Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

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GCooper
Started learning about 480
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:54 pm

Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by GCooper » Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:16 pm

Starting a few weeks ago my pop up headlights have been occasionally not going up. When it works it works fine with no issues but maybe 10% of the times I start the car they don't work.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

You fix one problem and another shows up :(
1994 GT

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2283
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by jamescarruthers » Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:59 pm

Try to give them a good exercising. Either by putting them up/down yourself for a few minutes or searching on here for the solution (Brinkir likely posted this plus a good pic) where you bridge a few relay contacts, override the bonnet safety over-ride switch and leave them popping for 10 mins or so. This cleans up the contacts in the relays and the motors.
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2006 Citroen C6 Exclusive 3.0 petrol/LPG
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

phil480
Knows where Volvo is from
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Littlehampton, West Sussex

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by phil480 » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:19 pm

First thing I'd check is the relay, sounds like the most likely culprit. There is a post somewhere showing bridging the relay contacts to give the motors a work out. Also probably worth mentioning at this point to check the gas struts. If they're worn out, the motors will be under more strain and eventually stop working. One of my pop ups was slower to lift than the other, eventually the motor gave up.
Current: 480 GT 2.0 '94 in Red
Previous: 480 ES 2.0 '93 in White K464SWP -Sold in 2009. Presumed dead

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2283
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by jamescarruthers » Fri Jan 07, 2022 3:19 pm

Oh yeah that too! new gas struts are a good idea too to take the strain off the motors
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2006 Citroen C6 Exclusive 3.0 petrol/LPG
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

GCooper
Started learning about 480
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:54 pm

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by GCooper » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:59 pm

Thanks for the advice

Interestingly taking the headlight switch/dial out and putting it back in seems to temporarily fix the problem
1994 GT

phil480
Knows where Volvo is from
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Littlehampton, West Sussex

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by phil480 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:18 pm

Ahh, could be a loose or dirty connection in the switch or the connector then.
Current: 480 GT 2.0 '94 in Red
Previous: 480 ES 2.0 '93 in White K464SWP -Sold in 2009. Presumed dead

GCooper
Started learning about 480
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:54 pm

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by GCooper » Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:46 pm

https://imgur.com/a/Ziqa2Tw

Has anyone got pictures of the light switch pins? It looks like one might be snapped?
1994 GT

phil480
Knows where Volvo is from
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Littlehampton, West Sussex

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by phil480 » Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:40 pm

Here's mine. It appears that what looks like a broken pin is actually meant to be like that.
https://flic.kr/p/2mXUN3x
Current: 480 GT 2.0 '94 in Red
Previous: 480 ES 2.0 '93 in White K464SWP -Sold in 2009. Presumed dead

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2060
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Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by jifflemon » Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:36 pm

GCooper wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:59 pm
Thanks for the advice

Interestingly taking the headlight switch/dial out and putting it back in seems to temporarily fix the problem
Just a thought...

What happens if you pop the lights BEFORE switching the ignition on? Do they ever fail to pop up?

GCooper
Started learning about 480
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:54 pm

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by GCooper » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:15 pm

jifflemon wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:36 pm
GCooper wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:59 pm
Thanks for the advice

Interestingly taking the headlight switch/dial out and putting it back in seems to temporarily fix the problem
Just a thought...

What happens if you pop the lights BEFORE switching the ignition on? Do they ever fail to pop up?
The headlights do seem to pop up with the ignition off, I have only tried it once so I don't know how reliable this is
1994 GT

GCooper
Started learning about 480
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:54 pm

Re: Pop up headlights sometimes stuck down

Post by GCooper » Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:46 pm

So far turning the headlights on with the ignition off has worked every time. Does anyone know what makes this method so reliable?
1994 GT

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