Headlight problem

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by AlphaTeam, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. loonyhiker

    loonyhiker Junior Member

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    New update: Just heard from Toyota and I shared with her the diagnosis of the problem with my car. She said she would have to call the dealership and confirm it with them, then review it, and she will get back to me by Friday to let me know how they can help. Will keep you updated.
     
  2. loonyhiker

    loonyhiker Junior Member

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    I heard from Toyota today and they say they are willing to make a "one time good will offer" to pay half the cost of the repair. I will need to get the car fixed, and fax them the repair order and proof of payment in order to get reimbursed. I asked if she could email me this information but she told me she couldn't. I asked if I could fax this from the dealership and she said that would be fine. I again told her I didn't see how replacing the bulb will fix the intermittent problem but she said she had to go by the diagnosis from the dealership. So I guess I will be making an appointment at the dealership since that is the best I can get. Thanks to everyone for your help. I'll keep you posted.
     
  3. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    If an HID, replacing the bulb can indeed fix the problem due to the nature of how they work as discussed earlier in this thread.
     
  4. VAJen

    VAJen New Member

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    I've been having the same problem with my '06 (94k miles), too. It's always the drivers side. It will work just fine when I start the car. If I make a stop (to get gas, etc.) and then turn the car back on, the light will work for a few miles, then it just cuts out. This morning when I left the house, both headlights were working. I stopped and got gas. When I left the gas station, the lights were working. At some point about 10 miles down the road, I realized I had NO headlights!! I was on I-66 at 5am (in the dark) with NO headlights!!! Luckily I had fog lights b/c I still had another 25 miles to go to get to work. I was able to get to the dealership late this morning and they replaced my bulbs ($318 for the pair............and $147.15 for labor). I am not happy to say the least. My husband found this site and I find it quite interesting to see how many others are having this problem. I found out my mom had the same problem with her Prius. She fought it and Toyota paid for the bulbs and the labor costs. I think I will be filling out the NTSB thing and trying to get Toyota to reimburse me.
     
  5. wetmorew

    wetmorew New Member

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    I had a package 6 2006 prius. I now have an almost identical 2008 prius. Both cars started having HID failure issues around 20,000 - 25,000 miles. The first one I was having serviced at the dealer where I purchased the car, Earl Stewart in Palm Beach Florida. I live in Miami, but this was the only dealer who ever had parts in stock in my area while I was having this problem. It was extremely inconvenient. On two separate trips the dealer kept my car overnight to study this problem, causing me to rent a car, and costing me a tremendous amount of time from work. At first they didn't believe me, because the light wouldn't blink out for them... so they aligned them, and sent me home. The second time, the light was out and stayed out. They ordered a replacement HID light unit. On the third visit, two weeks later (after driving around for that time with only one headlight, and being pulled over twice by police), the unit was replaced, and the very next evening it did the same thing. Then a day later, the other light also started going out after a few minutes of travel. My only lights were my fog lights. The dealer ordered two more light units, and two controller units, and replaced everything, and that car lighting system worked just fine for the next three months until an 18wheeler ended that car's career.
    My replacement 2008 prius had no light issues until about EXACTLY the same mileage as the first one. My new dealer, close to home in Miami, Toyota of South Florida in Doral, didn't argue the problem... but they didn't have the light in stock. This first visit took about two hours. A couple of weeks and one police conversation late at night later, the light unit was in, and I scheduled to go to the dealer to get the problem fixed. The service writer whom I scheduled with said it would take about two hours if I got there before 9. They only have one person who can do this work, so I had to plan a specific day off to go in so I could meet his schedule. I got there early, and started waiting. Two hours later, I was told it would take another three hours (they had only one car ahead of me for their prius tech). I was unable to wait because, surprise, I actually have to work for a living!
    On the third visit, the following week. I spent the four hours at the dealership just to be told at the end of that wait that the light unit they ordered was faulty, and I'd have to come back after they ordered a new one.
    It took over a month for the replacement to come in. I was stopped twice more by police because of the light being out (my job requires that I drive home after dark).
    Over the course of that month, my other headlight also has started acting up. Both will not stay on at the same time. When they both blink off, I turn the headlights off and back on, and one or both will stay on for a few seconds, then go out again... sometimes the right one is on but dim. Again, thank goodness for the fog lights.
    Yesterday I scheduled a weekday off, and went into the dealership to get the lights replaced. They replaced the driver's side unit, but came out after several hours waiting to inform me that the tech had touched the bulb on the right side unit, and it blew. I tried to figure out why they couldn't take the bulb from one of the replaced units (since ostensibly it wasn't the bulb itself, but some other problem that warranted replacement of the entire unit), but somehow I couldn't meet eye to eye with the service writer on this concept. Now I'm driving a cyclops again, and waiting again for a new unit to come in. Last night, on my way home, the driver's side light blinked out again, but it came back on and stayed on after I cycled the lights. I've spoken with two other prius owners who have exactly the same problem.
    I have absolutely ZERO confidence that these light units will last more than a couple months. I'm fed up from spending my precious days off dealing with this issue. I'm afraid that these lights will fail after warranty, and cost me a minor fortune. I'm in disbelief that Toyota and my local dealerships treat this problem by throwing identically flawed parts at it, and that the dealerships continue to represent that this isn't a known problem. This situation had long passed ridiculous. My time is worth money, and no Toyota dealer is on my normal route of travel. I would like some response from Toyota to this problem, so I can have my confidence in their quality restored. It seems like a small thing, when I like the prius so much otherwise, but honestly, I've stopped recommending the car and Toyota to people (I was an avid promoter before). The hassle involved doing this, and the safety risk I take everyday by driving on South Florida highways with fog lights, just isn't worth it.
     
  6. VAJen

    VAJen New Member

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    I just filed a complaint w/ Toyota. I'm asking that I be refunded the $465.15 that I paid to have my headlights replaced. This HAS to be a mechanical failure.
     
  7. steinmania

    steinmania New Member

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    I have the same problem

    Where can we go to get Toyota to work this out.

    I got an estimate on replacing the headlights and they were about $350 a piece! Then they told me that the computer that runs them might also have to be replaced. Total bill with labor = $850!!! Screw that. I keep turning my headlights on and off until they both light up.

    Any suggestions?
     
  8. tb3

    tb3 Junior Member

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    I had an intermittent passenger side headlight replaced under warranty last summer - dealer said it was a loose wiring harness. Then after warranty my driver side light became intermittent. The dealer wanted $120+ for diagnostics, $100+ for labor, and more than $300 for a new bulb, over $500 total. So - I called Toyota, they offered to pay for the new headlight because it is a known issue. Then - after Toyota's offer - the dealership decided to replace both headlights - said they were from a defective batch. That happened last week and both headlights are working - BUT - NOW MY FOG LIGHTS ARE INTERMITTENT! Not one at a time but both on or both off. QUESTION - Does anyone have any idea if this is connected to the headlight problem? - proximity makes it seem so. I haven't used fog lights much - didn't use them till I started having the second intermittent headlight problem.

    Answers much appreciated.
     

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  9. lohboy

    lohboy New Member

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    I had the same problem with my 2006 with HID headlamps. one of my headlights would work on then not. It was a manufacturers defect and replaced. Works great now. My dealer in CA new exactly what the problem was.
     
  10. sonic_prius

    sonic_prius New Member

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    Does anyone know, if this headlight issue were to finally generate a recall, what happens with folks who have already paid full price (or partial cost, with help from Toyota) for repairs before the recall. Are they just out of luck? In other words, is it better to try to live with this a little longer, and see what happens, as more people come forward?
     
  11. loonyhiker

    loonyhiker Junior Member

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    I got my headlight bulb replaced yesterday and faxed the repair order and proof of payment to Toyota. It cost about $263 (parts and labor) Now I have to wait and see if they send the promised 50% reimbursement. I'm still not sure it is fixed but we will see...
     
  12. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I bet toyota gets frustrated too how one dealer only charges less than 300.00, but another wants up to 2K.... seems there is "allot" of confusion on how to handle this or what to charge among dealers.

    I'm really surprised Toyota is keeping such a low profile at their own expense.... seems it would be cheaper and much better PR to just release a statement on what to do and what delaers may charge and be done with it.

    It appears there are allot of customers being taken advantage of because of the lack of information and knowledge about the subject among dealers.

    I'm surprised we haven't seen this in the news yet.
     
  13. MoNY

    MoNY New Member

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    I guess I'm in the same boat as everyone else. I'm sitting in the Toyota dealership waiting for my second HID headlight replacement on my 2006 Prius (first the passenger side went out, then the drivers side), and it's going to cost a bundle. I'd just keep flicking the lights, but I really don't want a ticket, and I drive 120 miles a day, usually coming home in the dark, so it gets to be a safety issue for me. I DID file a complaint to the NHTSA, and I sent an email to Toyota. I'm hoping they finally issue a recall and reimburse us all. Otherwise, I love my car, but this is ridiculous! The dealership I use for service (not the same as the one where I bought it) claims they know nothing and that they can do nothing for me, but encouraged me to contact Toyota directly.
     
  14. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Well seriously... it may not be a permanent fix.. but my cheap ebay lights still work great!.... out of 4 of them.. I did have one go bad again, and I just put the old bulb that never acted up yet and all is still well....all the other 3 ebay bulbs still work perfect.

    I'm not convinced the Toyota fix is a fix any better.

    Only time will tell......
     
  15. gmcghee64

    gmcghee64 New Member

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    I think I may have found a possible cause for this issue. Since I haven't made 5 posts yet, I can't include a direct link but you can read the solution in the Driver side HID lamp replacement discussion. If someone else with more posts can post the link, I'd appreciate it.
     
  16. sonic_prius

    sonic_prius New Member

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    Here's the above referenced link: http://priuschat.com/forums/care-ma...g/56004-driver-side-hid-lamp-replacement.html
    That's an interesting theory!

    I just got my car back from the dealer, with two new headlights. I reported earlier that I had contacted Toyota, first in October with no success, and again earlier this month. As directed, I took the car (with 66K miles) to the dealer for diagnosis of the headlight problem. Toyota case management had acknowledged the headlight issue with some cars of my model year (2006), and offered to pay a percentage of the repair cost. But at the dealership, the service manager offered to replace both headlights through "dealer goodwill", for a 80/20 split (with me paying 20%), which he said would save me from paying the full cost and waiting for a check from Toyota. I agreed, and he got it cleared with Toyota. He was very familiar with the problem, and insisted it is bad bulbs, and not a controller issue. He said that I should keep all paperwork, because I would get my money back if Toyota did do a recall on this issue. He also warned me that he has had to replace some bulbs more than once, although he thinks the bulbs have gotten better. He said that Toyota has lowered the price on the bulbs. It appears that they figured the price on each bulb as $135. The service invoice also indicates that I was charged 10%, instead of 20%. So, I came away pretty happy, if this is the end of it. Time will tell!

    By the way, the manager took us into the service bays to get something out of the car, and it was the cleanest, most orderly shop I have ever seen. This is at Phillips Toyota, in Leesburg, Florida. This is not where I bought the car, but I do regular maintenance and just recently bought new tires there. (Yes, I did get over 66,000 miles out of my original Integrity's!)
     
  17. gmcghee64

    gmcghee64 New Member

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    If it starts to happen again, I'd suggest measuring the voltage on your battery to see if it's less than 12.8 volts.
     
  18. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    When dealing with HID bulbs, these do not run off of simple 12 volts... and besides, that would only be worth considering while in accessory mode.

    When the car is running "not in acc mode" the Main inverter pulls from the 201V main traction battery to supply up to 1400 watts at 12 Volts for all the accessories... I "think" the lights are included in this.
    So if the 12V supply was "low" it would be a serious fault of the inverter and thats not likely... you can go into your screen and view "secret screens" to show your voltage as discussed elsewhere on the forum.
    If I remember right.. the voltage is usually up around 14.4.. .but I"m going just be memory on this.. forgive me for not doing my homework first.

    At any rate.
    The ballast takes the 12 Volts and boost it to somewhere around 20000 volts to fire the bulb and then drops it to around 70Volts just to maintain the burn and keep the bulb lit.

    Replacing the bulb would not be a successful fix at all for a low voltage problem.
    I would also think a low voltage problem would finally take out the ballast causing complete failure until replaced.
     
  19. Pri(ap)us

    Pri(ap)us Junior Member

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    Can some kind soul explain to me what 'ballast' means here?
    I don't think we're talking boats, are we? :eek:

    TIA
     
  20. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    They are used in high voltage lamps... they create the voltage needed and keep it stabilized... the word "ballast" comes from the term to stabilize, except they are talking about electricity.
     
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