AWD - Intermittent Mystery Headlight Failure on 1999 V70? ONLY Low Beams affected...

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Intermittent Mystery Headlight Failure on 1999 V70? ONLY Low Beams affected... V70-XC70

Ok, I'm having issues with the low beams on my 1999 V70 Wagon. The headlights will randomly turn off after I start the car. I haven't tried to measure how long they stay on: the length of time seems variable. Sometimes they stay on for the whole drive (my commute to work is about half an hour), sometimes they turn off after the car has been running for 5-10 minutes. When I pull back on my turn signal stalk my brights will turn on, consistently, and stay on for as long as I hold it. I haven't had any problems with my high beams.

I figured out that I can turn the headlight toggle switch to the parking lights position for a minute or two, then turn it back on the headlights will work again. Quite often they will turn off after 5-10 minutes and I will have to repeat the process. Occasionally they will stay on longer than that. This has been working for me so far as a stopgap solution but I don't want to be that jerk with his brights on all the time.

My dad and I have tried troubleshooting this but can't find anyone with exactly this problem. My dad thought it was one of the relays but we just replaced it and the problem is still there. Someone suggested to me that it might be one of the grounds, but I honestly don't know enough to be sure. We're both stumped.

This may simply be a coincidence, but the problem started after an unfortunate collision I had with a deer on my way to Burning Man last year. Deer crossed the road at the exact moment I passed by and I hit it in the head with my driver's side mirror. Mirror was dangling from the car with wires still attached. Stopped at a Safeway with the rest of my convoy and when we left (about half an hour later, the low beams cut out as we were pulling out of the parking lot. I had to hold the brights on for the next hour until we got to the hotel for the night. I also had problems with the toggle switches for the windows.

After I got back my dad went to the junkyard and got me a new mirror and set of toggle switches for the door. I haven't had any issues with the windows since, but the headlight problem has remained. My dad wiggled the conduit containing the wires for the window switches, and that seemed to fix it, but it came back a few days later. It was manageable for a while (once every few weeks/months) but since July it has been constant. This wasn't so much an issue over the summer, but, being September, this now includes my morning commute.

I'm hoping someone can help me figure this out. TL;DR

1. Only the low-beams are affected, brights work just fine.
2. Time interval between starting the car and headlights cutting out appears variable.
3. Headlights will turn back on after a 1-2 minute "cool-off" period.
4. No prior history of electrical gremlins with this car. Just an SRS light that never turns off.
5. Car was in an accident which yanked on wires connected to the driver's side mirror.

Any ideas?


New Intermittent Mystery Headlight Failure on 1999 V70? ONLY Low Beams affected... [V70-XC70]
posted by  Uberreicher  on Thu Sep 13 19:33 CST 2018 >

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