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Thread: Question about headlights

  1. #16
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Ask her what really happened. She may say, "I just hit the gear shift knob"...
    A friend parallel parked his Vette and ran in to grab a pack of cigs. His girlfriend bumped the gear shift knob. The car started to go forward but rather than put the shift lever back in park, she reached across the console and tried to use her hand on the brake pedal. Unfortunately, she hit the gas pedal. Headlights both went out at the same time.

    So we still don't know anything about the car except that it is small and red. Maybe it has those headlights that are always on. Well, almost always... they go off when you pull the hand brake. I had one where the switch on the hand brake lever was out of adjustment and kept the lights from coming on. It was a small car too, but it was more burgundy than red. It had a stick shift and the reverse light switch was also out of adjustment. Whenever I put it in neutral (or was it park?) the reverse lights would come on. People behind me at a red light would freak out thinking I put it in reverse and lean on their horn.

  2. #17

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    I still have a feeling it might be the headlights, the bulbs. Reason being, is, I used to replace mine, both, at the same time, until, a mechanic told me not to do that because, they both could burn out, and, at the time when you need them most. So, I stopped doing that. When, one burns out, I do one... until, the other one burns out. But, it might be also, the relay switch, and, I am sure him and his girlfriend will fix this. Maybe, the older woman he bought this from, did the same thing, I used to do.

  3. #18
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    Based on the lack of a CD player, I assume this car is probably pre-early 90's. If that is the case, the headlights may or may not use a relay. Some older cars passed the full headlight current through the headlight switch. The fuse for the headlights will either be in the engine bay or under the dash.

    It would be very unlikely that both bulbs burned out at the same time (even if they were the same age). An overvoltage condition due to a bad regulator in the alternator could cause the bulbs to burn out quickly, but you would also see problems elsewhere (all bulbs burning bright, blowing out early, etc.).

    - fuse
    - relay (if it has one)
    - bad headlight switch
    - bad connection/wiring
    - bad bulbs

    We need a year/make/model to even start to guess what it might actually be. For instance, the ground of the headlights might be shared and often the headlights are on a different circuit compared to the taillights. A bad ground could cause the headlights to flicker or not work at all.

    Start with the fuse as they are cheap and easy to replace. However, as mentioned before, if the fuse is blown, there is a reason. If you just replace the fuse, it may just blow again.

    The older cars without headlight relays also see a more frequent failure of the headlight switch. Since they pass all current through the switch, the arcing, pitting, and carbon buildup can cause the switch to fail. Often, you can open them up and clean the contacts and be good to go again.

  4. #19
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    It is pretty common for some people to drive around with one headlight burned out and not even notice. They sure as heck do notice when the 2nd bulb burns out though.

    Would be good to know what make/model we are working on.

    Do the hi-beams work?

  5. #20
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    It is OK Cookie,


    You can tell us what Make and Model that he has, even if it is not American made.


    Cacher_Chick has a point.


    The Wallflowers Drove with one Headlight.


    Maybe the Battery is Dead...
    Last edited by DonL; 01-03-2012 at 05:04 PM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  6. #21

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    The battery is not dead, lol. An 04 Hyundai. Don't know if the high beams are working or not. I have a feeling they aren't, but, don't know that for sure.

    I am working on Bob's party list.

  7. #22
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    I am working on Bob's party list.

    Cool, I have a little Black Female Cat, She is very sweet, Can she come for his party ?
    She will bring catnip.
    Last edited by DonL; 01-03-2012 at 05:52 PM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  8. #23

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    Well, I already have coming, 2 dogs both with 4 legs, one dog with 3 legs, 2 cats, one nearly blind, one nearly deaf, and, then, depending on if my one girlfriend is bringing all her kids, it would total 6 kids, 6 adults, and, the Birthday Cat & his eye-seeing cat friend, Tom Tom. ( named after the GPS system)

    And, one guniea pig that is older than Bob.

  9. #24
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    The battery is not dead, lol. An 04 Hyundai. Don't know if the high beams are working or not. I have a feeling they aren't, but, don't know that for sure.
    It is most likely the headlamp relay. Power comes from the Green 40 amp fusable link to the 20 amp headlight fuse in the fuse box. If you have power on both sides of that fuse, then it's the relay or a break in the wire going to the relay.

    The headlamp relay is located in the underhood electrical box. There are three relays on one side (engine side) of the box and it's the forward most relay.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  10. #25
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Well, I already have coming, 2 dogs both with 4 legs, one dog with 3 legs, 2 cats, one nearly blind, one nearly deaf, and, then, depending on if my one girlfriend is bringing all her kids, it would total 6 kids, 6 adults, and, the Birthday Cat & his eye-seeing cat friend, Tom Tom. ( named after the GPS system)

    And, one guniea pig that is older than Bob.


    I get it my little Black Kitty Poo is not invited...

    Why are people so raciest ?
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  11. #26

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    I am off tomorrow, so I will pop open his lid and see if I can find it. If I can find it, I will take the part out, ( pulls out?) and, then, take it to AutoZone. Thank you all.

  12. #27

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    We already got a black one coming, lol. 2 oranges, 1 black, 1 calico. Little Sohie is her name and she is great. She belongs to my neighbor down the road, but, you wouldn't know that.
    Last edited by Cookie; 01-03-2012 at 06:14 PM.

  13. #28
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The headlamp circuit varies a quite a bit from one model of Hyundai to another, and the cars with daytime running lamps are different than the cars that came without. Some models used high/low beam relays, and some did not

    There are fuses in the underhood fuse block, but they are seperate for left and right, so both of them being blown is not likely. Fuses don't blow without good reason anyway.

    The on/off and dimmer switches control the ground side of the circuit. A quick and non-technical check is to try is to wiggle, shake, and gently "torque" the switches to see if you can get any sign of lights. The dimmer switch is one of the more likely items to fail, and could cause no headlights.

  14. #29

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    Okay, that is my deer. That is Little Timmy, who is not so little anymore, but, he still wants to get in the house, and of course, Bob wants out, no one gets their own way. lol. Little timmy might come by later he usually does. It was cool when he brought his own family once. I thought I was posting Sophie. lol, oh well.

    What would make the fuse blow? I will copy the instructions and take it outside with me tomorrow. Thank you.

    I think, his model is an Elantra.

  15. #30
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If it is an Elantra, there are seperate 15 amp fuses for high beam and low beam, and a 3rd 20 amp fuse that feeds the relays. If the 20 amp fuse is blown, neither the high or low beams will work.

    Try wiggling the switches first though. Fuses don't normally blow unless there is a short in the wiring.

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