Problem with Spotlights

Hi All

After some advice please.

I have hella halogen spotties fitted. They werent working so replaced the relay which got 1 going but not the other. Ive checked the globes, even changed them over but thats not the problem. I visually checked the wiring, all seems good, well earthed-check, not sure what else it could be. I dont have a test light so i guess thats the next step to buy one. Not sure if its relevant but the switch on the dash used to work, now doesnt, lights come on with high beam regardless. I think thats all the relevant info.

My thanks in advance.

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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:39

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:39
Get someone who knows what they are doing to fix it...... not having a test light means you have very little 12 volt knowledge.

AnswerID: 476306

Follow Up By: Begaboy - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 17:29

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 17:29
Wow that was helpful , i have been doing electrical work for MANY years far beyond the restrictions of my Electrical Connect disconnect ticket - i do not own a Test light -does this mean i have no idea about 12 v ? guess all the plc and work with allen bradly gear was a total fluke ....

anyway Olcoolone - if you have access to a multimeter ( will need to have Dc ) then just trace through where you have power and where you do not - choose a good earth point for your black lead - and start at the beginning of the wire circuit ( on positive side ) and find where you have an open circuit. test all your relays - sounds like you may have one dodgey somewhere - you will have to power them up on the circuit side not load side then see if you have continuity once activated

if you can't get a multimeter with dc then just switch to Ohms and you can test in the same manner provided you dont have another accessories back feeding

If this does sound like double dutch maybe you should seek some outside help
FollowupID: 751330

Follow Up By: Coongan - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 17:45

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 17:45
Hi Begaboy

thanks for the "helpful" advice. I'll borrow the mutlimeter from work and have a go at it myself.

FollowupID: 751331

Follow Up By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 20:09

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 20:09
Have always carried a multimeter in my car. Can get a good one from Jaycar or Dicksmiths not that expensive. I also have a 6mtr length of 10amp cable with alligator clips on both ends. Great to test trailer plug, UHF aerial lights etc.

Mine cost 50$ its a dicksmith generic. I have a fluke at home but its expencive and big.
FollowupID: 751347

Follow Up By: Lex M - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 20:16

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 20:16
Check out this new offering from Sidewinder ABR.

Ideal for a travelling multimeter.

(Halfway down the page.)
FollowupID: 751348

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 21:44

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 21:44
BegaBoy...just because you know about PLC's and switch gear doesn't mean you knowledgeable with automotive electrics....... much the same as I don't know much about commercial/industrial other them standard single and 3 phase gear i have to work on and deal with.

Most auto elec's don't make a good residential/commercial/industrial electrician ... and the same goes for residential/commercial/industrial who usually think they know everything about A/C and D/C and show with poor workmanship they know very little about automotive.

It's all product knowledge.... you have to deal with PLC's and I have to deal with low and high speed CAN BUS and PWM.

And you not owning a test light is a good thing..... hate to see you pocking around a high voltage circuit with one.

Sorry if I offended but a spot light circuit is a very very simple thing.

FollowupID: 751361

Reply By: Dust-Devil - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 23:09

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 23:09
Dude! inside the box of your original post is another box situated towards the top right hand corner of same.

(1) Cliick on this and once it opens, scroll down to a wiring diagram for Driving lights.

(2) Check your setup against this and ensure it is exactly the same.

(3) If It is and seeing as how one of the Driving Lights illuminates, then there is only one area your fault can be, and that is between the 87pin on on the relay and the earth point on the non illuminating Driving Light.

AnswerID: 476345

Follow Up By: Lex M - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 23:13

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 23:13
Unless it's a Toyota or some other negative switched vehicle, in which case that circuit may confuse the hell out of you.
FollowupID: 751368

Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 23:28

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 23:28

Didn't realise Toyota came with OEM Driving lights Lex M.

Perhaps you could explain to Phil how a negative switched vehicle works and put him on the right track whilst un-confuseing' him

FollowupID: 751372

Follow Up By: Lex M - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 00:29

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 00:29

I agree with Olcoolone. Anyone who can't fix a driving light switching circuit doesn't have the skill (or equipment) to be working on car electrics in my opinion.

FollowupID: 751379

Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 01:10

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 01:10
Firstly, if you plan to do any of your own autoelectrical repairs, you need to own a multimeter.
You can buy a chaep meter these days for under $20 and it will be better than what I paid a couple of hundred$$$ for 20 years ago.

now to driving lights.

Almost all jap cars are both positive and negative switched..and that causes some traps.....forget the diagrames that most " how to wire driving lights" articles supply.

Think on this and draw it if you have to.

toyotas and other jap cars start with a switch the activates a headlight relay.

From the positive supply, thru the relay contacts to the common terminal of the lamp.
High/low beam is switched by earthing which ever filament is appropraite via the switch in the head light stalk.

now ther are a couple of ways to wire driving lights to this......but if they are wired the way people think the headl ighst are wired, when a headlight lamp bolws the driving lights wont work.

so check ya headlight lamps.

OH BTW, do not fit 100 watt high beam lamps to unmodified japanese vehicles, the dipper switch in the headlight stalk wont cop it for long.
AND some of those switches are hundreds of $$$.

AnswerID: 476353

Follow Up By: Lex M - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 01:57

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 01:57
"if they are wired the way people think the headlights are wired, when a headlight lamp blows the driving lights wont work"

And the driving light relay is running on reduced voltage and may fail prematurely.
FollowupID: 751382

Follow Up By: Begaboy - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 07:56

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 07:56
a good point that reminds me - some relays are NO or NC ( naturally open Naturally closed ) and do differ between car manufacturers which ones they use , some use a combination of the 2. something to also consider when tracing through the switches
FollowupID: 751390

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 14:27

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 14:27
Very commonly people will get out the test lamp or meter and find out what is +12 on the back of the headlamp on high beam.

This will be the un-earthed end of the low beam +12volts from the headlamp common, thru the low beam filament unearthed and off to the spotlight relay....the high beam terminal will read near 0V because it is earthed via the dipper switch.
all good till the low beam filament blows..then no spotlights.

Unless the relay is a big stoneage piece of carp, the relay coil will be high resistance in comparison to the low beam filament and will get pretty close to problem for the relay.

FollowupID: 751430

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 04:30

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 04:30
Swap the globes over. That would at least tell you if the clobe has blown

AnswerID: 476355

Reply By: Dust-Devil - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 09:15

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 09:15

There are a few things in good old Phil's original post that may have escaped you.

(1) He hasn't identified his vehicle - most probably driving the family '1968 Kingswood'

(2) As far as I am aware there are no vehicles in Australia that have come out of the OEM factory (where ever) with Hella Halogen Spotties factory fitted. If I am wrong on this point please point me in the right direction.

(3) Taking (2) above as correct (at this point) it therefore follows that Phil's Hella Halogen Spotties are an aftermarket setup.

(4) Phil has fully and frankly admitted to making an attempt to rectify the situation by replacing the relay and on doing so he now has one Driving Light working as it should in a manner of speaking. This indicates to me (at least) that he has managed to purchase the correct replacement Relay re open/closed circuits etc.

After considering the above and not having the opportunity to examine the vehicle in question with a test lamp and/or multimeter, the most logical conclusion to me is that there a fault somewhere in the circuit of the second Driving Light between the relay 87pin and the earth of the subject Driving Light.

How one would go about fault finding in this instance, is up to one's personal preferences, experience and available equipment. However, I do believe that in this situation if I couldn't identify within 5 minutes whether the fault was in either (a) the pwr source/cable from the relay 87pin, (b) the globe or (c) the earth at the Driving Light, I should never work on vehicle electrics ever again.


AnswerID: 476362

Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 09:28

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 09:28

I also agree with others above.

Don't worry about not having the skills. You do not have to know how to fix them to drive a 4wd.

Seriously! Take it to an auto electrician shop and get them to fix it. It may also be wired illegally seeing that the driving "lights come on with high beam regardless". They can then rewire the lights properly and then show you how to look after them if something breaks or needs replacing. Make sure they show you where the fuse and relay are mounted so that you can get to them easily. Put a label on them also.

That broken switch in the dash worries me. Is there a wire hanging loose without a fuse that can start a fire?

AnswerID: 476364

Follow Up By: Coongan - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 12:30

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 12:30
Hi All

My thanks for the advice and comments so far. The car in question is a Landcruiser HDJ100 06. The lights were installed by toyota when the car was delivered. They are hella 2000's i think, have a H2 globe and are quite common on alot of cruisers ive seen. The relay is a 5 pin and has 2 87's on it. There is also no fuse between the relay and the lights.
As for getting others to do it thats fine but i live in the Pilbara where auto leckies start at $120/hr and there is a certain satisfaction in doing it yourself, not to mention being able to fix it on the side of the road if need be.

FollowupID: 751413

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 12:55

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 12:55
Hi Phil

I would make an electrical fault the higher priority and make sure it does not catch fire.

Any electrician or mechanic around who has an inkling of an idea about car wiring.Driving lights are easy to set up provided you have a little wiring skill.

I have three simple questions.
Can you take it back to Toyota?
Is it new?
Is there a fuse between the relay and the battery?

The fire risk worries me so lets look at it first.

FollowupID: 751417

Reply By: Dust-Devil - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 16:17

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 16:17
Ok! Phil

You have narrowed situation down substantially with that last post.

I am betting that you have purchased, or been given the wrong relay to replace the original with. I say that for the following reasons:

(a) Even though these type of relays look the same to the untrained/inexperienced eye, they surely aren't. There are single, straight through, 87pin relays, twin 87pin straight through relays & twin 87pin 'switched' relays (only one 87pin active) to mention a few.

(b) I think you have been given a twin 87pin relay that actually switches the active circuit from the 30 pin between the 87 & 87A pins so that only one of the 87pins is live at any given time.

(c) Can you please tell us how many wires/cables run from the new relay 87pins to the Driving Lights and how you have connected them.

The broken switch thingy is the isolator that isolates the Driving Lights from being activated by the Headlights when on High Beam. Now as you are not allowed to have your headlights on high beam in built up areas, there is no pressing need to fix the switch as it has been broken off in the on position fortunately for you. However it does need to be attended to sooner rather than later.


AnswerID: 476394

Follow Up By: Coongan - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 17:23

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 17:23

To add some more. The original is a bosch 12v 30a # 0332019015. The replacement is a Narva 5 pin 30a 68024BL normally open? on the back of the narva packet it says pin 30=power, pin 85 =earth, 86 = switch, 87=power out acc 1. My laymans brain thinks maybe your right, is it only powering 1 lamp. Is that right to assume??

to answer c. 3 wires run from the relay 2 x 87 and 1 x 86. I may have mistakenly connected the 86 to the 85. The reason i think that is on the narva packet it has the switch as 86. when i changed them over i took one off at a time and swapped it over. At the lights themselves there is 1 power 87 and 1 earth to each. I dont know what happens to the 3rd wire from the relay, its somewhere in the harness.

Ps there is a fuse between the relay and battery and it is fine.

pps after i changed out the bosch for the narva and only got 1 working, i inspected the old bosch 1 and found it to have dirty terminals. I cleaned these up thinking that perhaps they did give me the wrong replacement. anyway hooked the bosch back up and it now powers up 1 light, same as the narva.
My thoughts are its in either the power or earth wire to the light itself. Am i right?

About as clear as mud??

Thanks for the perserverance, im learning alot!!

FollowupID: 751456

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