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Headlights Mysteriosly Stopped Working

nrlangeberg

New Member
Joined
August 15, 2010
Messages
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City, State
Tacoma, Wa
Year, Model & Trim Level
'92 Ford Explorer XLT
So my headlights stopped working one night and I can't seem to find the problem. The highbeams work but the lowbeams don't. So i checked all the fuses and they are fine. The bulbs are still working so I changed the headlight switch. The lights still don't work. I'm perplexed and worried it might be something serious. What does everyone think? By the way I have a '92 explorer XLT.
 



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Dimmer switch.

Power goes from the fuse panel, to the headlamp switch, to the dimmer switch, then to the headlights. The headlight switch only controsl the On / Off function, the dimmer switch controls low beam / high beam.
 






I've had it happen where I was running around with only one working (unknown) and then the other one went out. I thought "oh no, big problem". Nah, just two burnt out on the low side, high beams still worked.

maybe your problem is as simple cause it's an easy fix
 






Well I've already checked the bulbs but there is some resistance building up in the power cables so it's probably my old cables. I'll update when I change those out.
 






What's the status?

So my headlights stopped working one night and I can't seem to find the problem. The highbeams work but the lowbeams don't. So i checked all the fuses and they are fine. The bulbs are still working so I changed the headlight switch. The lights still don't work. I'm perplexed and worried it might be something serious. What does everyone think? By the way I have a '92 explorer XLT.

I'm having the same exact issue with my 92 XLT. Did you ever resolve this issue?
 






Mine have flickered in and out on occasion. My buddy's Explorer has done this as well on occasion. Sounds like a common issue with no 100% answer.
 






The headlight switches do go bad on these cars. Fortunately they're cheap and easy to replace. Symptoms mine had were the lights flickering and eventually going out when they'd been on for a while. Feel if your headlight switch is warm/hot at the base, telltale sign.
 






I think I found the culprit.

Last week I had to drive down to Oceanside, CA to pick up a friend. The trip was at night and I was in a hurry as my friend was stranded. The next evening when I went to use the head lights, they didn't work. Like the original poster, everything worked in the light circuit but the low beams. And as such, I suspected some glitch in the system other than burned out bulbs. I checked the light switch, the dimmer switch, and finally got around to looking at the bulbs. Yep, both were burned out. DAMN! Why would both light bulbs burn out at the same time?

Then it occurred to me. On the night before, I drove about 180 miles and on the drive, I noted that the alternator output was showing kind of high. I had the alternator tested and it passed. But when I revved the engine the output was higher than spec. Bad voltage regulator?

Anyway, I think the long freeway trip at night caused a tired alternator to put too much juice in the circuit which in turn, burned out my headlights. Just my idea.
 






Ok, in my explorer the issue is that the lights will come on and work great for a while, but then all of a sudden they blink on and off... high beam...low beam ... makes no difference. I have been looking for any answer at all and came up with the fact that there is a relay on the headlight system, but danged if I can figure out where it is located. It is not in the power center. A friend suggested up under the dash... does anyone have any clue before I shred my vehicle to look for it? Also... can anyone out there tell me where I can find a headlight switch for a 1994 Eddie Bauer that has the auto headlights on the rear view mirror? I am told that ford no longer makes or retails the part. I have several stanrd light switches laying here from old scrapped explorers, but they are not the same as the one for the auto headlights... that switch has an extension on the end of it for a second pug that runs the auto functions for hte lights in regards to the auto dimmer and such on the rearview mirror. If I cannot find a switch I am going to have to rig a series of Toggles on it or something because the vehicle is far to nice to scrap over the loss of the light switch. Thanks in advance! :)
 






Headlight problem is likely a failing switch. I had the exact same symptoms (flashing lights/cutting out) when my switch failed. I bet a new one will fix it.

For the switch you need, I believe member Anime had one for sale recently. Check the Parts For Sale section, might be a page or two back or just PM him.
 






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