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Old 12-01-2011, 11:40 AM   #1
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Drivers headlight dim

Just returned from inspection station and noticed drivers side headlight was dim compared to passenger side. Both OK on high beam. car passed inspection if it is a bulb, how do I change out ? If I do I will do both sides. Thanks for your help. Max

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Old 12-01-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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Instructions for removing the headlights are in the car manual. And the tool you need to do it is in the little tool pouch that the car comes with.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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Mine is the same. It may not be the bulb because I switched my bulbs (left to right and right to left) and it was the same side that was dim so I know it is not the bulb. I still don't know what it is... Maybe the ballast? You might want to try and swap the left and right bulbs to see if you have the same issue as myself.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #4
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I don't know if its a ballast or not, but most of the time when you have a headlight that is dim you have a bad ground. It may have enough of a ground to make it light up but there is too much resistance to make it light up brighter. Jump a wire to the ground and see if that helps.

A lot of times weird electrical problems always come down to bad/not sufficient grounds.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
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bad ground, connection. or bad bulb.


To check if it is a bad bulb just swap with high or low beam. That is if you have the standard lights

Last edited by healthservices; 12-01-2011 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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Thank you all for helping. BALLAST ??? Where would that be located ? do I again here the sound..... Cah---chiiiingggg !!!! John99Boxter, can I have a loan ??? MAX
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:31 PM   #7
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Great seeing everyone so eager to help and toss out what we think is the right solution. But before we blanketly send milliemax on a snipe hunting expedition, let's instead prudently ask for more info...

We know he has a '99 but we don't know if he has halogen (most likely) or HID/Xenon lights (don't think they were an option in '99 but could have been or they could have been upgraded). So, OP please clarify and if you do not know, post a picture and we can tell you in a heartbeat (HIDs have a round lens w/in the housing - halogens just a plain reflector).

Anyhow... for the most part, HIDs don't go dim. They usually are either on or off or will flicker...

Halogens on the other hand can go dim... OR... they can go out completely which may just LOOK like a dim headlight b/c of the 'city light' also in the reflector housing. So, let's assume OP has halogens. In which case, an easy test is to pop the headlight pod (as stated, directions in manual and tool in frunk tool kit). Then, since the high, low and fogs all use the same H7 bulb, simply move the one from either the hi or fog to the low and vice versa. W/in the housing, the low and high are stacked on top of each other but low is on top w/ high underneath. Pop the pod back in and test your lights again. If the low now works and the fog or high does not, then it's the bulb. Pick up a pair of new H7s and and change them out on both sides (they typically go w/in a week or so of each other).

If you have HIDs, we'll take a different avenue but dollars to donuts, you have halogens.

Good luck
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Thank you Burg, I am pretty sure this 99 is pure stock. No up grades. I thank you for your help as I thought there were a few bulbs inside. Thanks to you I now know that they are all the same !!! A little less pain to deal with. Thanks !!! Max
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #9
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First of all, Thank You All for helping me. Burg, You get the donuts !!! The problem was the bulb (Halogen) (original) I changed the bad driver's side and then the passenger side also. And may I add, I found a small bare cable with a loop on the passenger side light area. It was tucked along the left side of the wall between the trunk and where the headlight pod (small watermelon) slides into. I pulled it out to find that it is the EMERGENCY HOOD RELEASE CABLE. Looking around and wondering how someone would find it ? NO WAY unless you pulled the front bumper. So I re-routed the cable towards the hole where the small bumper plug is for the tow ring. I tied a small fishing line (50 lb test) to the cable and left the fishing line tucked into the small hole and replaced the bumper cap. Now !!! I can "POP'' the front trunk in an emergency, and QUICK !!!! Dead battery is no longer a worry. And John99boxter, Do not need the loan this time, thanks a million !!! Max
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:44 PM   #10
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Congrats Max! I will leave your revolving credit line open. Hopefully you will not need it!

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