Defender Defender Puma headlamps switch failure





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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sandton
    Age
    44
    Posts
    27

    Exclamation Defender Puma headlamps switch failure

    Folks,
    I was driving on Ben Schoeman highway around sunset when I realised that that the headlight indicator on the dashboard was off despite the headlight switch being engaged. The console backlighting was all off too. I drove up close to the bakkie in front of me to check if my headlights would reflect in his tailgate but it was clear that I had no lights.

    I pulled the headlight lever one notch back into 'park lights' mode and could see that the little park lights were working. This was some relief as it meant that I could be seen from behind as well (I have a black vehicle - eish!). When I got home I checked the fuses and all was well leaving me to suspect that it was the switch or a relay somewhere. If I pulled the other lever to shine the brights, they did work - leaving the switch as the most likely culprit (but they look and feel so solid don't they??)

    I dropped it off at LR Sandton and it turned out that it was the switch. The plastic around the contact that engages the headlights had melted and the copper contact point had sunk into the molten plastic leaving it too far away to make contact with the switch.

    Theory: The only thing I did differently that day was that I disconnected my trailer's plug socket while the vehicle was idling with the headlights on. Something may have shorted or sparked there while I was jiggling the plug out? The question has to be asked: if the amperage was high enough to melt the switch plastic, why didn't a fuse blow first? LR made good and replaced the switch under warranty.

    Web research: I checked on the web and found two other switch failures on Puma's in the same fashion (melted plastic around contact) and I'll be interested to know if anyone here has had a similar experience.

    In a bush situation: I would have jimmied it so that the brights were permanently engaged on the other lever until daylight. The mechanic suggested that you could file away some of the plastic to make the contact point accessible again.

    Anyway with the lights working again (and a faulty ABS sensor also replaced under warranty), I did a 2000km trip over the last week camping in the 'berg and the South Coast with my 3 yr old daughter. All's well that ends well.

    Cheers
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    07 Defender Puma, black and chrome (under the dust)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Age
    41
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Happened to me too. Rubbish Land Rover design that usually takes about 8 years to manifest, but with the new headlamp bulbs they use now it happens a lot sooner.

    Run your headlights through a relay, after doing some research and buying the correct parts, and your problem will be solved.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Port Louis
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Defender Puma headlamps switch failure

    Reviving this thread. I just had this happen to me and I'm in the middle of Angola. Anyone recommend a good bush fix that will let me work the switch normally? I'll install a relay next chance I get. I was thinking maybe trying to melt the plastic a bit and push the rivet back up or putting a little solder on the top.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Somerset West
    Age
    52
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Defender Puma headlamps switch failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulva View Post
    Reviving this thread. I just had this happen to me and I'm in the middle of Angola. Anyone recommend a good bush fix that will let me work the switch normally? I'll install a relay next chance I get. I was thinking maybe trying to melt the plastic a bit and push the rivet back up or putting a little solder on the top.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I drilled the contact out and fitted a small round head bolt. It worked well, could have kept it like that, but opted to replace the switch when I had the chance. I did fit the boomslang loom as well.
    Regards,
    Suid-Wes
    2006 Defender 110 Td5

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Port Louis
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Defender Puma headlamps switch failure

    what i ended up doing was to push on the back of the rivet with a soldering iron. once the plastic softened up around it it popped back into place. i then put some solder on the back to hold it in place in case the plastic warms up again during use. seems to be working fine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Langebaanweg
    Age
    42
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Defender Puma headlamps switch failure

    Temporary fix only. Get a boomslang loom or let a autolec help you if you struggle.

    I made a type of "plug and play" loom for mine.

    It plugs in between the original light plugs but it has an incorporated relay to lighten the load.
    '07 Land Rover Defender 110 TDI 300 Kalahari (Meisiekind˛)

    84' Land Rover Defender 110 V8 4-speed Hardtop (Meisiekind) Sold after 12 years of fun and hard work




    The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for a good man to do nothing.

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