Jetta headlights - problems seating connectors

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
I have been fighting a problem with the daughter's wagon's headlights dropping out on her. Driver's side is tending to be more consistently problematic.

I'd replaced the entire headlight assemblies with retrofitted HID projectors. No problems with a bad connection prior to this swap. Connectors were fine.

I added a wire for the fogs. Had to remove the wire retainer clip, but nothing here seemed to be an issue. I popped off the connectors the other day and found this:



NOTE: Previously I'd sprayed contact cleaner and then dabbed the wire ends with dialectic grease.

Obvious is the over-heated seat there. If you look closer you can see that the retainer clip is broken (same occurred with the other side).

I got rid of the retainer clip (pieces) and was able to get a firm seat/click on the connection. Obviously, I should have clips in here. I was going to pull ones out of one of my Golfs but was worried that I'd just end up breaking them as well. Better to try and figure out why these things are breaking, why I am unable to get a full/positive connection between the socket and plug.

In a side discussion with another forum member it was mentioned that the seal might be swollen and that is the source of the problem. That sounds like it might be it, but it wasn't an issue/problem with the original headlight assemblies (sockets); and, it's not clear how it would impede such that the retainer clips would end up breaking. Without the retainer clips the seals don't prevent a positive connection.

I suspect there may be an issue with the headlight assemblies, but I can't quite say/prove what it could be. Thought I'd try and rule out the car side of things and whether it was something that I did before I engage the vendor.
 
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RexNICO

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Location
South of Atlanta
TDI
None
Silly question, but is the fog light wire from the headlight going thru a relay or directly to the headlight?

If you're going thru a relay, is there any chance the fog wire was inserted upside down?

I may have a spare car side connector I can send you, if that would help, just PM me an address and I'll check the HL parts bin this evening.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Rex, there are no silly questions here. I hold everything suspect!

When you say upside down, are you meaning that the wire could be rotated in the connector wrong? I am pretty sure that the connector end of the wire is right where it should be (when looking at the plug end): looking at the connector the slot for the fog wire is the upper left one. I could see where something sticking too far out might result in the entire connector bottoming out before it was fully seated.

There's a relay. All part of a kit. Pretty much plug and play.
 

RexNICO

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Location
South of Atlanta
TDI
None
Yes, I was asking if the pin end of the wire. I hhr have been inserted "upside down" in the connector. This could all it to set too far into the connector preventing the connector (as a whole) from fully/properly seating. Not sure that would cause the issue your picture shows, but you never really know with loose/intermittent connections.

Have you confirmed the output of the relay when "triggered' by the head light switch?

Only 1 side or both HL connections?
 

Fahrvegnugen

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2017
Location
Burlington Vt
TDI
01 golf 1.9 alh gls silver
Seems the fog wire impedes the connection or the headlight side of the plug isn't right. Testing a good plug on the headlight ought to clear it up. Looks like new plugs are needed anyway. If rubber swelling is the culprit, then there'd be a visible fitment issue, or cracking, I would imagine. If the new plug doesn't click right on, then the headlight must be wrong. If it does click on then voltage isn't right, or fog wire impedance might be happening. I figure the bulb wattage is right with proper voltage to each.
 
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UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
With the retainer clip removed the plug connects securely/properly.

Have had no issues with the fogs. And, the passenger/right side was stable: it had a better connection (but it's retainer clip also was broken).

I am looking for reasons why the retaining clip is breaking.

The car isn't very accessible to me, in which case I pretty much have to know exactly what's up before I see/touch it.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Here's a picture of the connector on the passenger/right side:



If the problem was with the fog light wire (you can see it on this connector- it's plugging in to the lower left corner) I'd expect that the retainer piece would have broken there as it (retainer) would have been spread out. BUT, as you can see the retainer broke on the other side and at the other end.

Next time I see the car I'm going to mic the inside diameter of the headlight's socket. IF the socket were narrower than what it should be then that might result in it clipping the retaining clip.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Good news, bad news...

It appears that the retainer clips broke because the fog light wires weren't seated properly (had to really cram them in in order to get the clips to slide in as they should). Replaced the connector shell on the driver's side: had to carefully dremel out the low beam wire as it had overheated and melted the housing enough to keep it from being extractable. The connectors now click in as they should.

Bad news is that there's still a flaky connection for the driver's low beam: I'd even run some sandpaper through the wire's contact end. I pulled the connector and, after adding more dialectic grease, reseated. Issue doesn't seem to be behind me:(
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Update...

It's been over a month now and the reports I'm getting are that the headlights are working fine. Not wanting to curse things but, I think I'll sign off on this one as being fixed/solved.
 
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