So here's my problem:
When I have my headlights on, the beam from the left headlight is much dimmer than the beam from the right headlight. I had the bulbs replaced and that made no difference. I took my car to the Nissan dealership, and they adjusted the angle of the left headlight to make sure that it points in exactly the same direction as the right headlight - that made no difference, and the left headlight was still much dimmer. However, the dealership did discover that the left headlight is only dimmer when the low beams are on; when the high beams are on, both headlights are equally bright. The technician at the dealership told me that the left headlight is not getting enough electrical current from the "amp" that is at the back of the headlight assembly. They told me that the entire left headlight assembly needs to be replaced, and then they explained that I would have to replace both the left and the right headlight assemblies because they could only purchase the parts as a pair - now that might be true for the dealership, but I'm fairly certain that that's not true in general, as I know that 350z headlight assemblies can be bought individually on a zillion auto parts websites. Anyhow, the dealership quoted me $2,500 for parts (both headlight assemblies) and labor.
My questions for you are:
Do you think that there could be a different explanation for the left headlight being dimmer than the right? For example, could something as simple as a burnt-out fuse cause the left headlight to be dimmer than the right? Or are there any other possible causes that I should have a shop (a different shop - not the dealership) investigate before I shell out the money to replace the left headlight assembly?
I appreciate any insight/guidance that you might be able to offer. Thank you in anticipation for your time and consideration.
I would concur on the explanation of the dimmer headlight, if you are pulling too much OHMS (resistance) and not enough AMPS. You can find the headlight assembly like you stated on-line, and have an independent repair shop install the new part for you, which may be a far lesser cost.
Amanda, sounds frustrating! You may want to inquire about possible related Technical Service Bulletins for your headlight problem. A TSB is a known issue or problem that the manufacturer/dealer is aware of, but it's not serious enough to be labeled a recall. I checked the CarMD database and saw that there are two TSBs related to 2006 Nissan 350Z headlamps, which may or may not affect your specific issue. TSB no. 80671 and no. 10899. Oftentimes when a dealer knows you're aware of a service bulletin, they'll fix the problem for free. Best of luck!
〉 Answered on Jul 23rd, 2012 by Kristin Brocoff, Director of Corporate Communications at CarMD.com