Question about 2005 Ford Focus

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2001 Ford Focus - High beam / low beam problem with headlights

Got a problem with the headlights on my 2001 Ford Focus ZX5. About a month ago I'm driving to work with my brights on, there's an oncoming vehicle so I switch back to low beam and the headlights go off. The running lights are still working. I switched back to high beam and they came on. I turn back to low and they go off. I turned the knob for the lights off then back on, and the low beam came on again. This problem was consistent for about two weeks. As long as I didn't turn on the high beam, no problem.

Then I'm going to work and about a mile away my lights just shut off, they were on low. I turned off the knob and turned it back on and they still didn't work (this worked two weeks ago). Then I turned to high beams and they worked. I checked that afternoon when I left and it was still in the same condition; only the high beam worked.


Next morning, I get in the car figuring I'm going to have to drive all the way to work with my high beams the whole way and to my surprise, I turn on my head lights and they worked on low beam; didn't push my luck and try the high beam. Drove to work, and about a mile away the low beam goes out again. Turn knob off and on again, still only running lights, turn it to high beam and they work.
Same status that afternoon, only high beam.



I took it home, checked fuses, all OK.



Swapped the high beam/low beam relays, still operated the same, on high beam only.



I drove like a bat out of he** to work the next day and made it the whole way on low beams (about 20 minutes). Sat in the parking lot and turned on the high beam and it wouldn't cycle back to low beam every time I pulled the stick back. It got stuck a few times on high. That afternoon, only the high beams worked, no low.



I took it home and removed the high/low and turn signal assembly, went to the store, out of stock, ordered it on two day delivery and put the old assembly back in. Drove it the next morning and the low beams came on, highs would get stuck.



I was checking this stuff so often that I started to check it when the car wasn't running. When the keys weren't in it, low beams wouldn't work (running lights still on), and the high would. When I'd start the car, low beams would work. I replaced the high/low turn signal assembly when it came in, but it didn't fix the low beams completely.


I haven't driven it long enough to see if the lights shut off while driving, but this is where it stands. I turn the car on, the low beams work. I turn off the car, only the running lights remain on. High beams work with car running or not. I aso pulled both headlights to inspect the wires and nothing looked corroded or worn. I put some dielectric grease on the connections and put them back. Sorry this was so long-winded, but wanted to give a complete history. Any ideas?

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  • Anonymous Jan 22, 2010

    Is the "dimmer switch" the same thing as the multi-function switch that I replaced? I replaced the wand and assembly on the left side of the steering column with the turn signals and hi / lo on it. Is there another part that I have to replace? BTW, low beams seem to be working fine when car is running but go off when I shut the car off...

  • Amber Eaton
    Amber Eaton Jan 06, 2015

    Hi there! I know you asked this question 5 years ago, but I'm hoping you still get notified... What was the resolution to this issue? I am having the same problem. aeaton0@live.com

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Just replace the dimmer switch under the column its wore out on the low beam side

Posted on Jan 17, 2010

Testimonial: "It's great to know that there's not a whole lot more to check! I wouldn't have guessed I was so close. Thanks!"

  • louisfowler_ Jan 22, 2010

    the dimmer switch sets under the column on the side and has a metal rod going to it from the lever you replaced its a white coller switch with apprx 4 wires on it some just have 2 also the time delay switch itself could be the culprit theres really not anything there besides that that you havent doen or changed

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