Dodge Ram 1500 / 2500 / 3500:

Dim headlights

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# 1  2/5/2012 5:04 PM

New member
Registered: 2/5/2012
Posts: 1

Dim headlights

I have a 2011 Ram 2500 (hemi) SLT. The vehicle has 3,500 miles. It was purchased on 1/11/2011. The vehicle also had a Western snow plow installed when it was new. (the plow was installed by a western certified stocking dealer, not the Ram dealer) The truck also has the factory snow plow prep package installed at the factory.

The dealer electrical service tech actually drove the vehicle home in August of 2011 to check the headlight illumination after dark. He agreed (verbally) that the vehicle definitely had some headlight issues.

The dealer has changed both headlight assemblies and lamps. They have adjusted the lights on three occasions.
They also have checked the voltage with a voltmeter on three separate occasions. The reading at the headlight pods is 10.2 volts.

Chrysler customer service became involved on December 9, 2011. Chrysler enhanced customer satisfaction in Arden Hills Mi became involved on January 23, 2012.

At the January 11, 2012 visit to my dealer for diagnostics there was an area representative from the Denver Business Center present tor the testing. They also had an individual from Chrysler coaching them on testing procedures.

The headlight volts were still 10.2 Volts under load with vehicle running. They cast blame for the dim lights on a defective Western plow harness. Western (Douglas Dynamics) immediately authorized the local Western dealer to perform diagnostics on their harness. The harness tested out good with no issues. They then removed the harness and suggested I have the dealer/Chrysler test the truck again.

On January 27, 2012 the dealer tested the vehicle and received the following readings. Rear trailer connector terminal-14.7 volts, in-cabin power ports (3) 14.7 volts, the truck fog lights 14.0 volts, however they had difficulty getting a good connection with the voltmeter. The headlights still 0nly 10.2 volts under load with vehicle running, however when ignition switch was off, truck not running, headlights produced about 12.4 volts but trickled down to 10.5 volts. The battery also produced 14.7 volts with vehicle running.

I, via email, asked the Denver service rep that authorized the last test on 1/27/2012 if the PWM component of the TIPM could be causing this problem, especially since the Canadian Owners Manual for the 2011 Ram2500 states that on vehicles that have the DRL feature, headlight illumination is reduced by approximately 50%. I might add that I am in Minnesota, not Canada.

I received an email from the Rep on February 2, 2012 that basically told me the dealer was testing incorrectly and what I have is what I get for headlights.

I find this hard to believe, especially since Chrysler authorized two of the three dealer voltage tests and one was even being coached by someone from Chrysler that was called in for advice on the 1/11/2012 test.

I thought there would at the very least be a TSB out there to deal with these headlight issues on the new Rams.

In closing I will add that we are NOT Off-Roaders or truck abusers. I am a retired teacher (37 years) and we have horses. All we want is for our truck headlights to work properly.

Thank you for your time.

NOTE- I have most of the documents to substantiate all of the contacts with Ram, the dealership, on line Ram mechanics, etc



# 2  2/6/2012 1:55 AM

Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1301

Re: Dim headlights

Conventional diagnostic methods will not prove conclusive in the diagnosis of the exterior lighting system or the electronic controls or communication between modules and other devices that provide some features of the exterior lighting system.

The most reliable, efficient, and accurate means to diagnose the exterior lighting system or the electronic controls and communication related to exterior lighting system operation requires the use of a diagnostic scan tool. Refer to the appropriate diagnostic information.

The headlight system is a complex system that goes through a few components like the headlight switch, instrument cluster, headlight module. The fact you have only 10.0 volts at the headlights would raise red flags to me that there may be a problem with the TIPM module. If they checked the plugs from the headlight to the TPMI module and had 0 resistance and they check all of the grounds the problem could be inside the module but not the module itself but as of the programming for the module for the proper operation of the headlight circuit.

If they checked the system with a volt ohm meter then the next step would be to use a factor scan tool to diagnosis the voltage through the CAN BUS system. If no problem can be found then I would take a guess that the module would need to be reprogrammed. This is just my guess; I'm not there to see all of the diagnosis being done so this is just a guess.

Don't give up on the problem if the dealer and the factory keep giving that same excuse that you should live with it then you should tell them they can live with if through the lemon law.

This is just my guess and opinion; I did not find any service bulletins and could not find any wire schematics to look at to help with the diagnosis.
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