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High beams same as low beams


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Wondering
Novice

Jan 27, 2023, 4:32 PM

Post #1 of 22 (2337 views)
High beams same as low beams Sign In

Toyota Highlander 2008

While checking the car prior to going in for safety inspection, I noticed that its high beams are no brighter than its low beams. The high beam indicator light on the dash panel comes on when I turn on the high beams, but the beams remain on low.

I replaced the headlight bulbs. No change.
I replaced the relay switch. No change.
I replaced the fuses. No change.

I considered the wiring and the lever. A mechanic friend thought wiring was an unlikely cause. The lever seems more complicated to check and also the most expensive (so far...) to correct, especially if I'm not sure.

What is the most likely issue; where should I look next?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 27, 2023, 5:15 PM

Post #2 of 22 (2334 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

Did you actually stand in front of the car to see any additional bulbs coming on?

Are you sure this vehicle is not equipped with auto high beams?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jan 27, 2023, 5:33 PM

Post #3 of 22 (2327 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

If they don't, the next easiest step would be to make sure both high beam bulbs aren't burnt out.


(This post was edited by Sidom on Jan 27, 2023, 5:34 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 27, 2023, 5:55 PM

Post #4 of 22 (2315 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

My Lexus has the auto high beams and I was a little freaked out the first time I turned them on and nothing happened. I guess it's a Toyota feature. The Highlander is on the same chassis as the RX.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jan 27, 2023, 5:55 PM)


Wondering
Novice

Jan 27, 2023, 7:21 PM

Post #5 of 22 (2300 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


In Reply To
Did you actually stand in front of the car to see any additional bulbs coming on?

Are you sure this vehicle is not equipped with auto high beams?


Yes to both


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 27, 2023, 7:30 PM

Post #6 of 22 (2298 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

Are you sure about those auto lights because I looked at the wiring diagram and it shows an automatic light control sensor.

I have the same system on my Toyota made SUV and I didn't realize it until I read through the owners manual and actually drove onto a dark road with the high beams turned on and saw them come on automatically.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jan 27, 2023, 8:49 PM

Post #7 of 22 (2286 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

Post a wiring diagram HT.
Best place to start is the relay. That will point to which leg has the problem.
There should be 2 powers and 2 grounds on the 4 relay terminals when the switch is engaged.
One will be missing, if they are all there then there is an open wire to the bulbs


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 27, 2023, 11:11 PM

Post #8 of 22 (2277 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

@ Wondering/all: You were just checking before an inspection - I get that. If you've been driving this or owned a while any complaints driving it?

Dang auto headlights may be fine you can't fake "dark" around you without putting the thing in a dark area behind the wheel see what it does.

What I'm saying is there may be nothing wrong it's just not in the right conditions to know w auto headlights.

I know what I've owned best - of course. Fricken dumbest things mankind ever made either blind the car ahead or go epileptic at a light colored something at a stop sense the reflection and it a light show.

Auto dim has been around since at least the late 50's still suks. Some detect red light some don't also if sensor is dirty find it and clean it.

Age old troubles confusing watching it work is where you are at the time.

Stop tossing stuff/parts you can't prove are bad or likely is my suggestion. Go get that sticker that it's fine or not (if like my state) if they find it wrong then do something if you are happy with this thing already at night,

Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 5:12 AM

Post #9 of 22 (2258 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

It's a 2 page diagram that isn't going to be much help as the BCM has the final word.

Here is the relay portion but as you can see if it has DRL's, the relays are electronic.

You're going to need a dealer level scan tool to get to the bottom of this.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Wondering
Novice

Jan 28, 2023, 12:27 PM

Post #10 of 22 (2235 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


In Reply To
Are you sure about those auto lights because I looked at the wiring diagram and it shows an automatic light control sensor.

I have the same system on my Toyota made SUV and I didn't realize it until I read through the owners manual and actually drove onto a dark road with the high beams turned on and saw them come on automatically.


Pretty sure.
The car manual doesn't mention anything about the high beams being automatic.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 12:34 PM

Post #11 of 22 (2229 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

It should because the system was definitely available on that vehicle.

The wiring diagram for the headlights clearly shows the sensor.

I'd try taking the car onto a dark road with no other cars and see if they work then.

Other than that you're going to need a professional scan tool capable of reading the BCM.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jan 28, 2023, 12:35 PM)


Wondering
Novice

Jan 28, 2023, 12:44 PM

Post #12 of 22 (2220 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


In Reply To
@ Wondering/all: You were just checking before an inspection - I get that. If you've been driving this or owned a while any complaints driving it?

Dang auto headlights may be fine you can't fake "dark" around you without putting the thing in a dark area behind the wheel see what it does.

What I'm saying is there may be nothing wrong it's just not in the right conditions to know w auto headlights.

...

Tom


I haven't noticed a problem with the lights before. Most of my driving is in the city, but even in the less populated areas there is still enough traffic that one would rarely use high beams. So, I suppose it's possible I never noticed that there was a problem all along. (It did pass inspection for me in the past, however.)

I've had the car only a couple of years; I don't have a lot of history with it. It's been a secondary car till now.

I did take it to a dark area to see if that changed anything with the lights. It didn't.

I'm going to just take it for inspection. The shop told me if it fails, I have 30 days to repair and return with no additional charge.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 12:45 PM

Post #13 of 22 (2219 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

No telling 100% what display or features ALL of even the same would have. I would think it would discuss how to cancel that like in dark fog you don't want high beams.

If how you turn them on is on steering wheel joy stick some you pull towards you hear it or IDK.

There's a Toyota where I shop with crank windows isn't all that old so stuff does get made.

Didn't see last comment. In my own that go fubar (other makes) they don't bother in daytime usually for pretty strict safety features?
Some cars wipers come on too it's dumb at some point deal with Winters never messed with those but ones with back up warning things are so covered in salt that doesn't work or gets smashed in snow banks backing up was also a camera I think?

Test is out if no go it needs fixing ask a dealer what was possible at service desk should be nice and just tell you what and why,

T



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Jan 28, 2023, 12:58 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 12:51 PM

Post #14 of 22 (2215 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

If you're going to get down to actual diagnostics you are going to need a professional scan tool because these lights are controlled by the Body Control Module.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Wondering
Novice

Jan 28, 2023, 12:52 PM

Post #15 of 22 (2212 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


In Reply To
It's a 2 page diagram that isn't going to be much help as the BCM has the final word.

Here is the relay portion but as you can see if it has DRL's, the relays are electronic.

You're going to need a dealer level scan tool to get to the bottom of this.

[/reply

Is that the one in Chilton's?
Thank you for posting it.

I definitely don't have a dealer level scan....


Wondering
Novice

Jan 28, 2023, 12:56 PM

Post #16 of 22 (2209 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


In Reply To
It should because the system was definitely available on that vehicle.

The wiring diagram for the headlights clearly shows the sensor.

I'd try taking the car onto a dark road with no other cars and see if they work then.

Other than that you're going to need a professional scan tool capable of reading the BCM.


I'll recheck the manual again.

I have been trying to think of a super dark place to go and do another dark check. In town, the dark area I used before was naturally not totally dark.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 12:56 PM

Post #17 of 22 (2209 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

No, that's a paid subscription service to factory manuals. That was only a small piece of the diagram.

If you can't afford to have it looked at then you just need to drive in the daytime or with low beams for the time being.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jan 28, 2023, 12:57 PM)


Wondering
Novice

Jan 28, 2023, 1:05 PM

Post #18 of 22 (2201 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


In Reply To
No telling 100% what display or features ALL of even the same would have. I would think it would discuss how to cancel that like in dark fog you don't want high beams.

If how you turn them on is on steering wheel joy stick some you pull towards you hear it or IDK.

There's a Toyota where I shop with crank windows isn't all that old so stuff does get made.

Didn't see last comment. In my own that go fubar (other makes) they don't bother in daytime usually for pretty strict safety features?
Some cars wipers come on too it's dumb at some point deal with Winters never messed with those but ones with back up warning things are so covered in salt that doesn't work or gets smashed in snow banks backing up was also a camera I think?

Test is out if no go it needs fixing ask a dealer what was possible at service desk should be nice and just tell you what and why,

T


On this one, the controls are on the lever on the steering wheel.

It shows that the highs are on, but they aren't.

I hear you. I'm not of fan of a lot of automatic features either. I prefer to think for myself!


Wondering
Novice

Jan 28, 2023, 1:13 PM

Post #19 of 22 (2200 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


In Reply To
No, that's a paid subscription service to factory manuals. That was only a small piece of the diagram.

If you can't afford to have it looked at then you just need to drive in the daytime or with low beams for the time being.


Oh, I see. I appreciate you showing me.

There seems to be a shortage of competent mechanics here. Not to mention the increased charges (extra-expensive here even before Covid). They had my sister's car for 10 days and still hadn't even touched it. She just gave up and retrieved it; their "apology" was just a shrug.

I think my best option is to try the inspection.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 1:17 PM

Post #20 of 22 (2196 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

Yes - forgot you said that earlier. That doesn't jive so it's not making it to bulbs. If you test for power use an LED test light no harm much more likely if you hit the wrong things shown in diagram.

Now assorted bizarre one of kind things I've dealt with can't think that got sold new that way,

Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 1:18 PM

Post #21 of 22 (2196 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In


Quote
There seems to be a shortage of competent mechanics here. Not to mention the increased charges (extra-expensive here even before Covid).


The good ones are never cheap. They have to go through never ending training and hundreds of thousands of dollars in test equipment and that's just the beginning.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 28, 2023, 1:56 PM

Post #22 of 22 (2188 views)
Re: High beams same as low beams Sign In

You could buy a house somewhere for what I have in just tool! ASE, years included a degree in Sciences wasn't free.

Shop a friend has now, two bay front, one out back for storage, tires machine can't find help pays about $13,000 a month in costs for the place, insurance etc! Yikes, that before you can take out a dime for yourself and that case family too.

It's a train wreck younger folks are not filling in the shortage as it's hard, odd problems slow the show down.

Open thru Covid bull too was an extra hassle,

Tom







 
 
 






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