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Head Lights

Recently when I drive I night, I start my car, turn on my headlights…but no headlights. One night I had to drive a short distance and when I hit a small bump, they turned on. Other nights I have opened the hood. You see I know nothing about anything under the hood. SO I looked around for a while to keep my male dignity, and then slammed the hood out of frustration. MAGIC…the lights popped on. Well last night, I wore my trick out. I slammed my hood about 5 times and nothing. Thank goodness my high beams work. So…what could be the problems. Headlights won’t turn on. They used to turn on when bumped really hard…but now, nothing. I know you have an answer. If your answer would for me to get a new car…that wouldn’t upset me one bit. Thank you!

A loose connection in the headlight wiring could do it. A bad headlight relay could do it. A bad headlight switch could do it, but since you have high beams that’s probably not it.

Have you asked a mechanic to look at this?

I think you need a new car.

have you tried changing the bulbs yet?

haha…I think so too! Nothing but problems since the day I bought it new off the lot.

I have not had a mechanic look at it. Is it possibly something I could fix by myself?

I was going to do that today…but if high beams are working, would it be the bulbs?

Each bulb has two filaments, high and low beam. The low-beams can be burned out and the high-beams still work…

I second the motion to first change the bulbs Years ago, I had a 1954 Buick and the back-up lights were mounted on the trunk lid. The back up lights would work only if I slammed the trunk lid. I checked for bad connections to no avail. Finally, I did what I should have done in the first place–replaced the bulbs. The filaments in the bulbs were loose and would only make contact when the bulb was jarred.

I pulled the bulbs out and the filaments were fine.

What are the odds though that both would burn out at the exact same time?

I dropping 30 in new bulbs isn’t as bad as a mechanics bill…

It sounds to me like a loose connection. Maybe a ground wire is loose? It might not be the answer, but its worth the 5 seconds you’ll spend tracing the wires to find out.


THis might be a really stupid question…but is there a general place for the ground wire…or do I just have to follow the green wire? :confused:

I pulled the bulbs out and the filaments were fine. How did you test them. Did both filaments test OK on each lamp?

There are no stupid quesions in the automotive world. I’m not sure on that car but mine is grounded to the frame right next to the headlight.


I also want to know how you could tell the that filaments were fine. What they look like is, first of all hard to see, and second of all not equal to what they actually do. I’d still just replace both bulbs.

As for the wiring, since you note that you don’t know about cars I assume suggesting that you check a wiring diagram and break out a multi-meter is not in the mix. So the simple thing to do is wiggle and follow, wiggle and follow…This will get difficult as the wires disappear into various places.