Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: While driving at night, headlights occasionally turn off, so using high beams which do work

asked by on

The headlights are occasionally turning off by themselves and won't come back on. It is happening more often now, so I'm very worried because this is extremely dangerous driving at night. So I turn on my high beams, which do work, but that's not courteous to oncoming traffic. What is causing this and how can it be fixed?

A: It sounds like there is a problem with the ...

It sounds like there is a problem with the headlamp circuit. At first, I was going to say that the headlights have a poor ground connection, but then, looking at the wiring diagram for your vehicle, I noticed the high and low beams have a common ground. So, since the high beams always work, that can’t be the problem. My guess is that the multifunction switch has failed. This switch supplies a path to ground when the low beams are selected. Other possible problems include a short somewhere in the circuit or two internally shorted bulbs (which is not very likely). Electrical problems can be difficult to trace. Therefore, I recommend you have a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect and repair your headlights.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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!

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

Q: How do I use the daytime running lights?

The daytime running lights are mild headlights that can be used when driving your vehicle during the daytime. The daytime running lights will automatically turn on when the headlights are not turned on, the car is running, and the shifter...

Q: Car shuts off at speeds over 60 mph

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada. You are losing ignition spark or fuel pressure to the ignition. The vehicle and year is known to have failures in both systems and the only way to diagnose...

Q: Starter not working properly.

This vehicle may have one of several different causes for this problem and would need to be identified by a qualified mechanic to narrow the problem down. The most common problems are the battery, starter, ignition switch, starter interlock relay...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...