Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Low beam bulb failure on 2011 Volvo C70

For several months I would intermittently get a message saying “Bulb failure, Low beam”. It would go off and not reappear for a few weeks and then it got to where the message would come on and after a few hours it would go off and then reappear a few days later. Since the time frame was getting shorter and shorter between message appearances I decided it needed to be looked at.

The Volvo dealer just replaced the light bulb with a $3.00 bulb. After about a week, the message reappeared.

Long story short, I had the right headlight ballast (headlight igniter) replaced and a new ($230.00) right side Xenon bulb replaced. Neither of these actions has corrected the problem, although the mechanic that did the work said he did a scan on all systems and everything in the car was in good shape. I left his shop and about 6 blocks down the street, the message reappeared.

Have you encountered this problem before and if so, what was the solution?

Clean the bulb contact points in the socket. The bulb is directly attached to the igniter (big silver box) it has contact points on the headlamp assembly. That would be what you would be looking to attempt to clean up. Bad connections will cause your problem.

So here’s a very important question . . .

When you get that warning message . . . is one of the low beams in fact NOT functioning . . . at that exact moment, I mean

Or do you have the warning message, yet all the low beams are functioning

I can’t speak to the cause of your problem OP, other than speculating the same that @knfenimore mentions above. But I’ll tell you that bulb problems can sometimes be mysterious. I’m currently have a dome light problem on my Corolla, it won’t turn on. When I remove the bulb and test it on the bench it works, so I re-install it. It lights up fine in the car. A few days later it stops working. So I remove it, test it on the bench, works fine, re-install it, and it lights up fine in the car. Last night, it stopped working again … lol …

Replace the connectors that lead to the problem headlight.

I had the same intermittent headlight problem on my Volvo 960 driver side
low beam. Was driving me crazy. Sometimes (but only sometimes) wiggling
the connection at the bulb/socket corrected it, sometimes not. Looking
closely at the contacts and socket I noticed a dark area that indicated
arcing. Tightening the contacts on the socket (1996 car), cleaning the contacts,
bending the contacts slightly to get a snug fit, and replacing the bulb
only sometimes seemed to work… for a short while.

The fix was to replace the socket with one I bought on eBay. Under $10 with free shipping. That was 6-8 months ago, and no more problems.

Intermittent problems are always fun