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nickroach

2004 headlight fault

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Hello. My girlfriend just bought a 2004 Fiesta. When she turns on the headlights the "high beam" indicator is on and the high beam lights are on, as you would expect. However, when she pulls the stem switch towards the steering wheel, the high beam indicator doesn't turn off and the lights get a bit brighter. I think maybe the high beams are staying on when she pulls the stem towards her, but the low beams are turning on as well. Also, the switch feels like it has three positions, but it won't stay in any position but the one furthest from the steering wheel. Is that how it's supposed to be? Is this likely to be a faulty switch module or could it be something else?

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There are 3 positions on the stalk.

Central position is OFF - full beams shouldn't be on in this position.

Rear position is ON - stalk stays in place 

Forward position is FLASH - so you can quickly flash another driver, when you release the stalk it will drop back and the mains beams switch off.

 

It sounds like you have a faulty stalk tbh.

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I thought the light stalk operated thus, fully forward, high or main beam, one click rearward, dip or low beam, pull fully rearward, flash. After 'flash' the stalk springs back to it's centre position. I also would suspect a faulty stalk. If you recently purchased the car, return it to the seller for them to put it right, it is their responsibility. This would be an MOT failure.

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My sister has 2004 fiesta. Exact same fault. Took stalk switch apart(quite fiddly) and found small metal part was broken. 2nd hand switch on ebay (I think about 6 quid including postage) fixed it. Very easy to change switch

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Thanks so much for your answers so far. Before I buy a new switch I'd like to try to clear up some remaining confusion that I have.

I looked at the manual and it says that pulling the stalk towards the wheel should alternately switch the lights between high and low beam. There are arrows on the stalk next to icons symbolising high beam and low beam, both pointing towards the wheel (We are in Australia, maybe this model is different to models sold elsewhere). I'm attaching images to show you what I mean. It also mentions a "flash" function when the stalk is pulled all the way towards the wheel too.

This indicates that the switch might be working correctly and the fault might lie elsewhere. Can anyone shed any light on this?

As for having the seller take care of it, I think there was an implicit understanding that the car was sold "as is" and we were expecting that there would be a few faults in a car of this age, so I'm not mad

20200525_141105.jpg

20200525_142248.jpg

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It does not matter if the seller said sold as is, the headlamp functions not working as they should is dangerous and he/she would have known of this fault and should have told you. 

With the lights turned on, push the stalk fully forward, high beam, pull it back one click, low beam, pull it back fully, flash. the stalk has an indent and it should act like a toggle switch when you put it between high and low beam and also do the same when in high beam position, the stalk should hold in both positions and not be floppy. When you pull it back fully to flash, when you release it, it should self return to the low beam position. That's the best way I can explain it.

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4 hours ago, nickroach said:

Thanks so much for your answers so far. Before I buy a new switch I'd like to try to clear up some remaining confusion that I have.

I looked at the manual and it says that pulling the stalk towards the wheel should alternately switch the lights between high and low beam. There are arrows on the stalk next to icons symbolising high beam and low beam, both pointing towards the wheel (We are in Australia, maybe this model is different to models sold elsewhere). I'm attaching images to show you what I mean. It also mentions a "flash" function when the stalk is pulled all the way towards the wheel too.

This indicates that the switch might be working correctly and the fault might lie elsewhere. Can anyone shed any light on this?

As for having the seller take care of it, I think there was an implicit understanding that the car was sold "as is" and we were expecting that there would be a few faults in a car of this age, so I'm not mad

20200525_141105.jpg

20200525_142248.jpg

I stand corrected, must be thinking of a different car!  It hasn't even been that long since I drove a Mk6! :shocking:  

I'm sure I'd remember such a terrible system...who designed that?  Vauxhall!? :laugh:

 

It does still sound like the stalk at fault though.  They're so cheap and readily available over here it's worth a try unless they're harder to find over there?  If it's not the stalk you'll have to get the multimeter out to look for a short somewhere.  Very worst case would be a stuck relay in the GEM but hopefully it's not that.

 

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Based on my sister's 2004 UK car . there is one resting position for the switch, that is away from you. it if you pull the switch towards you lightly it flashes the headlamps. it will spring back away from you when you let go.   If you pull the switch harder towards you it will switch from main beam to dip beam, or vice versa, depending what it was last on. The switch will spring back to the original position , away from you.  When you are not touching it, there is only one position the switch always returns to  (unlike some other cars like my wife's 2010 Mazda 2 where the switch is in a different position for main beam and dipped beam like most cars were 40-50 years ).   before I bought a replacement switch I checked relays in case one was stuck, but it was simply the switch. As I said above, it had broken inside, it's quite a fiddly delicate mechanism. whilst I could dismantle without breaking it open (it all kind of clipped togther, not glued) I think ford have designed it with the intention of it not being opened up. 

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Excellent, thanks for the additional answers. I'll go ahead and get a new switch then. The cheapest I've been able to find for sale online is $35. Not as cheap as they might be in the UK, but still pretty cheap.

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