Toyota RAV4 Headlights Not Working: Causes & How to Fix

It is not a bright idea to drive around town when your headlights aren’t functioning properly. Interestingly, the headlight technology of your Toyota RAV4 is not as complicated as you think. You can fix the headlamps if they are not working properly.

The technique for fixing the lights will depend largely on what the problem is. This is why we will show you the likely causes of your headlight malfunctions before discussing how to fix them. Let’s dive straight in.

toyota rav4 headlights not working

Common Toyota RAV4 Headlight Problems and Fixes

When headlights malfunction, it is either a physical issue with your bulbs or an electrical issue. This is why you need to figure out the problem very quickly and note the kind of failure you are experiencing.

A single headlight isn’t working

Usually, this occurs when a bulb has burned out. To fix this, simply replace the bulb. If you carry out this operation and the bulb still does not work, then you may have a fuse or wiring problem. Lest we forget, it is possible to have high-intensity headlights fail because of their associated components. In this case, you should seek professional help.

No headlight is working

It could be a problem of burned bulbs. However, it may also be a result of a lack of power. This may equally be due to a broken fuse or circuit. You can try replacing the bulbs to see if that is the problem. However, it is important to note that all your bulbs will scarcely burn out at the same time.

Most times when you have a total headlight failure, it is due to bad connections. It could also result from bad components such as modules, relays, or fuses. When the wiring is bad, the headlights will also malfunction.

High or low beam lights don’t work

Sometimes, your RAV4’s headlights function but either the high or low beam features are out of place. In this situation, the lights will function in one state and fail to respond in the other.

This could be an issue with the relay or high beam switch. Another probable cause could be a bulb that is burned out. To be certain that the bulb is the problem, check to see if it is just a single bulb that fails to function in any of the modes. If this happens, then you need to replace the bulb.

Here is something very important for you to note: when your headlights malfunction in this manner, it is likely the relay or switch that is to blame. As such, you should replace the relay first to see if there are desired changes. If the problem persists, talk to a professional to check the switch.

Headlights are working but they are dim

This is a very common issue with Toyota RAV4. It could be a problem with worn-out bulbs. Another possible cause could be the charging system. Finally, your lenses could be foggy.

Based on the suggested causes, here are three possible fixes. The first thing you should do is to clean your lenses to rid them of fogginess. If this doesn’t work, then you may need to change your bulbs if they have been there for a while. Lastly, fix the charging system if it is the issue.

Asides from the problems mentioned above, there are several other less common headlight issues. These could stem from bad bulbs, relay issues, bad switches, and broken circuits, or bad wiring. We suggest that you should contact a licensed technician to help if you are not sure of what the problem is.

Toyota RAV4 – Both Headlights Not Working? Here’s What to Do

There are times when all was well before you left home. Suddenly, you are on the road and both headlights die out. What do you do when this happens?

The first thing to do is: remain calm. Assess the situation logically. When all your headlights go out at the same time, it is very unlikely that it is your bulbs. The only exception to this is if different lights have been burning out over time.

The easy way to determine if it is the bulbs that have problems is with a voltmeter. This is why you should own one if you have a car. A voltmeter will help you ascertain if power is reaching the headlights or not.

To do this, switch on the headlights first. Now, connect the negative lead of your voltmeter to a good ground (earth). After doing this, connect the positive lead to the connector terminal of each headlight. If your problem is burned bulbs, then one terminal will show battery voltage while the other two will not.

This will help you determine if your problem is bulbs or not. If it is the bulbs, then you can quickly replace them. However, if it is something else, then you need a professional to help you out.

Headlights and Electrical System Issues

Sometimes, you’ll notice that the headlamps of your RAV4 are dim when you ignite the engine and that they get brighter when you drive the car. This is a result of electrical system issues.

It could be a loose belt or a bad alternator. Sometimes, your charging system may not be working properly. As such, the battery cannot match up with the needs of your lights. To fix this issue, you may need to change your alternator or stiffen the cap. Your best option is to contact an accredited technician to resolve the problem.


There are so many issues that could make your Toyota RAV4 headlights to not work. We have discussed a few in this post along with possible solutions. Is there something else we overlooked to address? Share this with us in the comments section.