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Headlights Burn Out

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by angelajf07, Dec 20, 2011.

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  1. angelajf07

    angelajf07 New Member

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    Hey! Is anyone else having issues with thier headlights burning out in their 2010 Prius??? I had my bulbs replaced at 49,000 miles and they burned out again before 55,000 miles. They both burned out within two/three days of each other. I took it into the dealership and they weren't helpful at all....
  2. Feri

    Feri Active Member

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    I was having the same problem and I was using good quality Phillips bulbs. Both the OEM and Phillips were burning out after about 5-10,000 Kms. That's why I swithed to HID and have had no trouble since. I don't know if the Prius is prone to surges but I do know that my dealer, who I trust, could not find an electrical problem. That doesn't mean there isn't one.:(
  3. xpcman

    xpcman Active Member

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    It's not the miles. It's the number of hours they are turned on. The second bulbs must have been low quality and/or high output bulbs.
    If the bulbs got oil off the installers fingers then they might crack.
  4. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    The GenII had a horrible problem with their stock HID's burning out and costing their owners hundreds of dollars at each replacement. This is the first I heard of the stock GenIII displaying the same situation. Sorry to hear of your troubles
  5. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I agree with xpcman. If the bulbs were not installed carefully they could have got oil or dirt on them. This will cause heat to concentrate in the dirty area and the bulb will fail prematurely.
  6. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

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    I have about 40k miles and have had to replace the left bulb three times and the right once. It seems to eat bulbs. But my lights are on all the time, so its to be expected.

    Also replaced my front left parking light bulb twice.
  7. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    That doesn't seem right. Unless you are touching the glass part of the bulb each time you replace them. Guess there is a problem with Toyota's lighting system. I remember some of the Acuras of the late '90s doing the same thing.
  8. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Buy cheap, buy twice!


    Get good quality bulbs and be careful how you install them. Two minutes taken being careful will save you time later.
  9. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    You have to be careful. There are many eBay bulbs out there that claim to be Phillips or Osram yet they are Chinese knockoffs that sell for OEM prices. I'm going to try and get the Toaster guy to do a writeup on spotting fake bulbs before purchasing. This mainly applies to HIDs but is applicable to halogens.
    2 people like this.
  10. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

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    You are correct. That doesnt seem right. I do know how to change a light bulb in a car, and no I did not touch the glass.

    Lights are on all the time. Probably 90% city driving. Many on and off cycles stress the bulbs. Phillips lists life of bulb at appox 1800 hours. Which may be close to what I am getting on the left.

    FWIW, my previous Toyota i drove 127k and replaced the right light bulb only once. The left was replaced so many times I dont remember. When a friend bought a Camry I told him to stock up on left lightbulbs. (before you jump in and say that they are not side specific....:D)

    I guess my cars have bad luck with left light bulbs. Unless there is some environmental or mechanical reason the left is more likely to have a shorter life.
  11. toyoyo

    toyoyo New Member

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    Just replaced the first bulb on my 2010 - right side, low beam headlight @ 45k.
  12. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    As has already been said, there are a lot of low quality bulbs out there. A good way to avoid contaminating the bulbs during installation is to put on a new, clean pair of nitrile gloves before handling them. So far I have not replaced any bulbs after 40,000 miles.

    Shock and vibration can also cause bulbs to fail prematurely. Bad roads? High tire pressure?
  13. wbray123

    wbray123 Junior Member

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    FWIW, my previous Toyota i drove 127k and replaced the right light bulb only once. The left was replaced so many times I dont remember. When a friend bought a Camry I told him to stock up on left lightbulbs. (before you jump in and say that they are not side specific....:D)

    I guess my cars have bad luck with left light bulbs. Unless there is some environmental or mechanical reason the left is more likely to have a shorter life.[/QUOTE]

    Could this be an example of lefty loosey, righty tighty?:)
  14. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

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    I think it is a statistical phenomenon.

    I will enquire at the Guiness Book of World Records.

    There is probably some other poor fellow that only has right headlights go out.
  15. hlunde

    hlunde Member

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    I've just replaced my first bulb (low beam) at 35,000 miles and the drivers in my family tend to keep headlights on all the time, i.e., during daylight driving as well as night. I installed a Sylvania/Osram bulb that has a nominal lifetime of 350 hours, and Sylvania claims some degradation in performance before end of life.

    The good news is that these bulbs are very easy to replace in the 2010. Contamination is an issue; I always handle the new bulbs with a clean handkerchief.
  16. hlunde

    hlunde Member

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    Could this be an example of lefty loosey, righty tighty?:)[/QUOTE]

    More likely, there is a headlamp relay near the left front of the car and a long wire to the right -- resulting is a lower operating voltage for the right headlamp.
  17. RRxing

    RRxing Active Member

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    Hmm, I wonder if this is true. I just replaced both low beam bulbs today after the left one burned out (I always replace in pairs and keep the good "old" one as a spare.) In daylight, the new left bulb appears brighter than the new right bulb, although I won't be able to tell for certain until darkness falls.

    It's also possible that I didn't seat the right side bulb properly in the housing, since it's a tight squeeze for my hand, but I re-seated it 2-3 times to make sure, and I think it's in correctly. I'll see what the evening brings...

    UPDATE: Well, it turns out that I didn't have the bulb set correctly in the housing (as I mentioned, it's a tight fit on the right-hand side.) I re-visited the issue today, since it's 59 degrees out, as it was damn cold here earlier in the week and I didn't feel like playing with it then, but I did manage to get the bulb set correctly in the housing, and all is well again. For what it's worth, I managed to do it without removing the bolt holding the air intake tube in place, as is mentioned in the repair manual. It's a pretty tight fit, though, and I had to do it by touch, but it's done.
  18. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    Has anyone had a problem yet with their LED headlights (GenIII, level 5) ?
  19. nooaah

    nooaah New Member

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    Just to chime in, my left bulb went out last month. Went to Pep Boys to get a replacement since it crapped out right before a long ride, and they said it was a "grounding issue" and had nothing to do with the bulb itself.

    It ended up working again, same bulb, for another week and now it's out again. I spoke with a family friend who also has a 2010 pkg 4 and he said he had the same issue with the left bulb. His dealership said it's some sort of manufacturing issue. Still trying to get my car scheduled at my dealership, so I'll update if I hear anything consistent with this story.
  20. PaJa

    PaJa Senior member

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    I had to replace both OEM headlight bulbs. Left side one at around 44kkm and right one at 49kkm just today. Headlights on during the drive are obligatory in my country. I think it is not a bad reliability.
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