My car is experiencing intermittent low beam headlight malfunction

where is low beam headlight relay located? can you provide image showing location?

My car has 87000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The headlights on this vehicle are controlled by a multiplex integrated control unit (MICU) located under the left side of the dash on fuse panel. The MICU contains all the headlight controls inside as an assembly and the low beam relay is an integral part of the module. The most common cause of the problem you are having is going to be the light bulbs drawing too much power as they age or the incorrect bulb was installed.

Have both front headlight light bulbs replaced first then recheck the lights to see if the problem continues. If it does then have the lighting system checked further by a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, to isolate the problem to a component in the system or an electrical wiring problem. This is not very common and suspect the headlight bulbs will fix the problem for you.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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

The likely cause is a fuse, headlight relay, headlight switch, dimmer switch or a wiring fault. About the only cause that is an easy fix is a blown fuse. Consult your owner`s manual to locate the main fuse for the headlight circuit and replace that fuse with one having the same amp rating.
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.
Most headlight systems are also designed with a relay that switches the power between low beam and high beam headlights. If this relay goes bad, it could allow power to the high beams, but not the low beams.
The problem you describe about the lights going off and on are usually caused by the headlight bulbs overloading the head light switch built in circuit breaker. I would recommend replacing the headlight bulbs with factory specified bulbs and then if problem continues then replace head light switch.
The most common problem that faces headlights is dim, dying, or burnt-out bulbs. Thankfully, this also comes with the most simple solution: bulb replacement. Much like the lightbulbs in your home, headlight bulbs need to be replaced every once in a while.
If both of your low-beam headlights are out, but both of the high-beams work fine, it`s possible that both of your low-beam halogen headlight bulbs have simply burned out. After all, the lightbulbs in a modern halogen headlamp unit can burn out just the same as light bulbs in your home or office.
This sounds like the bulb filament in the glass is intermittently loose or the plug connection to the back of the bulb is loose, corroded, broken, or intermittent. If the bulbs are many years old, they have probably lost 20% of their lumen output anyway.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Both R&L low beam headlights quit working simultaneously.
ANSWER : Hi there. Check the switch to the headlights and see if there is a break in the wiring. Check the fuses and see if there is any fuse that are blown. If the fuses are good and there is no break in the wiring, then either the switch has failed or the ballast resister has failed on the low beam circuit. Turn on the switch and check for power coming out of the switch. If there is power to the switch and power out of the switch, then I recommend replacing the ballast resister. If there is no power coming out of the switch, then the switch needs replaced. If you need further assistance with diagnosing the low beams, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

My car is experiencing intermittent low beam headlight malfunction
ANSWER : The headlights on this vehicle are controlled by a multiplex integrated control unit (MICU) located under the left side of the dash on fuse panel. The MICU contains all the headlight controls inside as an assembly and the low beam relay is an integral part of the module. The most common cause of the problem you are having is going to be the light bulbs drawing too much power as they age or the incorrect bulb was installed.

Have both front headlight light bulbs replaced first then recheck the lights to see if the problem continues. If it does then have the lighting system checked further by a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, to isolate the problem to a component in the system or an electrical wiring problem. This is not very common and suspect the headlight bulbs will fix the problem for you.

One of my car’s headlights does not work
ANSWER : Hello. There are 2 devices in the front wiring of your vehicle called "Signal Acquisition Modules." One is for the left side of the front, the other is for the right. They act as an electrical "router" and power distribution module for electrical loads up front. These modules take signal pulses from light switches and other controllers, and turn on power to the requested device.

The SAM units have fuses in them, just as a traditional box would. I would check the fuses in each SAM for both low and high beams, then check the igniters for the xenon low beams. If this seems a bit intimidating, I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to inspect for any electrical problems and suggest the needed repairs.

2007 Mustang Low-Beam headlight on only one side only comes on for 10 seconds then go outs, however high beams work fine!?!?
ANSWER : Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2007 Mustang. The low beam circuit is monitored by the the Smart Junction Box. It’s the fuse box in the right kick panel. Basically what this means is if the resistance, or the current flow in the circuit is not within the specified range, it will turn off the power to it. That’s why you won’t find a fuse for the low beams. It will re-check the circuit every time the ignition key is cycled. The circuit flows from the SJB through the fuse box under the hood, and then to the headlights. Inspect as much of the wiring as you can. Especially where it might have been tampered with for the HID lights. If there is a short to power or ground, or too much or not enough resistance, it will turn off the power. This is not the case with your fog lamps and high beams. They are powered by a relay that is fused, and the circuit is not monitored. It will simply blow a fuse if there’s a problem. If you need more help, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose and repair the headlight problem.

My car will not start Intermittently. I purchased a new battery 2 weeks ago and yesterday the car wouldn’t start. Got a jump and
ANSWER : The issue you are having is probably due to an intermittent fault in the starter motor itself or a deficiency in the starter electrical circuit, for example a large voltage drop due to a poor ground or a high resistance connection. These issues can be readily diagnosed and resolved on a mobile basis if you request a hard starting diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. Based on Toyota’s Factory Service Manual, the battery should not be disconnected if the vehicle engine is running. The battery acts as a large resistive voltage sink and consequently taking the battery out of the circuit, while the alternator is still running, can create a voltage spike on the car’s electrical system which is not good for voltage sensitive components such as the engine computer. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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.

My headlights are not working correctly – 1996 Chevrolet Blazer
ANSWER : Hi there. Most of the time this is caused by a bad headlamp switch. When the switch fails, it will cause this to occur. If the switch is fine, then it may have an issue with the headlamp relay. I typically take my voltage meter and test the circuit starting at the headlamps until I find where the voltage is being lost.

If you want to have your headlamps fixed, consider having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your home or office to inspect the headlights and suggest any necessary repairs.

I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you