Headlight and battery issues

Asked by Jan 03, 2012 at 10:01 PM about the 1990 Ford F-350 4 Dr XLT Lariat 4WD Crew Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

A couple of months ago, we had the truck repaired. Head gaskets and electrical harness replaced.  Everything worked fine for a while, then recently we had an issue with the battery losing charge and when trying to start, it would turn over a couple of times and that's all the charge the battery had, so we had to put it on a charger in order to start it up.  This happened maybe 40% of the time it had been sitting for a few hours, but it didn't happen every single time.  My husband looked around to see if anything was loose and discovered the alternator was loose and the screws hadn't been tightened after the mechanic worked on the truck.  He tightened it up and that seemed to help for a couple of days, but problem came back.  Believing that the alternator was bad, he went and got the alternator tested but it was fine.  Tonight while driving home, his headlights went out completely and he had to pull over to try to troubleshoot it so that he can make it home (about an hour away).  What is the most likely problem? Wiring? Switch? Fuse?  We aren't very experienced with auto repair but know a bit.

5 Answers

dead battery,with the alt bolts loose the alt was not charging battery complety,after he tighten the alt the alt belt was tightened and over charged the battery killing a cell in it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

So, that could cause the headlights to go out while he was driving?

yes,once the battery isshot nothing will work,all it was running on was what power was in the battery,once the lights were turned on it pulled the rest of the power out,the alt could not charge it enough to keep it running.replace the battery it should be fine.I would have the alt checked ,it should be putting out 14 volts at idle with lights on.


If you had power and the headlights went out and still had power and running. Most likely not the battery . Headlight fuses are a breaker and if get hot enough Will trip but will normally come back on after a minute or two. Unless it went out . Not a common thing. Headlight switches get weak over time then tend to get hot tripping the fuse. Or sometimes a loose wire will get the switch hot and trip the fuse. Check connections to switch from back of panel if all Secure I'd change switch if keeps happening . There not that high and easy to replace bout 25.00 T.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Anther thing that could cause this problem is dimmer switch l.way to Check this is when light go out they normally go out on high beam change to low beam and see if stays on eventually will start going to when in low beam. Easy to fix just a little more pricey. 90.00 to 300.00 hope this helps good luck. T.

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