Burning/Rubber Smell After Replacing Headlights

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by xPRIUSx, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. xPRIUSx

    xPRIUSx New Member

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    Yesterday I replaced the headlights and high beams in my 2010 Prius. I drove about 30 miles during the day after replacing them and didn’t smell anything, also didn’t have heat on. I drove home last night with the lights on and turned the heat up to 75, with the air at mid-level and smelled a burning plastic/rubber smell. This has never happened before so I’m assuming I made some kind of mistake while changing the bulbs. It’s also the first time in about 6 months that I’ve turned the heat on, so I’m not sure if that is related or not. Any advice is appreciated!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    tough call. did you koch any wiring?

    i would start by going for a drive without the heat, eliminate one possibility and focus on the other.

    be careful of headlight wiring, it has caused fires.
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Has there been an incident where that was clearly the cause?

    I know there have been multiple Gen 3 fires starting in the right fender front area, and it was even suggested a couple years ago that it could be headlight-wiring-related (and the person posting that suggestion was me, so I do think it's possible), but I don't remember seeing any incident where an origin in the headlight wiring was really confirmed. I could have missed one though.

    Seems like often the cars are so toasty afterward that it's tough to say where it started....

    -Chap
     
  4. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    I’ve installed cheap parking bulbs before and the wires were hot to the touch after 10 mins. It left a small burnt mark on the headlight surface. Yanked them out so fast for another set that so better in quality and no hot wires. Avoid cheap bulbs if that was the route.
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i haven't seen one, but thought it had been confirmed. better to err on the side of caution i guess.
     
  6. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    OP, did you confirm that you installed/seated the bulbs properly? Many people have difficulty installing the bulbs, especially in the tight passenger side. Mounting a bulb crooked has often resulted in burned/melted plastic in the headlight housing. Maybe that's what you are smelling?

    An off angle headlight bulb will have very poor light output and will be easy to spot.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  7. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    since nobody's thought to ask, did you replace with the same brand you took out?? If you "upgraded" perhaps the current draw with the new bulbs is greater than with stock bulbs. in which case more current, more heat, melting time! as Bisco suggested, eliminate the heater from the equation, see if you still have the smell.... let us know what you find, good luck!
     
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  8. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Another first post thread that's abandoned by the OP, with no updates.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  9. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Hmm, still no update by the OP. Hopefully, he didn't crash into something driving with incorrectly installed bulb(s). Or his Prius didn't burn up in flames.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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