brickpaver

All my lights go off when I hit high beam in my Avalon

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Just in the last few weeks when driving at night in my 2003 Toyota Avalon and when I have gone from low to high beam headlights, there has occasionally been a one second pause of no lights at all (including dash lights, which would also include thepark lights) before high beam has flickered once and then come on,....and stayed on.

 I have been able to go back to low beam quite normally but when I went to high beam again, the same one second and flicker delay repeated itself again.

  I live in country South Australia and because low beam seemed okay I just drove the rest of the way home on low and parked the car, intending to look at it or find someone the following day

For the following couple of weeks however, the problem didnt show itself and the headlights behaved quite normally between both beams........but that was until last night as I drove the dark single lane Thiele Highway between Kapunda and Freeling,...I went from low to high beam again and suddenly ALL the lights went off, which is NOT good at night on a black country road and suddenly unable to see a single thing and to see if there was anywhere to pull over off the road.

i was starting to worry, when the headlights suddenly came back on again, to low beam so I drove the remaining 17 k’s home on low beam.

Ive wriggled all the wires around this morning but with no effect and I cant imagine there suddenly being a fault in the steering column stalk that houses the high/low beam switch.

Does the Avalon have factory fitted headlight relays because a ‘relay fault’ would be one if my first thoughts on a cause but the fact that I lose ALL the lights at the same time when I hit high beam, seems to kill that theory.  Surely the parkers, wouldn't be affcted by a headlight relay.

I’m trying to avoid going to an auto electrician and be up for $125 an hour for him to go ‘fishing’ fir a fault.

Cheers

       Lance.

Edited by brickpaver

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Absolutely no auto electrical experience but it sounds to me like a faulty relay or a loose electrical connection.

If in your position, I would start by removing and inspecting any of the the fuses associated with the lighting system. No specific reason but a case of eliminating the unexpected or unusual. Next step would be to check that the connectors on the battery terminals are tightly fastened.

Check the earth cable and ensure that it is making a good ground with the body.

Check the alternator connection.

Just did a quick Internet search. Following article may be of some assistance.

https://mobiloil.com/en/article/car-maintenance/car-maintenance-archive/troubleshooting-dim-car-lightbulb-problems

Another article suggested checking the headlight bulbs. Best to give those high beam bulbs and the connectors a really good inspection even use a magnifying glass.

After all that you should have eliminated the obvious faults,  then it is time to go to the auto electrician.

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Thanks for the reply Ashley.

i think that by the fact that ALL the lights and dash lights go off and then back on together, I can safely rule out the globes and fuses themselves, particularly as it’s only the high beam doing this occasional off / on again hiccup. Battery terminals are fully tightened, as are the alternator connections as well.

I do know that an overloaded headlight relay will cut lights out but Ive had this car 7 years, nothing has been changed with the lights or electrical system, other than a brand new alternator being fitted 2 years ago and everything apart from these three instances spread over about 2 or so weeks works perfectly.

It’s going to be a frustrating elimination process trying to find the cause because all the obvious search points have been eliminated and as I said, paying an auto electrician $125 an hour to search the obvious, doesn't do a lot for my limited pension bank balance.

My last resort will of course be an auto electrician but in the meantime, I will just have to drive around on low beam.while I keep searching.

Cheers

Lance

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