Dim Headlights - Brill {P}
I almost drove straight through a sharp unlit country bend yesterday as the headlights on my car seemed very dim, or certainly didn't light the way ahead very clearly.

I usually drive on lit roads so they probably have always been like this without me noticing.

Is it possible to fit brighter bulbs? Don't want to irritate other drivers.

How can I test the alignment? (MOT 2 months ago, they check this don't they?).

Car is: V70 R, 1999.

(Dashboard light height adjuster is working fine).

Dim Headlights - RichardW

Stupid question, but have you tried cleaning them? You might like to consider some brighter bulbs such as Phillips Vision Plus or their Osram equivalents. If you are good DIY you can check the voltage at the bulbs to see if you are losing a load somewhere - low voltage can be overcome by installing a relay to feed the lights direct off the battery.

Alignment checks not all the great at MOT - you can DIY check like this: Find a flat carpark with a wall you can drive right up to. Drive right up to wall, square on, and with headlights on main beam, and mark a cross on the wall at the center of each light. Now drive straight backwards about 10 metres and see where the centres of the light beams are pointing. On main beam they should be about on a par with your crosses - maybe just a bit lower. On dip they should be just a bit below and to the left.


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Dim Headlights - Brill {P}
"...but have you tried cleaning them?"

Fair question RW, but car is fitted with headlight wash wipe, and are clean in this case.

Dim Headlights - RichardW
>..car is fitted with headlight wash wipe

Thought so as I was writing it, it being a scandinavian an' all, but left it anyway!

I'd go for some brighter bulbs - try www.powerbulbs.com


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Dim Headlights - CMark {P}
There is a good test of replacement car bulbs on the www.autoexpress.co.uk website. Have a look under Specials and then Product Tests. Fitting a higher wattage bulb is illegal for road use in the UK but there are a range of bulbs from different manufacturers which are more efficient at getting the light out onto the road. And there seems to be plenty of variation in performance between the best and the worst.
Dim Headlights - Doc
I almost drove straight through a sharp unlit country bend yesterday
as the headlights on my car seemed very dim, or certainly
didn't light the way ahead very clearly.

If your headlights really are that dim, then you may have a bad earth. It might be worth cleaning up any contacts and checking earth wires before you spend money on new bulbs.
Dim Headlights - No Do$h
It could also be an early warning sign of a dying battery. If the Alternator is having to do all the work and you are using fans, rear-demister etc then your lights aren't going to be getting all the juice they need.

We noticed the lights were dimmer than usual on Mrs No Dosh's Laguna at the weekend and sure enough we had to fit a new battery yesterday. Same thing happened with my old Rover before I got rid last year.

If your battery is the original one it may be getting a little tired by now. 4 years is a reasonable life for a battery in a heavily equipped car like a V70 so a little bit of early remedial work (changing the battery now) could save you from a call to the AA in a couple of weeks.
Dim Headlights - pmh
It may sound a silly suggestion but since it is a Volvo are you sure that it is not only working on DIM dip?

Check that you have got a good 12v at the lights across each of the bulb connections when they are ON. (Do not connect the meter to a hard earth since this will mask any earth faults).

pmh (was peter)
Dim Headlights - Brill {P}
Thanks all,

The headlight switch has three settings:

1: Normal dipped lights
2: Dimmed dipped lights
3: Normal dipped lights.

No difference between 1 and 3.

Have never used 2. (what's that for?)

Must RTFM tonight!!!

Dim Headlights - KevDGill
Dimmed Dips will be equivalent to sidelights on any other car. When parked with ignition off, if you put the lights on you'll get real live sidelights on (i.e. separate bulbs to headlights) but as soon as you turn the ignition on this job is taken over by the headlights on 'dim dip' setting.

At least that's my understanding of it from the cars I've owned. Some cars these days have genuine sidelights again (those with separate lights outside of the headlamp casing) but many do not.

-- Kev

Dim Headlights - Victorbox
I've been told that in the case of early Mk 3 Cavaliers (1988 on) that had dim dip from new, it is best to get the dim dip disconnected now its not a legal requirement in the UK as the transformer often catch fire! Has anybody else heard this story? The last two or three years production didn't have dim dip as far as I know as the requirement had been dropped by about 1993. Certainly my dim dip stopped working mysteriosly just after a main dealer service back in about 1994 when they had obviously been in the area of the driver's footwell side kick panel where I'm told the dim dip electrics are situated.


Value my car