Driver side low beam is not working.

Earl Quinby

Asked by Earl Mar 02, 2013 at 08:01 AM about the 2001 Chevrolet Malibu LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I replaced the bulbs in both headlights as is typical routine when one goes out and checked
to make sure everything was ok and still the drivers side remained out. I then went and
replaced the 15a fuses in both just to be sure, turned them on again and it still remains out.
Only thing left is the headlight module. I removed it, turned the lights on both out as would
be normal. I put it back and turned the lights on again and only the passenger side lowbeam
came back on as normal. Can the module be bad or would it be something else?

7 Answers


If the Malibu uses the same engineering as the Grand AM, I would look at the multi-function switch. The Grand AM headlights have power on the bulbs all the time and the switch provides the path to ground.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I would try a current tester. The cheap kind that looks like an icepic or pointy screw driver with a wire coming out the end. The wire has a 'roach' clip that goes to ground. You need to KNOW there is power to the plug. Pull bulb and test. Bulbs are bad sometimes from the package.....

Michael Tutty

A friend had this same problem with his Grand Am. It turned out the Body Control Module decided he did not need the driver's headlamp. To fix it, we finally took a lead, with a relay, off the passenger side lamp, and drew power for the driver's light directly off the battery. It was that or a new body control module for well over $1,000 since a reflash did not work.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Jesse Brouse

Check out the multi-function switch before looking into the body control module. Looking at michael's answer is actually a good one too but if it draws too much power from the battery, it could burn out the relay.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Michael Tutty

Jesse, that is why we did it the way we did. The extra draw on the passenger lamp wire is only enough to trip the relay. The new relay is rated for the draw of 2 headlamps, so one is way under capacity. No fear of overloading anything. We got the second headlamp working for under $50, instead of $1,000 plus, and it will keep working. If the other lamp goes the same way, we can modify it easily, for about $10, to run both lamps independently of the body control module.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Jesse Brouse

I gotta keep that in mind, I wouldn't have thought of doing that.. thanks for the information!


I've replaced the headlights 4 times in the last year and the dim part is out again. Is there a recall on the headlights or is it a money pit fgor General Motors. Help

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

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