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Headlights dim all the time Topic is solved

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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CIK7
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Headlights dim all the time

Post by CIK7 »

On my Impala Headlight bulbs seemed to be normal brightness, lighting up the road and in front. On my 01 V70 it was the same case, no issues. Now on this 98 v70, the headlights seem dim. They don't light up the road except maybe 5ft in front of me. the only way to know that is by leaving forward in my seat to look at the road directly over the hood. otherwise it seems as though I have no lights on while driving down a dark road. Interestingly though, the two times I've gotten out to look at my lights head-on, they are pretty bright. They don't seem bright when I'm sitting in front of a building though. Also the brights seem to be marginally better than normal brightness. I'm sorry that it's never a short story with me. But yeah that's how it is. Are all factory v70 light housing units the same like this or is it the bulb?
Last edited by CIK7 on Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1996 960 Saloon ($1200, MI:140205, Silver Snoozer)
1998 V70 XC black ($1K trade, Mi:143,995/151K, The Cloud, totalled 5/2/20 @149K, engine toast @ 151,1XX)
1998 V70 XC white ($50 cash, junk, donor for my black XC)
2001 V70 Ba white (sold)
2009 Impala LT 3.5L (sold)

Plans for The Cloud: junkyard engine, new lighting arrangement, will be offroader.
My daily is faster than an Impala (9.1 sec) but still a snoozer (8.2 sec).
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RickHaleParker
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Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by RickHaleParker »

Take a close look at the condition of the reflector. The silver reflective coating deteriorates over time.
1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package.
2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000.
2004 S60R, B8444S TF80 AWD.
2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0.
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Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by erikv11 »

There have been a lot of posts about this recently, browse the topic titles or do a quick search.

Your best solution is to buy new headlights, about $80 a side these TYC are a good option: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=88189
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k
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Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by MoVolvos »

-
I've tried coating it on my old 98 S70 and it did not improve it much. Replacement is the only solution.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion
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WhatAmIDoing
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Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by WhatAmIDoing »

Check the quality of your reflector, either by carefully removing the lens or by shinning a flashlight into the housing. The reflective material tends to oxidize and flake off with age.

If the reflectors don't look bad, you lights may just not be aimed properly. RobertDIY has a video on how to adjust the P80 headlights, and there are countless videos on youtube about how to aim your headlights properly.
'98 S70 T5M - 282,000+mi - forever a project
'99 S70 "AWD" - 220,000+mi - part out :cry:
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CIK7
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Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by CIK7 »

No way I can afford to buy headlights. I'm going to tape some tin foil inside, replace the bulbs, and check how to angle the lights.
1996 960 Saloon ($1200, MI:140205, Silver Snoozer)
1998 V70 XC black ($1K trade, Mi:143,995/151K, The Cloud, totalled 5/2/20 @149K, engine toast @ 151,1XX)
1998 V70 XC white ($50 cash, junk, donor for my black XC)
2001 V70 Ba white (sold)
2009 Impala LT 3.5L (sold)

Plans for The Cloud: junkyard engine, new lighting arrangement, will be offroader.
My daily is faster than an Impala (9.1 sec) but still a snoozer (8.2 sec).
User avatar
CIK7
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:15 am
Year and Model: 1996 960 Saloon
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Re: Headlights dim all the time  Topic is solved

Post by CIK7 »

SOLUTION FOUND: thank you WhatAmIDoing for the advice. I didn't make it to research part of angling the lights, found how to do it by accident by fiddling with my own light. I did not get before and after pics. Sorry.
1. I locked the angle down
2. I added aluminum foil for reflection
These solved the issue, now I can see.
3. As an extra way to feel that I did something, I rewired the light harness with fresh wiring and connectors.
Now to do the driver side.
Attachments
20191026_224030.jpg
20191026_223958.jpg
1996 960 Saloon ($1200, MI:140205, Silver Snoozer)
1998 V70 XC black ($1K trade, Mi:143,995/151K, The Cloud, totalled 5/2/20 @149K, engine toast @ 151,1XX)
1998 V70 XC white ($50 cash, junk, donor for my black XC)
2001 V70 Ba white (sold)
2009 Impala LT 3.5L (sold)

Plans for The Cloud: junkyard engine, new lighting arrangement, will be offroader.
My daily is faster than an Impala (9.1 sec) but still a snoozer (8.2 sec).
User avatar
MoVolvos
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Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by MoVolvos »

CIK7 wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:12 pm
1. I locked the angle down
2. I added aluminum foil for reflection
You mean you adjusted the direction of the light, whether up and down or left and right?

What did you use to hold down the aluminum? It looks like a partial rather than covering the entire reflector?
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion
User avatar
CIK7
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:15 am
Year and Model: 1996 960 Saloon
Location: Oklahoma
Has thanked: 94 times
Been thanked: 13 times

Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by CIK7 »

MoVolvos wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:39 pm
CIK7 wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:12 pm
1. I locked the angle down
2. I added aluminum foil for reflection
You mean you adjusted the direction of the light, whether up and down or left and right?

What did you use to hold down the aluminum? It looks like a partial rather than covering the entire reflector?
1. I saw 2 plastic ball joints that pivot and slide within a bracket that extends to the rear of the reflector unit. The reflector unit angles side to side SLIGHTLY. But it angles up and and down about half an inch. Look at a v70 headlight you'll see 2 gears interconnected. THAT controls one of the angle brackets. Then there is a plastic finger that slides into a rubber boot. These all seem to hold and control the light angle. Mine locked into place when I moved them.
2. I did think about the heat when I used tape on the aluminum foil. Also the passenger side unit is the one I did first. I did a full foil wrap on the low beam socket, only the top and side on the high beam. For the driver side unit, I did a full foil wrap for both sockets. Im sorry I didn't take a pic before I put the glass back on.
1996 960 Saloon ($1200, MI:140205, Silver Snoozer)
1998 V70 XC black ($1K trade, Mi:143,995/151K, The Cloud, totalled 5/2/20 @149K, engine toast @ 151,1XX)
1998 V70 XC white ($50 cash, junk, donor for my black XC)
2001 V70 Ba white (sold)
2009 Impala LT 3.5L (sold)

Plans for The Cloud: junkyard engine, new lighting arrangement, will be offroader.
My daily is faster than an Impala (9.1 sec) but still a snoozer (8.2 sec).
User avatar
MoVolvos
Posts: 2614
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:47 pm
Year and Model: 03S80T6~08C30T5
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Re: Headlights dim all the time

Post by MoVolvos »

Thanks, I thought that was what you meant (the adjustments) when you wrote locked down the angles.

I had considered Plumber's Alum Tape for my S70 but this was before LED's were in use. It gets very, very in there with Halogens.
https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Tape-Fo ... B01FROBUXE
-
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion
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