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Author Topic: Headlight Problem  (Read 2311 times)

Offline superwhite

Headlight Problem
« on: 08:33:33 PM / 12-Oct-07 »
I have a 1988 SE, 5 sp w/ CC. The passenger side low beam is out while driver side high beam is out. Could this be a light switch problem? Kind of odd for both lights to be out at the same time...

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Offline 200sxkitcar

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Headlight Problem
« Reply #1 on: 03:48:53 PM / 13-Oct-07 »
Yes thats very common.  You can choose to replace it (either new, good $ tho, or junkyard it, which may be same situation) or fix yours.  If you have a bit of mechanical aptitude, remove the switchgear from the column (all simple phillips screws) and then once its loose and out of the cars study it carefully.  There should be some covers on it (I think most are black) and pry them off with a screwdriver at the points they snap on.  Basically get access to the metal spring terminals which you should be able to sort of see by looking thru the somewhat transparent main case.  Take a small fine file, sandpaper (probably easiest), or whatever abrasive you choose and clean up the contact points where they meet when the different selections are made by turning the switch.  Continue to clean until they work (may take a bit) and don't bend up the metal strips too much (otherwise they may not function correctly this may take a few times of cleaning and sanding.  When, if this was the problem, all of the lights work and stay working (tap and move the switch around to make sure its not going to be intermittant), then clean the contacts free of sanding/cleaning dust with a rag or whatever and -if you've got some or want to go get it- coat the contacts with dielectric grease for protection, verify correct operation, reinstall covers on the switch body, and reinstall the switch.  Problem solved   I have done this on like 3 Nissans, its not too hard or difficult really.

Otherwise check wires, grounds, and relays.  If you have one light of each as stated it shouldn't be those items, but you never know.  Good luck!
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Offline Premo

Headlight Problem
« Reply #2 on: 04:04:26 PM / 13-Oct-07 »
stupid question...but have you considered that you might have a bad headlight(s)?  it does happen  lol  if not, then what he said.  be sure to use non conductive, oil free contact cleaner when/if you clean the thing too
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Offline 200sxkitcar

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Headlight Problem
« Reply #3 on: 04:48:43 PM / 13-Oct-07 »
I'd swap the lamps, and if the problem remained on the corresponding side, then....   But yea I figured he'd already have checked the bulbs out at that point.
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Offline superwhite

Headlight Problem
« Reply #4 on: 04:47:58 AM / 14-Oct-07 »
Quote from: Premo
stupid question...but have you considered that you might have a bad headlight(s)?  it does happen

LOL, Premo, yes I did consider the possibility of bad lights. Just wondering if the switch went out this time. When the car is new, you only have to worry about the regular consumables. But now it's 19 yrs old, anything can go wrong.

Offline Jager

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Headlight Problem
« Reply #5 on: 04:37:17 PM / 14-Oct-07 »
here is a write up with photos of a 240sx combination switch disassembly if you decide to take yours apart.

do check the relays though just incase.  ive seen a few waterlogged relays that were shorting out.  my car had that issue and currently has the combination switch issue most likely im still troubleshooting it.
combination switch/stalk finger removal and repair.


Offline 200sxkitcar

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Headlight Problem
« Reply #6 on: 10:20:33 PM / 14-Oct-07 »
That is a pretty good thread, good find!  I don't think I would remove the metal contacts themselves, but the way he did it was probably better.  Either way that may be your solution!
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Offline superwhite

Headlight Problem
« Reply #7 on: 02:58:41 AM / 18-Dec-07 »
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. I ended up replacing *both* head lights and they seem to be OK. Therefore I didn't mess with with light switch.

On a side note, cop pulled me over because one of the lights over license plate was out. Let that be a warning to the rest of S12 owners.

Offline EternalSwap

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Headlight Problem
« Reply #8 on: 01:19:15 AM / 22-Dec-07 »
I got that ghetto LED one from Autozone for like $15 That screws over the plate using the mounting bolts. It actually works really well
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