Can someone tell me what this "shadow" is, in my headlight beam?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by ES44AC, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    The attached photos show my headlights shining against my garage door.

    On the right side you can see a dark shadow, which in real life has sort of a greenish tint to it. This shadow translates to a dark line on the road in front of the car when I drive, maddening as hell!

    It is not a 'ground shadow' from an HID... I am ready to put HID's in the car BUT... I have to figure out what's causing this shadow. There are no marks of any kind on the light housing or the projector lens..

    I guess the only way to tell if it's the bulb is put another one in it's place and try it. I can't see putting HID's in the headlight nice person'y if there's something wrong with it that isn't obvious. A brighter light would only magnify the defect so there's no sense going down that road.

    Thanks to all who reply.

    I should have never sold my 2011 that I had for years with a lot of mods to make it the way I wanted. Now I'm starting over with another 2011, trying to duplicate all the things I had done to the 1st one <sigh>

    Forewarned is forearmed---- If you have a car you love don't be suckered into buying something that may be different but not 'better'!

    "ES"
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    was it like that when you bought it?
     
  3. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    That is an odd light pattern!
    Could you maybe just swap the left and right bulbs to see if it is an imperfection or debris in the bulb itself? Otherwise, is a small object or even a dead bug in the right projector housing a possibility?
     
  4. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Looks to me like it might be a defective or warped reflector. Could be heat related distortion...melting. As Robert Holt suggested, swap bulbs or even get a spare bulb and change it out for comparison. If you do that and the light pattern remains the same, then the problem is the likely in the housing assembly.
     
  5. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    Sadly yes, but I've only had the car for a few weeks. I've been noticing this black line ahead of the car when driving at night. Now against the garage door I can plainly see the cause of the UN-illuminated area when I drive.
     
  6. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    I will change out the bulb and see what I get. I've got 2 other halogens left over from when I changed my other 2011 to HID's.

    I can't see anything inside the lens when it's off, changing to another bulb is the easiest way to start, even though that passengers side is the worst one to work on, imho. You can see why I don't want to put an HID bulb in there with that blockage or whatever it is possibly inside the headlight assembly. :eek:

    Will let you all know what I come up with, besides a sore back after I change it out.

    Thanks all,

    "ES"
     
  7. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    Soooo today I had the fun of changing the halogen bulb for another one in hopes of losing the shadow or whatever it is.
    Sorry to report that had no effect the shadow remains as big as it was.

    Tomorrow I may try and shoot some compressed air into the headlight housing to see if that dislodges whatever it is. If it doesn't move or change it then I guess I need a new headlight assembly. I can hear the stealer now saying " Our 13,000 mil warranty doesn't cover that."

    That might spur me into calling the State Police inspection officer to see how he likes the dead spot, which when the car is on the road becomes a wide dark line with no illumination.

    The attachment is from today with the different bulb.

    " ES"
     

    Attached Files:

  8. LightCenterLength

    LightCenterLength New Member

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    If there are no markings on the lamp as you claim... It is likely aftermarket, and anything is possible with aftermarket units.

    Are you sure the lamps don't have any sort of writing on them?
     
  9. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    LightCenterLength,

    Are you asking about the halogen bulbs? I never said anything about the bulbs themselves, not sure where that came from. But in any case the bulb I took out was a Philips H11, the same as I put back in. I simply change like for like and it made no difference unfortunately.

    " ES"
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Is something going on here:


    upload_2020-2-26_7-56-50.png
    upload_2020-2-26_7-56-37.png

    Good 'ol fogging headlight syndrome? Not sure.
     
  11. LightCenterLength

    LightCenterLength New Member

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    I meant the lamp, as in the headlamp, the headlamp assembly.

    iPhone 3GS ?
     
  12. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    See the attachments ( in my next post) and close up of the headlight lens and the effect on the road.

    Well the left side is no worse than this one,they appear to be the same when turned on, and in fact they both are in remarkably good condition considering there was no clear bra material on the lenses to protect them. As the photo shows there is light passing through the lens. The effect is no a diffusion of light but rather a total absence of it on the road ahead. What accounts for the greenish tint in the photo I have no idea.

    I made arrangements to go to the stealer and let them sort it out, we'll see what they come up with. Aside from anything being in the projector beam nice person'y and the bulb I have no idea. I never did try and shoot some compressed air into it as I planned to do. There's no way I'd put HID's behind this thing 'til it gets sorted.

    We'll see what if anything they come up with, I've had the bleeding thing for less than a month!

    Thanks,

    "ES"
     
    #12 ES44AC, Feb 26, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  13. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    Close up of lens on right side and the 'dark spot' on the highway ahead of me...
     

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  14. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Has anyone taken the projector lens assembly completely apart?
    I ask because if there is a reflective coating at the rear around the bulb socket, a small piece of that coating peeling away could produce both a dark spot in the resulting forward beam and the greenish tinge as light refracts through the dangling piece of plastic Long shot, though.
     
  15. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    Hi Robert, thanks very much for your input and insight into the situation. As of today no one has actually taken the assembly completely apart. I do have an appointment with the dealer on March 4th I've also supplied them with the same photos you see attached to my previous posts. Your idea certainly makes perfect sense and I will bring that to the attention hope whoever decides to take the car apart on March 4th. I have had the headlight assembly on a previous 2011 Prius off the car because I somehow managed to drop the small wedge bulb down into the headlight assembly while trying to exchange it for an LED! So I am very familiar with the process removing the whole assembly but it's a miserable thing to do. Best thing is I have only had this car for less than 30 days and there is still plenty of warranty left so that the selling dealer will be responsible for whatever they do.
    My plan ultimately is to replace the halogen bulbs with HIDs which I had on my previous 2011 Prius and liked very much. But I can't see putting a brighter bulb in a housing that has some sort of a defect or debris inside of it the brighter light would only magnify the situation or possibly cause whatever it is to burst into flames! Who knows? LOL
    Again I appreciate your input and I'll run that past whoever's working on the car on March 4th thanks again.
    '
    "ES"
     
    #15 ES44AC, Feb 28, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
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  16. WolfpackBill

    WolfpackBill Active Member

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    Did you get H11 bulbs or H11b bulbs? The difference is the return wire is position differently.

    H11B: Morimoto XB HID

    I have the H11B bulbs and no shadows.
     
  17. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    Hi Bill,

    Right now I only have halogen bulbs installed, totally stock. My goal was to put HID's in their place but not with a defect in the lense or reflector. the dealer is getting me a new headlight nice person'y and I can move on from there. I had HID's in my other Prius with no ground shadow problems that's what puzzled me with this car. Oh well we'll see what they come up with when the new headlight gets here,

    "ES"
     
  18. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    For anyone following this thread, I had the headlight nice person'y replaced by the dealer and the headlights adjusted. The mysterious shadow is gone. I have to assume it was something inside the projector that failed and got in the way of the light.
    It's fine now and I intend to move up ( I hope UP ) to LED's soon.

    thanks to all,

    "ES"
     
  19. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    If and when you do replace, could you post to show us what your results look like?
    I would have liked to do a “post-mortem” on that old headlight assembly just to find out exactly how that odd green shadow was being produced. Sheer curiosity, which has occasionally gotten me into trouble.
     
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  20. ES44AC

    ES44AC C.A.U.S

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    Robert,
    I understand your curiosity, but the headlight was taken out by the dealer, I doubt they have it now. I'd like to have seen inside to see the failed part obscuring the light at that one area.

    The light pattern on the road is the same as shown in my original post sans the black area between the beams of light on the road. Nothing remarkable except now what was not illuminated, is.

    "ES"
     
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