I have noticed a problem recently with my Acura Integra's driver side 9006 headlight low-beam bulb. At first I thought the bulb was burnt out and needed replacement; however upon inspection I noticed that it is not burnt out, just not illuminating for some reason.

Simply removing then replacing the bulb from the headlight housing socket (still connected to the wiring) will sometimes illuminate the bulb, and if that doesn't work disconnecting the 9006 bulb and clicking it back in will light it up.

This is obviously not ideal and I believe will cause my bulb to burn out prematurely eventually, What could be the root of this issue?

  • 1
    If you move the bulb from left to right, does the bulb then come on? Feb 19, 2016 at 14:40
  • Within the housing or outside of it? I have not tried that, but my guess is that is that it probably would. I'll give it a try shortly
    – John Dream
    Feb 19, 2016 at 14:44
  • I'm talking about the sides of the vehicle ... changing the current bulb over to the complete other side (passenger to driver side, or visa-versa). Also, check the "good" side in your problem side to see if it works. You are checking to see if the problem follows the bulb or the socket. Feb 19, 2016 at 14:46
  • Oh I see, that does seem like a great method to diagnose the source of the issue, if it happens on the others side when switched it should be the bulb, if on the same side after being switched then It could be the socket/wiring
    – John Dream
    Feb 19, 2016 at 14:55
  • Just curious - does the light come on if you tap it (medium force)? I noticed that with halogen bulbs, a medium-level tap may bring it back to life for a bit.
    – code4life
    Feb 19, 2016 at 21:00

2 Answers 2


Sounds like the bulb socket is corroded. You could try spraying it with contact cleaner, or trim an emery board to fit and giving a couple of passes with that to remove the corrosion. With any cleaning method, I'd recommend putting a little petroleum jelly on the bulb contacts to try to prevent any further corrosion.


The filament could be broken in one spot, and moving the bulb could be shaking it so the broken section makes contact again and it illuminates.

I've seen this before with household light bulbs. I'll go to remove the bulb (with the power on - I know, not a "best practice") and turning the bulb a little will make it come back on momentarily as the pieces of filament touch.

Unless you suspect an electrical wiring fault, just replace both of the headlight bulbs - its probably time to replace them and the new bulbs will be brighter just because they are new.

  • Yes it may not be a best practice, although it probably doesn't matter as much with a car, but in my case that seems to be the only way to get them to come on. Once on I notice no difference in brightness and actually my bulbs are pretty bright
    – John Dream
    Feb 19, 2016 at 14:49
  • I meant not a best practice in a house. A 12v headlight isn't going to kill you if you somehow managed to get shocked. If you can (gently) shake the headlight and it doesn't turn on and off or flicker, than it could very well be a corroded or "stretched out" electrical contact as @TMN said above.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 19, 2016 at 14:52

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