Q: Driver side headlights are dim. When I flash brights, the engine dies.

asked by on November 09, 2016

So the driver side headlights are working but they are very dim. The passenger side are nice and bright. I replaced the alternator with a new 145amp. It came with a 105amp reman. Before I replaced the alternator if I turned the brights on or just flashed them the engine would die. Now after replacing the alternator I can turn the brights on and leave them but if I pull the lever back to just flash them real quick the engine dies. Any thoughts on where to look or what could be the culprit?

My car has 162000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. First check the battery cables for a clean and corrosion free contact. If the battery is good, then there is a problem with the wiring in the steering column. There is a short crossing the lights system and the dimmer switch to the ignition power wire. Check the wires on the dimmer switch to see if there is a loose connection and if there is a burned wire. If the wires are good, then check the light switch for any burned wires and see if the wires are loose. If there is no issues with those wires, then follow the wires to the lights and see if there is a loose ground wire on the frame or fender. If you need further assistance troubleshooting your vehicle, then seek out a technician, such as one from YourMechanic, that can assist you with the headlights issue causing the engine to shut off.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Car won't start after replacing starter and battery

Hello. There could be several possibilities for why your car isn't starting after replacing your battery and starter. The timing belt could be broken, you could have no spark going to your spark plugs, or your fuel pump might not...

Code p0505

For the P0505 code, you should make sure that the PCV valve is clean or you should have the valve replaced. The throttle idle valve should be removed and throttle plates and IAC passages cleaned out. Make sure there is...

Engine oil light flickers when I make a stop

The light is flickering on and off due to the oil pressure being low below 4 psi at idle or the oil pressure sensor is not working correctly. The only way to know for sure is to do an oil...

Related articles

What Are Daytime Running Lights
Once Once upon a time, the average vehicle only had a handful of lights – headlights, taillights, brake lights, reverse lights and turn signals. Today, there are others, including fog lights and daytime running lights (DRL). Read on to find...
4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s High Beams
Your Your vehicle has several different positions or settings for the headlights, and it is important that you learn how to use them appropriately and in the right situations. It is also important to recognize when the high beams are...
How Is a Dirty Light Bulb Socket Cleaned?
Your Your car’s light bulb sockets are protected by lenses, so they won’t get as dirty as they might, but they will still accumulate dirt and grime over the years. Regular cleaning can help ensure they remain functional for a...