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Discussion Starter #1
I know this issue has been brought up before, but I want to bring it to the surface. My morning drive to work starts @4:30 and it is ALWAYS dark with not too many cars on the road. As such I get a chance to see the headlight quality without much interference form other light sources. (other traffic/streetlights/etc) The low beams change intensity slightly (flicker) enough that oncoming traffic think I am 'flashing' my high beams. If I DO put on my high beams, they don't just flicker, they turn on and off at random intervals. You can actually hear the high beam relay cycling as the light do their 'dance'. My drive is usually 20-25 minutes to work. By the time I arrive the phenomenon has ceased. No, it is NOT pitching of the vehicle on bumpy roads or reduced voltage to the headlight cricuit. It is NOT a loose connection in the headlight 'stalk' switch or the connections at the headlights themselves. Since the condition is intermitent I can't get a firm grasp on the guilty component. I have heard that the lights have a 'warm-up' cycle and may contribute to this issue. I also read that there is a master electrical control module in the system that is the brains behind the modulation of the electrical components. My question is: Has ANYONE experienced this issue, and did it get repaired.? Had the dealer (or repair folks) seen this before? I have had such bad experiences with dealers in the past I would rather enter 'dancing with the stars' and have the devil himself as my partner. It is a shame - no make that a sin - that there is no service manual available (at least not that I am aware). What a novel idea - some people ACTUALLY have the intelegence to repair their own vehicles. :)) Flame suit on - let me hear what others have experienced. This condition IS unacceptable. BTW - dealer wants the car for up to a week to diagnois because of 'backlog' of work. I wonder what ELSE could be amiss?

Cogboring
 

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Welcome cogboring! Low battery? Loose battery connection(s)? It has happened before... Just a thought.
 

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Definitely unacceptable, not to mention unsafe. I'd let the dealer sort it out and demand a loaner if they want it for a week. Just my .02. :)
 

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It appears that you have ruled out the obvious components, however I would still suspect a connection. Metals expand and contract based on temperature, and your description is indicative of a marginal connection that "makes" with a greater degree of reliability as the vehicle warms.
I don't have any first-hand experience with this very problem, so I can only speculate and provide food for thought.
Welcome to SCOA. Flame-suits are not normally required here.... but thick skin helps on occasion.
 

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Also check your battery connections thoroughly. A few have found their terminals to be very loose, and the extra load of the lights could very well cause arcing in the connection.
 

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I haven't had the flickr but noticed the lights are bright enough that Trucks & SUVs brightlight me quite often. I've never had a car flash me. Considered re-aiming but I checked and they are fine.

I did notice a dim in the lights whenever I honked my horn (I do have a Stebel air horn installed.
 

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The lights are SO bright in this car I have forgone upgrading them to HID's. I have been flashed at a couple times as well. But I think its a combo of how tall the car is along with an excellent lens/bulb setup.

I did notice a dimming once, but have not seen it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I want to say "Thanks" to everyone that took the time to reply. FYI-I have had the passenger side floor panel up and put a 'visual' on the battery, but had not actually checked the integrity of the connections. I DID notice however there is a single ground 'stud' located on the drivers side just above where you might rest your left foot. It appears to be quite heavy with paint and has at least three (if not more) wires cascaded together.. I did not check the torque on the nut, nor the possibility that the paint might reside between the eyelet connectors. This may NOT be a single ground connection for all the components forward of the drivers compartment, but then again...? I know in one of my other cars this IS the case and electrical issues are abundant. Again - this would not be up for conversation if one was to have a shop manual WITH an electrical diagram. Most discouraging. Again - thanks to all that posted. If anyone else has a similar condition or other thoughts - I am all all ears.
Cogboring (who WILL be giving the wiring a thorough examination this weekend)
 

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I saw this earlier on my car shortly after I accidentally drained the battery once. I put a full charger on it and let it run overnight to bring it up and haven't seen it since. (Of course I also cleaned the terminals and tightened the rings at the same time, so... it could have been that. I recall they were loose enough to pull off without loosening them. :()
 

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You have a Police Car probably a mis build LOL. Seriously though as you can HEAR the fault with a clicking relay then you dont have to see the headlamps working. Move (waggle test) wiring in various positions, earths etc, when your lights are on and should the relay energise click, you have found a poor connection. Try disconnecting the relay and reconnecting it but do that with the lights off to avoid a possible "spike". And last thing is does the full beam lamp illuminate when there is a flicker - pull the fuse on that circuit clean and replace - Check bulb contacts too as just one headlamp with a poor connection can cause the fault - clean with a little maintenance spray. Good Luck
 

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I know what is wrong!

I know this issue has been brought up before, but I want to bring it to the surface. My morning drive to work starts @4:30 and it is ALWAYS dark with not too many cars on the road. As such I get a chance to see the headlight quality without much interference form other light sources. (other traffic/streetlights/etc) The low beams change intensity slightly (flicker) enough that oncoming traffic think I am 'flashing' my high beams. If I DO put on my high beams, they don't just flicker, they turn on and off at random intervals. You can actually hear the high beam relay cycling as the light do their 'dance'. My drive is usually 20-25 minutes to work. By the time I arrive the phenomenon has ceased. No, it is NOT pitching of the vehicle on bumpy roads or reduced voltage to the headlight cricuit. It is NOT a loose connection in the headlight 'stalk' switch or the connections at the headlights themselves. Since the condition is intermitent I can't get a firm grasp on the guilty component. I have heard that the lights have a 'warm-up' cycle and may contribute to this issue. I also read that there is a master electrical control module in the system that is the brains behind the modulation of the electrical components. My question is: Has ANYONE experienced this issue, and did it get repaired.? Had the dealer (or repair folks) seen this before? I have had such bad experiences with dealers in the past I would rather enter 'dancing with the stars' and have the devil himself as my partner. It is a shame - no make that a sin - that there is no service manual available (at least not that I am aware). What a novel idea - some people ACTUALLY have the intelegence to repair their own vehicles. :)) Flame suit on - let me hear what others have experienced. This condition IS unacceptable. BTW - dealer wants the car for up to a week to diagnois because of 'backlog' of work. I wonder what ELSE could be amiss?

Cogboring
IMMEDIATELY if not sooner:

Lift up the passenger's side carpeting. Remove the dark grey styrofoam insert which holds the tire inflator. Using a 10mm wrench, tighten the battery ground post (Heavy brown wire) and the 10mm nut about 7" along this wire where it is screwed into the metal floorpan of the car.

I have seen this before on a 2008 smart. You have a loose ground cable at the battery.
 

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Cogboring

If this only happens during the first 1 to 5 min of starting the car this is normal.

That relay you hear clicking is actually turning on a heater in the cat converter to bring it up to temp faster, but the current the heater draws causes the lights to dim.

If this dimming goes on longer than 5 min then forget everything I said and get the car checked out.

Hope it helps

ASM


I know this issue has been brought up before, but I want to bring it to the surface. My morning drive to work starts @4:30 and it is ALWAYS dark with not too many cars on the road. As such I get a chance to see the headlight quality without much interference form other light sources. (other traffic/streetlights/etc) The low beams change intensity slightly (flicker) enough that oncoming traffic think I am 'flashing' my high beams. If I DO put on my high beams, they don't just flicker, they turn on and off at random intervals. You can actually hear the high beam relay cycling as the light do their 'dance'. My drive is usually 20-25 minutes to work. By the time I arrive the phenomenon has ceased. No, it is NOT pitching of the vehicle on bumpy roads or reduced voltage to the headlight cricuit. It is NOT a loose connection in the headlight 'stalk' switch or the connections at the headlights themselves. Since the condition is intermitent I can't get a firm grasp on the guilty component. I have heard that the lights have a 'warm-up' cycle and may contribute to this issue. I also read that there is a master electrical control module in the system that is the brains behind the modulation of the electrical components. My question is: Has ANYONE experienced this issue, and did it get repaired.? Had the dealer (or repair folks) seen this before? I have had such bad experiences with dealers in the past I would rather enter 'dancing with the stars' and have the devil himself as my partner. It is a shame - no make that a sin - that there is no service manual available (at least not that I am aware). What a novel idea - some people ACTUALLY have the intelegence to repair their own vehicles. :)) Flame suit on - let me hear what others have experienced. This condition IS unacceptable. BTW - dealer wants the car for up to a week to diagnois because of 'backlog' of work. I wonder what ELSE could be amiss?

Cogboring
 

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Use a 10mm wrench

I want to say "Thanks" to everyone that took the time to reply. FYI-I have had the passenger side floor panel up and put a 'visual' on the battery, but had not actually checked the integrity of the connections. I DID notice however there is a single ground 'stud' located on the drivers side just above where you might rest your left foot. It appears to be quite heavy with paint and has at least three (if not more) wires cascaded together.. I did not check the torque on the nut, nor the possibility that the paint might reside between the eyelet connectors. This may NOT be a single ground connection for all the components forward of the drivers compartment, but then again...? I know in one of my other cars this IS the case and electrical issues are abundant. Again - this would not be up for conversation if one was to have a shop manual WITH an electrical diagram. Most discouraging. Again - thanks to all that posted. If anyone else has a similar condition or other thoughts - I am all all ears.
Cogboring (who WILL be giving the wiring a thorough examination this weekend)
Don't examine it, just tighten the f-er up! 10mm wrench. It's looser than you think. Don't wait till the weekend!
 

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Had a similar or same issue. The headlights seemed to dim slightly and with the high beams on you could hear the headlight relay click on and off. Check the batter and the neg ground was tight but the positive was slightly loose it would not come off but you could spin it on the terminal. The nut was preciously stripped so completely tightening was a bit tricky, however after a few minutes with the high beams on the lights seem stable.

Thank you
 
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