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danny, Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5064
Experience:  Mechanic at school corp bus garage! Experience in fleet diesel and regular automotive.
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Mazda MPV ES: high beam indicator..parking lights..about 10 minutes

Customer Question

Mazda MPV ES 2000 while driving with low beam headlights both low beams go dark, high beam indicator on dash comes on, parking lights are still on. Change to high beam to get headlight to see. Drive on for about 10 minutes and change to low beam. Now low beams work. In another 5 minutes the cycle repeats. After an hour driving, 4 complete cycles. I've checked both low beam bulbs with an ohmmeter while gently tapping the bulb, but they are not intermittent. The fuses are not intermittent. I swapped the Head and Horn relays in the fuse box. The next day the same problem cycle occurred. The turn signal headlight switch/selector on the steering column has been changed a month ago when the problem first appeared. Also the alternator, which did fail a month before that. I love a good puzzle, but I'm open to ideas or the experience of others.
Bob Burandt
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  danny replied 8 years ago.
A lot of times it could be the dimmer switch But could be your head light switch also. My haed light switch actually melted. I am going to send you some info how to check your headlights out.

Thanks Dan
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This is the first time I'm using 'just'. So if I understand correctly, this is additional detail about the turn signal stick on the left side of the steering column that may help.

It was replaced about a month ago by a repair shop to solve this problem when it got to the point where the low beams did not work. Not even intermittently. (I know intermittent problems are difficult to fix, unless you've seen the particular problem several times before. I'm trying to get any ideas that might help. Especially if someone else has run into this problem before.)

The item replaced has the turn signal switch(up and down), the high beam/low beam selector switch(toward or away from dash), and the headlight/parking lights/off switch(rotate the knob on the end of the stick).

The problem did not reappear until about a week after the repair. It has been getting more frequent from once or twice a week the second week to almost every time the low beam is used in the last few days. I thought that perhaps there might be another device other then the switch and relay in the circuit. I don't have a wiring diagram for the van.

Do you know if there have been problems with the replacement switch assembly?

My guess is that the high beam indicator serves two purposes. First, to let you know the high beams are selected. Second, to let you know the low beams are not on when the headlights are on and the low beams are selected.

Modern automobile electrical devices and systems are wonderful, especially when they are working right.

Bob Burandt
Expert:  danny replied 8 years ago.
Well with the lights working for a bit you moved some wires around when you replaced the turn signal brights switch. Can you follow those wires and harness looking for bare wire touching metal? It may be just a nick or it could lead up to the head light like mine did.

Thanks Dan
danny and other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I'll give that information to the shop when I take it in. It reminds me of stories I heard about Lucas electrics in MGs and Triumphs. I am located in Minnesota where there is a law that headlights must be on when it rains. Any problems with the insulation would be multiplied by rain.

I hit the accept button. Please let me know if you do not get paid.

Bob Burandt
Expert:  danny replied 8 years ago.
-t looks fine on my end. Can you follow up with me. It helps my trouble shooting