Lotus Elan

Headlights Delay Coming On (Relay?)

PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:02 pm

To pass the time when sitting in traffic I like to test whether the lights, indicators etc are working, one can see whether they are lit in the reflections of the cars in front and behind.

So . . . When I have the headlight pods up, with headlights and sidelights both on, there is no problem. If I flick the switch to turn the headlights off, they go off as they should, but when I flick them back on nothing happens for say 30 seconds. I have a bit of a panic as I think how the @&?? I?m going to drive home with no lights and then there is a faint click from the bowels of the dash and the headlights come back on (hurrah!).

So - what?s going on and what do I need to sort out? It?s something relay-related I think but when it comes to electrics I?m learning as I go and this is a first for me.

I should say they are the original incandescent bulbs in the headlights but all other bulbs (except instruments) have been switched with LEDs. I?m running an alternator too.

Thanks in advance all!

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1967 S3 SE DHC
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:04 am

I?d check out the pod limit switches, especially if your pods are still vacuum operated and could close a fraction, but just enough to operate the limit switch.
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PostPost by: Slowtus » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:32 am

Stevie-Heathie wrote:It?s something relay-related I think but when it comes to electrics I?m learning as I go and this is a first for me.

1967 S3 SE

Relays tend not to wait, they are normally just a switch, the delay suggests to me - that it is something OTHER than the relay.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:01 am

Try changing the relay for another one. I?ve had that kind of delayed activation happen before but usually after they?ve rusted up from water getting inside. If yours is behind the dash that?s less likely but apart from the contortions needed to get there it should be an easy swap.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:22 pm

I would clean Bullet Connectors and replace the female Connectors.
When i disconnect the Bullets i cut away the rubber from the female connectors. This lets me use a small Screwdriver to twist open the rusted female Connector and release the Bullet. If you just pull you will break the Bullit off
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:52 pm

Problem with the thermal cutout?
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:50 am

I've met this problem a few times and it is usually either the relay sticking or the switch itself. The relay is the easiest to change and if its twenty or more years old I'd just change it out for a new one. The switch is harder to get at and likely to be very fragile. You might improve things by spraying some switch cleaner into the gaps from the front, then repeatedly operating the switch. They had a small amount of grease in them when they were made and this can cause problems with the moving contacts over the years. The switch action should feel crisp and fast. If it feels slow and sticky I'd put my money on that.
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