Wiring issue 2003 Vibe GT

Park your vehicle in a thread here - list your vehicle info, pics, etc. all in one place.
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:40 pm

Wiring issue 2003 Vibe GT

Post by AmateurVibes » Sat May 15, 2021 3:50 pm

My tail light fuse keeps popping and I’ve determined I have a short somewhere. I’ve replaced the combo switch, brake light switch, and the tail light assembly themselves. The previous owner had put projectors in and wired them
Into the external fuse box so I changed the lights to OEM ones and now the tail lights are shorting out. There’s no issue with the wiring for them that I can see so I’m guessing the short is within something connected to the tail lights, I’m tired of not being able to drive at night cause cops are not my best friends. Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you. (Brake lights and blinkers work, just not running lights)

Posts: 7
Joined: Tue May 11, 2021 10:56 am
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Wiring issue 2003 Vibe GT

Post by Seventeen » Sun May 16, 2021 5:22 pm

Sounds like you've got a gremlin on your hands unique to what prior owner may have done or an unrelated mystery - generally not fun.

That said, auto electrical troubleshooting isn't rocket science. It DOES require a systematic, logical approach, the right basic tools, and plenty of patience.

If you want to do it yourself, I recommend a YouTube search for "auto electrical troubleshooting" and checking out ones with the highest view counts - there's some great instruction out there.

OR, if you have more money than time (or limited patience like me ;-) look up reviews for a local auto electrical specialist - they can be more affordable than you'd expect and save you lots of swearing/headache. Just make sure to describe the problem well, ask about labor rate and try to get a ballpark for what the issue might be. Mom once paid <$200 to repair two brake lights were out on an an old Subaru when I didn't have time to do anything beyond check the fuses - potentially worth it when factoring time your time and cost of trial-and-error part replacement.

Best of luck!
Portland-based and on the hunt for a well-maintained Gen 1 in Washington, Oregon, or California - I'd consider flying as far as Texas for the right car. DM me if you know of a sprightly specimen looking for a good home...

User avatar
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 1:11 pm
Location: Chitholé, KS

Re: Wiring issue 2003 Vibe GT

Post by SlammedNiss » Mon May 17, 2021 4:20 am

When does the fuse pop? As soon as you replace it and turn on the running lights? If so, that would be a direct short. Time to grab a multimeter and start probing for continuity to ground. As Seventeen states, this type of issue is generally not fun to diagnose. But, it is doable. If you don't have a multimeter, you can pick up a cheap one for $10 or less at Harbor Freight, Sears, or Amazon.
2003 Matrix Xrs Automatic - SOLD :'(
2011 Rav4 Sport

Posts: 877
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:07 am
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Re: Wiring issue 2003 Vibe GT

Post by jolt » Tue May 18, 2021 6:04 pm

You said the tail lights worked until you changed the head light wiring. You better go back and check your wiring that you did.

Post Reply