Troubleshooting my headlights

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by teo, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    I looked at posting this under the American Muscle forum but my poor Ford Focus wagon is pretty emasculated what with the carseat and stroller and all :mamoru: ...not exactly show and shine material. :hsugh:

    First, some stats: 2002 Focus SE Wagon, 5spd manual, power everything, craptacular non-stock stereo that I want to rip out and curb stomp.

    Now, the headlights. They worked without issue up to and including on the way out to the Halloween party we went to on Saturday night. As of when we left a few hours later, they no longer work. Both headlights are out and do not turn on no matter the position of the headlight dial (running lights, regular lights... no dice). The orange running lights and brights do work, however, and that's how I drove home from the party (much to the disgust of my husband, lol :rofl:. He says lit roads, lights not strictly needed. I say I'd rather make no mistake about our dark grey car being seen - and seeing what the road lights don't show, for that matter - and if someone gets their panties in a wad about the brights, well, I'm sorry but hey you know I'm there. Anyway...)

    We checked the fuses and none of them appear to be tripped. However, we don't have the owners' manual and we had to guess at which fuse it was. We checked all the fuses that looked like they had anything to do with lights. On that note, does the metal filament in a fuse have to sever/melt to be tripped, or is it possible to have one tripped without any change in outward appearance? I've never seen a tripped auto fuse before.

    Husband thinks it's probably a short somewhere. I'm hoping not. Is there anything else we can check before we take it in? This'll have to get fixed pronto - south Canadian twilight begins around 5 and will only get earlier for the next while, and of course driving after dark with either brights or no lights isn't a good idea.

    Also, something that may possibly be related: We bought the car used about a year ago. The interior lights and power mirrors have never worked and the fuses appear fine, same as above (we checked those a while back). We've suspected it was an electrical issue but it hasn't been enough of a bother for us to get it looked at.

    Any thoughts? :dunno: Thanks in advance.

    Cliffs: Headlights both suddenly stopped working on the weekend. Highbeams and running lights still work. Trying to figure out what the issue is.
     
  2. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    When it's moved, where do you want this moved to?
     
  3. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    Wherever it's actually supposed to be? :dunno: Is American Muscle where it's supposed to go?
     
  4. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Probably.

    It'll stay cross-linked here for 5 days.
     
  5. djshotglass

    djshotglass New Member

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    If the brights work the electrical sounds like it's working. Maybe the filament for the normal lights burned out on both bulbs at once? Try replacing a bulb and see what happens.
     
  6. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    So there's no separate wiring and/or fuse for brights vs. regular running lights? Does that change per vehicle?
     
  7. vgeek

    vgeek New Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4D6cHLRLUk

    Did you check the fuses under the hood as well as the interior fuses? Its already been mentioned, but it seems like it would be odd for both lights to burn out at the same time. If the lows and high beams are on separate circuits, that could explain something.

    Do you have a multimeter to check the plug to see if voltage is being delivered when the lows are turned on?
     
  8. djshotglass

    djshotglass New Member

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    I'm probably the wrong person to ask I'm not really a car person. But I would say probably not. All I know is the older style bulbs have two filaments. One for brights and the other for normal lights. If one burns out the other will still work just fine.
     
  9. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    you own a ford. you definately want to look into buying a a new lighting control module from ford for $700. just wait till your windshield wipers start going outta nowhere.
     
  10. NOR*CAL

    NOR*CAL OT Supporter

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    Jiggle your headlight switch. If it's a push/pull type, they go out all the time.
     
  11. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    :x:
     
  12. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    auto headlights? and you can only get the highs on by pulling the stalk, not by pushing it forward....amirite?
     
  13. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

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    Sounds to me like the headlight relay is busted.
     
  14. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    Headlights are on a dial switch on the dashboard. Normally they are automatically turned on when the car is started and they brighten a bit when the dial is turned to the 'on' position. The brights are toggled by pushing the turn signal lever towards the driver, separate from the headlight dial.

    I didn't know about more fuses under the hood... Going to find an owners manual to see if that applies to my car since I'd have no clue where they would be. I'm not sure about the multimeter. I haven't seen one and I'm the one in the toolboxes the most... I'll look again.

    It is one bulb for regular and brights, so there is that chance that they both just happened to go out at once :dunno:
     
  15. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    Also, :mamoru: at Red Green... I love that show.
     
  16. rockstar b

    rockstar b no OT Supporter

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    another vote for checking/replacing the switch
     
  17. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    Well, we started with the headlight bulbs first, figuring that was the cheapest option. And... it worked! I've never ever heard of two headlights going at the exact same time, and I thought for sure something had gone awry. I guess there's a first time for everything...
     
  18. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    lucky you guys!!
     
  19. victimizati0n

    victimizati0n New Member

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    same thing happened to a friends subaru, it was a fuse under the hood

    anyways, i just saw that both bulbs burnt out, and i must say that is NOT a coinsidence, something happened to make both blow out, i would check all of the fuses and make sure the right ones are in there.. there should be a guide under the panel that lists all of the amp ratings of the fuses, check to see if they match the fuses that are in there
     

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