Headlights

Tiny
THEBOSS
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD TAURUS
  • V6
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 83,000 MILES
Right side headlight dim or wont come on I have replaced the bulb.
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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 AT 3:35 AM

36 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check ground for that headlight follow black wire and see if broken.
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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 AT 8:16 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS MIKE
  • ADMIN
Theboss
August 20, 2015.

Thank you but I do not see black wire at the bulb plug. Thanks-
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Thursday, August 20th, 2015 AT 9:54 AM
Tiny
THEBOSS
  • MEMBER
Thanks so much it was the black wire broken.
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Sunday, August 30th, 2015 AT 5:15 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
If these are auto headlights then scan for codes a local pro will have to do it as it may be a gem module or one of the light sensors. I tcan also be a multi function switch screwing up.
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Sunday, August 30th, 2015 AT 8:08 AM
Tiny
STUPID REQUIREMENT
  • MEMBER
Here is the fix:
Disconnect the dim headlight. Cut the center wire (this is ground). Connect a jump wire to the headlight side of the cut wire (leave the other wire disconnected). Run your jump wire to the other headlight. Splice into the center wire of that headlight. That junction should have three wires when finished.
1. Jump wire; 2 wire to headlight; wire to harness.
This works. None of the other posting solutions worked. My vehicle lights now operate as before.
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Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Brilliant! Instead of repairing the broken ground wire on one side, which would take the better part of ten minutes, you opted for the unacceptable solution of running a wire the engineers at Ford were too stupid to install at the factory.

I taught my students that running a new wire is rarely acceptable. As a supervisor in a shop, I would never allow my customers' cars to be repaired with a cobble-job like that, and you will never get your car back with that type of repair. The original wire became cut on the sharp edge of a metal bracket, or it rubbed back and forth until it grounded out on the body sheet metal, and grounded out, both of which are much more common than you'd expect. We need to identify exactly where that occurred because how long will it be before the next wire in that harness will do the same thing? Every professional who has their customers' best interest at heart would never let a car go knowing a new problem was potentially going to occur in the near future. What part of the country, late at night, will you be sitting on the side of the road?

Cutting the ground wire on the dim head light is not necessary. You're installing a break in a wire that is already malfunctioning because it has a break in it. Also, why would you run to the ground wire way over on the other side of the car? You could have just tapped into the ground wire, ran the new wire less than 12", and bolted it to the body.

There's two other potential problems. The first is Ford is very famous for running the ground wires for multiple, unrelated circuits to a single terminal, then bolting that to the body sheet metal. If that terminal is corroded or loose, the head light current is going to look for an alternate path to ground, and it may find that by back-feeding through the running lights, the washer pump motor, or the horn. That can cause all kinds of conflicting symptoms with elusive solutions. Running a new wire the way you did could make the head light work properly, but it wouldn't address all the other problems. You could end up repairing a half dozen problems, each taking over an hour to diagnose and solve. That is hardly the responsible way to take care of our customer. In my city with over a dozen new-car dealers and about 50 independent repair shops, we are lucky to have only the Chevy dealer still in business who is a widely-well-known crook. We did have one independent shop rip-off artist, but the community put him out of business. Anyone finding this type of "repair" would want to find out where it was done so we could stop recommending them as a reputable shop.

Speaking of back-feeding, the first clue the ground wire was broken was the head light was dim, not out completely. To be dim, some current had to be going through it, but how could it do that with the broken ground wire? The second clue would have been to disconnect the left head lamp. You would have seen the dim right bulb would have gone out. Current goes through the right low beam filament, can't get to ground by normal means, but back-tracks through the high-beam filament, then over to the high-beam on the left side since they're tied together. It goes through that filament, then to ground on the left side. The 12 volts was divided up between three filaments instead of one. That's why the right side is on but less than full brightness. The additional clue is the high-beam indicator on the dash is tied in with that circuit, so it will be on dim all the time.

The second problem is 2003 was just about when the use of unnecessary, complicated, and unreliable computers made their way to lighting systems. On many cars, the ground circuit doesn't go the body any more. The two individual grounds run through the Body Computer first, then to ground, so those circuits can be monitored. In this situation, you'd have twice the ground current as expected on the left ground and 0 amps on the right ground, both of which would set diagnostic fault codes. Legitimate problems would not be able to be detected by that computer. Also, starting around 2000 to 2002, the instrument cluster became the most "intelligent", (complicated), computer on Ford products. My description of the high-beam indicator being on dim won't apply, so that potential clue isn't available.

The bottom line is there is no arguing you may have two properly-working head lights, but the way you accomplished it is not what we want other do-it-yourselfers to think is an acceptable repair. The correct repair is much easier and when we have to bill our time by the hour, is the only way a conscientious mechanic would approach this. We have enough trouble already with a bad reputation for the entire industry. Most of it is undeserved, and we would never back a shop that produced this kind of work for paying customers. To leave your solution unanswered would leave our visitors with the false impression we approve of it. That would do them a huge disservice and destroy our credibility.
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Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 AT 8:35 PM
Tiny
MINICH
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 83,000 MILES
My left headlight does not work on dim. The high beam works. I checked fuse and it is good. I put the fuse from the left low beam in and the right low beam still did not work. I changed the bulb and it still does now work on low but high beam works.

I have no idea where to go from here to find out what is not working.

Thanks for you help and time?

John
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • MEMBER
Those lights are controlled by a Lighting Control Module. You're going to need an enhanced scan tool to access that module and find out what is going on.

I would check all the wiring and contacts in the meantime.
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PACK6900
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 FORD TAURUS
Electrical problem
2002 Ford Taurus 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

i have left headlight and right headlight was dim then rght headlight went completly out checked for ground and traced most wireing for breaks what ami missing. PS already checked fuses.
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Check for power you should have power at all time (DK GRN /ORG wire)
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SAMYODER
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
I recently acquired an old Tarus to use as a local commuter. It's in excellent condition in spite of age and mileage - except for headlights, tail lights and dash lights, all of which are dim. Battery seems to be good. Dome lights are very bright even if the car is not running, and it cranks and starts great even in very cold weather.
Thanks!
Sam
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JGAROFALO
  • MEMBER
Sounds like a grounding problem initially, but since you are referring to 3 different light groups, I would be more inclined to point to something common to all 3 light groups. What comes to mind is the headlight switch. It is possible that there is a high resistance in the switch or the connector that is causing the lights to be dim.
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SAMYODER
  • MEMBER
Followup question please:

Assume for the moment that your idea about a bad ground is correct, (that was actually my initial assumption as well), where would I look for a ground that effects both headlights equally?
Thanks
sam
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DAVE H
  • MEMBER
Just a little interuption until jgarofalo gets back to you


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266999_ground_2.jpg

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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JGAROFALO
  • MEMBER
Initially, it sounds like a grounding problem, but after some thought, I am more inclined to point at the headlight switch or connector.

There are several grounds. There are ground points at the radiator support, near the wiring harnesses a bit before the headlights. There is at least one ground at the rear of the car behind one of the taillight assemblies. There are also several ground points inside the car. ONE bad ground would more likely affect one or two lights - not ALL of them. The one part that is common to all of the lights is the headlight switch. High resistance inside the switch or high resistance at the connector would be more likely to make ALL of the lights dim.

The first test I would make would be to remove the switch from the instrument panel, leaving it connected to the harness. With the lights OFF, check the voltage at the BLACK wire with ORANGE stripe. This should read the same as the battery voltage. Then, turn ON the lights, and recheck the same voltage. If it is still at battery voltage, then check voltage at the other wires with the lights ON.

If you find the voltage drops at the BLACK/ORANGE wire with the lights on, then you have a high resistance connection in the circuit from the battery to the switch. If the voltage does NOT drop, then it is most likely a bad switch.

Once again, I think that ONE ground will normally NOT dim ALL of the lights.
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SAMYODER
  • MEMBER
Thanks!
Sam
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRAVESTAR1
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 FORD TAURUS
Electrical problem 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 70000 miles

Alright I read an earlier post about this problem. Basically the passenger side headlight is dim compared to the driver's side one. I tried to bypass the ground, which according to the earlier person's problem seemed to be the case. IN so doing I managed to get the light to brighten up considerably, and turn ON the other light. The only problem was the headlight switch was OFF. Every time I did this, and connected a splice from what I presume was a ground wire to a grounded screw on the frame, I would get a spark from the wire, and the lights would glow bright.

I know this side works, because if you disconnect the light and put it on the driver's side it works just fine, so it's not the light/socket or the $40 housing wiring harness. It acts like it's not getting enough power. We already have 1 car down for motor mounts, I liked to fix this one myself. What can I do here?

Yes both high and low beams are affected and the Daytime Running lights as well. I already tried to change the bulbs to no effect.

One thing to note. On these cars, as I have a Mercury, if you pull the headlight hi/low beam lever towards you, it puts both filaments on (normally) into a sort of hyper mode, I used to use this when I was driving in the super dark of Wisconsin. If I do this same function the dim bulb actually turns off completely, and the other one lights up as it normally would.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/180565_IMG_0944_1.jpg

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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
On left front fender near top find wires attached to fender check to see if clean and tight. it is G108

Here is a wiring diagram and a guide to help you get the problem fixed.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

If the ground lights the test light up the ground is bad.

Please let us know what you find. We are interested to see what it is.

Cheers
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRAVESTAR1
  • MEMBER
That would be the screw attached to the fender at the top, that is near a strut for the hood? If so, that is the screw I used for ground. That's the one whereby I spliced connections from the wiring harness plug (the part that plugs into the wiring harness for the headlight. It had about 7 wires, and I tried most of em, got sparks most times, and caused the lights to come on good, but without aid of the headlight switch in the car. That one I couldn't figure out. Like i was bypassing the switch, and it worked good, you just couldn't shut it off.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/180565_IMG_0946_1.jpg



If I could add an arrow, I could show you I spliced on the back side, where the thinner wires are. Only one I didn't do was a pure black one, but I assumed it was for the turn signal lights, (white/brown/black wires go to the signal on the light) (Green, Blue, Red go to the headlight) and by then my last splice had fallen apart.
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRAVESTAR1
  • MEMBER


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/180565_IMG_0945_2.jpg



This is what I think you mean. Yeah that was tight as can be, and I used that as a ground point to determine continuity and hook-up a new splice for ground. Which then set the lights on, but you couldn't shut em off.
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Sunday, January 27th, 2019 AT 8:51 PM (Merged)

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