I have a 2001 Saturn SL2 that is having a problem with one of its headlights. When I turn on the headlights, frequently one is not lighting. If I go to the front and give the lens a quick knock, it turns on and stays on until I turn the headlights off. It doesn't flicker or show signs of a loose connection. I have cleaned the connector and that hasn't helped. I'm out of ideas at this point and hope someone can suggest a next step.

  • 2
    Have you tried replacing the bulb itself? It could be that the filament is loose and reconnects with the little bump. Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 0:38
  • I hadn't thought of that since it appeared to turn on and stay on. I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.
    – TinfoilHat
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 0:41
  • Thank you! I did change out the bulb and that appears to have fixed it. I did look at the filament under a magnifying glass and still didn't see where it was failing. Thank you again for your help!
    – TinfoilHat
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:22
  • There is also something attached to the rear of the headlight called a calibrator or something it looks like a battery pack. There's usually a headlight frame too accessible from underneath the car to take the headlight out. Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 5:56

1 Answer 1


My suggestion is that the filament inside of the bulb is loose. When you rap on it, it reconnect briefly, which lights the bulb. It will continue to do this until it completely burns out. This will probably require a replacement bulb to fix.

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