97 Camry with Dim Headlights - Camry Forums - Toyota Camry Forum

ECU & Electronics Discuss electronics and related components within.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-12-2017, 03:06 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
Default 97 Camry with Dim Headlights

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to make sure credit was given where due. I had a problem with my headlights and was PM'ing Toyohomo, who was bang on. See below and hope it helps someone else too.


I have a problem with my headlights and I have searched what seems like every forum/post/article/website out there and can find issues that are almost the same as mine but none exactly the same or that seem to help. In reading some of those though, you seem like you may have my answer.

I have recently bought a 97 Camry LE - the car is in great shape, only has 200,000 kms and every option the car has, seems to work fine.

My Problem: the headlights seem very dim at night. The lenses are clear and I have put brand new bulbs in but the problem remains.

-High and Low beams are the same bulb

When the car is started, the daytime running lights come on but when I turn on the headlights via the switch on the turn signal, the brightness does not in crease at all.

My high beams work in both positions (when the lever is both pusshed forward and pulled back) and the high beams are much brighter, like they should be.

I have pulled up to a large window at night (so I can see my headlights in the reflection very clearly) and the difference between DRL and regular low beams is ZERO when I switch back and forth between them.

I have read all kinds of answers such as relays, fuses, the switch, grounds, connections, voltages, checking continuities, it seems like everyone suggests something different, except some sort of voodoo.

I am mechanically inclined so I am OK with the work I just don't know what needs fixing. I would like to solve my problem soon, as our days are currently getting shorter.

When you have time, I would love to hear your opinion on my problem and your thoughts on what I can do to best troubleshoot it.


Originally Posted by toyomoho
For the DRL circuit, the headlights are dimmed via a resistor in the filament ground circuit. This circuit is ALWAYS in place and grounded.

The various relays (including the main solid state DRL relay) control the headlight and DRL operation.

To obtain full voltage/current flow at the filaments. The DRL relay No 4 closes to directly ground the filaments, bypassing the resistor. When DRL relay No 4 is open, the current flows through the resistor.

Determine if the No 4 relay is working OK.

Both high/low, L/R filaments use the same ground path.

When the lights are turned on. Determine if all filaments have the same voltage going to them (should be battery or generator voltage). Ground each filament negative bulb terminal directly to chassis and determine if the bulb light output changes.

Meaning; check bulb grounds to determine if there is a problem ground or the resistor is somehow staying in the circuit.

Check voltage to the bulbs to determine if some bulbs are receiving lower/higher voltage. All filaments should receive the same voltage at the positive terminal.

Post back with what you find.


You'e the best. Went to my local wreckers today, grabbed 2 relays (tested both there with a cordless drill battery and multimeter), plugged one in my car and problem solved.

Also, there're so small and don't really look like much, the guy there didn't even charge me.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2017, 12:44 AM
Patonium's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,223

Very Nice!
Toyomoho is the best!
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
'07 Camry dim headlights 53burb General Tech 19 09-29-2017 07:04 PM
head lights dim when touch brakes/turn blow motor on [email protected] ECU & Electronics 8 04-12-2016 07:53 PM
2008 Camry LE Dim Headlights On Low Beam zxdavid DIY - Do It Yourself 14 05-03-2015 11:46 PM
Dim headlight ktedder General Tech 1 09-30-2012 09:59 PM
headlights dim when pressing on the brake help! jolson1383 General Tech 3 03-06-2009 11:15 AM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.