Low Beam Headlights don't Work

Low Beam Headlights don't Work

One or both of the low beam headlights do not work when the driver turns them on. 

The low beam don't turn on, but the high beams work. Below you will find some common issues related to low beam lights.

In this article, we will discuss a few items that you need to check if you are having low beam problems. 


  • Headlight's don't turn on
  • Low beams don't work, high beams work

Common Causes

This problem can be caused by multiple failed parts including:

  • bad headlight switch,
  • burned light bulb,
  • bad electrical connection at the headlight socket
  • blown fuse

Troubleshooting steps

Check Fuses

hyundai low beam problems

The low beams and high beams have their designated fuses for each of the circuit. In some car models, you will have a separate fuse for the left and right low beams. Locate the fuse box under the engine and on the side of the dashboard. Find the fuse for the low beam and for the high beam. 

low beam problems

If your lights are working on high beam but not on low beam, check the fuses first.  Fuses are very inexpensive and easy to replace. If you find a burned out fuse order a box of 120 assorted fuses  from on Amazon and replace the burned fuse with the same color, which should also be the same ampere rating.

nissan low beam problems 

Headlamp Bulb

passat low beam problem

The next thing that you should check is the headlight bulb. You can easily replace the light bulb yourself. Depending on the bulb and design of your headlights you may low and high beam integrated into one. This is common in bulbs types such as the 9007 or 9004. 

A defective light bulb can be easily identified as you will notice the filament broken inside the bulb. Note that some cars have separate bulbs for the low and the high beams. In others, one light bulb has two filaments, one for the low and the other for the high beam.

Carefully inspect the contact at the terminals of the light bulb. In the picture above you can see how the insulation had melted. 

Light Switch

If you checked the above items and you didn't?t resolve the problem with your headlights the next thing to check is the light switch.

The light switch on the dash turns on the light, but switching between low and high beams is performed with the lever on the steering wheel column. This is known as the multi-function combination switch which is typically integrated with the turn signal switch.

To replace the multi-function combination switch it is required that the steering wheel is removed. This is a Do-It-Yourself project and should take you no more than two hours. An experienced mechanic should be able to replace the switch in about one hour.


low beam headlight problem

In some models, the problem could also be the low or high beam relay. The relays are located in the fuse box in the engine compartment. Replacement relays can be purchased on Amazon and can be easily replaced by any car owner. You can buy Automotive Replacement Relay on Amazon for a fraction of dealer prices. 

Further troubleshooting

If you have the circuit diagram and a multimeter such as the Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital Multimeters, you can do further troubleshooting to diagnose this problem. A few things that you should check is to find our if the light switch is receiving power. Check if power is being transmitted to the multi-function combination switch.

Switch between the high and the low beam and see if there is continuity at the terminals of the light and the combination switch. You cannot perform much troubleshooting without a multimeter so start by getting a Digital Multimeter.



When should you use HIGH beam?

Use the high beam lights under the following conditions.

  • Rural or poorly lit roads
  • Extreme weather during the day

High beams produce more light and project further away. They are only used on highways and rural roads. High beams are very bright so if you have other cars approaching you on the other side of the road, make sure to switch to low beams until the other car passes you.

Also do not keep the high beams on, if you are following another car in front of you closely.


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