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LED headlights disappoint

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by yeldogt, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. yeldogt

    yeldogt Member

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    I driven about 500 miles in the past 10 days with the new 2011 five. Quite disappointed with the LED headlights -- the cutoff is a bit too low and the fog lights are worthless. For those with the LED option -- Notice the same low cutoff? I love the HID's in my other cars - so I know what good lights can do.

    I had the dealer find me a five mostly for the lights and also to eliminate the hubcap problem. In addition, I was praying for a little better handling with the 17" tires. I'm really surprised how bad this car is on the highway at speed.
  2. Judgeless

    Judgeless Senior Member

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    Once a week there is a new thread like this. I hate my car!!, The Prius sucks!!, Should I get rid of this car!!, ect….

    I wish they would just close post like this. They are fake.
    Alice Mya and cwerdna like this.
  3. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Aim the headlights a little higher and add a new rear sway bar. The bar goes on an comes off very easily without permanent mods.

    The LEDs were designed to lower electrical consumption, not to necessarily out perform a great set of HID projectors. They accomplished the goal of being better than the halogens and bringing consumption down.

    Maybe you should have test driven this trim model before buying?
  4. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    There are threads about this and in them they describe how to aim them higher. As for handling, I've got no problems with it. It's a Prius, not a Corvette, it won't handle like one of them. Heck, my Prius V is no worse then my Acura TL Type S was on the highway IMO.
  5. yeldogt

    yeldogt Member

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    Yes FL8..... I would have preferred to drive the Five prior to purchase -- but I was unable to find one at any dealer near me to test out. They had to bring this one in. Having the HID's on my other cars and having driven LED's on a new BMW I was expecting more. The prius lights are self leveling -- so I have no idea of the adjustments. Having the observations of others with the option would be helpful when I return to the dealer at 1k. (they do a free checkup/ oil change)

    As to the sway bar -- is this something you have installed? I was driving last night on Interstate 95 and the car became a bit "touchy" "twitchy" -- I had to slow down a bit.


    Judgeless: Can't understand your tone or your feeling about a post being "fake" -- who/ why? It's a car -- most are not perfect and that is what gets discussed. Your not living up to your name:)


    Paradox: I will search more -- I did not see one addressing this. While I was not expecting german small car handling out of the Prius ... I guess I was expecting a little more. I'm sure this will be an ongoing issue as people add this type of car.
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Ah that makes sense. Some areasdon't always have a good selection of trim levels.

    The self leveling system adjusts for load but is still adjustable up and down as any normal car. You can do a search in this forum for a how to. It should be fairly easy but be careful you don't go higher than is unsafe or DoT legal.

    I've done the swaybar on my GenII and have friends who have done iron the GenIII. It helps with reducing body sway and keeping the rear end planted. It may help with. Some of the twitchy feeling but high winds will always cause some twitchiness unfortunately. Ensure your tires are between manufacture spec psi levels and max psi listed on your tire. That will help withhandlingand gas mileage. If you have Toyo tires then keep a very close eye on them because they could be defective!

    The car will always be more touchy than your BMW but you get used to it quick and the gas savings make up for it. :)
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Tyre pressure may also have something to do with the highway twitchiness. Make sure they're not overinflated as that may reduce contact with the road. The Prius is susceptible to crosswind as it is pretty slab-sided but I would've thought the wider 215mm tyres with the Five would reduce that susceptibility.
  8. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    As mentioned, some Fives arrive from the factory with them aimed too low so all you have to do is search for the threads on how to raise them. They should be just like the HIDs that you're used to.
  9. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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  10. yeldogt

    yeldogt Member

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    Thanks for the link -- the posters in that thread with the LED's are speaking of the same problem. I'll try raising mine a bit.

    On weekends we are normally driving on curving country roads with little light and too many deer. So good lights are important.

    The LED headlights throw off a fair amount of light - different color - bit on the cool blue side. Maybe when I raise them the light will be less concentrated just in front of the car and the fog lights will be more noticeable. Currently you have to really pay attention when you turn them on to see any difference -- maybe they can be adjusted also.

    Thanks so much for the help - I'm also going to recheck the tire pressure -- they are Bridgestone.
  11. jsharpe

    jsharpe Member

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    +1

    Mine were aimed ridiculously low from the factory. Simply raising them a bit completely solved the problem without causing problems for oncoming drivers (I was careful not to go too high and never get flashed when on low beams.)
  12. movingforward

    movingforward Member

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  13. Azipod

    Azipod Member

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    I agree with getting the rear-brace. It will really improve the handling.
  14. yeldogt

    yeldogt Member

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    I raised the lights 10 notches this morning -- just took it for a drive -- much improved .... but still need to go a little more.

    Still not seeing any difference with the fogs.


    Thanks all
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    That's because OEM fog lights are little more than decoration. If you want more light then consider retrofitting driving lights in the foglight housing. Even good foglights do little more than cast more light on the ground directly in front of the car which reduces long distance vision due to retinal contraction. That's why great projector headlights have foreground limiters. :)
  16. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Most cars need to go aftermarket to make a really big difference.
  17. Azipod

    Azipod Member

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    Anyone know of any driving light that's closely shaped like the factory fogs? That way the entire housing can be mount in the same place...
  18. yeldogt

    yeldogt Member

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    I'm feeling much better about the LED lights. They do throw quite a bit of light to the sides ...... and like I mentioned .... maybe when I get them correctly aimed the fogs will be needed for fill in.

    From what I remember the fogs only come on the five ..correct? So one would think that they would be matched to the LED's.

    I'm a bit spoiled in the light department -- both the cars I normally drive have complex headlights -- one with directional beams ....

    From all accounts the LED's are they way all will be going so these should be cutting edge.

    I'll be taking it to the city on Wednesday for the first urban suspension workout. I'm wondering about my parking lot ramp!
  19. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Not necessarily. For them to be functional, they should be more like 3000K to improve visibility in adverse weather conditions.
  20. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I think retrofitting into the oem housing is likely the only way to go unless you have mad fabrication skills. :)
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