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Tdci defender 110 08, headlight issue help.


Maverik
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Hi folks, this ones got me head scratching.

08 defender, lost main dip headlights. With ignition on, you click headlight switch to first position and side lights come on with dial lights, second position, nothing everything goes dark.

On poking around there's no fuses gone, the pink relay under the steering wheel is a dummy bypass type thing and for the life of me I can't find the relay for switching the lamps to even check it... anyone any thoughts?

Other symptoms are no fog light and the head light adjuster switch is going a bit loopy if you tap it...

I measured voltage through the switch which appears to be functioning. So I think the problem is down stream...

What's really confusing me is that non of the other vehicles we have (an 11, 14 &15 plate) are the same configuration as this one so I can't even compare! - my next task was to go digging around and try trace the headlight wires by colour.

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Switch melted in mine = no hi beams. Full current passes through the switch (no relay) which means if you have too high of a load the switch literally melts. Looking closely at mine, the plastic deformed changing the position of the hi-beam contacts so they no longer made contact. New switch fixed it (which means pulling the steering wheel etc). The usual culprits are either an added load on the circuit (aux lights installed without a relay) or in my case, loosely fitting worn-out connectors to the headlight bulbs which was causing some arcing. The headlight connectors themselves had some melting. So replaced these as well.

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Switch melted in mine = no hi beams. Full current passes through the switch (no relay) which means if you have too high of a load the switch literally melts. Looking closely at mine, the plastic deformed changing the position of the hi-beam contacts so they no longer made contact. New switch fixed it (which means pulling the steering wheel etc). The usual culprits are either an added load on the circuit (aux lights installed without a relay) or in my case, loosely fitting worn-out connectors to the headlight bulbs which was causing some arcing. The headlight connectors themselves had some melting. So replaced these as well.

Turns out this was spot on, the contact rivets had melted and moved upwards. A bit worrying considering as far as I know there aren't any extra consumers on that circuit, but I'll pop the lights out the front to check the connectors, it was reported to me that they failed on a very wet day on the hill so I wonder if some waters got in somewhere.

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That is probably it - I replaced my headlight connectors with high-temp ones with rubber boots around them. Found them at a local (US) autoparts chain. My old connectors were trashed/melted/cracked. I think even if you get a loose contact from age you can get arcing which will eventually kill the switch. You would think it would blow the fuse but I guess not. There should be a relay in the system.. I think there are some posts out there about how to do this.

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As has been said the switch or indicator switch have to be the main suspects, it's common for them to overheat and fail which is why quite a few people fit a headlamp supply loom and relay which takes the load off the switches. If that is the problem make sure you use an OEM replacement parts. Could be headlamp connectors but I'd look at the switch first.

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Wherever the problem is found, when it's found, it would still be a good idea to feed your headlamps via relays, two for each side. Use the existing supply cables, via the switch, to operate the relays, each side connected in parallel, and run a new, fused supply, on heavy cable, to feed the relays and hence the headlamps. The heavy cable will ensure minimum cable voltage drop and maximum voltage at the lamps, and hence maximum illumination.

Mike

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