Headlight harnesses

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by pickapeppa, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    My daughter is having trouble with her car. She said the headlight harnesses need replaced. Something made the wires melt, and she has no lights, so can't drive after dark.

    What exactly is a headlight harness, and does it really cost $400 to fix this?

    They told her it would be a temporary fix, that something is shorting the electrical system, and that six months later, something else would be going wrong with it.

    So that means, to her at least, and $8000 fix for the electrical.

    So, how realistic are these numbers? Because she does have a tendency to exaggerate some.
     
  2. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the car. Wiring harnesses can be expensive to replace because of the labor involved. Wiring harnesses are installed before the body is complete so everything is easier to get to. After the car is complete it is a hassle. On a buddy's Dodge truck the wiring harness to the transfer case was $1600, just as a point of comparison.
     

  3. beowoulf90

    beowoulf90 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had the engine wiring harness replaced on my 1989 F250 last Oct. at the cost of $900, five months later(March 2006) the dangblasted thing burned up again. IMHO I would take the car and get an estimate, then I would decide to have it fixed or junk the car.

    By the way, I still have some parts left from the truck for sale cheap....lol
     
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like the shop is being very honest with you.

    Replacing a wiring harness varies tremendously with the vehicle. Sometimes it's a seperate piece easily replaced. Normally it's a cut and splice replacement job. Damage from shorted wires invariably goes further than first observed (btdt, any number of times). If the reason for the original damage isn't found and corrected, the new harness will burn up as well. Some vehicles are very prone to this.
     
  5. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    You might be able to save a little if you can get a harness from a junkyard. Shop labor is VERY expensive. Have you looked at it to see just whats involved? Some harnesses just plug in. If its the headlights only it shouldnt be too complicated or hard to access on some vehicles. And ask around at different places for estimates. Prices can vary a lot with this sort of work
     
  6. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    The $400 estimate was for a young friend of a friend to fix it, who is mechanically inclined but not certified. That was just the parts, if I'm remembering correctly.

    Thanks for your input here. It is much appreciated. This was a very expensive mistake she made, and I'm trying to help her sort it out. She was planning on just trading down at the dealership.

    No matter what way you look at this, it's a big loss. I feel bad for her. It's her very first car purchase, and she ended up with a lemon.

    It's a Mitsubishi Eclipse, 2002. So, parts are expensive. And so is the labor, car payment and insurance. Our usual mechanic doesn't work on foreign cars at all.