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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2000 V6 Passat wagon: I just found out that my headlights only turn on when the switch is pulled out for fog lights And the key is in the on position. The high beams work as should once the headlights are activated. I’ve never changed anything in my electrical system, nor come across any odd situation like this. Allis as came from the factory.

I recently had major oil leaks fixed which ruined my alternator. The alternator was replaced and all was driving well. Lastly, I had left the key in the on position for the better part of a week which totally discharged the battery. I got it recharged overnight with my cheap Walmart charger which was an ok solution according to my local battery expert.

Any advice on what I can check? I’m pretty sure this is an irregular situation although functional. Thanks
 

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Replace your low beam bulbs (H7), they are probably both burnt out. They are on the outside of each light assembly. The inside bulbs are the fog light/high beam bulb (H4).
 
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Wait, need some clarification.

I just found out that my headlights only turn on when the switch is pulled out for fog lights And the key is in the on position. The high beams work as should once the headlights are activated.
So do the low beam lights come on at some point when you pull the switch for fogs or not al all? When you say high beams work when headlights are activated, do you mean the low beams are lit or just when you turn the switch to headlights that the high beams work?
 
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True it needs clarification but there have been plenty of times both low beam bulbs blew close to the same time on the forum. I took a shot at a common answer. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wait, need some clarification.



So do the low beam lights come on at some point when you pull the switch for fogs or not al all? When you say high beams work when headlights are activated, do you mean the low beams are lit or just when you turn the switch to headlights that the high beams work?
The Low beams come on when I turn on the fog switch. Or more precisely I don’t know what fog lights look like so to me they could be either one but do the job same as if low beam lights. Then I can bump them up to high, and back down low again as long as the fog light switch is activated.
 

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Fog lights are activated by pulling the switch out, low beams by turning the switch. The fog light and highbeams are the inside 1/3 of the light housings. They use the same bulb (H4). The low beams and daytime running lights are the outer 2/3 of the housing and use an H7 bulb with lower voltage to the bulb being the DRLs part. If the outer 2/3 of your light housings do not light at all as DRLs or low beams, your bulbs are probably bad.

The clear part on this photo (it’s upside down compared to how it’s mounted on the car) is fog/high beams section the fresnel lined portion is where the low beams are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the help. I removed the low beam bulb from one side. when removing the other side bulb, I found the receptacle ( call it what you will. The phenolic connector that the bulb plugs into ) breaking apart. It had been worked on long ago. I could tell by the electrical tape wrapped around it was brittle from age and having owned it for the past 12 years, I never had any trouble from it. So now my receptacle is toast which means I fix that first.

EDITTED: Looks like a general parts house called PARTS GEEK has the receptacle with wires so all I have to do is replace with a soldering gun. Not my favorite position to be in but looks doable. One fly in the ointment is the existing wires insulation Is brittle and breaking apart adding an extra dimension to the problem. All help appreciated Thanks.
 

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That's a common problem. You could try replacing the wires with ones with silicone insulation but those are expensive and not easy to find. I'd just replace the receptacle with new ones and go from there.

You could also use heat shrink on the brittle wires but that would require cutting and splicing them or un-pinning them to get the heat shrink on.

I think one of the problems is that the bulb gets loose in the socket and that extra resistance creates a lot of heat, which then ruins the wire insulation and/or the receptacle housing. Maybe some grease on the receptacle would help too. Replacing the receptacle is probably the best bang for the buck IMHO for this issue.

And instead of soldering, you can always just crimp the wires if that is easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I tried a new bulb in the low beam receptacle still intact and it worked. So your Advice is spot on. A lot less nervous about it now. Soldering is something I manage to do ok, and the shrink tube plan works for the connector replacement. Thanks for all the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I replaced the low beam receptacle today in a solder job. With a new bulb, now both low beams are working. The shrink tube was a brilliant suggestion in that the wires’ insulation was brittle and breaking away at touch And The only way I could be sure that the wires’ innermost strand was insulated was to feed the shrink tube piece by piece Until it reached dead end. The shrink tube needs to be cut into pieces because in one long piece it invariably gets stuck at a kink in the wire. And there is no need to heat the tube, the insulating property is still intact without it. Thanks for all the help.
 
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