Question about 1991 Toyota Tercel

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Headlight problem: 84 Toyota SR5 4wd wagon. When I got the car the high beams didn't work. Replaced both bulbs, still didn't work. Returned bulbs and replaced again, everything worked. A few weeks ago the high beams stopped working, both together. Tonight the low beams just died too. There is a large relay makked "HEAD" in the balck fuse/relay box under the hood. It was warm, which would seem to suggest the steering column switch works. Does somebody know what's going on here ? Thanks in advance for your help. Jeff

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  • jphutjens Oct 17, 2010

    Jeff again,

    Thanks for your efforts. I have just replaced both bulbs (again) and everything works right again.

    I live at the end of a long dark country road, so it is impossible that I would not notice the loss of a single low or high beam bulb.

    That they died (twice) in pairs at exactly the same time is a mystery I find completely confounding.

    Apparently, sometimes the very, extremely unlikely is exactly what happens, I guess.

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Have you tried replacing the relay as the internal contacts do eventually get to a point, because they switch latge currents, where they do not make a proper contact ? From memory,Toyata vehicles of that decade , the headlight relay was used to switch the earth side of the headlight circuit and operated by toggling between the high and low beam circuits. They also had a separate fuse for each of the the high and low circuits rated around 15 - 20 Amps. You could use a test lamp or multi meter on the contact pins on the rear of the globe socket to check if power is getting the globes. Also check any points where earth leads are attached to body near the relay box as a bad earth could also attribute to the problem. If necessary disconnect, clean thoroughly by removing any paint or corrosion an reconnect securely.
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Posted on Oct 09, 2010

  • Mike Roberts Oct 12, 2010

    I have had a bit more of a think about your problrm and will explain. I think I am correct about the high and low beam select switching an earth but it is the control on the steering column that actually does it as the relay in the engine compartment only supplies power to the head light circuit from the battery. I suggest you chech the column switch for any loose wires and any connections where the wiring loom runs beside the steering column and also any earth connection points either behind the dash or or in the drivers foot well. Ensure they are clean and tight. If necessary disconnect, clean off any paint or corrosion and reconnect securely.

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