Question about 1997 Toyota 4Runner

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Headlight self-actualization problem

This winter, my 1997 4-cylinder 4-Runner's headlights would turn on by themselves while sitting in my driveway. The switch on the steering column was in the off position. The next time it happened, I disconnected the steering column switch and the headlights still stayed on. I also experienced a buzzing from my signal switch canister about the same time. The only way to stop it was to put the signal lights on either left or right, or disconnect the plug. Neither of these problems occurred when I took it to the dealer--of course!--and neither has happened in the warmer summer weather. Does the running headlight switch get its feed from the ignition switch? I checked the various connections on the ignition switch and everything seemed normal. It's unsettling to have to carry booster cables all the time in case the lights do their thing overnight or while I'm at a show or on a fishing trip. Any ideas???


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  • defador Aug 03, 2008

    My '01 Hilux headlights won't turn off with the switch. Park/tail lights turn off OK but headlights don't until the ignition switch is turned on. Australian model.

  • Anonymous Aug 23, 2008

    i have a 1998 toyota 4-runner and the same happened to me when i came in one night and there was no key in the ignition and the headlights were on. this incident happened 4 more times with the key out and the vechicle unattended. each time i got in the vechicle and either hit the dimmer switch or cut the lights on and then off and the headlights went off. can't drive it anywhere without a booster box or jumper cables. all incidents happened in the summertime. very hot, very humid.



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Initially, the headlight relay unit would be suspect (likely). I would suspect corrosion on the terminal connector of the fuse box/relay bank (most likely) affecting the headlight. When damp/cold, the corrosion would be triggering the relays to engaged position. The steering column switch would be the least likely since as you posted headlight still on even if that switch is disconnected. the same may also hold true for the signal flasher. A good approach would be to work your way backwards from the headlight, fuse, relay, switch assembly using a DVM measuring/checking for +12V presence.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008


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