2009 Prius - Headlight Issue

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Chris Montague, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Chris Montague

    Chris Montague Junior Member

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    Fine Folks -

    Need a bit of assistance here. Working with a 2009 Prius. Changed from OEM halogens awhile back since they sucked, and no issues until two days ago. At this point, low beams will not work - not if I juggle the stalk, not anytime. High beams work quite well, as do all other lights.

    I've checked fuses, and switched them (All 10's) just to be sure - nothing. I'm noticing no other electrical defects, and I've got no warning indicators on my dash. When I turn the lights on (in theory) the 'lights on' indicator does illuminate.

    I've read that Toyota settled a class-action lawsuit dealing with something that seemed extremely similar to the issues I'm facing - I'm unsure if I can take advantage of this in my case, and what my recourse would be.

    I know this is a noob question as soon as I ask it, but here goes: Can a headlight burn out only on the 'low' setting and still be completely fine on 'high'? I'll be specific - these aren't HID bulbs, just Sylvania (I believe) OEM replacements. The bulbs seem to be properly positioned and are secure, and the high beam seems very bright, as you'd expect - basically, the bulbs seem normal outside of lacking the 'low' functionality.

    My sincere thanks for any help which might be forthcoming....

    Chris
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Some bulbs do have two filaments, and one could burn out first.

    [​IMG]
    Sadly this was the clearest picture I found.
     
  3. Chris Montague

    Chris Montague Junior Member

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    Jimbo -

    Thanks for your response. I can see what you mean even in the smaller pic....but it is likely / possible that both would burn out at exactly the same time? Neither has more than 1 year service in this vehicle, and I'd guess maybe 8 months at most. There are no mods to this vehicle and it has less than 60K on it (my wifes car).

    If I need to buy new bulbs, I'll do it for sure - but it just seems really weird that the highs work and the lows don't, on bulbs which haven't seen that much usage. It's also interesting to me that the car doesn't seem to know that the headlights aren't working...which to me potentially suggested something electrical.
     
  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    High and Low may be on separate fuses.(this indicates all 4 are each a separate fuse) http://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/om/OM47614U/pdf/sec_04_03.pdf Page 399 of the manual, page 47 of the PDF

    Anecdotally, I was once called in to find a blown circuit breaker for the exit lights in a High School Gym. We found several good breakers and 504 burned out bulbs.
     
  5. Chris Montague

    Chris Montague Junior Member

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    Jimbo -

    I had a similar thought actually. I checked each fuse (I believe they're 26-29? something in that range anyway) individually for defect and found zippy. I then switched their positioning (moved 26+27 to the 28 and 29 slots, and vice versa) to see if there was another fuse related variable I couldn't see. No change - highs still worked, lows still nothing. I'm sensing that you feel like the next step would simply be a bulb replacement - correct?
     
  6. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If you have a voltmeter, you could test for 12 volts across the leads, with out tools I would buy a bulb or two.
     
  7. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    With the lights on, will the high-beams shine? (as in get power?) Have you tried new bulbs? The halogens do have two filaments in them - One for Low-beam and one for High-beam. My low beams always burnt out before the high-beams would. I'm not sure which aftermarket bulbs you used, but when I used silver-stars, or Phillips (X-treeme, and the Crystal Ultra) the extra brightness came with a short life. I changed my bulbs almost every 3 months! Which is why I converted to HID, that A-zon site has several easy to install HID kits for less than $50. Yes you could argue that it blinds other drivers etc... I've found that after installation a good alignment avoids the glare to oncoming traffic and works well the HID system lasts about 12 months or more which is okay with me.

    I hope its just a case of burnt out bulbs and noting major. Please let us know what you find once you get your lights working again. Good luck!

    Oh and FYI, the class action suit was for the OEM-HID bulbs. Sadly not the dim halogens...
     
    #7 Daves09prius, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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  8. epoch_time

    epoch_time Member

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    Hi Chris I just happen to have the diagrams out working other problems for other priuschat users.

    Your low beam relay contacts are shot..bad..nogood. The relay in the schematic is labled DIM it should be under the hood next to the H-LP relay. the only other posibility is both left and right low beam bulbs are bad..

    Wish you knew someone in your area that would swap Dim relays momentarily with you..

    Are your bulbs pulling to much current what wattage are they...

    my 2009 prius still has orignal bulbs. I had to replace fender and removed one of the bulbs so I could learn how its done..
    I found the headlight socket was rather cooked looking with just standard wattage orignal lamps.. so be carfull if running higher wattage bulbs..
    Hope this helps Chris..
     
    #8 epoch_time, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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