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Nissan Micra Headlights

06-02-2006, 05:01 AM
I've got a 1996 Nissan Micra and have recently encountered a problem with the left side headlight (right hand drive car), where neither beam or dip worked (the side light was fine though). I found a lot of people on the internet who had the same problem. I've just fixed mine, so here goes!

The right hand light works directly off the light switch on the dashboard - dip, beam and side light (the left hand side light also works from the switch). The left hand headlight goes through a dim/dip unit though, allegedly due to local legislation that says that one light must continue to work if the other fails - bizarre!

Your first job is to remove the dim/dip unit - this is situated under the steering column, and is a box the size of a cigarette packet. Into this box go two cables, one that has four pins and one that has six. Without disconnecting the wires, pull the box off its mounting, and then remove the outer case using a small screwdriver to prise it off.

On the circuit board, there are two relays, which are used to switch the left hand headlight. When the side lights are switched on, the relays should click over, and when the light stalk is turned to dip, they should return. When the stalk is pushed away to obtain beam, they should click again. This is all with the ignition switch set to on (the position just before starting, or the position the key is in when the engine is running), as some of the circuits don't work when the engine is off. IF NOTHING WORKS AT THIS STAGE, then you're missing a permanent 12V. This is due to a fuse in the engine compartment.

I have seen wiring variations on the internet, such as shorting contacts on the dim/dip unit, but this is not a good idea, as you'll double the current going through the switch, and therefore burn it out.

Open the bonnet (hood) and locate the battery. In front of the battery there is a small fuse box. Open this, and locate the two 15A fuses. These run the lights, one for each side (dip and beam). Now, someone at Nissan obviously designed this at 5:29 on a Friday, because the cables that enter this fuse box are VERY taut.

To access the underside of the small fuse box, you'll need to remove the relay box that is behind it and 90 degrees to it (or between the battery and the engine). Remove the negative lead of the battery to avoid fires! You'll also need to remove the positive lead as this will allow the relay box to be lifted out along with the fuse box. There are various plastic clips and screws to remove, but with enough perseverance and swearing, they'll come out far enough to allow the fuse box to be turned over.

There'll be a red cable (with silver spots, though this could be different on other models, particularly in the US, as this car was made in the UK) that feeds the right hand side of the lower 15A fuse (this is the one that feeds the offending headlight). This is extra taut, and has probably broken off the underside of the fuse mounting. If it has, then there's your problem.

Remove the fuse, and jab a sharpish screwdriver down the left hand side of the left hand contact. This will create a hole that you can run a new wire through. Get a piece of wire about 4 inches long, making sure that it's the same (or greater) thickness as the red cable. Solder one end of this to the fuse that you just removed, on the outside edge of the fuse pin. This will now feed down into the fuse box when you replace the fuse in its holder. When you have replaced the fuse, pull the new wire through and solder it to the old wire. You may have to cut the old wire a little to allow fresh copper to solder to. Make sure that you cover the joint with thick tape (self amalgamating tape is good for this), and replace the covers on the fuse box.

Now if that hasn't bored you to tears, nothing will.

All the best, and while I'm here, I should mention that I can't accept any responsibility for any damge done by following the above steps. My car works though....

09-20-2006, 07:00 PM
headlamp module replacement 1997 altima. the fastening hardware comes with two bolts with 10mm heads and three nuts that are not 10mm or 9mm and not sae. I need to know waht size socket are these nuts and where can I get one

11-22-2006, 04:21 AM
Thanks a million for that. I found the fuse box in front of the battery and opened it to find a melted fuse. I simply replaced and hey presto back in business.

Thanks for saving me time effort and probably

11-25-2006, 06:33 AM
I have just taken the box off etc as described. the relays are fine on dim, but as i go to dipped the left starts to click. i solved this for a while by taking a feed from the right output at the fuse, but it is intermittent.
the fuse feed looks to be ok.
Any more ideas gratefully recieved!!

09-03-2014, 12:43 PM

I very much appreciate the thread because I have this problem (LH headlamp only works intermittently)
The one thing I didn't understand was what to do about a defective Dim/Dip unit???
Is it a total-unit replacement?


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