Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2004 Odyssey headlights with high beams but no low beams

Both low beams of my 2004 Odyssey headlights stopped working today. Both high beams are still working. From what I read and observe, the same bulbs serve both high and low beams on 2004 Odyssey. In other words, there are no separate low- and high-beam bulbs. Any idea what the problem might be? And is it fairly easy to fix myself? Thanks very much in advance!

Does the vehicle have DRL’s?


I am going to guess that one of your low beams has been out for a while and you did not notice. When the second one went out you did notice. Head on over to your local McParts store (Advance, NAPA etc) and buy a replacement bulb, they will help you select the correct bulb. Replace the bulb and see if you now have low and high beams on that side, then do the other side. Check out You Tube for instructions

Another possibility is that your headlight switch or relay for the low beams went out, but that is a low probability. Check the bulbs first.

1 Like

+1 to Steve’s post.
Having one light out and not realizing until the other goes out is very common. The bulb manufacturing processes are extremely well controlled. Lifespans are very consistent. I’ve reviewed Sylvania’s manufacturing processes and design documents in detail with their engineers, in Hillsboro, NH where these bulbs are manufactured, while working as a consulting engineer on a project with them. That consistency in the processes, and the likelihood that both of your bulbs may have come from the same “lot”, make it very possible that the time between the first bulb blowing out and the second blowing out is short enough that you never noticed. It’s happened to me too.

Try changing the bulbs and post back with the results.

1 Like

Your high beams and low beams may be i nthe same bulb but they have different filaments, The low beam filaments burn out first because they are used most of the time.


Honda recalled my Civic years ago for your symptom. It was the switch on the steering column.

Thank you all for your responses!

Tester: It does not have DRLs.

oldtimer_11: You are absolutely right. There are two filaments in the same bulb.

insightful: Thanks for the info. My Odyssey’s switch seems OK.

SteveCBT and the_same_mountainbik:

I think that’s probably what happened-one bulb went out without being noticed and then the other. Replacing both bulbs solved the problem. SteveCBT’s YouTube video was helpful. I did not even need to take out air filter cover.

Now I have a related question about the Sylvania replacement bulbs I got: Primary Filament Life for the BASIC is 1100 hours, while all the other brighter ones are only 150/160 hours. So if the headlights are used 6 hours/week, most will go out in about 6 months. Hard to believe. My replaced bulbs are GE. They have lasted at least 3-5 years.

What would be the best, reasonably-priced replacement bulbs in terms performance and life?

I use the extra bright ones, whatever they are called. $50 a pair at Walmart so aren’t cheap but are very bright. True they have a shorter life but mine actually last pretty long. I’d have to check the record to see how long they have been in but I have not been dissatisfied with the life span, considering the much brighter vision for seeing deer at night.

I have told the DNR that they need to have a catch and release program for deer. Catch them and put either a reflective collar on them or paint them some bright color, and let them go again. Either that or just shoot them. 69,000 fewer of the critters in Minnesota after one weekend of deer season.

I use Silverstar Ultras.
Sylvania actually makes Silverstar bulbs in four or five grades, the brightest being the Ultras. The rated operating hours are, granted, about 1/4 of the life of the “standard” bulbs, and the cost is about 4 times, making the true cost 16X that of standard bulbs when the life is factored in, but I really like them. I began to really appreciate them when I had my cataracts (since surgically removed). And I always always always have my headlights on when I’m driving. I believe that they’ve probably paid for themselves many times just in having made me more obvious to less-than-attentive drivers. I have no DRLs. I figure I’m paying for safety, and since I get about a year out of the bulbs, $58/yr (that’s about what mine cost per pair) I figure that’s money well spent.

I also think as others have already mentioned, that the both low beams are just burned out though there could be other things causing the problem. It appears your vehicle uses the H4 style bulb and has both filaments inside it for the high and low beams. There is a information on YouTube on how to replace the bulbs. I like to use bulbs made by Phillips.

I have headlights that are always on, so I go with the long life bulbs. Maybe there is a way to turn them off, but only on set of bulb replacements in 170 k miles, Most of my night driving is on roads with streetlights, so it is not a big issue for me.

If I did a lot of night driving in the boonies, I would probably go for the brighter lights, and see about disabling the lights in the daytime.

Next time this happens post again. It’s usually very easy to use an ohm meter to test the bulb filaments. That’s how I tell if the problem is the bulb or not.

I use the Sylvania Ultras too. I buy the 2 pack at Amazon, $30. They are much cheaper than the parts stores or Walmart.

Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to remember that.