no low beams

Old 08-07-02, 01:59 PM
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no low beams

Hi there,

I've read several posts online about folks whose low beams aren't working, but none seemed to have my exact problem.

I've got an '86 Accord LX Sedan and my low beams (actually some part of the switch or circuit) have been dying for a couple years now. The problem first presented itself as difficulty coming off of high beams and back to low beams. At first, there would be a pause between when the highs switched off and the lows came on...leaving me in darkness for a bit. Then it got worse so that the lows wouldn't come on without considerable effort playing with the switch on the column. I'd have to pull over and switch the lights on and off and the highs on and off until I got my lows back. Needless to say, I just stopped using my high beams.

As time passed however, the lows started dimming and them coming back to full power. Eventually, they would dim and just turn off. Now, I can't use them for more than 15 seconds or so before they cut off. The car has to completely cool before they'll come on again.

I sprayed electrical switch cleaner into the side combo switch where the headlight switch is and this solved the problem for a while. It got me through a safety inspection, but sometimes it burns off and smokes. Now, repeated applications of cleaner don't fix the problem. I took the switch apart and cleaned the contacts, but I did not find any corrosion. I got the feeling, however, that the switch had some of that oily electrical contact liquid that you see in switches, rubber number pads (like on phones or calculators), and other types of electronics. Perhaps wiping this off made my problem worse.

Anyone have any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 08-07-02, 03:02 PM
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Replacing the switch is the only solution. They do go bad as time goes by...
Old 08-07-02, 11:29 PM
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sounds like your switch was giving you some problems look for burnt or discolored pins on the connector, and combination switch, if it was smoking it will usually have a noticable discolored pin or even deforming of the plastic connector, sometimes requires replacement of both the switch and the connector, if you have access to a wiring diagram and know which terminals are your 12 volt supply and which ones go to headlights you can temporaraly bypass the switch at the connector using a jumper wire, if the lights continue to function the problem would have to be the switch, if the lights still go off within 15 seconds your problem will be elsewhere.

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