Gen3 Headlight bulb nightmare

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by iskoos, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. iskoos

    iskoos Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    303
    201
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    This is my first car where the headlights are considered a maintenance item.
    I get a burned bulb (about once every six months or less) quicker than I get a flat tire.
    I am really sick of this issue.
    Is there a quick remedy for this? (without going HID conversation. I really don't want to convert to HIDs)

    I am not even going to bring up the LED alternative because people really do not report good feedback. I cannot go any dimmer on the light output.

    Came to H11 to H9 conversion option. Everything was good till I heard people saying H9s are awesome. They are brighter but don't last as long Well this defeats the whole purpose for me.

    Do I need to change my car?
    What are you all doing?
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,855
    7,590
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    I believe there's an extended warranty campaign for the headlight issues. You should check with Toyota.
     
  3. iskoos

    iskoos Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    303
    201
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    I did. Their records indicate that that warranty expired for my car in the late 2019. I never got a letter for this issue. The letter (if there was any) probably went to the previous owner. I am on my own.

    I went and bought another H11 bulb today. I will put it in knowing that it will last no more than several months.
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,855
    7,590
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    don't touch the bulb with your hands. Wear gloves and the oils from your hands won't get to the bulb.
     
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  5. Pdaddy

    Pdaddy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    120
    39
    0
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Make sure not to touch the bulb or get anything on it. Are you running your headlights all the time when driving in place of daylight running lights? I replace mine between 6 and 12 months doing this. I shop around and usually buy a 2 pack off Amazon. I also had a hard time getting the passenger side bulb in correctly (tight space and short cord) for some time until I figured out plug it in after I got the bulb seated and not before which may be common sense for many. This caused it to burn out sooner.

    SM-G960U ?
     
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    13,855
    9,844
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Your profile says you have a 2010. This issue gets re-raised here every now and then. From a previous post about it:

    Some 2010s and 2011s had the eats_low_beams feature, which can be fixed by obtaining two $35 wire-harness additions and having them (carefully!) spliced in.

    Carefully because there is some aluminum wire in the car's wire harness, and aluminum-to-copper splices must be made in a very exacting way to avoid being fire hazards (as many who owned homes in the US in the '70s could attest).

    The problem is way more pronounced with "extra bright" bulbs, which have shorter lifetimes than standard ones under the best of circumstances. At most auto parts stores, the "extra bright" ones are hanging right in front of your face at eye level, and the standard ones are down by your ankles.

    If you make sure to use the standard ones, that may ameliorate the problem enough for you that you won't even bother with the wire harness mods. That's what happened to me: the previous owner of my 2010 complained about not being able to keep low beams in it; I put in standard ones and they were fine for three years.
     
    Merkey likes this.
  7. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    1,356
    592
    0
    Location:
    Central MO
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    II
    Change to LED
     
  8. iskoos

    iskoos Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    303
    201
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Thanks for the replies/suggestions.

    JC91006, Pdaddy, Honestly I never paid attention to "Don't touch the bulb" suggestion before. But this time I did. I carefully removed and installed it without touching the glass part.
    And ChapmanF, yes I was always get the ExtraVision but this time my guts told me to get the very Basic one. So I got the Sylvania Basic. When the other one (Passenger) burns out (should be at any time), I will get another Basic.

    Pdaddy, no I never use my headlight as a daylight running light. I don't believe in that. Though I use is at least 1-2 hours per day. I go to work early before the sunrise and I left late after it gets dark. So they are constantly in use.

    thankyoung, LED is an easy and (even cheaper) solution. But I know they will not last long for other reasons. They will start blinking and that will drive me insane. Plus, because of the design of the LEDs, the total downlight output will be less. This is what people report. The lights will look brighter but not down on the road (which is what I need). At the moment, the Prius lights are already super dim. Going dimmer will not make me happy. But I do understand it is an easy try. Maybe if I see it in person and like it, I may give it a shot.
     
  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    13,855
    9,844
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    My Sylvania Basics were still going strong three years after I put them in. I only changed them because I was curious about some inexpensive LEDs I saw advertised that actually claimed "DOT". I like the light output and pattern of those, but they make so much electromagnetic interference that whenever I have them turned on, the radio can only pick up maybe the two strongest local stations. I keep meaning to try to find some noise-filtering solution for them but haven't gotten around to it.
     
  10. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    5,283
    3,720
    1
    Location:
    Wilkes Land
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    the safety PC police will come and poo poo on ya because safety is no. 1.
     
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    13,855
    9,844
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    In Prii that do use the headlights as DRLs, they use the high beam bulbs, not the low beams, and run them at a much-reduced voltage, which will have practically no effect on their lifespan (incandescent lifespan being related to something like the −13th power of voltage).
     
Loading...