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Old 03-20-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
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Replaced headlights...now low beams do not work

Hi everyone -

Here's my problem:

A few days ago, my left headlight's low-beam went out. Its high-beam was still fine, and the right headlight was still fine on both low & high. I always replace headlights in pairs, so I picked up a set of Sylvania Silverstar H6054ST's at Autozone for the brighter, wider beam.

Went to turn on the headlights this morning, and, NO LOW beams at all. High beams work just fine, as do all running lights, turn signals, and interior lights. Just no low beams on both headlights.

I just checked more thoroughly the specs of these compared to the normal "basic" headlights that I was using. These are the specs:
*******************
Silverstar
Amperage Draw = 4.30
Initial Peak Beam Candlepower = 110
Bulb Type = halogen
Low & High Beams Headlamp Wattage = 55
Operating Voltage = 12.8

Basic
Amperage Draw = 2.73
Initial Peak Beam Candlepower = 110
Bulb Type = halogen
Low & High Beams Headlamp Wattage = 35
Operating Voltage = 12.8

***********************

The only big difference I can see is a much higher amp draw on the silverstars (4.3amp vs. 2.73amp)

Is there any possibility this greater amp draw shorted out a relay or fuse?

I have read in a number of threads that a likely culprit for no low beams is the multi-function turn-signal/high-low beam dimmer switch-arm on the left of the steering column. Now, it seems to be to be an awfully odd coincidence that just putting in new headlights would damage or cause a problem with that lever switch, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong. (it was working perfectly before putting in the new headlights, and I've put in High-Output headlights before).

I have not yet had a chance to check the two fuses involved in the equation (the 30amp one in the power distribution box under the hood by the battery, and the 20amp one in the fuse panel under the dash), but it seems that if the high beams are working (which they are), then the fuses couldn't possibly be blown (again, correct me if I'm off base).

Any ideas?

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Old 03-20-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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do you feel the click in the lever when you try to go from bright to dim?...if you do it's not likely the switch....and the dimmer switch is actually located at the bottom of the steering column....it's actuated by a rod that runs from the top of the column (inside) to the switch...in the column at the top there is a spring activated assembly that pushes the rod down on the dimmer switch when you pull on the lever...

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Old 03-20-2012, 10:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfbilbro View Post
do you feel the click in the lever when you try to go from bright to dim?...if you do it's not likely the switch....and the dimmer switch is actually located at the bottom of the steering column....it's actuated by a rod that runs from the top of the column (inside) to the switch...in the column at the top there is a spring activated assembly that pushes the rod down on the dimmer switch when you pull on the lever...
jfbilbro -

I hadn't had a chance to check this problem out earlier, as it happened on the way to work. I just went out to the parking lot for a few minutes to check out a few things. As I was playing with the connector plugs that plug into each headlight, wiggling it, the lights suddently flickered on. I could wiggle them around and get the lights to flicker on and off like a blinking christmas tree light.

It's almost as if the prongs on the headlights are..., well, "thinner" or something, because they just don't seem to fit snugly inside the slots of the connector. I'll have to see if I can clean up the connectors, or maybe replace them with new ones (if they're available).

Problem solved.

GRRRRRRRRR.

Oh, and yes, I could feel the "click" in the lever arm when going from high to low. I started with that, then popped the hood to start troubleshooting. Just a bad fit on the prongs with the connectors.

Thanks jfbilbro.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techmonster View Post
jfbilbro -

I hadn't had a chance to check this problem out earlier, as it happened on the way to work. I just went out to the parking lot for a few minutes to check out a few things. As I was playing with the connector plugs that plug into each headlight, wiggling it, the lights suddently flickered on. I could wiggle them around and get the lights to flicker on and off like a blinking christmas tree light.

It's almost as if the prongs on the headlights are..., well, "thinner" or something, because they just don't seem to fit snugly inside the slots of the connector. I'll have to see if I can clean up the connectors, or maybe replace them with new ones (if they're available).

Problem solved.

GRRRRRRRRR.

Oh, and yes, I could feel the "click" in the lever arm when going from high to low. I started with that, then popped the hood to start troubleshooting. Just a bad fit on the prongs with the connectors.

Thanks jfbilbro.
The plug issue happened to me... Fixed the prongs and cleaned them up and have not had a issue since...
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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The plug issue happened to me... Fixed the prongs and cleaned them up and have not had a issue since...
Just checked Autozone... they have replacement connectors for $3 a piece, complete with the pigtail wires for splicing. I'll pick up a couple and see if they fit the new prongs on these Silverstars any better before doing any splicing.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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After you go through this set it might be a good idea to convert to permanent lenses. That way you just swap in new H4 bulbs when you need and shouldn't have a problem with prongs and such.

The basic Hella H4s I've been using since I converted have better output than stock and are only $4 a piece on Amazon.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
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After you go through this set it might be a good idea to convert to permanent lenses. That way you just swap in new H4 bulbs when you need and shouldn't have a problem with prongs and such.

The basic Hella H4s I've been using since I converted have better output than stock and are only $4 a piece on Amazon.
That's a good idea. Just found them on Amazon and Quadratec.

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