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Buick Forum: Lowbeams have suddenly failed
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  1. #1
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    Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    I realized as I was driving home at dusk tonight that my headlights hadn't come on. The high beams worked, but the regular low beams did not light up either on automatic or even when I tried to turn them on manually. When I got home, I exchanged the highbeam fuses and the lowbeam fuses. The high beams still lit up fine (with the low beams' fuses), but the low beams...still nothing.

    Both of these headlamps were lighting up just fine a couple of days ago, and they both have relatively new bulbs. I just inspected the bulbs and they look fine - show no sign of burnout or detached filaments.

    I took the car in to the dealership for the recall which seemed to have been a correction of something like this. Anybody heard of having to do this a second time? (I'd actually never had a problem when I took it in for the recall.)

    Thanks,
    Dave
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    Dave
    2007 Bronze LaCrosse

  2. #2
    ClayBelt is online now 3.8L Member My Buick(s): 2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS (3.6L)
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    Never have. Taking mine in for a similar reason

  3. #3
    Arthur_Davies is offline Junior Member My Buick(s): 2006 Lacrosse CX
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    You need the following part.

    Duralast relay #20601 - http://www.autozone.com/cooling-heat...tor/206179_0_0

    It says it's a blower motor relay, but it's also the infamous "Headlight module" that seems to always fail in the 1st generation Buick Lacrosse.

    I had this problem with my 2006 Lacrosse. Oddly enough, the recall notice for this part had arrived in my mailbox a few days before. Well, I like my local independent shop and they are the only people I trust with my cars. I didn't want the local Buick Dealership going on a fishing expedition for things that need doing (in their opinion) to my Lacrosse, and I'm afraid of salesmen badgering me to buy a new car while the dealership works on mine. So I didn't go to the dealership.

    The bad news: the part costs $27 at Autozone. The good news: I'm far from being an electrician and it took me 3 minutes to fix. Open the hood. Open the fuse-box. Quickly identify the part (it's more or less the only one like it in there), change it out. Job done. Fully working low-beams.

    This guy on Youtube explains the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDYCi9WkWaI

    But this diagram shows the relay you need to replace: http://www.autogenius.info/buick-lac...e-box-diagram/

    It's number 35. Literally unplug and replace. Easier and quicker than replacing a light bulb.

    Good luck.

    Arthur

  4. #4
    Arthur_Davies is offline Junior Member My Buick(s): 2006 Lacrosse CX
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    You need the following part from Autozone.

    Duralast relay #20601

    This is the replacement for the infamous "Headlight module" that seems to always fail in the first generation Buick Lacrosse.

    I had this problem with my 2006 Lacrosse. Oddly enough, the recall notice for this part had arrived in my mailbox only a few days before. Well, I like my local independent shop and they are the only people I trust with my cars. I didn't want the local Buick dealership going on a fishing expedition for things that need doing (in their opinion) to my Lacrosse, and I'm afraid of salesmen badgering me to buy a new car while the dealership works on mine. So I didn't go to the dealership.

    The bad news: the part costs $27 at Autozone. The good news: I'm far from being an electrician and it took me 3 minutes to fix. Open the hood. Open the fuse-box. Quickly identify the part (it's more or less the only one like it in there), change it out. Job done. Fully working low-beams.

    It's relay #35 in the fuse-box diagram. Literally unplug and replace. Easier and quicker than replacing a light bulb.

    Good luck.

    Arthur

    By the way, for some reason, if I post links, my post gets referred for moderation. So:

    Go to Auozone's website and search in the search box for: 20601 - You'll see it listed as a headlight relay.

    Go on Youtube and search for: buick lacrosse headlight module - the first video that comes up is a guy doing this repair to his Lacrosse

    Google: 2007 buick lacrosse fuse box diagram - there's a link halfway down the page to the diagram at a website called Auto genius that shows you the location of relay #35

  5. #5
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    Thanks very much, Arthur!

    I feel a bit guilty about you writing so much in answer to my problem (see below). However, your post is very useful information for many owners of older LaCrosses who will come across this thread.

    Turned out that my local dealership, under better management now, agreed to install another new headlight module free of charge, which I watched them do through the shop window. But to all our surprise, it didn't fix the failure of the headlights to light up! The mechanic then took out the light bulbs (which is an unbelievably complex process, btw) and "ohmed" them (as they say), and though the bulbs looked fine (even the shop manager said that the bulbs looked okay to him), they were not passing the ohmmeter test. They had actually taken me out into the shop area by then and let me watch - the mechanic showed me the distortion of the filament and said that these bulbs often don't show the typical signs of burnout (blackened area, obviously detached filament). He replaced it with new bulb and voilą, it lit up!

    Both my lowbeam bulbs had simply burned out. Later, I found out that my son had accidentally left the headlights manually "on" an entire day and night, and I can only deduce that this burned out the bulbs before it drained the battery. The next morning, I had noticed the headlight knob turned to manual "on" but after I switched it back to "auto", the car started fine and I just forgot about it.

    Dave

  6. #6
    BIG ROCCO is offline Full Member My Buick(s): 2012 LaCrosse eAssist P1 w/H-K & Nav
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    interesting story - thanks OP

  7. #7
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    I had the same problem, left headlight was out when I left work at 10 PM, so I drove home with only the right low beam. Next day I bought bulbs, but no time to fix then. When I left work that night, the right side was out too! So I had to drive home with only the high beams (sorry, folks that I met.) Now I'm thinking it is the headlight module, but turns out both bulbs had blown within hours of each other. I've never had that happen before in over 45 years of driving.

  8. #8
    peacefrog_0521 is offline Full Member My Buick(s): 2007 Buick Lacrosse CXL
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    Two things I'll throw in (more for others reading this thread):

    a) Even if you replace the HDM relay yourself with a store-bought part, you should still be able to receive reimbursement from Buick/GM for the replacement part. They sent owners a claim sheet with the recall notice. You simply send in your receipt with the claim notice. (I unfortunately could not locate my receipt by the time the notice arrived.)

    b) For a few dollars more you can get the AC Delco part from O'Reilly's or another source, which is OEM quality and will work better. I say this because I had also originally used the AutoZone part as a replacement, but it too failed a couple years later. (Interestingly, when it failed, the headlights would not turn off!)
    https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/a...buick/lacrosse


    c) OK I lied, there's a third thing. There are YouTube videos on how to replace headlamp bulbs yourself without having to remove the whole front end. It's still very fiddly and requires a bit of nerve, but takes less time and requires less removal. Here's one which I used to refer to often.
    (Edit) I would not necessarily recommend use of a "blue-tinted", or higher-wattage, etc., type replacement bulb, for the simple reason that these are known to burn out faster than normal or long-life bulbs. I found the stock bulbs provided plenty of light. And who wants to go through this crap twice?



    Good Luck,
    -Raj
    Last edited by peacefrog_0521; October 22nd, 2017 at 10:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Arthur_Davies is offline Junior Member My Buick(s): 2006 Lacrosse CX
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

    That looks like hard work! When one of my headlight bulbs eventually blows, off she goes to the body shop. I've scrubbed the old lenses pretty well with one of those Rain-X kits, but there is still some discoloration. They can drop in two new lenses at the same time as changing the bulb.

    One thing I miss about my old Jeep Cherokee. Equipment needed to change headlights: screwdriver. Time required: ten minutes.

  10. #10
    BuickLacrosse is offline Full Member My Buick(s): 2006 LaCrosse CX 3.8L
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    Re: Lowbeams have suddenly failed

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    Don't remove the complete bumper shroud to access the HL bulbs. Someone has a video out suggesting this. Don't. You'll give yourself a lot of extra work. The HL pod wiggles forward leaving just enough room to change the bulbs. Jam a rag or tool in behind it to hold it in place. Expect to lose some knuckle skin the first couple of times.

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