David Needs Help with a Common Car Problem

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 22, 2016

Dear Car Talk:

I have a 6-cylinder 1994 Buick Century, and my parking lights have stopped working. I have checked the fuse, and it's good. I put in new bulbs, and still no parking lights. Next I set out to change the parking-light relay, but I can't find where it's located. Can anyone help me? -- David

Somebody probably can. You might try asking someone with enough brain cells left to remember the electrical diagram for a 1994 Buick.

Actually, I remember 1994 like it was yesterday. I can picture myself striding into the voting booth and pulling the lever for President Cleveland. Wait, that was 1894.

I do remember this car, David, and I don't think you have a relay for the parking lights. If there is a relay, it's part of the headlight switch on this car. So, you very well may need a new light switch. If I remember correctly, they used an odd little pushbutton gizmo, located all the way on the left end of the dashboard.

On the other hand, your light bulb sockets could be corroded. That can happen every few decades. So, as a first step, I'd get under the front bumper, unplug the pigtail from the back of the parking-light socket and, with the parking lights switched on, use a test light to see if you're getting electricity there. If you're not, then it's the switch. If you are getting power, then you may need to replace the light sockets.

You can find all that stuff online. I don't think any of these parts (the sockets or the switch) will run you more than about $25. And if you're reasonably handy, you can do the work yourself. And if you're not reasonably handy, anything else you break probably can be found online, too. Good luck.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter

Got a question about your car?

Ask Someone Who Owns One