There may be times when your headlights don't work even if you have a new set of headlight lamps. Either it suddenly shuts off and lights back on, or it doesn't light up at all. If this is the case, you may have a faulty headlight switch. Depending on the level of the defect, the problem can be solved either by a repair, or a complete replacement.
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Wrench set
- Cotton swab
- All-purpose cleaner
- Electric degreaser
- Headlight switch replacement (if necessary)
Step 1: Turn off the car's engine and disconnect the battery.
Step 2: Remove the headlight switch from its mounting. Depending on your car, the switch can be located on the steering column or on the dashboard. If it is on the steering column, remove the column's cover first. Turn the wheel and unscrew the screws holding switch. Unplug the wires to completely detach it. If the switch is mounted on the dashboard, simply remove the screws attached and unplug wires to get the switch out.
Step 3: Diagnose the switch. If it is repairable, disassemble the switch to access the different prongs, contact points and compartments. Use your fingers and cotton swab to clean the insides with all-purpose cleaner. Find the contact points and rub electric degreaser on them to improve its conductivity. Assemble the switch after cleaning.
Step 4: If the switch is beyond cleaning and repair, throw the old one and buy a whole new unit.
Step 5: Connect the wires to the new switch.
Step 6: Plug the battery to test if the switch works properly. Check if the lights turn on and if all settings on the switch work. If everything is working condition, finish the repair by returning all the remaining screws and covers.
The whole repair will only take about 30 minutes.
- If the switch is mounted on the dash, it might be a good idea to clamp the wires together outside the panel so that they won't fall inside the engine compartment.
- Label or take a picture of the wires so that you'll have a guide on how to reconnect them.