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2008 Pontiac Vibe All lights went out and then back on while driving


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LeftHanded
New User

Jan 9, 2017, 10:56 AM

Post #1 of 3 (189 views)
2008 Pontiac Vibe All lights went out and then back on while driving Sign In

2008 Pontiac Vibe
1.8 L (4 cylinder)
About 160,000 miles


Drove my Vibe to the son's house a few nights ago to deliver some things - no problems with car or lighting. During the delivery I left the lift back open for about 2 minutes (probably has no bearing on the issue). I returned to the car, closed the lift back, and started the car. I noticed at that point that the console lights and headlights were mildly flickering, and dimmed slightly when I pressed the brake pedal. I also heard a high-pitched whine that was not coming from the radio. The car had never done any of this before.
I drove about 3 miles (high beams on) when the lights started really flickering badly. I decided to go to low beams to reduce the electrical load. As soon as I went to low beam all of the console lights, headlights, running lights, radio, etc. went completely out (pitch black outside, too!). However, the car did not stop running and I still had power steering. Approximately 2-3 seconds later all of the lights and radio came back on, and everything was back to normal - no flickering (even when braking), no whining. The radio was fine and the clock never reset. I could flip high beams on and off with no problem and made the last 3 miles home with no issues. I never smelled any electrical.
The next day I checked the battery posts and cables for corrosion, but there was none. All electrical connections seemed secure. The car started without any hesitation (temp inside the garage is about 30 degrees). I drove it to the local parts store and had them hook up the battery / alternator tester - both passed with now errors. Car seems fine now, but I drove the wife's car today since I drive to work on a freeway in the dark.
Any thoughts / suggestions appreciated!


kev2
Veteran
kev2 profile image

Jan 9, 2017, 11:31 AM

Post #2 of 3 (172 views)
Re: 2008 Pontiac Vibe All lights went out and then back on while driving Sign In

Sorry nothing comes to mind no heard of that and its usually XYZ...
Some thoughts - maybe will help ID an avenue for checking...
No remote starter?
Nothing plugged into DLC?
No modifications ANYTHING?
Tail gate was open to unload - engine off, lights off, key in pocket?
Any speedometer issue during incident?


LeftHanded
New User

Jan 9, 2017, 11:37 AM

Post #3 of 3 (171 views)
Re: 2008 Pontiac Vibe All lights went out and then back on while driving Sign In

No remote starter
Nothing plugged into DLC
No modifications whatsoever
Tail gate was open, engine was off, key in pocket - I think the normal interior lights were on that usually come on with the lift open
Couldn't see the speedometer with the lights out. It was a cloudy night, driving in the country, absolutely no lights inside the car or outside (kinda scary!)
Everyone I've spoken to is stumped as well. Most believe a short somewhere, probably a small amount of exposed wire, but I don't see how it would have corrected itself like it did...






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