Question about 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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1999 Mazda Miata Headlight Failure

In August of 2004, my left front headlight failed; however, I would have light when I flipped on the brights. Although I purchased a new headlight, a friend and I were able to get the existing light to work by jiggling it.

Now the same headlight has failed; nonetheless, no amount of jiggling worked nor has replacing the headlight. I still have a left front headlight only when the brights are engaged.

Online research points to this being a failure of the light switch on the column, but before I go purchasing a new headlight switch, I wonder if there is some way to troubleshoot it before I purchase a new switch.



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  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2014

    2001 mazda tribute headlights do not work unless key is on

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Just stumbled on this entry. Did you solve your problem?

Posted on Apr 11, 2009

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Notice how your headlights are protected under the hood by a suspiciously large rubber cover? Miatas hate humidity and condensation, from head to toe, including the headlights. I lost a headlight, was pulled over by a state trooper who told me to change it, and tested the brights all in one night. Of course, the brights worked, because they are actuated from a different circuit on the wiring harness that connects to the headlight through that massive rubber seal. If any amount of humidity or condensation has occurred, especially during a weather change, I cannot stress that enough, the first thing to fail is the normal headlight setting. I was already going to switch over to high-intensity bulbs, so I had a good excuse to crack open the headlight assembly (otherwise I wouldn't dare--Miata headlights are nearly impossible to change with a large pair of hands). I separated the old bulbs from their wires and proceeded to clean the connectors of the wires with an approved electrical connection cleaning solution (go to AutoZone). I then applied the conducting gel to the bulb to avoid corrosion and secure against future problems with condensation and was good to go. Make sure to give yourself many many hours to decipher the bulb assembly, as it was designed by someone whose sole intent is to make the job 150 times more difficult. Otherwise, cleaning the wiring assembly is a cinch.

Posted on Nov 30, 2008

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