Headlight malfunction

The headlight isn't working correctly on my car. The setup seems wrong. The low beam is bad, whereas the high beam works good. However, I cannot used the high beam constantly, for safety reasons. How canI fix this?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi, it is likely that you simply have a blown headlight on your 2009 Chevrolet Spark. There are low beam light bulbs and high beam light bulbs on your vehicle. Which bulb activates depends on the position of the headlight switch. I believe that your low beam bulb is blown and that is why your low beam lights are not performing properly. If you need to have this done, a certified technician from YourMechanic, can come to your car’s location to diagnose and repair the headlight issue.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

A bad headlight relay is among the more common reasons we see for low beam headlights not working while the high beams do. You see, the low and high beams each have their own relay, which is essentially an electrical switch. Like fuses, sometimes relays go bad.
You`ll need to replace the bulb, switch, or relay. If just one bulb fails to work in either high beam mode or low beam mode, it may be the bulb. Most headlight failures that are limited to just high or low beams are related to a relay or the high beam control switch.
In most vehicles, there is typically a single fuse for both headlights rather than a separate fuse for each headlight. The headlight fuse is usually located in the fuse box, which is typically located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard on the driver`s side of the vehicle.
LOW BEAM — REACH AND INTENSITY. Low beams are lower intensity and reach a shorter distance in front of your car. High beams are high intensity and light a greater distance.
Used in “flip-up” lights, which fold out of the body of the vehicle, headlight closure relays are essential for headlight operation. This relay is located in your main fuse box or panel.
In a typical computer-controlled headlight circuit, two relays—one for the high beams and one for the low beams—control the headlights. Some vehicles also have a third headlight relay to activate the daytime running lights (the dimly lit headlights that automatically come on during the day).
There is a good chance that your ballast is the cause of your lighting problems if your headlights are dim, changing colors, buzzing, or flicker. When inspecting it for potential issues, any burn marks, leaking oils, or swollen casing are indicators of failure.
The Light Control Module (LCM) is an important component of a vehicle because it controls all of the car`s lights, as well as the horn function.
Automatic headlights tend to work by using photoelectric sensors embedded into the instrument panel, around the base of the windshield. These sensors tend to rely on ambient light level rather than on visibility perceived by the driver.
H7 bulbs tend to be used for dipped – or low – beam, while H1 bulbs can be high or dipped beam, depending on output. Other H-rated bulbs can be used for fog lights and indicators – your Haynes Manual will tell you which bulbs your car uses, along with the watt rating for each.
Stuck High Beams or Low Beams: Being unable to switch between high beams and low beams is another sign that your headlight relay is broken. The headlights could become locked in one mode, obstructing your vision and even blinding other motorists.
Five Star Dual Headlamp Relay, Voltage: 12 V.
Headlight Motors and Leveling Systems

The headlight motor and actuator control the individual positioning of the vehicle`s headlights. This is typically done by an electronic system via the cam-operated switch that controls each headlight motor, and also by a switch on the car`s dashboard.

So when you turn on your car headlights, a switch will activate a relay. This relay gives an electrical connection between your car headlights and battery. Your fuses are the elements that protect the rest of the wiring. You also will have a relay for your high beams.
The primary function of an automotive headlight wire harness is to provide power directly from the vehicle`s battery to the lighting system. This allows the bulb, or HID ballast, to operate independently of the vehicle`s original wiring system and can provide a power source that is more consistent.
Where is the Headlight relay located? You can find the Headlight relay in the electrical distribution unit of the engine block. In case you need support locating the relay, refer to your owner`s manual.
Check the Ballast with a Multimeter

Insert one probe into the wire connector while holding the white wires together. Touch the other probe to the ends of yellow, red, and blue wires coming from the ballast. Some might exclude the yellow. If the ballast doesn`t cause the needle to move, you know it needs to be replaced.

No LED bulbs require a ballast, although some are engineered to work with an existing ballast. You will find ballast-compatible or “plug-and-play” LEDs that are designed to replace linear fluorescents, compact fluorescents, or HIDs. Incandescent and halogen lamps do not require a ballast.
Blown Fuse

If your headlights have stopped working, locate the fuse in your car connected to the low-beam headlights circuit. The fuse box is typically located under the hood or behind the dashboard. You can often find this information in your owner`s manual or on the inside of the fuse box cover.

The blown fuse will be apparent because the wire element within will have melted or burned from the higher electrical current. You can also use a test light or a multimeter to identify the dead fuse without having to pull it out. Both tools are affordable and easy to use.
The blown fuse will be apparent because the wire element within will have melted or burned from the higher electrical current. You can also use a test light or a multimeter to identify the dead fuse without having to pull it out. Both tools are affordable and easy to use.
It was once the norm to have separate bulbs for your high beams and low beams, but most modern cars have only a single bulb with two filaments on each side of the vehicle that performs the work of both the high beams and the low beams. There are a few different types of bulbs available.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Headlight Issue
ANSWER : Hello.

The daytime running lights are not supposed to function at the same time as the headlights. The daytime running lights are only supposed to come on during the day, to provide additional visibility for daytime driving, independently of the headlights. When the headlights are turned on the daytime running lights should turn off. If they are not turning on it may be possible that perhaps the bulbs have burned out, or there is an issue with the fuse or relay. If you run into any issues, consider contacting a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, as certified technician can diagnose any issues with your lights firsthand and help you make the right repair.

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My headlights came on and drained my battery I put a new battery in and my headlights still wouldn’t go off I took out the bulb an
ANSWER : The common thread between the headlights and the signal lights is the combination switch. The combination switch controls your signal lights, turns the headlights on and off, as well as controls the high beam function. Most like;y the switch or wiring to the switch has an electrical short. This can cause constant power going to the functions the switch controls. While the combination switch is the most likely cause, wiring can also be a problem so I suggest having a certified technician look into the lights staying on to determine if there is a wiring issue before replacing any components. If the combination switch is found to be the culprit, the technician can replace it for you.

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I turn my high beam headlights on and both headlights go out.
ANSWER : Hello, thanks for writing in about your Nissan Frontier. The only way to tell if it is the light bulbs or the switch is to check for power to the bulbs when you switch to high beam. Most of the time both bulbs are bad. The connections to the bulbs could be faulty as well. If you’re unable to pinpoint the issue, have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, diagnose your lights firsthand for an accurate repair.

Read Full Q/A … : Headlight malfunction

I changed the lightbulbs on my cars headlights but the driver side headlight won’t turn on…
ANSWER : Hello. Ironically, I happen to have a 2000 CLK 430 as well and I experienced an almost identical scenario as you did. I had a fog light out on my vehicle, thinking it was a bulb I went ahead and replaced the light bulb but once I replaced it it still did not fix the issue. Upon further inspection of my vehicle I found that the some of the insulation around the wiring leading to the fog light was brittle and causing wires to be exposed. I taped the wires with some electrical tape because Mercedes-Benz has a very sensitive electrical system and if a wire is exposed it will cause resistance. If the electrical system senses too much resistance it will cut power off to that component to help protect other electrical parts. I suggest to have a technician such as one from YourMechanic inspect the wiring of your fog light that is out, check the fog light fuse in the side fuse compartment, and also check the clearance light bulb. The clearance light bulb is a small bulb located under the fog light and is integrated into the fog light circuit. If the clearance light is out it will interrupt the fog lights power. On my vehicle it was a clearance light being out and the damaged wiring to the fog light causing my fog light to be inoperative. You are able to find a technician and schedule an appointment to evaluate your vehicle here https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/fog-or-driving-lights-are-not-working-inspection

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My headlights do not turn off
ANSWER : Your vehicle is probably equipped with daytime running lights, whereas the other car you saw was not. On your vehicle, these lights will stay illuminated regardless of whether the exterior light switch is in the on or off position. There is no way for the driver to disable this system. In theory, a mechanic could re-wire your system to prevent the lights from turning on, but that would be costly and may be against the law in some states. My advice is to just accept the daytime running lights for what they are.

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I need help replacing stock headlights with Halo LED Projector HID headlights.
ANSWER : This is more of an aftermarket-type of repair. You are right about needing 2 more ballasts, and I recommend you get them from the same manufacturer as the kit you have. For this type of modification, consider visiting a local repair shop or contacting the manufacturer of the kit for specific details.

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Dsc malfunction, engine service soon, and engine malfunction reduced power.
ANSWER : The most common cause for the DSC coming on is a speed sensor at one of the wheels not working properly. The Check Engine Light comes on anytime a critical system is having a problem. The reduced speed is due to the engine control module that has not seen a major failure of a critical function and going into failure mode. You need to have the Check Engine scanned for codes and diagnosed. Once the scan is done and code is retrieved, then a pinpoint test for the code(s) will locate the cause of this problem.

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The headlights wont shut off and the horn keep honking when I turn them on.
ANSWER : It sounds like you have a rubbed through wiring harness or two. All the components you mentioned are switched on the ground side. That means if there is a short to ground on the switch side before the relay, then the light will turn on. This would lead me to think that there is a rubbed through harness in the steering column. This will not blow a fuse though.

The light or horn will simply turn on without you moving the switch. The fuse for the taillights and dash lights is a different concern. A short to ground on the positive side, after the relay will blow a fuse. It will only blow the fuse when it is switched on. This could mean a short in any positive wire in the taillight circuit. There are a lot. Every switch that illuminates when you turn your parking lights on could be shorted. Any taillight or parking light circuit, too.

Here are some tips. There is only one way to find this type of problem – it will have to be visually traced. Follow the harnesses with your eyes and look for damage. Use the clues that the car is giving you to narrow your search. The wires will need to repaired after the problem is found. If you need help having this diagnosed and repaired, a certified technician from YourMechanic can inspect your electrical system and let you know what fixes need to be performed.

Read Full Q/A … : Headlight malfunction