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interceptor69

98 VFR Headlights Not Working

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 Recently replaced both my headlamps with halogens and they worked great for about 2-3 weeks but on the last ride of the year I went out to turn the bike on and they wouldn't come on. Does anyone know why that may be happening? I checked the fuse under the seat and it was fine. 

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Could be the starter switch. Seriously. Happened to me once it just needed a good cleaning.

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Is it both high and low beam?  

Most headlight bulbs are now manufactured in China, even name brands like Sylvania - and IMHO they are crap.  I've had them burn out after 3 months.  The Japan made OEM bulbs in my Camry finally failed at 190,000 miles and I  drive with them on 24/7.  After several disappointing  tries with both Phillips and Sylvania,  I found Japan sourced OEM bulbs on Amazon and have had no troubles since.  If the bulbs have failed this may be an instance where paying up for Honda OEM might be worth it.   YMMV

 

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Agree with MBrane. Starter switch is a common one, also had the same issue. The Starter Switch apart from energising the Starter Relay (when pressed), it also powers the Headlight Relays when NOT pressed (both Hi and Lo Beams).

Sometimes dirt/crud stops the switch from fully returning back to normal to re-energise your headlights. A good spray of WD-40 into the switch with ignition off, then give it a good workout - solved my problem.

Also agree with Cogswell, but check your switch out first for both mechanical and electrical operation.

Cheers.:beer:

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Is it both high and low beam?  
Most headlight bulbs are now manufactured in China, even name brands like Sylvania - and IMHO they are crap.  I've had them burn out after 3 months.  The Japan made OEM bulbs in my Camry finally failed at 190,000 miles and I  drive with them on 24/7.  After several disappointing  tries with both Phillips and Sylvania,  I found Japan sourced OEM bulbs on Amazon and have had no troubles since.  If the bulbs have failed this may be an instance where paying up for Honda OEM might be worth it.   YMMV
 
Yes- both high and low beam.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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Agree with MBrane. Starter switch is a common one, also had the same issue. The Starter Switch apart from energising the Starter Relay (when pressed), it also powers the Headlight Relays when NOT pressed (both Hi and Lo Beams).
Sometimes dirt/crud stops the switch from fully returning back to normal to re-energise your headlights. A good spray of WD-40 into the switch with ignition off, then give it a good workout - solved my problem.
Also agree with Cogswell, but check your switch out first for both mechanical and electrical operation.
Cheers.
Thanks for the suggestions-I will try that. I wondered if there was a relay somewhere I didn't know about.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, interceptor69 said:

Yes- both high and low beam.

Now it's really looking like a stuck or faulty Starter Switch or its wiring. Good Luck, keep us posted.

Cheers.:beer:

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I'm embarrassed to say that the bulbs were simply burned out despite the fact they were only 2 or 3 weeks old. Before I called my buddy with the voltmeter to come over I decided I would at least pop and old one in that I still had the low beam working just to make sure they weren't burned out before he drove all the way here. Turned out that was a good move because that was all it was. I am now wondering if these old VFR's electrical system can't supply enough current or voltage to these halogen bulbs. Or maybe the heat got to them -I don't know because they were very hot- you could feel the heat on the headlight cover. I should have popped an old bulb in before assuming something electrical was kaput- the simplest solution...

But thanks to everyone who responded to my post. 

20200409_161521.jpg

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Did you touch the glass with bare fingers when you installed them?

That is a sure way to shorten life span (as is buying cheap-ass knockoffs....) 

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Nope- used latex gloves. They certainly weren't cheap knock off either. Sylvania halogens. Silverstar Ultras.

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I'd give the person who sold me them a ring......

 

 

Or just cut my losses..... :laugh:

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If each bulb filaments are indeed broken then its possible 1) the wrong part number or 2) charging system over volts...

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Not sure what you mean by wrong part number. 

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I second the over voltage suggestion. I buy the cheapest H4s I can find, and they last a long time.

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Are you using halogens?  Over the years I've had several halogen bulbs high beam element burn out but not the low beams. 

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Agree with BLS step 2. Running a Halogen Lamp at higher than rated voltage will have a great effect on its life. An Overvoltage situation with your charging system needs to be sorted ASAP if you have one, else you'll start frying your battery, and potential major damage to your ECM!

Run your engine with a voltmeter on the battery, with engine at 5000rpm the voltage MUST be less than 15.5v. Ideally it should be around 14 to 14.5v

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Thanks for the info-I definitely need to check that. Tired of replacing bulbs or going without high beams. Would high temperatures affect their life span? I noticed when I had high beams on the cover was so hot it almost burned my fingers. 

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