Bad Headlight Relay

Bad headlight relay – 5 DIY fixes you should know

You may be wondering what exactly are headlight relays and what has it got to do with car headlight restoration? It’s okay to admit not being too conversant with car terminologies and jargons. That is why we exist, to break them down into simpler and easier forms so you can understand and make well-informed decisions. 

So, headlight relay switches essentially refers to the electrical components that disrupt the flow between conductors through an electromagnet that regulates and activates the headlights as well as in charge of deactivation and brightness. 

There can be several reasons why your relays may be bad just like there are several factors that require you clean your headlight glass. It is important to take careful note of all these tips, fixes, and symptoms that we have compiled in this article. 

The relays in your car are very important to the formation and functionality of the headlights. And so when your relays are bad, it could be pretty serious, however, it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately, there are several signs and symptoms that the relays give you before they are about to go off completely. The key is to take proactive measures and you’ll be fine. 

Symptoms of bad headlights relay

Symptoms Of Bad Headlights Relay
  1. Headlights doors don’t give way: 

This is one of the first and most common signs that your relay is bad. When the doors of your headlights do not give way or open, it is because the relays are not producing enough power to even open the headlight door. However, this is not to say that the headlights will not be turned on, they may be, but the headlight doors will not open and so the reason for the headlights will be defeated, because it provides no light for the driver. 

  1. Headlight doors may be stuck open

This is essentially the opposite of the first symptom. Here, the headlights may be turned on, the doors will be open as well. The driver will be able to see, but the headlights will not be able to close. Now, this may not be a huge issue and most drivers may decide to ignore because at least the headlights are working, but this is an indication of a greater problem – bad relay and thus, requires immediate attention. 

  1. Headlight doors have a mind of their own

Now, another indication that your relays need your attention is when the headlight doors seem to have a mind of their own in that they open and close erratically. This is actually a huge and very dangerous problem as it could very well lead to accidents and collision. You do not want to be a driver with this problem at night. Potentially catastrophic!

Now, the question remains, how we can find solutions to headlight relay problems. There are so many sub-questions to this effect – do you have to go to a mechanic or an expert? Will you pay a hefty sum? How long will it take? Is it a difficult task? Well, fixing or replacing your headlight relay is simpler and easier than you think, and the best part is you can do it Yourself? 

5 DIY steps on how to replace bad relay

DIY Steps On How To Replace Bad Relay
  1. Find the headlight relay closure:

The first thing you need to do in replacing your bad relay is obviously to remove the bad one so you can fix it in the new one. If you are unsure where the relay is located exactly, refer to your vehicle owners’ manual. Usually, it is under the hood of the car. The point where your fuse panel is most likely located. 

On the other hand, it may also be located inside the cab of the car, this would be the case if your car comes with an interior fuse box. You might also want to learn how to clean the inside of a sealed headlight to give you a better beam. 

  1. Take off the fuse lid/cover

Now that you’ve found the fuse box. You should carefully remove the cover or lid so you can properly replace it

  1. Take out the old relay

The headlight closure relay will pull directly out from its terminal. If it is hard to grasp, you can use a pair of pliers, needle nose, or otherwise. Verify that it is the same style of relay as the replacement relay.

Once you pull gently, the headlight closure relay would come off its terminal. However, sometimes, it can be hard to pull, if this happens, you can use a plier to pry it open. Make sure, though that you are using the two relays – old and new are the same style. 

  1. Insert the new relay. 

Now, you can insert the new relays to the point where you removed the old one from. Make sure you push it down firmly so it can properly connect. 

  1. Test the headlights and cover up the fuse box. 

If you have put in a new headlight relay, your headlight and headlight doors should be working perfectly. Then after that, you can close back the fuse box gently, and voila!


How To Replace Bad Relay

Now, you know how to detect when your relays are bad and now, you know how to remedy the situation and ultimately how to clean your headlights at home

You should realize that taking care of your headlights and relays are absolutely integral and essential to safer driving and keeping the roads safe for you, other cars and other pedestrians. 

A good driver is one who drives not only for himself but for the benefit and safety of others as well. It is also noteworthy to pay more attention to your headlight doors and the signals so that you do not get caught in a phase of problems before it is too late. 

Finally, even though the steps to changing or replacing headlight relays are relatively easy and simple enough to do it yourself, it is still okay to check out the vehicle manual for guidance and you will be instructed accordingly. Your car covers shouldn’t be left out as you ought to know how to clean plastic headlight covers

Also, you can decide to hand over the vehicle to an expert to help change the relay. It is better safe than sorry and it is better you give someone who knows what they are doing rather than risking damage yourself. 

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