Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay

How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay 1

All relays, including your headlight closure relay, are used to keep high amperage and voltage systems away from the driver as a safety measure. Used in “flip-up” lights, which fold out of the body of the vehicle, headlight closure relays are essential for headlight operation. This relay is located in your main fuse box or panel.

Any relay that supplies power to an electrical system that is used as frequently as the headlights are is going to need replacing eventually; you may even need to do it more than once in the lifetime of your vehicle. Symptoms of a failing relay include headlights that fail to open or close and possibly intermittent functioning of the headlight motors.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing the headlight closure relay

Materials Needed

  • Pliers (if needed)
  • Replacement relay

How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay 2 How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay 2b

Step 1: Locate the headlight closure relay. Check in your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the location of the headlight closure relay. It will most likely be under the hood of your vehicle where your main fuse panel is located. However, it may be located inside the cab of the vehicle if you vehicle is equipped with an interior fuse box.

How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay 3

Step 2: Remove the fuse box cover or lid. To access the headlight closure relay, you will need to remove the cover or lid from the fuse box.

How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay 4

Step 3: Remove the old relay. The headlight closure relay will pull directly out from its terminal. If it is hard to grasp, you can use a pair of pliers, needle nose or otherwise. Verify that it is the same style of relay as the replacement relay.

  • Tip: Check the terminal that connects to the relay. Make sure that it is clean and will make a good connection before you install the new relay. Check the old relay for any damages. Major damage may be caused by other components related to the function of the headlight closure relay. If this is the case, these issues will need to be resolved before the installation of the new relay can be completed.

How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay 5

Step 4: Insert the new relay. Insert the new headlight closure relay where the old relay was removed. Push firmly down on the relay to properly connect it.

How to Replace a Headlight Closure Relay 6

Step 5: Test the headlights. Turn on the vehicle and test the headlights. Make sure the headlights pop up and turn on in a timely manner. Then turn them off to ensure that they close properly. Run this test three or four times to confirm proper functionality.

Step 6: Reattach the fuse box cover. Reattach the fuse box cover you had to remove to access the relay. You can then recycle your old relay as long as it is in good condition (i.e., no melted plastics, melted metal, or major destruction).

Old fashioned “pop-up” headlights add a certain appeal to many vehicles old and new. They do involve more moving parts, including additional sets, motors, and electrical systems, to make them function. If your headlight closure relay leaves you in the dark, or you would simply rather have a professional perform this repair for you, you can always contact a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to come and replace your headlight closure relay for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...

Related questions

Q: Fuel pump will not kick on and all the fuaes and relays are fine and its hooked up right, what is the problem?

You have a circuit opening relay behind the glove box and the EFI relay in the main fuse box in the engine compartment. You will need to have the complete circuit checked to see if they are supplying power. These...

Q: What Are Xenon HID Headlight Bulbs?

Xenon headlights are used in lights called HID (High Intensity Discharge lights). These lights do not use a traditional filament to provide the light but instead use xenon gas to produce the light. They provide more light output for better...

Q: No crank no communication no start chevy

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. The issue that is occurring is the wiring to the range switch on the transmission. Try taking the range switch, the switch that is on the shifter to the transmission, from your old...