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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all...it's been a while. Hope everyone is doing well. I don't believe I posted anything about it over here, however my wife and I were in an accident towards the end of June...don't fully remember when it was. We were pulled over for having a headlight out. While pulled over, someone rear-ended the cop who then rear-ended us. Everyone is okay, at least healthwise (the uninsured motorist probably has some permanent damage to her wallet). The first thing I did the next morning was replace the headlight bulb. I did so and I was on my way. Ever since then, the headlight works on a random basis. If I start the car and it's on, then I'm good...it doesn't flicker or anything. However if I start the car and it's not on, I turn the car back off, pop the hood, then push on the headlight connector and viola, I'm good to go.

I took it in to Nelson Mazda here in Nashville yesterday (it's been a busy month!) and it always worked for them. They took it off and checked the connector and said it looked okay. I picked it up yesterday and thought maybe they had the magic touch. Today after work, I get to my car in the parking garage, flip the lights on and what do you know.

This is the 2nd bulb I've tried and have the same results. The dealership told me that they don't sell the connector/harness separately...you have to replace the entire wiring assembly which mounts apparently somewhere that will require $2000+ in costs. Anyone else have any ideas? This is the first time to this dealership so no idea how fair/trustworthy they are. I'm hoping to get it to the family mechanic in my hometown next time I'm up there, but that may be a little while. It's getting quite annoying to first turn the headlights on to see if they work, then start the car...even worse when I have to pop the hood.

As I said...very random. I would guess they work 60% of the time, don't 40%. Any ideas!!!

Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
haha, a what on who? No, I haven't tested a thing as I don't have a clue. However I suspect the movement to get the connector off of the bulb would be enough to get it working again, thus always showing power. I checked to see if anything had melted on the wires, however I can only see about 8" of the wife before it fades away into the engine.
 

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Glad you and your wife weren't seriously hurt!!
 

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My Tribute does this. When the bulb isn't working I pop the hood and jiggle the connector on the back of the bulb and it comes back on. Havent had to do it in a while though.
 

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Bummer. If your wiggling the connector, your moving the wire. It could be broken inside the sheild/insulation of the wire. I suppose your already thinking this. Maybe see what you are moving when you wiggle the connector. It should be in that stretch of wire, or the connector itself. Probably nothing to do with the bulb. ;)
 

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yeah from the sounds of it you just have a little electrical connection problem (maybe corosion or not tight enough ground), no serious money to fix it. when you get time pop the hood and remove the bulb, use something to scratch up the metal contacts on the bulb and on the harness (screw driver or sandpaper if you can pull it off). also try to bend the metal contacts in the proper direction, giving the harness and bulb a much tighter connection. auto stores sell electrical conection cleaners which might help you out. but the main thing is making sure you have a very tight and clean connection. that should fix your problem.

as jonas said its probly nothing to do with the bulb. my guess is the harness is just loose or coroded.
 

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buy some dielectric grease and put that on the connector. i had the same problem, my passenger side headlight would not turn on once in a while. after i greased it ive had no problems. but i do have a spare set of bulbs now, cause i purchased them before i decided to check it out LoL. oh well, it never hurts to have spares eh.
 

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When the bulb goes out, do your high-beams work?

If you have a voltmeter (or multimeter), check the connector for voltage fluctuations as you wiggle and bend the wires as far back as you can reach. Make sure you keep a good grip on the connector side so no fluctuations are introduced through the meter connection. This may not work if you just try to wiggle the wires with the bulb connected, as the bulb draws a heavy load and voltage can "jump" across a minor break if the bulb is on.

If that checks out, the connector likely has a problem. Can you pull the connector off without pressing the locking tabs? Look at the pins (the metal clips that go onto the bulb) to see if any of them have noticeably spread. You can use a small flathead screwdriver to bend them back again. Check for any signs of corrosion or arcing, which will show up as white or green flakes or a black coating of carbon. Clean those away as best as you can and apply some dielectric grease (could be sold as simply "white grease").

And if all that fails, you can ask the local junkyards if they allow you to cut out sections of electrical wire. I think most of the ones here will allow it, as they don't want to spend the time pulling out entire harnesses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys...sorry I've been out of town the last 4 or 5 days. I'll try a few of the above suggestions and report back. The highbeams do not work either so I get the feeling there is no power. The second I make any vibration around the wire it seems to come on (and not go off...sometimes for a day or two). I would assume the dealership would've checked out the connections there to make sure there is no corrosion or anything of the like, but who knows.

Thanks for the ideas!
 
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