Bright Lights Not Working. Please help! (1 Viewer)

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I have a 1996 L/C and when I push my bright light switch forward for my bright lights to come on, nothing happens. Keep in mind, several months ago, when I would go to turn on my bright lights, there was a delay before the bright lights would come on. Now, nothing happens. What do I do?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 
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If the headlights are working properly then the high beam bulbs are not getting grounded by the stalk switch. Does the flash work (pulling the stalk toward you)?

Of course the very frst thing I would do is check both bulbs.
 

Dave 2000

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The headlamp relay is very weak on these vehicles, if left too long the mounting socket will have melted.

regards

Dave
 

Dave 2000

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Never heard of this. At any rate if the regular low beam headlights are working then the headlamp relay is fine.

Well perhaps your models are wired different, there are two relays on the european models one for the dip beam and one for the main.

regards

Dave
 
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If the headlights are working properly then the high beam bulbs are not getting grounded by the stalk switch. Does the flash work (pulling the stalk toward you)?

Of course the very frst thing I would do is check both bulbs.

Yes, if I pull it towards me (and hold it) the bright lights will stay on. I need a fix for this. Could exchanging the arm (the lever that you push forward to make the brights come on) be the culprit?
 
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If the high beams work with the flash and not by pushing the stalk forward, then the problem has to be in the stalk switch or related wiring.
Please note that the nomenclature you're using is incorrect. There are 2 pairs of bulbs. Headlights (outer pair) come on when you rotate the stalk switch. High beams (inner pair) come on when you push or pull the stalk switch.
 

Dave 2000

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If the high beams work with the flash and not by pushing the stalk forward, then the problem has to be in the stalk switch or related wiring.
Please note that the nomenclature you're using is incorrect. There are 2 pairs of bulbs. Headlights (outer pair) come on when you rotate the stalk switch. High beams (inner pair) come on when you push or pull the stalk switch.

Hmmm more differences? On euro spec the outer lights are dual filament, so they are dip (low) and main beam (high), the outers and the inners come on when main or high beam is selected.


regards

Dave
 
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I had the same issue with my '94 when I purchased it. Since the high beams are working when you pull the stalk you know the bulbs and the relays are working. As jonheld said the problem is in the stalk. I was able to repair mine in less than 30min by pulling the stalk and cleaning the contacts inside the switch housing. You can find all the info you need on mud to remove the necessary dash pieces and access the switch contacts.

Also, if you do some searching here you will find others that have done this only to have it work for a short while. I think the reason some have not been successful in the long run is they clean the contacts and remove all the grease. The contacts are handling a significant amount of current when they ground the 12v power for the lamps. This causes them to arc during engagement and dis-engagement and thus oxidizes the contacts. The dielectric grease is there to coat the copper contacts and prevent current from flowing until there is solid contact. (dielectric grease is an insulator and is pushed aside by the spring loaded copper contacts) It also protects the contacts from air and moisture preventing oxidation.

Once you get to the contacts (not too difficult :banana:) be careful you don't let the whole switch assembly or contacts spring out, it will be difficult to reassemble. Use a fine metal file or embry board to clean the contacts to bright new copper. Apply some dielectric grease and put it all back together.

Also, Dave 2000, I think the flash mode keeps the low beams on and adds the high beams. Not sure but it's possible that the 4 lamp on mode reduces the current draw at the high beam contacts and prevents the flash mode from failing as often.

Hope this helps. It's really a :banana: job. It was the first priority when I got my LC and surely saved me and some deer on my commute.
 

Dave 2000

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Also, Dave 2000, I think the flash mode keeps the low beams on and adds the high beams. Not sure but it's possible that the 4 lamp on mode reduces the current draw at the high beam contacts and prevents the flash mode from failing as often.
QUOTE]

Assuming I am driving on dip beam regardless of whether I flash the lights (stalk towards me) or switch to main (stalk away from me) the dip beams go out.

I am not normally that attentative to what is happening at the front but having just fitted new headlights to swap my dip beam direction to suit driving on the 'wrong' side of the road in spain I have been keeping an eye on what is happening and when it happens.

regards

Dave
 
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I had the same issue with my '94 when I purchased it. Since the high beams are working when you pull the stalk you know the bulbs and the relays are working. As jonheld said the problem is in the stalk. I was able to repair mine in less than 30min by pulling the stalk and cleaning the contacts inside the switch housing. You can find all the info you need on mud to remove the necessary dash pieces and access the switch contacts.

Also, if you do some searching here you will find others that have done this only to have it work for a short while. I think the reason some have not been successful in the long run is they clean the contacts and remove all the grease. The contacts are handling a significant amount of current when they ground the 12v power for the lamps. This causes them to arc during engagement and dis-engagement and thus oxidizes the contacts. The dielectric grease is there to coat the copper contacts and prevent current from flowing until there is solid contact. (dielectric grease is an insulator and is pushed aside by the spring loaded copper contacts) It also protects the contacts from air and moisture preventing oxidation.

Once you get to the contacts (not too difficult :banana:) be careful you don't let the whole switch assembly or contacts spring out, it will be difficult to reassemble. Use a fine metal file or embry board to clean the contacts to bright new copper. Apply some dielectric grease and put it all back together.

Also, Dave 2000, I think the flash mode keeps the low beams on and adds the high beams. Not sure but it's possible that the 4 lamp on mode reduces the current draw at the high beam contacts and prevents the flash mode from failing as often.

Hope this helps. It's really a :banana: job. It was the first priority when I got my LC and surely saved me and some deer on my commute.

Thanks, varythings! I will clean my contacts. You all are a great help!
 
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I tried cleaning the contacts yesterday. I took the steering column cover off and sprayed some electric contact cleaner in there. Still no worky. Anyone have more suggestions?
 

Dave 2000

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You are going to have to get in the with a DMM and see what cable/s get power when you flash the headlights, then see if moving the switch forward powers up the same cable, if not as mentioned replace the switch.

regards

Dave
 
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same problem here, took it all apart and cleaned everything. still doesn't work. My theory is a break or short in the wiring, but to get to it I have to pull the main fuse panel under the hood. It hasnt mattered that much yet.
 

bloc

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Well perhaps your models are wired different, there are two relays on the european models one for the dip beam and one for the main.

regards

Dave

USDM has only one headlight relay. The circuit is then split into two fuses, one for right and one for left. The relay switches the + side for both the low and high beam. Low beam is constantly grounded, so low bulb turns on any time relay is activated. the high beam is switched by the stalk plunger closing circuit for ground.

I had the same issue with my '94 when I purchased it. Since the high beams are working when you pull the stalk you know the bulbs and the relays are working. As jonheld said the problem is in the stalk. I was able to repair mine in less than 30min by pulling the stalk and cleaning the contacts inside the switch housing. You can find all the info you need on mud to remove the necessary dash pieces and access the switch contacts.

Cleaning contacts worked for me for about 2 months. Then re-cleaning would only work for one or two switch cycles.

ultimately I got a switch module from the junk yard out of a corolla and installed it. Details here: Fix your high beams! Corolla switch retrofit

Alternately you can order the dimmer switch new from toyota.. 84140-12260 About $90 list, Discount sources should be about $20 less.
 

bloc

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Hmmm more differences? On euro spec the outer lights are dual filament, so they are dip (low) and main beam (high), the outers and the inners come on when main or high beam is selected.

Also, we have two separate bulbs in each housing. All are single filament. Low beams are just on any time the stalk is twisted, which enables the relay.. the inner high-beam bulbs are only switched on with the stalk pulled (low-beam status doesn't matter) or pushed (low-beams must be on already)
 
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Pulling the stalk back always turns on the high beams
Pushing the stalk forward only turns the high beams on if the low beams are on

I didn't realize this and replaced a perfectly good dimmer switch (high beam switch) thinking it was broken.
 

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