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Old 10-30-2013, 04:01 AM   #1
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weird headlight problem

the beam of my passenger side headlight has become very weak. I thought it burned out but when I looked at it, it was on, just real weak. I have never seen that before. The other side is fine. I thought light bulbs either worked or failed, with nothing in between. In other words, the bulb should not slowly go bad, it should just burn out? Could there be something else going on?
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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I'm guessing that they are halogen?
If so, there is a small bulb that operates as a running light and is on with the headlights and/or running lights. I think your headlight did burn out and what you are seeing is the running light because it is behind the lens with the low/high beam bulbs and looks exactly like a headlamp is going dim, like you described.

Turn your headlight switch to running light position and verify this.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
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See if your hi beams work. If the high beams work by pulling back on the stalk(momentary on) vs not working by pushing on the stalk, then it sounds like your light switch is probably bad. Happened to me, fairly common and easy to replace.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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hi beams work fine. Also,I do not have halogen bulbs or running lights on my car.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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If your car is stock, you either have halogens or Litronics.

You might call them parking lights, which are small bulbs in the headlight housing.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:41 PM   #6
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Why would those be called "Parking lights"? Are there any intelligent places in this world where you are required to leave lights on when parked?!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linderpat View Post
hi beams work fine. Also,I do not have halogen bulbs or running lights on my car.
Well, thanks for being so informative

If you don't have running lights, how do yo pass inspection?
FYI: you do have running lights unless you took them out. They are the dim lights that you think are your headlights "burning out"
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nine8Six View Post
Why would those be called "Parking lights"? Are there any intelligent places in this world where you are required to leave lights on when parked?!

If you pull out the light switch and turn it to the left, you can turn on the left or right parking lights. I do not think they are required to be used anywhere, but if you are parking on a very dark road, or on a curve at night, it is nice to have the option to provide more visibility to other cars.

I agree that they are mostly useless, but if you ever do need them, they might save you from being slammed into by inattentive drivers at night. I have only used mine once when I doubled parked in front of a friends house for five minutes.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:55 PM   #9
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I removed both of the 'positioning' bulbs so that my 6000k bulbs look even cooler. Don't want no crappy yellow glare in there.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by linderpat View Post
hi beams work fine. Also,I do not have halogen bulbs or running lights on my car.
Ok, let's try this again

What kind of headlights do you have? Any modifications?
Could be headlight switch, headlight connector, relay, bulb, ballast, wiring...hard to say without more info.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
I'm guessing that they are halogen?
If so, there is a small bulb that operates as a running light and is on with the headlights and/or running lights. I think your headlight did burn out and what you are seeing is the running light because it is behind the lens with the low/high beam bulbs and looks exactly like a headlamp is going dim, like you described.

Turn your headlight switch to running light position and verify this.
I don't know what you mean by "running light"? I took that to mean "daylight running lights", as some cars do have. My car does not have that feature AFIK. How does a running light differ from a headlight (you make a distinction in your post)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
Well, thanks for being so informative

If you don't have running lights, how do yo pass inspection?
FYI: you do have running lights unless you took them out. They are the dim lights that you think are your headlights "burning out"
see above. This is a new configuration to me. I'll have to search the WSM, since the owner's manual doesn't shed any light on it (pun intended)

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Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
Ok, let's try this again

What kind of headlights do you have? Any modifications?
Could be headlight switch, headlight connector, relay, bulb, ballast, wiring...hard to say without more info.
bone stock as far as I know. Am very interested in knowing more. I do need to fix whatever the problem is.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:35 PM   #12
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If you have the standard halogen lights, then the main headlight has 3 bulbs aside from the fog light and turn signal; 1) low beam, 2) high beam, and 3) a small running/parking light that comes on with the headlight switch in the parking light or headlight on position. I'm not sure about the setup in the hid litronic lights, but I know that they also have a small running/parking light bulb that is on with the headlight switch in any on position.

With this running light on, it looks like the headlight is on but dim.

Since it's the easiest to do, I would suggest checking the bulb and the headlight-to-car connector first.
Assuming that the high beam works, try putting the high beam bulb in the low beam socket if they are OEM halogen(they should both be identical 55 watt bulbs) and see if it solves the issue. If so, replace the bulb. If not, check the connector next.

FYI: when looking at the headlight from the rear with the rear cover removed, the low beam is on top, the high beam is on bottom, and the running/parking light is off to the side.

Last edited by particlewave; 10-31-2013 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:36 PM   #13
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as additional info, the WSM at chptr 94 shows a low beam "dipped beam" headlight bulb, a high beam headlight bulb, a fog light and a parking light, all inside the housing. My high beam works fine, my foglight works fine, and my parking light works fine. So it must ne the low beam bulb is out.
Just ran downstairs to test everything, and apparantly the parking light is the dim light I am seeing when my lights are fully turned on - so, is this what you mean by a "running light"? Evidently the parking light is on when the full headlights (low beam) are on. Why this dual functionality? I never noticed that on my other cars, including my 928s (altho they were all 15 plus years older).
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
If you have the standard halogen lights, then the main headlight has 3 bulbs aside from the fog light and turn signal; 1) low beam, 2) high beam, and 3) a small running/parking light that comes on with the headlight switch in the parking light or headlight on position. I'm not sure about the setup in the hid litronic lights, but I know that they also have a small running/parking light bulb that is on with the headlight switch in any on position.

Since it's the easiest to do, I would suggest checking the bulb and the headlight-to-car connector first.
my last post went up before I saw this one. I do have the standard halogens. Thanks for the tutorial. Learned something new. I think it is a simple fix now - just a burned out low beam bulb.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:46 PM   #15
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No problem. This one got me once
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:54 AM   #16
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No problem. This one got me once
Oh good, another old thread for me to bump.

I see a few posts about upgrades to Litronics.
I'm curious if the vehicle side receptacles are the same for Litronics and halogens.

Supposed one was so inclined to "downgrade" from Litronics to halogens, would there need to be any modifications do the vehicle side plugs, or are they interchangeable and plug & play?
I really like the halogens for all of my vehicles, and I've not had good luck with projectors in one of my trucks, and well, as you know, having issues with my current Litronics. lol
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:14 AM   #17
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Litronic and Halogen headlights are interchangeable. However, Litronics require extra wiring to if you want to the extra features they can provide.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:21 AM   #18
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Litronic and Halogen headlights are interchangeable. However, Litronics require extra wiring to if you want to the extra features they can provide.
Car was optioned from the factory with Litronics.

They're all cattywampus'd right now.

particlewave is helping me out before I "downgrade" to halogens.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:32 AM   #19
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Yep, you can put halogens in with no modifications.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:33 AM   #20
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It's a last resort, but thanks.

Trying to up my knowledge on the vehicles, even if I don't go that route.
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