Question about 1998 Volvo S70

2 Answers

Why is the headlight on passenger sider much dimmer than on drivers side?Any help?

Passenger side lamp is much dimmer '98 Volvo S70 nonturbo. Trying to find out why. New bulb makes no difference.It's like it isn't getting the correct voltage sent to it. Any suggestions??

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  • 13 more comments 
  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    I have 11.97VDC at fuse and 11.378VDC at wiring harness. I'm only reading10.58VDC betwen posts on lightbulb with harness connected of course.

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    referencing ground termanil of battery for the readings at the fuse and harness

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    Only thing is the other (drivers) side has identical readings and yet it's not dim.Passenger side so dim it won't read on a light gauge.Thoughts.

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    drops to 10.58VDC with bulb in holder on both sides.Drivers sid lit normally and passenger side dim .

  • Steve Bielby May 15, 2014

    Ok, can you check the resistance readings on both sides, will be off to bed in 30 mins ...

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    I'll have to get back with you tomorrow .Pouring down rain here.Resistance to ground I'll assume. Sleep well and thanks again for all your help.

  • Steve Bielby May 15, 2014

    Ok, cheers!

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 16, 2014

    Resistance on both sides are .004-6 referencing ground.

  • Steve Bielby May 16, 2014

    Is that with lamp in and power on?

  • Steve Bielby May 16, 2014

    There's not much else I can suggest I'm afraid Steve, it seems there should either be a lack of voltage or a larger resistance on the problem side. If not then I am stumped!

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 16, 2014

    It's with Lamp out power off.I read in a Volvo forum we folks were talking about a shunt on the CEM. Does that sound like a viable solutin to you? I'm thinking maybe the wiring inside the housing maybe fried.I'm pretty much at my wits end with this problem.Thanks for the assist.

  • Steve Bielby May 17, 2014

    Stev, just to double check... You are measuring using the ground on the actual bulb mount ? In other words the pos and neg feeds to the bulb and if so then the other possibility is you might have a short between the bulb holder and the headlamp shell. Have you checked the bulb brightness with it just in the holder AND then in the shell too? Is there any difference between them (same side)?

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 17, 2014

    Going to look at the wiring harness inside the light assembly today.Was measuring referencing the ground terminal on the battery.Will try what you suggested sometime today as well. Thanks for the input

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 17, 2014

    Steve, you're probably not going to believe this but,a can of spray paint seems like it's going to be the fix.Wiring is good reflectiveness of housing bad. Disassembled housing and painted reflector.Will know after dark if indeed this is the solution.Thanks again for your help.

  • Steve Bielby May 18, 2014

    Glad you got it sorted eventually Steve, and it's had a thorough electrical health check too ;-)

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  • 14 Answers

You probably have an earth or short on the live feed to the bulb. Use a multi-meter set to 20V dc and measure the voltage between the live and neutral on the bulb holder, it should be around 12v

Posted on May 15, 2014

Testimonial: "Steve please read my comments on my posts and let me know your thoughts. Thank you."

  • 3 more comments 
  • Steve Bielby May 15, 2014

    That drop of almost 1.5v will cause the dimming you are describing. The is probably a short to earth on the live circuit somewhere. Also check that your bulb holder is not rusty, both where the bulb connects and where the holder connects to the vehicle chassis.

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    Bulb holder is good no rust have no idea what's going on.

  • Steve Bielby May 15, 2014

    Just saw comment re other side readings being identical, can you tell if the is a voltage drop once the bulb is inserted into the holder?

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    please read revious comments Steve.Apparently this site doesn't care for me. Yeah, it's been one of those days.Thanks for your help.

  • Steve Klante
    Steve Klante May 15, 2014

    both sides read about 10.58VDC with bulb in holder and on.

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  • 13 Answers

The only way the bulb can be dimmer is if it is getting less volts. This sounds like a bad connection somewhere in the circuit. Make sure all of the connections are clean and tight. Likewise make sure the lamp unit has a good connection to the car earth - its the other wire. Another check is make sure the man in the shop hasn't sold you a 24V lamp for a truck ..... doh
The voltage check may be good without a lamp in but likely will collapse when you put the lamp back into circuit. This is a sure sign of a bad conection.

Posted on Aug 07, 2014

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