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Left dipped beam not working

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  • [Corsa C] Left dipped beam not working


    I am new to the forum, I've had my corsa C 1.2l 2001 for about 6 months and it's been a great first car.

    A couple of days ago I turned on the engine and switched on my lights and after a split second of being very bright initially, both the left hand side dipped beam and left sidelight went out.

    I managed to pick up a bulb from the garage and fitted it, but the left hand side still didnít work.

    I switched the left and right bulb over and there seems to be no issue with the headlight bulb. I switched the sidelights over too and that turned out that the left side had blown because the right bulb worked fine on the left side.

    I checked the fuses and after switching number 36 and 37 the right light still only came on so I think the fuses are okay.
    Has this happened to anyone? Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated?


  • #2
    Hi Welcome to the forum.

    Can you clarify a few points. Are you saying the bulbs went exceptionally bright before blowing? Are you sure both the headlight and sidelight failed at exactly the same moment? Could the side light have failed earlier but only noticed when the headlight failed.

    I think you are saying the left side light was blown but is now working ok with a new bulb.

    I think you are also saying the left headlight doesnt work with the original bulb,(which may have blown) nor a replacement you bought (which although unlikely could also be faulty) nor the right headlight bulb, known to have been working.

    Are you sure you firmly and correctly fitted the wiring connector when trying the two replacement bulbs. Have you got the right headlight working again? If you believe the bulb to be ok, and the connector on fully try waggling it a bit with your fingers to see if the bulb lights. It could be a bit of a sloppy fit.

    With blown bulbs you can often see that the filament is obviously broken,but sometimes they can blow but still appear intact. Replacing or swopping bulbs is one way of testing. I prefer to using the ohms function on a multimeter,that tests continuity. A useful tool for the car and home. On 20v Dc setting you may also be able to check if the wiring to the left headlight connector is live when it should be.
    Last edited by Bugman; 15-02-2018, 02:08 PM.


    • #3
      Hi Bugman, Thank you for your reply.

      For the couple of seconds that they were on they seemed very bright, then the left side went out completely.

      I’m not sure about the sidelight. It’s possible that the sidelight had already failed but it was working a couple of days before. After putting in a new bulb the left sidelight is now working.

      The left headlight doesn’t work with the original bulb or the replacement. I put the original bulb in the right headlight and it worked. So I don’t think there was a problem with the bulb.

      I’ve not got a multimeter but would a cheap one from Halfords do the job?

      I’ll try fiddle around with the wiring and try the swapping the left and right bulbs today to see if that makes a difference.
      Do the left head lamp and sidelight run off the same wire? If the sidelight is getting power does this mean the headlamp should be too?



      • #4
        A cheap multimeter should be fine. Halfords have a Rolson branded one on their web site for £7.99 which is the same as the one I use. I dont want to upset you but I saw the same thing today in Kaufland supermarket in Bulgaria (where I am at present) for £3.08 .

        Its worth buying one, even if you dont need it for this job. They can more than pay for themselves over the years checking the condition of aa and aaa batteries, fault finding and possibly repairing battery powered things in the home and numerous jobs on a car etc.

        The side light is likely to be on a different wiring circuit so you cannot assume that one working means the other will be. But they share the same lighting switch in different positions, so its possible a faulty switch shorting out could have affected both. Not saying thats what happened.

        A sudden brightening of the bulb could have been it flaring as it burnt out.

        With a multimeter you could try the following tests on the connector plug. Set the multimeter to 20V DC. With the headlights on, stick one probe in one terminal of the connector block and one in the other. If there is power you should get a reading. If dont get a reading dont give up immediately, try a few times to make sure you got good contacts. But a voltage reading on the multimeter is not absolute proof nothing is wrong.
        You might still have a poor earth. Good enough for some current flow but not good enough to pass enough amps to power the bulb.
        To check this you need to know which terminal is live and which is earth. If the voltage reading is a positive reading earth is your black probe. If the reading shows a minus sign, earth is the terminal with the red probe.
        You then set the multimeter to one of the ohms settings. Put one probe on the terminal you know is earth and the other to a good earth on the car body,engine block etc. If the reading drops from 1 to 000 the earth is probably good. The fault could be mechanical, eg the terminal block not gripping the bulb terminals tightly.If it shows a figure above 000 your earthing may partial but poor.Ie a lot of resistance.

        If you got no voltage reading on the initial test it may be the earth is faulty. In 20V DC put one probe into the one of the block terminals, and the other against a good earth on the body etc. If still no voltage do the same test on the other terminal. If you now get a voltage reading it means the voltage is flowing to earth through the multimeter probe, and presumably there is an earthing problem in the wire or light fitting.

        Sorry this is complicated. And its about the limit of my knowledge. I cant help with specifics. But by using logic and probing about here and there with the multimeter you might be able narrow down where where any problem with the circuit lies. Failing that you might need an auto electrician.
        Last edited by Bugman; 16-02-2018, 11:57 AM.


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply I'll pop into Halfords tomorrow and let you know how I get on.




          • #6
            Vin. Note I was doing a fairly major amendment to my post at the time you replied. It may be more helpful than the one before.


            • #7
              Hi Bugman, thanks again for your detailed response. I got a multimeter from halfords and I managed to get a reading off it, so there was current going to the headlight. I had a fiddle with the fitting and luckily I managed to get the light to work.

              Thanks again!


              • #8
                Thanks for the update.
                Believe me the multimeter wont be wasted. Its one of those tools you can find multiple jobs for once you have one. Looking back there are loads of things I might otherwise have thrown away.

                I have literally just found 2 aaa batteries in a drawer. one was 1.05v and should have been thrown away. The other 1.67 volts, serviceable. And inserting odd batteries can cause problems.My trail camera was doing weird things until I discovered a couple of the batteries were flat and had been reverse charged by the others .Their positive terminal had become negative. Until then I never knew non rechargeable batteries could do that.