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Best headlight assembly replacement?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by PriusHead05, Aug 21, 2023.

  1. PriusHead05

    PriusHead05 Member

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    I have tried to polish and restore my headlights and it worked for about a year, but now they are clouding up again and have micro cracks. One headlight now holds a lot of condensation. In y'all's opinion and experience, what brand of headlights seem to hold up the longest for the money? I know obviously the OEM Toyota (Koito) headlights are the best, but I don't want to spend $300+ on ONE headlight if I don't have to. Thanks in advance. My headlights are currently the original assemblies from 2012. My Prius just turned over 228k mi. on original motor, trans, HV battery, and brake actuator. I just took a 500 mi trip from Florida to South Carolina and it drove like brand new. No problems.
     
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  2. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    So you have the single projector type Gen 3 headlights not the 13 and up or whatever year it started double projector headlights I don't even know if the aftermarket's covered those yet but if you're just a regular generation 3 headlight you know has the fake projector which is just plastic it's not a real shuttered projector and an open high beam and your regular turn signal just like I have on my persona you know TC whoever it is TCL or the big replacement manufacturer that you see on eBay and that's delivered to your local body shops all over the country they make replacement lamp assemblies for everybody I have their brand on my generation 2 Prius I haven't really replaced generation 3's yet I'm trying to replace those whole cars not just headlights not really been a satisfying thing for us the generation 3 I mean they're okay but nothing like the generation 2 that I still drive and will not be getting out of
     
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  3. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Have you tried junk yards?
    Of course there is ebay, amazon, rockauto. But something always seems to fit not quite right.
    I finally had to resort to the sandpaper methode after polishing didn't seem to work as it did
    the first two times. I didn't get fine enough paper though, but it did clear them a lot.
    I think I have 1 or 2 more times for this before having to replace them.

     
  4. PriusHead05

    PriusHead05 Member

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    Yeah, I tried the polishing, but my headlights still have the micro cracks and it is holding condensation, so polishing isn't an option anymore.
     
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  5. PriusHead05

    PriusHead05 Member

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    Yes, I just have the regular projector. No fancy LED or anything.
     
  6. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    I had condensation...fixed that years ago by drilling 2 very small holes through the plastic near the bottom on the side. I have also cleared yellowed lenses on other cars using a 3M kit that includes different grits of sandpaper, polisher and sealer...and a spindle to do the sanding with a hand drill.
     
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  7. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Yeah like I say for those the aftermarket has you covered I think the main one of the main suppliers I believe it's the TCL I believe it is If you look on eBay you will see a lot of their lights for a lot of different model cars I have seen that brand installed by body shops locally it gets delivered to them with their fenders and hoods and other stuff they order from their suppliers that brand is also on eBay possibly Amazon also I wouldn't think they would be super expensive either about similar to the generation 2 headlamps. It's the dual projectors with LEDs that are a thousand bucks a pop and as far as I know no aftermarket support yet if at all. I do run S1 series LED low beams and high beams in my regular generation 3 headlights and low beam cut-off is very good.
     
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  8. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    I use that same sandpaper kit or cleaning methodology from mothers I think has the same setup the $1,400 grit sandpaper and all that kind of stuff and I've drilled my tail lights on my 2013 at the very bottom some moisture can pass through and run right out done that on a bunch of generation 3s I have never done the headlights yet because I'm usually replacing those so I can get back to clear but so far on generation 3 I've been able to clean and just let em go. I'm really not trying to replace lamp assemblies on the generation 3 I'm hoping they'll last until the cars are no longer and we can just be finished.
     
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  9. PriusHead05

    PriusHead05 Member

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    Are those the Sealight brand? And yes, I know what you're talking about. It like TLC or TRQ or something like that. All I know is not to get the Eagle Eye brand. I had those in my '95 F-150 and they were trash. The adjusters were not even attached properly and they just rattled. So the headlights could never be adjusted properly.
     
  10. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    AUX Beam brand S1 series . I think they're S2 series just hit the market. So those is the ones you would get now in the h8 and H11 designation for a generation 3 I think you can still get the s ones if you want but the S2 has the latest cob elements blah blah blah all the nonsense. They are on Amazon seller their boxes black and orange with white writing.
     
  11. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    The headlights I drilled holes in was not my Prius....it was my wife's (not my girlfriend's) Cadillac SRX.
     
  12. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    It doesn't last forever, but each time it lasted about a year. I had watched a video recently with a
    person that did pretty much what I did and he realized he had to wet sandpaper them. And they looked
    great afterward. That's where I'm at. I do very little driving in the dark, usually just 30 minutes in the
    morning once in a while, so it's not that important to me. And sandpaper is a lot cheaper than the assembly....

     
  13. OptimusPriustus

    OptimusPriustus Active Member

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    Micro cracks are probably in the lacquer layer, not in the actual plastic. I’d be surprised if plastic is cracked. I have restored couple headlights the hard way meaning wet sandings and pastes and finally 2k clearcoat and polishing by wet sanding and paste.. They came out really good. One need to go deep enough, cut through the lacquer. And 2k clear coat is a must, anything else wont last. They sell it in spray cans, one just need to crack the hardener cell at the bottom of can, shake and start coating.

    I also have led’s in low beam projectors. Philips Ultinon H11. Pattern is really good and sharp although not road legal here. White car looks 10 years younger with white led’s.

    edit: i must say that when i was midway the restoration and headlights were completely matt and there was no turning back, it was bit scary moment.
     
    #13 OptimusPriustus, Sep 23, 2023
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2023
  14. Tootilou

    Tootilou New Member

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    I would also like help with my 2011 Prius headlights. I recently hit a deer. Definitely must replace the passenger side- so since foggy want to do both. I ordered online replacement headlights but they won’t work or I dont know how. My originals have a Toyota controller on the side of the lamp. Plus I have 3 lights in my lamp not 2. Sadly I reassembled my car with the old ones. I am hoping the advice you get will also help me. Thanks.
     
  15. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    So it sounds like you two have the dual projector LEDs on the 2011 so when you look at the headlights you have two with Coke bottle thick lenses in each housing is this correct? Then you have the very expensive LED dual projector headlight setup that has a separate controller which is kind of like an HID ballast I think and the light bulbs may be attached to wires that go to this controller or ballast and that screw in plug in or insert into the dual projector headlights that you're looking to replace so when you buy or go looking for these headlights you have to specify they're not regular generation 3 headlights that have one projector in each headlight for the low beam the high beam is wide open and there's the marker the 194 or whatever bulb. You have an extra projector that means you have the $1,300 aside LED and controller assembly which are two pieces I'm just guessing on the cost I don't know if the aftermarket is covering this yet or maybe just the housing but not the controller so if you're controller gets taken out you're buying that from a junk car or a dealer and maybe if you ask correctly you might be able to get the housing but I'm not sure I haven't personally checked.