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Discussion Starter #1
I know there have been posts about headlight problems, but I can't find any with symptoms quite like this.

2006 ZX3 SE 2.0 Duratec

A few days ago, I go to turn on the headlights, and they don't work. All other lights work. I didn't think to try the high-beams.

The next day, I tried the high-beams. Both worked (meaning the bulbs are NOT bad, since they use the same bulb). Still no low beams. I replaced the low-beam fuses and the low-beam relay. Still nothing.

Next day, the passenger side low-beam mysteriously starts working. It works for a few days, then quits. Now I'm back to both high-beams working, but neither low-beam working.

Again, I checked all fuses. Replaced the low-beam fuses and low-beam relay. My next thought is the multifunction switch (dimmer/turn signal), but the fact that one low-beam came back for a few days makes me wonder if this is the problem.

Thoughts? I would greatly appreciate some guidance on this one.
 

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2006 ZX3 SE 2.0 Duratec

A few days ago, I go to turn on the headlights, and they don't work. All other lights work. I didn't think to try the high-beams.

The next day, I tried the high-beams. Both worked (meaning the bulbs are NOT bad, since they use the same bulb). Still no low beams. I replaced the low-beam fuses and the low-beam relay. Still nothing.

Next day, the passenger side low-beam mysteriously starts working. It works for a few days, then quits. Now I'm back to both high-beams working, but neither low-beam working.
Why do you think the bulbs are fine?

Same bulb with separate filaments for high & low beams would mean lows can be burnt out while highs work fine.

A bump to a burnt out halogen can make the filament connect again (welds when it touches if turned on) but it won't stay working long afterwards.

Check the simple stuff first, bulbs & their connections - I'd bet bulbs from the description after seeing that happen many a time.
 

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Why do you think the bulbs are fine?





Same bulb with separate filaments for high & low beams would mean lows can be burnt out while highs work fine.





A bump to a burnt out halogen can make the filament connect again (welds when it touches if turned on) but it won't stay working long afterwards.





Check the simple stuff first, bulbs & their connections - I'd bet bulbs from the description after seeing that happen many a time.


You think both bulbs went at the same time?
 

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Happens quite often, and not usually exactly at the same time.

Bulb out isn't noticed until the second goes.

Having one start working again for a short time points that way. When a halogen goes out, often a sharp rap to the housing will vibrate it enough to make connection again. Could last an hour or a week, but not long is to be expected.
 

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No. Your issue is your blinker lever is faulty. It is a 2 minute swap and a cheap part. Swap the blinker lever (called a 'turn signal switch'). Had it happen to 2 of my 3 foci. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One bulb is the original from 2006. The other one was replaced in 2012. I find it VERY hard to believe that both went out at the same time. And yes, I'm sure they were both working. I did a complete light check/test a few weeks ago and everything was fine. I'm leaning towards the multifunction switch, but I'm just curious if anyone can explain why one low came back on for a few days and then went out. If it's not a bulb issue, then what?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow. I changed out that multifunction switch (only took about 60 seconds too!). And the low-beams are STILL not working. Contacted my mechanic and he told me to try and change the bulbs. He said it's very unlikely that there is a wiring issue. I know I was skeptical before, and still am, but I'm gonna change the bulbs and see what happens.
 

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Meters pay for themselves quickly, and many bulbs are noticeably bad at a glance.

G/L, hope it's just the bulbs.
 

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Wow. I changed out that multifunction switch (only took about 60 seconds too!). And the low-beams are STILL not working. Contacted my mechanic and he told me to try and change the bulbs. He said it's very unlikely that there is a wiring issue. I know I was skeptical before, and still am, but I'm gonna change the bulbs and see what happens.
Sorry to hear that the multiswitch didn't solve your problem. I still think it would have to be a switch or wiring issue. Since both bulbs had the symptom YET came back to life after the fact, I would think the bulbs to be ok. Bulbs rarely would ever reilluminate even briefly once they 'blow'. Though I have seen some impossible s#/^ when it comes to cars lol.
I would look elsewhere first. Gently wiggle your batt connections while the lights are on, check both connectors behind them to make sure they are pushed together all the way, very gently fiddle with the head light switch. Give it very little tension one way and another while it is in the on position and see if slight pressure or movements kick the low beams in and out, just to see if it is the actual power switch causing the issue. I'm sure you already tried most of that stuff, just throwing a couple ideas out.
 

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it's all guessing, I went with the bulb comment because of the single light coming back on temporarily.
 

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I agree with sailor.

In October both mine went out at the exact same time. I know this because I was in traffic on way home from work so I could see them on cars.

Went and pulled one out (could be simpler than replacing the switch as I've never done that), sure enough the low beam filament blew. Very easy to notice with the naked eye. Took other one out with the same result. Replaced and fixed.

I'd check your bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow. It WAS the bulbs. I still can't believe it. They either both went out at the same time, or only a few days apart. Either way, still crazy/strange. Frankly, rather upsetting, as one bulb is over 7 years old and the other only 3. Thanks for the help everyone!
 

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Glad that it was the issue. Unfortunately you went through all of the other steps first. Next time I hope you check the bulbs first! [:)~]

Relays rarely go down. Fuses are an easy and fast check of course. How old is the alternator? Maybe it is possible the voltage regulator is going. I've been told here by numerous members (when mine went out) that it won't take much to blow them out together. I was told to put the odometer into test mode and monitor the voltage while driving. If it goes over 15V then that can also contribute to the filaments blowing out.

I buy the silverstar ultras that have a shorter lifespan but a brighter light. My bulbs were beyond the normal life and I believe that was one contributing factor to them both going out like they did.

ETA: Sorry, hit send before I finished my full msg.
 

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Fixed is good, tx for posting the answer.
 
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