Headlights not working why?

Tiny
MATTHEWBOUX
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.6L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
My low beam/DRL/ headlights are not working. The parking lights work, high beams work, fog lights work so I am assuming it is not the headlight switch !

- Not the bulbs
- Not the fuses ( tested 29 and 34 in fuse box - confirmed power )

I have no power at the headlight bulb end of the harness? No loose connections. At first it was the right side light, now it is both sides. I am lost I have been through most anything I can think of. Please help.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 18th, 2020 AT 6:49 PM

29 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
This very well could be the switch. What I would do is go to the smart junction box and measure voltage on the Blue/White wire in pin 14. This sounds be the low beam signal from the switch. If you have power on this wire at the smart junction box when the lights are in low then it is not the switch but the junction box.

Let me know if you have questions. Thanks
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, January 19th, 2020 AT 12:07 PM
Tiny
TG53
  • MEMBER
What should the voltage be at pin 14? I only have 3v at the pin and the same at the headlight connectors on both sides. I have 12v going into the SJB from the Battery Junction box.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, October 11th, 2020 AT 2:04 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
If you take a look at the SJB it says that wire is a sense wire. That means it is a 5 volt circuit. So 3 volts makes sense when you have the switch on low beams.

This is actually good because that confirms you have the switch telling the SJB to turn on the lights. However, if you have no voltage on pins 3 and 20 coming out of the SJB then that means the SJB is the issue.

Let me know what you find. Thanks
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, October 12th, 2020 AT 7:12 PM
Tiny
CHRIS GARRETT2
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.0L
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
So I purchased this nice SUV listed above Eddie Bauer edition in great condition and low miles. Anyways, when I start the vehicle and then turn my headlights on the headlight very quickly come on then turn off. This leaves an error message of checking both driver and passenger side head lamp. What could cause this? A module? Location? Ease of replacing. Or could it be more of loose wiring?

Help please!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
If you have the headlights with the automatic on option do those work and it only shuts off if you use the switch to turn them on? Or does it do this even with the automatic headlights? Do the parking lights work? Are these the stock headlights and bulbs?
The description sounds like you could have a bad ground to one of the lights and it causes the system to think there is a problem. Both systems use the same light wiring, I would check the grounds for a good connection on both sides. They use the black wire (or a black wire with gray stripe) for the ground. Each one is separate. If the grounds check out okay and they are stock parts then I would suspect the smart junction box up behind the dash. It isn't that hard to change but I would have the truck scanned by a dealer level scan tool as it can test the module to be sure it's the issue first. It isn't a cheap part to swap without being sure it's the problem first.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TRACEY NANCE
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD EXPLORER
  • 0.6L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 180,000 MILES
First the low beams went out and the high beams are only work when you hold down the high beam. Now they don't work at all, just a side lamp and the blinkers. What can it be?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good morning,

I attached a diagram for you of the system. There are 6 fuses for the circuit that need to be tested. This is not a visual test but a power test for voltage at the fuses.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-wiring

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

Please review the diagram and check the listed fuses.

I attached the fuse box and the legends for the fuses so you can see the locations of the fuses needed to be tested.

Roy

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
GOLFDOGTOM
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 315,000 MILES
Drivers side headlight dim on low beam, high beam does not work either, new bulb installed same thing, passenger side works properly. Any help?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCGRANTURISMO
  • EXPERT
Hello,

Okay, so what you have got here is an open in the High Beam circuit and unwanted resistance, a dirty connector, frayed wire, corrosion across the fuse or fuse holder, in the Low Beam circuit. In the diagrams down below I have included a wiring diagram of your vehicle's headlight circuits as well as guides for how to find an open in an automotive electrical circuit, and how to find unwanted resistance using the preferred method, voltage drop. ou will need to use a Digital MultiMeter(DMM) so I have included this link below for you to go to, if needed.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-voltmeter

Please go through these guides and get back to us with what you are able to find out.

Thanks,
Alex
2CarPros
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ROBERTCIRAFICE
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • V8
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 87,000 MILES
My sons 1997 right low beam does not work the bulb lights up on high beam only also fog lights do not work either as they are on same circuit checked # 8 fuse in vehicle and #8 under hood fuses are fine as is the bulbs also the abs light does not light up while vehicle goes the the self test.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
GOLFERCARGUY
  • MEMBER
You must have the message center on your vehicle, if it does you should have gotten a headlight out message on it and it is because the module has gone bad that moniters the lights its right under the message center display unit on the console, you need to lift it off, (it just snaps in place) the module is located right under that display unit on the right side of the console, you will need to go to a ford dealer and obtain a new one, I think they are around $80.00 install it and you should be ok again I had the part number for that module but I cant seem to locate it right now if I find it ill let you know
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JIMMYWILSON
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
Whenever the headlights are turned either by switch or twilight sensor, only the parking lights come one, the high beams work when you hold back the lever as to flash, but do not work when you press it forward for them to stay on, and regular beam does not come on. Sometimes when you shake the lever back and forth, something clicks and the lights come on. I have checked the fuses and the relay fuses under the hood and also have replaced the headlight switch itself and the problem still remains, what could be causing this?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KERENSELF
  • MEMBER
Hi!

This may sound silly, but have you checked the bulbs? Your headlight bulbs each have 2 filaments in them - one that illuminates for your low beams and one for the high beams that's a higher wattage. You'd be surprised how easy it is to drive around with one headlight out and not realize it until the other one goes out as well;)
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JIMMYWILSON
  • MEMBER
It turns out it was the multi-function switch that controls the wipers / hazards / and both beams, the high beams work to flash when you pulled the lever back because that runs on a different circuit, whereas the regular on high beam on are on the same and something was faulty within the switch. A very easy fix once I found it. Thanks for your suggestions.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RUSTYMILLCREEK
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • V8
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 146,000 MILES
Right headlight out, in cabin and under hood fuses all are good, it is not the bulb, putting power to the outbound side of the in cabin left head light fuse lights the light, the same does not work for the right head light. Fog lights also do not work. I am not getting a head light out message.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:24 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DAVE H
  • MEMBER
Check fuse # 8 in underhood fuse/relay box and Foglight Relay. In auxiliary relay box No. 2. Power feed for right low beam goes through these. Is the high beam working?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:24 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RUSTYMILLCREEK
  • MEMBER
Solved, it was the light out module, thx
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:24 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBALFORD54
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • 250,000 MILES
I had an issue with the wires that go into the switch that turns on and off my lights. The wires were melted together and messed up the part that the wires plug into so I clipped the wires cleaned them up and ran them directly in the switch. They were working fine until last night when two of the wires arced together. Now both high and low beam headlights do not work. All other lights work still though.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:24 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The first thing is to straighten out the melted/shorted wires, then expect to find blown fuses. Tell me which wire colors are affected.

The only proper repair involves replacing the switch and the two or more overheated terminals. If you only replace the switch, or you only replace the terminals, the problem is going to keep on occurring over and over.

This is caused by a less-than-perfect connection between a mating pair of terminals, or between a pair of contacts inside the head light switch. When just a little resistance develops between them, that causes heat to be generated when current flows through it. That heat leads to more resistance which leads to more heat. That heat migrates from the bad connection to the switch's contacts, or the other way around. When you only replace the switch, the bad connections between the terminals is still there. That is what causes the repeat failures. The same occurs when you only replace the terminals. The arced switch contacts will cause the heat problem to occur again.

First replace the switch. Cut out the two burned terminals from the connector body, and cut away the melted part of the connector. Replace the two terminals with universal crimp-type terminals of the same size. You can also snip that connector from a truck in the salvage yard and remove two clean and shiny terminals from it. Be sure to get at least four inches of wire with those terminals. Gently squeeze the new terminals to insure they make a nice tight connection to the switch's terminals.

Cut off four inches of the wire with the burned terminals. That wire will be hardened from overheating and solder won't adhere to it. With the universal terminals, crimp them to four inches of new wire of the same diameter, but solder them too to insure a good connection. Plug in the connector with the melted areas cut away, then plug in the two new terminals individually. Splice the wires to the truck's wires. Solder those connections, then seal them with heat-shrink tubing. Never use electrical tape in a car as it will unravel into a gooey mess on a hot day.

This same problem occurs to other switches in high-current circuits, to include heater fan speed switches, dimmer switches, and ignition switches. Repairs can be handled the same way. Heater fan and ignition switches commonly develop these overheated terminals when people use the fan on the highest speeds often, and when switching the ignition switch on and off while the fan switch is set to a high speed. That causes a lot of internal arcing inside the ignition switch, and those arced or burned spots lead to the high-resistance contacts that generate a lot of heat.

Here's the entire head lamp diagram without automatic lights. The 20-amp fuse is shown as number 11, but on the chart, head lamps isn't listed for that fuse, so there is already some confusion.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:24 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DENVER S THOMPSON
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • 0.5L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 14,500 MILES
Where is relay for headlights at no lights and does not have auto light on it?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 1:24 PM (Merged)

Please login or register to post a reply.

Sponsored links