Why are both my low beam headlights out?

30

Asked by Jan 14, 2015 at 08:15 PM about the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hey there,

Both of my low beam headlights are out. I have attached a photo of one of the lights that
isn't working (it's the outer bulb in the photo).

Before I check every fuse, I'm hoping someone can tell which if specific fuse(s) I should be
looking at. If you don't think it's a fuse, could you make some suggestions of what you
think might be the cause (besides the obvious: both bulbs being burned out).

Thanks in advance!

54 Answers

10,425

did you turn on the high beams ? in most common cases when you turn the high beams on the low beams will conmanly shut off...

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
10,425

but also the light switch can cause this to be an issue as well. im guessing this is a 2010 -2011 model? most cars that year had a faulty light switch and the dealer can replace it preaty cheap unless you still got warrenty then its free.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
30

Thanks for your reply. No, my high beams were not on.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,425

well anouther thing you can do is try pulling the back of the panel off for the light and see if some one may have changed your wires around on your bulbs or if one sliped off. and im not sure which light you have on in it right now day time light i guess but as far as i know the only day time light that turns on with out hitting hte switch is the light under the headlights in the bar bellow.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
90

Same problem happened to me yesterday. How did u fix it?

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
10,425

these cars commanly have faulty light switchs due to moisture. Have the switch replaced for your head lights and it should fix the issue. tho i would check the bulbs and wireing first since most of the vw's and audis have manual plug ons to the bulbs rather then like the gmcs and fords where it has a wire harness plugin.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
200

isn't this a coincidence I have a 2011 Jetta SEL and last night my lights low beams are so low you can't see its like they both burnt out at the same time. this was helpful glad it was posted I have to take it to the dealer I suppose

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
10,425

if its still covered under warranty yea would be a good idea since it is covered. But if you want to save some time and a trip i would try jiggling the switch a little and fliping them to on and off and see if it makes anything happen. If you can see them flutter unussaly then most likely do have a faulty switch.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
200

I took it to Volkswagon and they said both bulbs burnt out????? I'm still scratching my head 112.60 later at that cause its only 47,000 miles and its a 2011 so I will cough it up but if it happens a gain there is going to be a problemo.... Burnt bulbs aren't under warranty but we will see if this happens again at the same time.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
10,425

yea if they both go at the exact same time then you most likely have a short in the wires. I would maybe start tracing wires and looking for signs of burnt, or broken wires. If the wire touchs a piece of the frame or other metal it can cause the lights to short the filament out like that

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
200

thanks I will see how long it takes for these to burn out at the same time if so then yes it is definitely a wire or some other problem. Thanks

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
160

Hello, i am having the exact same problem with a 2012 jetta.. all the lights work except for the low beams, all fuses and bulbs have been replaced. I have no idea what it could be????

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
160

I wonder if shelbywk ever fixed his?? We have the exact same car and problem..

200

well now I'm beginning to wonder is there a recall that should be done on 2010 and 2011 and 2012 I mean it probably happen to many people and no one spoke on it. They just changed the bulbs. I mean for it to go out like that BOTH is a bit unusual. it cost me 113.20 at the dealer each light is 17.99 and the tech labor fee was 76.00 plus tax now I took to the dealer for the first time but if it happens again then I'm going to have to take it further so you can take it to the dealer or go to the local mechanic. I mean it had to be a 1,2,3 minute job. But I paid because I wanted it on record with the dealer in case it happens again then it's not a burnt out bulb something is making it burn out.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
200

I believe it is a faulty switch for you since you changed the fuse and blub then it has to be a faulty switch good luck .

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,425

75% of the time the issue is the switch on the dash that controls the lights. They get moisture in there constantly and during the winter it can damage the switch from expansion of the water when it freezes. on rare occasions its the main wiring harness in behind the wall before it goes out of the cabin. and vw charges you for an hr worth of labor for that 14$ light bulb you could a switched yourself. all you have to do is twist the cap off the back of the light and reach in and grab the bulb. Most vw's have a staight bulb with a metal flex bar over it that latchs down. Just be sure you remember which wire came off which cause they are not plug and play connectors.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
30

Hey all, It ended up just being both bulbs being burned out...bought new bulbs at an auto parts store, replaced them, and bada-bing, fixed! Thanks for the suggestions! Shelby

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
30

PS- now I have a running light out. Never ending! ):

160

Well i will have to get another switch then... tht is the only thing left ! Thanks guys, really appriciate it, ill let u know if it works !

160

there is a way to turn on and off the running lights... its in the owners book, fairly simple, hold the turn signal switch up nd towards you ( headlight flasher) turn the ignition on for about 3 sec. While holding to turn on.. hold it down to turn them off..

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

I am having this same issue. We first replaced both bulbs no success. We then replaced the headlight switch and still nothing. I don't get it. 2012 jetta se

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
10,425

check all your fuses and if replacing the switchs and lights does not work your going to have to get some one to look into your wiring. is it jsut hte daytime lights that don't work or all them in general ?

200

my advise is to take it to a volkswagon dealer these cars are not made or the regular mechanic . I mean I live in New York the service is 130.00 per hour. But you can tell them that you changed the bulbs changed the switch so can you take a look at the wiring get right to the point .I had both bulbs burn out so they said it cost me 76.00 labor and 35.98 for lights so with tax it cost me 113.00 but if it happens again it's under the dealers work and on the dealer. I have 2011 SEL jetta 46,000 miles

20

Same thing happened to my 2011 TDI. During the winter, I would wake up and find my lights on. With just a wiggle of the switch, they turned off. Now all of a sudden both headlights went out and I have no clue where the fuse is. Nothing is marked.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
20

I replaced my radiator today but now neither my high beams or headlights wont work dose anyone know why ??

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10,425

well a good question to ask, is did you plug them back in?? did you perhaps tug the wireing harnes and disconect the light from inside the housing ?

20

I didn't even touch them tho my horn don't even work either ..

10,425

check the fuses and relays. and i would go in there and make sure all the wires are hooked back up properly. you or who ever did the radiator may have missed a plug or tugged the wiring harness and pulled some wires out. Check all your contacts and plugs for loose or broken connections. To access the lights twist the cover off behind the light to get to the bulbs.

40

I have a similar problem going on with my 2011 Jetta SEL. My left headlamp is not working on low. Went to change bulb and after installing the new one it still didn't work... I then noticed the old bulb wasn't burnt out. Checked the fuse and it's still good. I'm guessing from reading trough the thread it's either the switch or the wiring?

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
10,425

Bobby that would be an affirmative. Quite often it usually turns out to be the switch. Its a relatively cheap part so i would just replace it and it should correct the issue.

Had both headlights go out last night. Replaced both bulbs but only one was burnt out. No "warning message" on dash either. Dealer says clips need to be replaced on drivers side. Dealer says VW doesn't sell the clips any more so must buy full headlight assembly for $600 including parts and labor. Suggestions?

10,425

for the same price you can get a set of 2 headlights from this web site. Try looking around a few places and im sure you will find a good deal. https://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Jetta_VI-Sedan-2.5/Lighting/Headlights/

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10,425

anouther option is the wreckers. as for the clips being faulty this is the first i have heard of it. sounds to me like vw is trying to hose you for a new set of lights. have you tried replacing the dimmer switch? quite often this switch gets full of moisture and causes shorts to the head lamps.

I too have a 2012 Jetta Se 41000 and both low beam bulbs went out same time. I live in Montana so cold & snow & moisture can't be changed. I am a single mom & bought this car thinking it would be a safe reliable ride. I have had nothing but problems with it. It was ok when it was under warranty. Ugh what are my options

10,425

well i have the same car and i probly have most of the same issues if not more since i have the 2.5L engine. The first year i bought my jetta we had -25 to -30 weather it nearly blew up my engine cause apparently i had a condensation issue in the engine which ruined half my engine(thank god for warranty) The most likely cause of the lights going faulty is your light switch. In most high moisture areas with snow and cold there has always been moisture issues with vw's and audi's and it causes all sorts of issues. The likely culprit is moisture got into your switch and the cold froze it and pulled your switch apart. replace the switch its relatively cheap and hopefully it corrects the issue. The other option is to go trade the car in if its still in decent shape and mileage and go get a chevy cruise which is a much better car for a low climated area. Audis tho are technically the best i have had for snow and cold tho but they are expensive.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
25

2011 jetta se. I'm having the same issues with low beam bulbs burning out. I'm pricing around and the switch is around $130 (dealer) $140 (oreilys). It has just recently gotten really cold here in North East Ohio, snowing, and both bulbs went within 3 days of one another. I hope the switch is the quick fix, its seems to match most of the issues that others are having. I will report back if it fixes the issue.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,425

kk please do

40

Check this out if you are willing to try to fix your switch yourself- I have the same issue on my 2012 Jetta TDI last night. I will try this and let you know. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/wiki/headlight-switch-repair-mk4-vw-or-mk6-vw-jetta/

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
15

2012 Jetta TDI I just experienced this last night. I thought the bulb went out so I removed the bulb and went to autozone. When I got there I realized the bulb was still good. The guy behind the counter even tested the bulb. He said it was most likely a fuse. I've had a hard time getting a diagram but finally found that F18 was for left low beam headlight. I pulled the fuse and it was fine but replaced it anyway just hoping to get lucky. I'm in Eastern TN and we've had lots of rain the last month and very cold temps for this area for the last week. Maybe the switch is the problem as you've said Deathjam4. Is there a way to test the switch? Many on this thread owe you thanks Deathjam4.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,425

A simple way to test is to wiggle the switch around a bunch till you start to notice the headlamps flicking back on or off. This may not work but i figure it should. Another possible solution would be to use a hair drier and try and dry the switch out completely while the car is off. The main problem here is cold and moisture which pulls your switch apart when its cold and damp. Usual fix is to replace the switch tho its normaly the quickest easiest way of correcting the problem. On rare occasions it is a short in the wiring.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
25

My new switch is in and I also replaced both bulbs to find out that my right headlight bulb was indeed burnt out. When replacing the switch i noticed that while pushing in the turn dial, it was very hard to press and I thought at one point was going to break it. However after even pressing harder and twisting to the right the dogs that hold the switch in released. Simple swap and after 2 days of driving both headlights are working just fine. However, only time will tell and I will report back in a couple weeks to verify that the switch was the correct fix. In the meantime for those that need a reference to swap the switch the link below is a great reference, and it is very simple. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v-RKI5X5Zw Also, Kudos to Jalup1 for the post on how to dissect the switch. I may try this to just see if the switch was indeed corroded.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,425

more then likely is. As i mentioned before the cold and hot weather make a habit of moisture buildup inside the switch which can either when cold weather comes split the switch apart or corrode it during warm weather. Thanks for posting your steps and hopefully it will help others solve their issues much easier.

20

2011 Jetta TDI. Third time lights came on uncommanded. 2:45 am. went out, opened the door, lights still on. Put ever so slight pressure to the left on the headlight switch, and lights went out. let go, lights came on. Whala! trouble found! Removed defective switch from dash and unplugged, lights stayed out, went back to bed cursing VW. AS long as switch is out, no lights, no dead battery next day. Dealer stated that trouble could not be duplicated. No kidding! Theyre home asleep and the whole darn parking lot is lit up with low intensity head and tail lights in cold weather.LOL 19 degrees F. this morning.

10,425

next time it happens use your phone to record it when it happens. I do that with my car all the time. i have a 2012 and so far have not experienced this but others have. perhaps you should have the car checked for signs of a leak in that area. if you have a android phone you can download an app called cpu X. It will alow you to check things like the humidity levels inside your car in the sensor section. It would help point out during hot weather if humidity is the issue. i have a 2.5L gas engine in my jetta and the only moisture issue i had was the first year i bought the car. Apparently my engine had condensation in the brake fluid, power steering fluid and oil. First month i had the car and it literally almost blew up my engine. been fighting a down hill battle since then trying to get it to run right... have a stack of bills as thick as my wrist in a single year... thank good i bought an extended warranty ...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Sir yesterday i got 75w white lights fit in my 2014 jetta and the higher beams and the right side fog lamps dont work but then i get fitted high w blasters and its working properly but the thing i m afraid of is that is it safe or bulbs may get burned

10,425

the only thing that would happen wit ha higher voltage is it may blow a fuse. If you get a short in the day times tho due to the supper thin filamint change it because mine kept shorting while i was driving and melted the socket.

Our 2012 Jetta Sport wagon had similar light issue. 13 various exterior lights went out, not all of them. Like the high beams worked but low beams and third brake light went out and etc. Bulbs were all ok. Shop identified that the fuse relay board in the engine bay melted around fuse. Non of the fuses were tripped/blown. Fuse board needed replacement. Disturbing when all lights are factory type.

30

I can't remember but either all headlights or all tai lights are on the same circuit as the interior overhead lights, if one of the interior lights goes so does the outside lights.

.....hi,... I have a1994 diesel jetta, 1.9L, and electrical issues are the common issues with this car,... other than a plastic elbow on the cooling system that melts every three years or so due to bad design. Both my low beam headlights, blower and wiper blades stopped working at the same time right after I just replaced the rear set of tail light/signal light bulbs [only two of them - left and right sets of two bulbs]. I changed out these bulbs because the turn signal lights were acting up,... working but blinking really fast,... then next time blinking normally. Checked fuses and wiring okay. Changed out the main headlight switch & then the relay - still low beam headlights not working. I suspect a wiring problem in one of the lever/switches mounted in the steering column?. Someone else told me it could also be the key-ignition switch?. The high beam headlights will come on when I press and hold the lever/switch on the steering column-forward and the wiper blades will also come on. But when I release the lever both of these go out again. Condensation can be seen dripping all around the fuse box under the steering column which has always been a constant problem with a jetta. Narrowed problem down to either a large brown colored 30 amp fuse that feeds the air-blower,... or the turn signal lever switch on the steering column which may have worn out causing a short??,.. or the safety brake switch?. My advice is to check all the other electrical components on your dash to see what else may not be working when your low beam headlights stop working, like your turn signals. I did not know about that high beam switch - technique to turn on/off your running lights someone mention earlier....... thanks I will try it.

10

My front low beam headlight (drivers side) went out (2012 VW Passat). The problem is ... the connection within the headlight socket. I can pull the bulb holder to one side, and the light comes on. I release, and it goes out. The connection socket is faulty. There was a VW recall issued in 2014, related to this issue. You can buy the socket; but, the problem is with the original design. Call your VW dealer for information, regarding the issue.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks for your post, Shelbywk. My low beam bulbs actually are lit, but just barely. I replaced bulbs and headlight switch: no improvement. Found all the fuses are good, but no diagram showing where the relay might be. Going to the dealer tomorrow. I'll post the results to help others.

10,425

i had a simalure issue with my jetta. I went in for a replacement bulb and it turned out to be twice as bright as the old one. it was a simalure bulb but with a bigger element and a different wattage. Make sure those stupid connectors are in correctly as well. Mine melted the socket and vw refused to replace it so thats where alot of my issue came from.

hi I have a 2012 vw jetta I have change all the blubls and stiil no running lights on the left side y

10,425

I had some simalure issues with my 2012. mine even went to the extreme as to melt the socket from shorts in the head light. I would try a bulb with a less flimsy filiment Every morning i would come out to my car and slap my head light and it would make the running light turn back on. found out later on that the bulb was the culprit so when vw gave me a stronger bulb it worked fine.

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