One or Both Head Lights May Not Work on Volkswagen Beetle

Problem Description and Possible Solution

One or both head lights may not work due to premature head light bulb burnout and/or bulb harness failure. Care should be taken to inspect the head light harness connector for damage when replacing bulbs. Damaged connectors should be replaced.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 68,964 (11,650–230,000)
13 model years affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, more2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
180 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 116 comments
passenger lowbeam quit working, replaced bulb, still not working
Driver side low beam was out. I swapped the low beam fuses and the driver side was still out but the passenger side still worked.
The I swapped the passenger side low beam bulb with the drivers side one.
Same results, no driver side low beam. Seems like a harness or connector problem.
Still cold out so I'll wait for warmer weather to continue trouble shooting this problem.
Getting the headlight assembly out (and back in) is a REAL pain.
2008 beetle has had 2 passenger and 2 driver side headlight failures AND HAS TO BE FIXED AT THE DEALER. ~$100 EACH EXCEPT FIR THE ONE UNDER WARRANTY. Ridiculous!! I will not buy another VW ever...Spent $300 for headlight bulbs. CALL VW AMERICA AND COMPLAIN

The light will go out if you run over a bump in road or push on headlights they will come on let off pressure and the go out.
Seems like constantly replacing headlight bulbs
Right headlight now working. Put in a new bulb, checked fuses, still doesn't work. Maybe wiring?
both low beam headlights not working
headlight bulbs keep burning out Cheaply made plastic housings break at retainers and clips
The Passenger side low beam would flicker out, but if I tapped the hood it would come back on. Then is just wouldn't come on, but if I tapped the hood it would come back on, unless I hit a bump in the road, then I was out again.
Now it won't come on at all, the high beams work on both sides.
I took it to a mechanic and they said I needed a whole new assembly and that a dealer would have to do it.
I'm going to have to wait, that is just too expensive. I plan to sell the car.
Within the past year I have replaced my headlight 3 times. The last trip to the dealer they said needed to replace the headlight carrier that there was a bad connection. More research I have found other people having similar problems
The headlight lamp socket burned several times, thought is was the bulb, not... I just purchased 2 headlamp sockets @ $2.87 pc. I'm going to replace them myself. I don't wish to spend $300 to replace the entire lamp. I have 129,000 miles and plan to by a new car in a few months.
Replacing one or both headlight low beam every six month at average. Harness also not engaging firmly which at times causes lights to fail. Poor design and problematic
Both headlights will not work, bulbs replaced (very price), harness, even took to the dealership and they weren't able to dx.
Had to replace whole light unit.
I purchased my Beetle used. It had 19500 miles. I noticed that the passenger side light was dim. I had it it 3 different times and they said it was fine. Finally it went out all together and they ordered the whole assembly. When I went to have it installed they found a bad connection. I hope that is the end of the problem. I only have 30000 miles now and I am going in again because the glove compartment broke, the sound when I lock my car has stopped and the wheel cover is peeling. I am finding that Volkswagen is not what it used to be. I have had 3 other Volkswagen and never had these problems. I also had the alternator replaced right after I purchased the car. I am glad that I had the orginal warranty left and 2 more years from the dealer.
My left rear turn signal light failed to work a month ago. The indicator is that the turn signal was clicking fast. They fixed the socket. Next the right turn signal was not working. Friday they said it was a loose wire. That evening it stopped working. Today on Wednesday, they replaced the socket.
I have had to replace my burned out bulbs on this vehicle 3 time since I have purchased this 2008 VW beetle. bought it new in April 2008 The design is so poor it's not something the owner wants to do because it's too likely a plastic piece will get broken. I also owned a 2001 VW beetle replacing bulbs at least 4 or 5 times. The cost of taking the car to the dealership to have this done is just under 100.00 and that is not acceptable. Volkswagen should be paying for this because it's not just a small issue. It happens to everyone. Not only that, I can't count the beetles I see drive by me that have headlights out. You can even see it during daylight hours because it's got day time running lights.
2010 Beetle, has had numerous headlight bulb changes. Some bulbs did not appear to be bad upon removal. ( And NO, I didnt touch the bulb with my fingers.) One of the Main problems I have figured out with this model year, is related to poor VW engineering! The headlight connector on the wiring harness is a fixed mount to the body side headlight retainer assembly. When the headlight assembly, containing the bulbs is inserted into the retainer and pushed completely into the housing, and the assembly retainers are set. The wiring harness connector does not fully engage into the connector plug on the back of the headlight assembly. So the light may initially come on, but due to vibrations during driving the lights will again go out. With this apparent lack of full connectivity, the male and female terminal ends are not making the designed electrical contact. The fix I came up with is to remove the headlight assembly and carefully cut away the hard stops that hold the connector body into the body side headlight retainer, then with the additional slack in the harness, plug the connector full into the headlight assembly as you are sliding it into place. It is a tight fit to do this. I then laid a bead of silicone across the top side of the connector and headlight connection point to keep it from slipping out, although it fit fairly nicely when it was fully engaged. One would think after 11 or 12 years of complaints VW would hire an engineer with a degree!
Drivers headlight low and high and drl all work passenger side only the high beam and drl just no low beam