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I'm hoping to find some answers here as this has stumped my body shop. Some guy reversed into my drivers light a while back, crunched the whole headlight (happy new year to me...). Insurance covered the repairs and the body shop replaced the whole thing but when I picked it up I noticed that the headlight wasn't working (high or low beam) so I took it back to them. They were able to wiggle the wires a bit and got the low beam working but the high beam won't.

We've now replaced the bulb, checked all fuses, replaced the relay and checked the wiring connections into the bulb. Everything seems fine but my high beam still won't work. The passenger side high beam works fine and the low beam on the drivers side works fine - which is super odd as the high and low beam are from the same bulb, just different filaments inside, and there is only 3 wires that go into the headlight assembly (positive, negative and ground I think).

At this point the body shop said that we would need to send it to the Nissan dealership to have their mechanics check it out. The bad part about that is if they do the inspection and find that the high beam is not working because of some other issue that wasn't caused by the accident then my insurance won't cover the inspection and I'll have to pay it. We all know how much dealerships like to charge for repairs and diagnostics and the shop and I are worried it isn't related to the accident and just bad timing because we've literally replaced and tested every single thing that was damaged by the accident.

So I'm wondering if anyone else has had this issue before and if so how did you solve it?
 

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i will first off admit i'm not a genius when it comes to automotive electrical issues. But Google can make me figure out a few things now and then...or at least try to get a vague idea what i'm dealing with.
  • So, i googled for you and came up with a similar nissan problem.
  • HELP! headlight not working even after change
  • The last comment on there mentioned to check the DRL ( daytime running light ) module.
  • On another nissan forum, a similar problem on a nissan vehicle. Again, somebody mentioned to replace the DRL module.
  • It may or may not be the DRL module, but if you were to take it to a nissan service dept, they will put your vehicle on their expensive computer diagnostic scanner and it may show that is the problem or something related. Of course you will probably pay about $100-130 minimum flat fee just to do that ( and extra for a new part /plus labour).
  • You could also look for an independent garage that specializes in automotive electric. They should charge you cheaper then dealership rates and may have an electrical wizard who can easily and cheaply fix your issue.
  • Also, IF you do know you need a DRL relay, go to an autowrecker and pull it out yourself /ask the wrecker employee to pull it out for you/how much for part/ etc. --- https://forums.********.com/headlight-works-on-high-beam-but-not-on-low-t456825.html
  • one more-- My 2006 Nissan x-trail doesn't have working low beam lights, - Fixya..
  • good luck. ;):)
 

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Take a look at post 44


The wire connections look good but they could be broken
 

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The wire connections look good but they could be broken
Yep, wires broken inside the insulation are very common after a crash repair. If you have "dimbulb" DRL's that operate through the headlamps (as opposed to separate bulbs), that complicates checking, but most dimbulb systems use the low beam filaments, so that probably isn't your issue. Since the low beam operates normally, you also know the ground wire (which is common to both) is okay. That leaves only three good possibilities, the IPDM, the high beam wire, or the high-beam bulb connector not making contact. Your best friend here is a bulb-type test lamp, since the bulb will require and draw power just like the high-beam filament. Probe the high-beam wire socket with it loose from the headlight, if the test lamp lights then you know there's juice but the connector tongue isn't making contact. If there's no juice, probe the same wire at the IPDM end. If there's juice there, you know the wire is broken somewhere between the IPDM and headlight. If there's no juice and the fuse is good, then the IPDM is bad.
 

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PS - We don't have access to documentation for Exxies here in the 'States, so if your vehicle doesn't have an IPDM then you'll basically do the same thing but trace back to the high-beam relay instead of the IPDM.
 

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The DLR uses the high beam at a lower power level. Are the daytime running lights working properly? Does the DLR work? Quickest and cheapest way to figure it out might be to just swap out the DLR unit, which is in the driver-side footwell behind the plastic cover at the left of your feet. I replaced mine twice while owning my X trail. Fairly easy to find at a pick and pull junkyard as the same part minus a transferable bracket was used on a number of Nissan and Infiniti models. Otherwise it fairly pricey new from the dealership, something like $300. There is a guy or a few on eBay that will sell or repair them. There are at least a couple of posts here about finding and replacing the unit.
Given the impact was to the driver's side, I could see how it might have been affected. I will assume the simple check for a fuse has already been done?
 

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The DLR uses the high beam at a lower power level. Are the daytime running lights working properly?
Yep, if the DRL uses the high beams then there's a great chance the problem is in the DRL circuit. Generally those work by shunting the two filaments "in series" by manipulating the ground path through the DRL control, so diagnosis can get very complicated. However, if the one high-beam works but neither beam works on DRL, that's a dead-ringer clue that the DRL controller is causing the problem and isn't grounding the lights properly. If both DRL's work, it usually means a bad DRL relay, which may be external or may be inside the controller. Quadraria10 may know the answer to that -- as I said, there's no documentation available here.
 

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The above thread has info about replacing the DRL unit and replacement options. The last post in it also includes good info for how the system operates.
 

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The above thread has info about replacing the DRL unit and replacement options. The last post in it also includes good info for how the system operates.
Very cool thread! I wasn't surprised to read about the documentation differences for Euro and Canadian models, Nissan is bad about that. Gets even worse when you throw Far East and JDM models into the mix, and we can't get docs for any of them. I must say, seeing how much grief this system gives you folks, I'm glad Nissan never used dimbulbs much here in the 'States!

I don't think there's any easy solution for the LED replacement problem mentioned at the end, it's really a silicon manufacturing issue with LED wafers. To date, headlight-quality brightness and intensity can't be achieved with LED's that drop less than 8~9 volts. That may change, lots of companies are throwing big bucks at high-efficiency LED technology, but right now the state of the art won't allow it. Someone brave could try converting the whole headlight supply south of the fuses to 24V using eBay boost converters, since the relay secondaries in the DRL controller won't care about the extra voltage as long as the control circuitry still runs at 12V. LED headlamps don't require much current, so 3 or 5 amp boosters would probably do the job. If anybody wants to try it and has an accurate WD for their vehicle, I'd be happy to help work out where to modify it.
 

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Very cool thread! I wasn't surprised to read about the documentation differences for Euro and Canadian models, Nissan is bad about that. Gets even worse when you throw Far East and JDM models into the mix, and we can't get docs for any of them. I must say, seeing how much grief this system gives you folks, I'm glad Nissan never used dimbulbs much here in the 'States!

I don't think there's any easy solution for the LED replacement problem mentioned at the end, it's really a silicon manufacturing issue with LED wafers. To date, headlight-quality brightness and intensity can't be achieved with LED's that drop less than 8~9 volts. That may change, lots of companies are throwing big bucks at high-efficiency LED technology, but right now the state of the art won't allow it. Someone brave could try converting the whole headlight supply south of the fuses to 24V using eBay boost converters, since the relay secondaries in the DRL controller won't care about the extra voltage as long as the control circuitry still runs at 12V. LED headlamps don't require much current, so 3 or 5 amp boosters would probably do the job. If anybody wants to try it and has an accurate WD for their vehicle, I'd be happy to help work out where to modify it.
I replaced my stock Xtrail low beam headlight bulbs about 2 years ago or so with good LED bulbs ( with the canbus) and very pleased with the brightness and appearance. I think once i did that, i lost the daytime running light function. I have to manually switch on my headlights. And i get either low beam or switch to high beam.
  • Last XMAS , i installed a set of $50 LED bulbs in the 04 toyota matrix ( also with the canbus) and i still have the daytime running lights , no issues at all.
  • A few weeks ago i was on a busy street coming home and there was a vehicle driving aggressively and stupid thru the traffic. With bright yellow LED headlight bulbs. ...lol....i called 911 as it was a visual distraction and the driver was an idiot.
  • Dispatcher said they will send a unit out to look out for the yellow headlight car as they agreed it was illegal and a distraction to other motorists.
 
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