Low beam does not work

Tiny
HOUSEDOCTOR
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 24,000 MILES
I have a 1987 Honda Accord LX with a headlamp problem. For the last few weeks, the lights were essentially locked in HIGH beams. The LOW beams would occasionally work. The High beam dash indicator light seems to be working OK. One thing that may help diagnose is that the indicator light would dim slightly when I clicked the light switch to Low beam even though the headlamps stayed on High.
Two nights ago, the driver's side headlamp went out while I was driving with the Low beams on (I did say that it would occasionally work w/ Low beams). I clicked the lights to high and both headlamps worked fine. I thought it was probably the headlamp and I replaced the driver's side (the one that didn't work on low beam) headlamp this afternoon. Still the same problem. When placed on low beam, the driver's side headlamp goes out and the passenger-side headlamp seems to stay on high beam. So, what do you think is the most likely cause of the problem?
1) Bad ground or broken headlamp wire?
2) Bad relay--and if it is, where is it located?
3) Bad light switch stalk? If so, how hard is that to replace?
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Friday, December 17th, 2010 AT 12:31 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
HONDAMIKE
  • MEMBER
You have a fuse for your high beams and low beams. Check those first with a test light. If the fuses are OK and the lamps are OK, then the problem will likely be the wires going to the lamp plugs. You will need to remove the headlight assembly to get to the wires.

86-89 Accords have flip-up headlights and the wires will break from the flexing - like bending a paper clip back and forth until it breaks.

Also, a side note, the screws that hold the lamps are not magnetic and you can lose them easily.
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Saturday, December 18th, 2010 AT 7:51 PM
Tiny
HOUSEDOCTOR
  • MEMBER
Thanks HondaMike.
I found a manual and downloaded the 800 plus pages. I located the wiring diagram and noticed that there was a separate fuse for the low beams as well as the high beams. It was simply a matter of replacing the 10amp low beam fuse. I feel kinda stupid.
What got me confused was that the low beams would only work intermittently for a few weeks. I would guess that my fuse had a "hanging chad".
There aren't too many people around here with much knowledge of a 1987 Accord. It's great to know that I can come here for some good advice.
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Sunday, December 26th, 2010 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
HONDAMIKE
  • MEMBER
I also owned an 88 Accord LXi as well as worked at a Honda dealership.
Glad it all worked out for you.
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Monday, December 27th, 2010 AT 5:28 AM

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