How to Troubleshoot Mazda Miata Headlightsby Alibaster Smith
The headlights in a Mazda Miata are generally of two types. Some Miatas use the factory "flip up" style headlights, where a motor raises and lowers the headlight assembly out of the front bumper area. When this motor fails or when the headlights are not working properly, you'll need to replace the failed component. Replacement headlights are normally available from Mazda or from most auto parts stores if you need to replace the entire assembly. However, before you replace anything, you need to troubleshoot the problem.
Open the fuse panel under the steering column by pulling the fuse panel cover down.
Locate the fuse for the headlights. Use the fuse diagram on the underside of the fuse panel cover to locate the fuse for the headlights. Pull the fuse using the fuse puller in the fuse panel.
Examine the fuse. The metal strip inside the fuse should not be burned or damaged in any way. If it is, replace the fuse with a working fuse of the same amperage.
Turn on the headlights by rotating the headlight switch away from you on the headlight stalk on the left side of the steering wheel. If the headlights do not flip up (with a flip up style headlight), check the headlight area for any debris that might be stuck in the path of the headlight. If there is no visible debris, the headlight motor may be burned out. This can be easily verified by turning the headlights on and off and listening for the motor. If you don't hear anything, then the motor has died and needs to be replaced.
Check for proper bulb illumination. If the fuse for the headlights is good, and the headlights are not illuminating when you turn them on, open the hood and check for any frayed wiring on the headlight wiring harness. If there is no wiring, you may have a bad light bulb which will need to be replaced.
- "Mazda MX-5 Miata Haynes Repair Manual (1990-1997);" Haynes Manuals; 1998
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