why does my headlite switch run so hot.I have replaced it 2 times due to it melting.this is occuring on my 98 and 2001 dodge ram pickups
Bad contacts, poor ground or overload. Could the headlights have been “upgraded” with some of those designer lamps/bulbs?
Some vehicles run the power for the headlights through the switch, rather than using the switch to trip a heavy duty relay. Check your owner manual in the section for fuses and relays. Is there a headlight relay listed? I am going to guess there isn’t. The permanent fix is to install a relay. Not that difficult to do, and as a bonus, some people have reported that their headlights are brighter due to less resistance in the circuit.
High wattage bulbs exacerbate the problem, as Joseph said.
Chrysler had a recall on their headlight switches on the Rams… They were running hot and causing fires!!! Get it to the dealer NOW!!! The recall calls for a new switch and harness. This is a safety issue so being out of warranty should not matter. I have a Ram P/U and noticed a smell inside several years ago. It smelled like burning brake fluid… While investigating, I felt around the headlight switch and it was very hot. I knew about the recall but was just too busy to take it in. I got very lucky mine didnt catch fire. Dealer changed the switch and the harness which was melted.
Also, on the older chryslers with the interior lights that dim by turning the knob, there is a resistor coil that controls the interior lights and causes the switch to get fairly warm, though it shouldn’t be alamingly so. It’s also a common failure point-- eventually a bad spot on the resistor will melt away and you won’t be able to use the interior lights. My experiance is from late-80’s chrysler products, so I don’t know if the switch is the same.