Headlight and dash light not working?

On my way home a few weeks ago, my headlight went out on me. It was working just fine until I stopped at a gas station and turned it off. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t on until I pulled out of the gas station and it was pitch black. It’s weird because the brights won’t work nor will the dash light even display for the brights. The dash works fine, the Speedo reads and the other lights come on, all except the brights. I’ve checked the fuses and they’re all fine. I saw someone say their ignition switch had a loose cable so I tried to wiggle the cables to see if it would turn on, nothing. I don’t know enough to strip the bike apart and check every wire so if anyone has any ideas I’d really appreciate it. I’ll take it to the shop if I need to, I’m a college boy on a budget so I’m trying my best not to lol. Thanks!


Get a 12V test light. Learn how to use it. If the headlight is DC, check for power and ground at the headlight connector with the switch on. If the headlight is AC, you will need a multimeter and check for AC voltage at the connector with the switch on AND the engine running.

Candid Chris

Would help to know what bike you are asking about, sh!t is different from bike to bike, a Make, Model, Year might be great. Understand you are on a budget but if you wish to DIY three things you need- A set of tools. A Shop Manual. And a bit of knowledge figuring out which goes witch in the electrical system. Guessing there is a relay in the line that has some problem.


Fault most likely in either the headlight switch or insdie the headlight.. Carefully remove headlight from shell (usually one or 3 screws. Lots of wires & connectors inside. Seperate & remake each connection (one at a time) Download a wiring diagram for the make , model & country (or as close to that as you ca nfind) The colours of te wires involved in the lighting circuit should be there t ohelp you find your way round. A $10 multimeter can be used t ofind presence or absence of voltage & open circuits/short circuits. Well worthwhile learning how to yourself, cheaper, more satisfying & can mean the difference between leaving the bike on the side of the road & riding it home.


Make and model would help bro If you have a "normal" style bike with the headlamp held by a bracket either side; Remove the glass reflector from the bowl (one or two screws) Remove the bulb. Check it without touching the tip if it is Quartz Halogen. If it looks burned or obviously failed, replace it. If you have a good spare, fit that. While you're there, check the wiring connections are clean and tight. Clean then up if they look green. Open up the light switch (usually on the RH bar) Clean the contacts and make sure the switch functions correctly. Spray lube like WD40 will help clean out fluff. Check the fuse for the headlamp circuit again. Swap it round for another of the same rating if you have one. I don't know what you mean by dash light. Most bikes don't have a separate light on the dash for "lights on". Normally just one for high beam. But if you're one of the lucky few, if that lamp doesn't light up then that suggests the lighting circuit is not getting power - a switch, relay, fuse, earth or wire problem, rather than bulb. You don't need much knowledge to open up the lights and switch assembly and clean, check connections. If you still can't fix it, a sparky will diagnose the fault using test equipment very quickly so it won't hurt too much.

Tim D

I am not sure why anyone has not advised you to check the bulb(s). It might not be properly mounted, it might have corrosion on the connection – it might even be blown (hold it up to the light and see if the filament is intact). Start with the simple stuff, then start getting complicated.


Obtain and read the schematic.

Pilsner Man

Depends on the year, make and model of the car. Can you believe they may be different?