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So I just recently bought a '97 Miata and I absolutely love it. But the big first thing I wanted to do was replace the hazards and headlights dash buttons with a custom solution that allowed three toggles: one for hazards, one for headlights, and one wired to interrupt the right headlight motor to make my miata wink.

The other day, I pulled apart the tombstone and took out the center switch's circuit board so I could figure out the switch wiring, and I connected two switches to the pins. I plugged this back in, and it worked great for a day. Then, the next day, I popped the hood and disconnected the battery to find the right wire to interrupt and a hole in the firewall (which I'm still looking for if anyone has suggestions on that). When I realized I needed more help on this task, I reconnected the battery and went to reconnect the switches, having done nothing under the hood but look around. But when I reconnected the switches, the headlights went up and they now won't go back down.

My first thoughts were:
  • the headlight fuse (on the passenger side of the engine bay) had blown
  • the retractor relay (on the driver side of the engine bay) had gone out
  • the wires leading into the dash switch wire harness had come loose when I took the tombstone out the second time
So, I went in order. I checked the fuse, and it hadn't blown, but I replaced it anyway. Didn't help.

Next, I checked the relay. I pulled the harness from the relay and manually bridged connections between pins. I bridged one connection, and the headlights went on. I bridged the other connection, and nothing happened. From this, I concluded that the relay was not the problem. This part I'm not completely confident on, but I also read somewhere (citation needed I suppose) that, in cases where the relay is the problem, the headlights go down on their own after a bit, which mine did not.

Finally, I checked the wires going into the switch and my custom switch solution. Armed with the knowledge of the circuitry that I got from inspecting the OEM switch circuit board, I cut the wires behind the pin header and clipped the proper wires together. Nothing.

So, I've come to a stand still. I've run out of ideas. I suppose that both of the headlight motors could have gone out at the same time, but I think this is pretty unlikely and I'm not sure how to test this. The only other thing I can think of is there being a loose connection somewhere else between the dash switch and the relay, deep within the dash. Anyone have any other ideas, or are my headlights done for? I'm sorry if there's something obvious I forgot to check or something that I need more help on, I'm pretty new to this.
 

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I'm only just learning my 1990, but one thing I've come to understand is that many electrical glitches on these cars come out of the ignition switch. Wiggle it, and let us know!
 
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