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Author Topic: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights  (Read 1032 times)

Offline ZaneHunts

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I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« on: December 03, 2022, 04:30:06 PM »
Hey everyone,

I'm wondering if there's anyone on here who might be able to help troubleshoot my trucks headlights.
So I've got a 1998 Ram 1500 and the headlights went out the other day. When I pull out the headlight switch all that comes on are the fog and parking lights. The low beams don't turn on at all, and when I try to turn on the high beams they turn on but will not actually lock into high beams.
I've switched out headlight bulbs, tried a new dimmer combo switch, and checked all fuses and now I'm stumped.
Any ideas what I should try? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Offline follow maggie

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2022, 05:45:26 PM »
More people will see this & offer up help if you put it in the power equipment rv section.

I would check the relay for the lights. If thereís another circuit with the same size relay, swap them out & see if the problem stays with the lights or moves with the relay.

Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2022, 06:16:04 PM »
Neighbor has a  dodge diesel. His driver side headlight quit working.  Took it to the shop. He was told that there's a programmable relay in the ckt.  He was told 1100.00 for the relay and the programing.  Sounds like it is a priority part from the dealer.

Offline highside74

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2022, 06:51:06 PM »
I'd venture to guess you got a bad new switch. I'd take it back and try a different one.

Offline highside74

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2022, 06:55:05 PM »
Also I used the Googler and there is plenty of info on your truck and light issues. Sounds like you might need to place the terminal connections and get a replacement switch.

Offline Stein

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2022, 07:01:45 PM »
The beauty of a 1998 vehicle is that 10,000 people have likely already had the same problem.  Did you try Googling the issue?  19.5/20 times you can find a thread with the exact same issue and resolution.

Relay, fuses, harness, switch, bulbs, as mentioned there are a few things that can go wrong.  The fact they both went out as well as issues with the highs pretty much rules out bulbs.

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2022, 08:31:25 PM »
Either check or have someone check the pigtails to the lights. I was just having trouble with my low beams in my Silverado and that's what it was.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. ~ Michel de Montaigne

Offline GWP

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2022, 09:02:39 AM »
The beauty of a 1998 vehicle is that 10,000 people have likely already had the same problem.  Did you try Googling the issue?  19.5/20 times you can find a thread with the exact same issue and resolution.

Relay, fuses, harness, switch, bulbs, as mentioned there are a few things that can go wrong.  The fact they both went out as well as issues with the highs pretty much rules out bulbs.

This. I work on a lot of oddball stuff, and am surprised at times to find the same exact issue I am facing. Tech actually CAN be useful!
 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

Offline jackelope

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I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2022, 09:46:12 AM »
Have you checked for power or done any sort of diagnosis? A lot of times itís easier to do a few simple checks before shotgunning parts. Is there power to the switch? Is there power through the switch? A $20 test light is cheaper than probably most of the parts youíve thrown at it so far.
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

My posts, opinions and statements do not represent those of this forum

Offline buckfvr

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2022, 10:19:52 AM »
An inexpensive multi-meter can check continuity through plugs and switches, etc. saving time and money.

Offline Norman89

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2022, 06:06:46 PM »
A power probe I swear is the best diagnostic tool a auto tech can have. Check voltage, power, ground all in one operation. We know a bulb needs power and ground, poke the connector which one is missing? That's what to go off of and follow up from there.

 Speaking of dodge head light switches they like to burn up. A LOT. First second third and fourth generation trucks all did it all the time. I bypassed it in my last truck and put manual flip switches in place. 275$ oe replacement no thanks, 11$ for 5 switches on amazon :tup:

notice to dodge, there is no need to have markers, headlights, dimmer, and dome all in one switch WITHOUT A RELAY! Jack wagon engineer morons....

Offline ZaneHunts

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2022, 11:04:33 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!
So I checked the relays, plugs, pigtails, more fuses and everything looks good. One strange thing I found was that when I place a fuse one particular slot where there previously was no fuse, the high beams come on, even with the switch off and it will not switch to low beams. The diagram says it's for DRL, not sure what that means, but there's never been a fuse in that spot.  :dunno:
I'll try to pick up a tester today and check a few things before I take it into the mechanic.
I haven't really found too much on the Internet about this particular issue.
I did read about the headlight switch burning/melting so I will look at installing a different switch system.  :chuckle:

Offline Sandberm

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2022, 11:08:36 AM »
This is my favorite car mechanic youtube channel. Search his videos and you might find an idea to help you.

https://www.youtube.com/@SouthMainAuto

Offline Stein

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2022, 11:08:57 AM »
DRL is daytime running lamps, if there is no fuse there you likely don't have them.

Offline ZaneHunts

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Re: I Need Help Troubleshooting my headlights
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2022, 05:24:17 PM »
So I stopped at O'Reilly's today and picked up a new headlight switch because that was the last thing I could think it could be and low a behold it worked! And surprise surprise the plug and switch was melted right at the headlight terminal.
So if it does that again I'll take up Norman89's suggestion and install some simple flip switches.
Thanks everyone for the help! It's nice to have headlights again  :chuckle:

 


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