate just fine. Up, down, on, off, etc. Everything is fine, but when I turn them off the motor does not stop after the passenger side closes. I un-pluged the motor for now, so at least I still have headlights. They are just up all the time.
I read in a few other headlight threads that the motor should "time out" after 5 seconds. unless i JUST missed the 5 seconds trying to save any gears in there. I don't think mine was timing out.
Is there a relay in there somewhere not stopping? I don't think it is the switch because everything else operates fine.
Does the motor actual keep running, as in turning or does it stall out once closed but you can tell it has power. Sounds like two different issue one causing the other. If the motor keeps running the plastic gear in the motor has to be bad. The Fiero light buckets aways stall the motor which initiates motor shutdown.
If the motor keeps running and not timing out after 5 sec. the module has a problem. Keeping power on the motor would then probably cause gear failure.
[This message has been edited by Dodgerunner (edited 09-17-2012).]
Hmm... you would think that a gear would show signs of wear and slowly deteriorate over time. functioning once and a while, maybe intermittently, no? this is the first signs of any headlight issues with this car.
that being the case, what do I do to replace the gear? and where do I get it and the parts.
But again, much to my disbelief (though knowing my minimal knowledge of these systems) a bad gear will cause the motor to not stop turning while the mechanism still works just fine?? Seems like two different parts of the system.... but that's just my thinking.
The teeth on the gear tend to bend in one direction unstead of just breaking off.. Be enough left that it will grab to open the light. If the limit switch does not open easy enough to turn off the motor soon enough it will to wear the gear more.
Hey BUMP! Just thought I would chime in since I experienced the exact same symptoms with my headlight motors a while back. Like Dodgerunner said, the culprit is the nylon gear inside the headlight motor. Both of my gears had areas where the gear teeth were worn almost completly away with just slivers of nylon left where gear teeth used to be.This caused a continuous slipping of the gear and resulting banging noises as the motor would repeatedly try to make the limit switch but not quite make it before slipping another tooth.This only happened when the headlight was trying to close.Opening was fine.The metal replacement gears from Rodney Dickman are what I replaced mine with.They should outlast the nylon gears I would think! The kit came with all of the hardware and instructions to do the switch and was not hard to do.
[This message has been edited by 85GT_3800SC (edited 09-18-2012).]
Bump, until you repair the motor, it's best to unplug the single blue wire from the headlight then plug it back to operate it. The reason you think you didn't get any indication is because the gear makes nearly 1 revolution between up and down. When it reaches the end of travel, everything loads up on the same set of teeth. Those teeth are constantly taking a lot more torque than the others.
Usually, there are other indications of trouble before the teeth strip. These include a hesitation after the motor starts before the headlight assembly starts to raise and a sudden drop at the start of closing the headlights. That's due to the slack created by the deterioration of the internal bump stops.
Mine went with little warning, other than already stated above, there was some hesitation before the lights would go up. Then one day the motor wouldn't stop spinning but the lights would go up and down. Replaced the nylon gear with the Rodney version and all is well!