Driving lights to replace high beams? - Nissan Forum
B13 91-94 chassis 1991-1994 Sentra and 1991-1993 NX

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post #1 of 16 Old Aug 21st, 2004, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Driving lights to replace high beams?

Hey fella's,

I need you car-guy expertise on my car issue, my friends at the sapphire tech forums aren't much help...we're all computer geeks.

I have a '92 sentra se-r and my high beams stopped working. i've deduced that it is some sort of physical switch malfunction...and i do not know how to fix that(in the steering column i think). but i dont intend to fix it but to go around it.

::back story on my car:: i bought it some months ago but the foglights were missing, stolen i presume(mounting holes, wires, and on/off switch are all present). so i was going to get new stock fog lights but then the high's stopped working entirely...so here i am now.

i need high beams, i go out to the country quite often and dont particularly enjoy hitting deer. but i can't afford to have a dealer TRY and fix it, i need a fix fast. so i was pondering getting driving lights instead of my stock fog lights.

-will driving lights be adequate as a high-beam substitute?
-Can you recommend a brand/model that will serve my purpose and still look like the stock fog lights?

Again, cars are not my expertise, but if you have any computer problems just drop me a line :-)
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post #2 of 16 Old Aug 21st, 2004, 12:59 AM
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I don't know exactly how you can replace the high beams, because they do aim higher.....here's a suggestion that could be followed, but wouldn't be ok for city driving:

Buy a pair of H3 hyperwhite, or some bright foglights, that produce over 3000 lumens. Just aim them up higher (so they aren't straight), but don't leave them on while city driving, or you'll piss people off. Also remember, if you want ACTUAL fog lights, driving through fog, etc, they have to be yellow.
post #3 of 16 Old Aug 21st, 2004, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowsentra
I don't know exactly how you can replace the high beams, because they do aim higher.....here's a suggestion that could be followed, but wouldn't be ok for city driving:

Buy a pair of H3 hyperwhite, or some bright foglights, that produce over 3000 lumens. Just aim them up higher (so they aren't straight), but don't leave them on while city driving, or you'll piss people off. Also remember, if you want ACTUAL fog lights, driving through fog, etc, they have to be yellow.
I didnt know that fog lights had to be yellow. Im sorry to sound like a dumb ass , ,but why. Does it cut throught the fog better or what? :dumbass:
post #4 of 16 Old Aug 21st, 2004, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmanars
I didnt know that fog lights had to be yellow. Im sorry to sound like a dumb ass , ,but why. Does it cut throught the fog better or what? :dumbass:
damaners: well fog is white and illuminating it with white would be really bright...so yellow makes sense :-)

glowsentra: for the time being i already aimed my headlights higher, so now they're a mix of city and high beams. its neat, but inadequate. (i do plan to aim the fog/driving lights higher so that they aim like high beams.)

i dont think i need actual fog lights because its almost never foggy here(in chicago) and when it is, i dont think they do much good anyway, i just wanted them to complete my look. And i really didn't intend to drive around the city with highs on, lol.

but i have a few questions about the fog lights themselves. i am not familiar with fog lights AT ALL, so please be patient with my noobieness.

1. Are you recomending that i get the stock fog lights(from a dealership) and change the bulbs to the H3 hyperwhite guys?
2. Are the fog light bulbs interchangeable with the stock headlight bulbs?(if not, what kind of bulbs can be put in fog lights?)
3. what brand of driving/fog light am i looking for if i dont get the stock lights. also, what model would be an ideal compliment to the sentra

thanks again!
post #5 of 16 Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 03:11 PM
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I would strongly recommend against this. I say this from experience.

About ten years ago, I had a 85 Nissan 720 pickup w/ the optional Bosch Rallye lights and foglamps. The highbeams weren't working all the time, and all signs pointed to the switch not working. I didn't worry about it too much, because I could always use the Rallye lights in the back country when I needed the extra light.

Turns out that the problem wasn't the switch, rather it was the wiring harness. Over time, the connections on the harness had corroded, and that was causing the switch malfunction. Eventually, this manifested itself in other problems, like fuses blowing, and all the other lights having random issues. I replaced my wiring harness with a new one, and cleaned all the connectors, and all my problems went away.

Of course, since cell phones are more common now, I suppose being stuck in the middle of the night on a country road with nothing but a mag-light isn't that bad anymore.
post #6 of 16 Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rei
Of course, since cell phones are more common now, I suppose being stuck in the middle of the night on a country road with nothing but a mag-light isn't that bad anymore.
the roads i travel are pretty highly trafficed so i wouldn't be stuck for long.

but you really think its the wireing harness??? the high beams were being goofy before...i would turn them on but they would be delayed a second or more(during this delay i would have NO headlights)...and now when i turn on the highs the headlights go off and the highs never come on.

it the wiring harness expensive? is it very difficult to replace? should i have a mechanic do it?

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post #7 of 16 Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 03:59 PM
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it really sounds like the headlight switch to me. replacing the switch should be easier
post #8 of 16 Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:25 PM
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Get a cheap pair of projector driving lights off of eBay, ones like these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=33709

These lights are very nice and they're dirt cheap. I put a set on my wife's car except I got the blue lens type, which produces a yellow light. It's funny how many people don't know that unless they have yellos light, they're not really "fog lights", at least they're not worth a damn as "fog lights". So Kudos to you glowsentra If you want to fix your high beams Tavel let me know, I'm sure I can diagnose the problem and tell you how to fix it rather easily.

Rob '93 SE-R

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post #9 of 16 Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPEEDO
it really sounds like the headlight switch to me. replacing the switch should be easier
i guess it would be...but thats not as cool as driving lights, hehe.

gah, this car is so much work. 180,000 miles really takes a toll on a car. when i got it i had to replace the exaust system(no i didn't get a cool perf. exaust...i didn't know the se-r was anything special at the time) and i had to pretty much make new rocker panels out of fiberglass because they were rusted away. and the rear window leaks and made all the top trim warp off, and the engine was FILTHY, gross!

how do i unclog a clogged windshield washer sprayer?

and there's a wierd knock toward the rear of my car. it occurs only during quick direction changes(reverse then forware quickly)...sounds like there's something rolling around in the trunk hood but there is not. i didn't find anything anywhere. is there some special hiding place for small things back there?

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post #10 of 16 Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:34 PM
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I use a paper clip or a pipe cleaner to clean the washer nozzles. Sometimes it helps to remove the nozel and blow compressed air through it.

Rob '93 SE-R

PM or e-mail me for Progress swaybars $190 shipped, B13 Progress coilovers $1300 shipped and B13 Progress LCA brace $160 shipped.
post #11 of 16 Old Aug 24th, 2004, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolapcfan
Get a cheap pair of projector driving lights off of eBay, ones like these:
Im not too keen on ebay purchases. im a computer enthusiast(clearly not a car enthusiast, lol)...and ebay is known as the baddest of bad mojo's in the computer world. the second being DELL! *shudder in disgust*; maybe car parts are different than computer parts...but i really dont want to risk it.

How much would those lights cost retail?

and what if i did want to fix my highs? how would i got about that? symptoms are same as stated above( at first the highs were delayed in coming on, during wich time headlights would be off completely. now high beams never come on and headlights are off completely) it seems to me to be a switch malfunction, but i dont even know where to begin with something like this.

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post #12 of 16 Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:27 AM
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Tavel:

You can visit a local Autozone, Napa, or Checker/Kragen and get a decent pair of driving lights/foglights for under 30 bucks.

Most foglights ARE either H3 or H4, sorry about the confusion, you can leave the stock bulbs in them. I'd get ones with a light blue housing, they are usually brighter. Tip: For mounting them, use the bumper brace bolts located under the top lip of the front bumper, there are 4 or 5 total, just remove the bolts, mount the brackets, then replace the bolts, and you should be set to go.

Try replacing your headlight harnesses first though, their could be a short or something in them, not exactly sure though. That should cost you about 10 bucks for 2 harnesses, and take about 20 minutes to install.......but have toolapcfan help you diagnose it, he's better at electric than i am, before you do any replacing.
post #13 of 16 Old Aug 24th, 2004, 02:32 AM
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I paid $60 for those same lights through JC Whitney. Ebay is great, not to mention you can buy insurance cheap on the item in case it's junk.

As for your lights, lows and highs aren't supposed to be on at the same time, so that's okay. They're the same bulb and having both on at the same time would not be good. First thing you should do is go to the fusible link box in your engine compartment. There are two 15A fuses in there that run your lights, one for low beams, one for high. Check those to see if one is blown. If not, then take each bulb out and check the continuity across the three terminals. The high beam filament can burn out and the low beam filament still be intact, and vice versa. If the bulbs check out, then while they're out, turn the light switch to on and check for 12V at the two striped wires in the bulb sockets. You should get voltage at only one terminal. Then turn the high beams on and check for voltage, and you should only get it at one terminal, but not the same one you did for low beams. If you don't have voltage to a terminal during high beam operation, then your lighting switch is to blame.

Rob '93 SE-R

PM or e-mail me for Progress swaybars $190 shipped, B13 Progress coilovers $1300 shipped and B13 Progress LCA brace $160 shipped.
post #14 of 16 Old Aug 24th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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The two posts above me are right on the money. On my truck, it cost me 25 bucks to replace the headlight harnesses, and took about 30 minutes to do.
post #15 of 16 Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys, ill take a peak in the fuse box and see if its simple. i dont know what a headlight harness is so thats not something i can fix on my own.

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