Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Headlamp Dimmer Switch

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The headlight dimmer switch is the electrical switch that is used to control the vehicle’s headlight functions. For some vehicles it is a lever that is mounted on the steering column, while on others it may be a button or knob mounted on the dashboard or center console. The dimmer switch is primarily used to switch between the high and low beam headlights, however in many vehicles it also controls the vehicle’s interior lights as well.

As the dimmer switch is used quite frequently, every time the vehicle’s lights are turned on, it can be susceptible to wear over time and eventually need to be replaced. Usually a bad or failing headlight dimmer switch will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. Problems switching between high and low beam

One of the first symptoms of an issue with the headlight dimmer switch is problems switching between high and low beams. If the dimmer switch contacts fail or wear out it may cause issues when switching between or turning on the headlights. A bad switch may not work on certain settings, which will leave the vehicle without that particular set of lights. Depending on which lights are affected, this may problems that may render the vehicle unsafe to drive at night.

2. Headlights stuck on one setting

Another symptom of a faulty headlight dimmer switch is headlights that are stuck on one setting. If you notice that the headlights remain stuck on either high or low beam then that may be a potential sign of a bad dimmer switch. A dimmer switch that is stuck on low will leave the vehicle without high beams, while one stuck on high will leave the vehicle without low beams and blind other drivers on the road if the vehicle is driven at night.

2. Headlights do not function

Another symptom, one of a more serious issue, is headlights that do not function. If the dimmer switch breaks it may not be able to turn the headlights on at all. A vehicle without headlights will have very low visibility both on the road and for the driver, and is not safe to drive, especially at night or in the dark. Headlights can also be disabled by a wide variety of other issues, so having the vehicle properly diagnosed is highly recommended.

The headlamp dimmer switch is one of the most important switches on the vehicle, and can cause a compromise in safety for the vehicle when it goes out. If your vehicle is displaying any of the symptoms above, or you suspect that your headlight dimmer switch may be having an issue, have the vehicle diagnosed by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the switch should be replaced.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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