2007 HID Headlight issues, already replaced bulb and ballast

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Jason Sayre, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. Jason Sayre

    Jason Sayre New Member

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    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    So I started having the issue with my drivers side headlight going out and saw the many threads regarding issues with the bulbs and ballast. I started out purchasing a new bulb, from ebay
    TOYOTA PRIUS GENIUNE PART PHILIPS D4R 42406 XENON HID HEADLIGHT LIGHT LAMP OEM
    Came in "Toyota" box. Got the bulb in and still had issues with the light turning off... so then I bought the after market ballast and replaced it yesterday. Light still going off.... Any other suggestions on what to check? Just read the article regarding bulbs, going to pull out the one I just got and have a better look at it.... Not all HID Bulbs are created equal | PriusChat

    From what I've understood, most issues were fixed either replacing the bulb or ballast, being mechanically inclined, I hate taking the car to the shop for anything that I know I can do myself. If I can get it apart, I can get it back together, but its when you don't know what to do next is the issue.
     
  2. Jason Sayre

    Jason Sayre New Member

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    2007 Prius
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    Five
    Well, I think I'm going to start with swapping the bulbs from side to side, then if it persists on drivers side, swap the ballasts and see what happens.
    I know there was a class action for this, but I'm way outside that extended warranty. Is there any value in trying to call toyota to get the issue resolved?
     
  3. Bill Gibson

    Bill Gibson Junior Member

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  4. Bill Gibson

    Bill Gibson Junior Member

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    Did you ever get this fixed? What was the fix? I have the same problem. I see on You Tube some are thinking it's the ballast. I see others are just switching out from HID to LED. That's the direction I'm probably going to go.
     
  5. Prius Dragster

    Prius Dragster Junior Member

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    2007 Prius
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    Two
    I had/have similar issues with my 2007 Prius. The driver's side headlight would come and go, always turning on right away so state safety inspection was not an issue. The headlight would turn off for no apparent reason and turning the headlight switch off and back on again would always bring it back, but there was no telling when it would decide to turn off again. I thought I had the problem narrowed down to driving over bumps and/or moisture in the air, but those theories were not 100% conclusive either.

    I followed the YouTube video in which the female tech shows how to remove the entire headlight assembly in minutes (I have small hands but there was no way I was going to loosen that twisting plastic seal on the rear of the headlight assembly with it still mounted in the car. I left blood evidence and currently have small scars to prove it.) When I initially addressed this issue in early January, I found that the HID bulb on the driver's side had two small cloudy spots inside the bulb, similar to when we used to find television tubes that had gone bad. (Showing my age here.) After additional research, I read that the ballasts in general are good for about 7 years before they are susceptible to crapping out as well. Armed with this Internet knowledge (It has to be true, right?) I ordered 2 new Philps Xenon HID bulbs and 2 new Denso D4R Xenon HID Headlight Ballast Control Modules. At the time, the ballasts were $31.99 each on ebay and took forever to come from China. I don't recall the price of the bulbs but there were an Amazon purchase. I purchased 2 bulbs because I also read that with HID bulbs, one may be brighter than the other upon installation if you do only one.

    Today was the day to attack the headlights in Winchester, VA. Beautiful sunny day in the 70's. In February. I'll take it. Each headlight was a slow and methodical process; the removal aspect was easy since I had done it once before. The ballasts were another issue. There is yet another YouTube video out there in which the guy shows a step-by-step (kind of) for replacing the ballasts. The hard part is interchanging some parts and wiring from the old ballast wire harness to the new one. The new ballasts show up with connectors that are not identical to those in the Prius. In addition, in order to get new wiring from the new ballast to the HID bulb connector, you need to pull apart brand new connectors and adapters and fish what is left of them through the headlight assembly due to a narrow, restrictive passage way when the headlight lense is still in place. Was not going to remove the lease. Was not going to pull apart a factory sealed and clamped connector in order to try the fish-the-wires-through method. I spliced wires. Don't tell anyone.

    When the new ballasts show up, at least the ones I bought, the cable from the ballast to the HID bulb connection is shorter than the factory one by about 2 inches. This was not appreciated and I am crafting a strongly worded letter to Mr. Denso to let him know my feelings on this matter. Anyway, I cut old wire from the old connection harness and spliced the pieces into the new harness. I had to remember to fish the new ballast wires through the narrow and restrictive headlight assembly space BEFORE I spliced the correct HID bulb connector back in place. Forgot to do this on headlight #2. Not the end of the world but definitely a forehead slapper before I undid and re-spliced everything in the correct order.

    As I finished each headlight, I reinstalled it and turned the headlights on to be sure my splicing efforts actually worked. I then bolted the headlight and front bumper back in place, again, addressing one side at a time.

    With my level of expertise (medium-to-low) coupled with my access to tools, places to work, and cleaning areas in the engine compartment before reinstalling the completed headlight assemblies, the whole process of addressing both headlights took about 41/2 hours. Both headlights work as of now, and both appear to have an equal brightness to them. I will let you know if I put too much $$ into a problem that still occurs in the future. Remember when you could buy a replacement headlight for under $20 and replace it under 15 minutes? It's a good thing Toyota nipped that problem in the bud.......
     
  6. Bill Gibson

    Bill Gibson Junior Member

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  7. Bill Gibson

    Bill Gibson Junior Member

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    So you stayed with HID and replaced the bulbs and the ballasts?
    I'm confused now. Some commented that replacing the HID bulbs with new HID bulbs and new ballasts didn't fix the flickering, on/off problem with the lights. One guy replaced the HID system and went to LED but has a problem with FM radio interference.
    My car is a 2007. The year is now 2018. Does anyone have a 2007 Prius that has had the headlight problem fixed and has been worry free for 3 or more years? If so, please let me know how it was fixed.
     
  8. Prius Dragster

    Prius Dragster Junior Member

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    Not sure about that one. I am new to the Prius game and while I like some things about this car, other things have me scratching my head. I am HOPING that all new headlight parts that tend to wear out with age will do the trick. I read that the LED conversion is very expensive if you have someone else do the work. I don't believe I have the tools and know-how to accomplish that task on my own. As background, I purchased my used Prius back in December 2017. Since then, I have found half-assed repair attempts or at least a tight-wad mindset repairs that I discovered when addressing other issues. I also curse the "extended warranty" that expired basically when I bought the car. Regarding the headlights - At the very least, the driver's side headlight had been addressed before, and the passenger side may have received at least a bulb. How do I know? the back plastic casing of the headlight assembly on the driver's side was cracked in three places and the spin-off access cover had pieces of plastic missing that could easily allow moisture to get in (allegedly certain death for both ballast connector and the bulb.) I addressed the cracks in the black plastic rear cover the best I could and am hoping my efforts will do the trick. If not, a new headlight assembly? We will see. It's only money......
     
  9. nevergetany

    nevergetany Junior Member

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    My 2007 Prius was out of warranty too, but I got a letter from Toyota saying to take it into a dealership and they would replace the BULBS for no charge. If you still have the original bulbs that came with it put them back in and take it to the dealership and remind them about the recall on headlight bulbs. However, if you (or the prior owner) already did that THEN DO NOT go back to the original bulbs, as that issue has already been taken care of. IF that recall issue has not been taken care of yet, and you do not have the original bulbs, then you can still have the recall issue taken care of. I had mine taken care of, and it was fine for about 2 or 3 years, and then the problem started again. I found out that the bulb was not making good contact (on the drivers side). They removed the rust, and the drivers side has been good since. Now I have issues with the passenger side. The mechanic checked it out and there was no rust (the last time {several weeks ago} they did find corrosion and cleaned it up). But the problem still persists. I purchased 2 new HID lights. Drivers side has no issue; Passenger side still does. I think it is not making good contact. So maybe it is either loose connection; bad wiring; or the ballast; or a combination of any of these items. I saw the parts man who works for the dealership today (6/29/18); and he mentioned he thought there was an ballast update and for me to check in to find out about it. A mechanic told me, if I do buy a ballast, get 2 of them, and have both ballast replaced and keep the old ballast for backup in case a ballast goes out again.
     
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