Headlights keep burning out bulbs

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by taylor5796, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. taylor5796

    taylor5796 New Member

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    I am curious if anyone else has had this issue. I am replacing my low beams every couple months ever since I replaced my oem bulbs with Silverstars. Sometimes the bulbs last for a few months and this last time they lasted only 30 days or so.
     
  2. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    it's a well known issue in some of the HB prius. do a search to see what i mean. maybe the same problem exists in C?
     
  3. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    However, Silverstar bulbs aren't known for their longevity either. Any "premium" H11 bulb that burns brighter, does so at the expense of bulb life.

    An alternative to the expensive Silverstar bulbs are H9 bulbs, which at 65w, give you a 50% improvement in light output. There is a link in my signature below that has an excellent video link at the end of the thread by mediahound, that shows the 2 easy modifications that need to be made to the H9 bulbs to make them fit an H11 connector and bulb mount.

    An added bonus of the H9 bulbs are, premium brands like Osram and Philips can be found on Amazon for about $20 per pair.
     
  4. taylor5796

    taylor5796 New Member

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    That's sounds like a good idea. I will have to take a look into it. In the meantime I will definitely be keeping an extra set of bulbs with me. I'm done with the Silverstars.
     
  5. cmart

    cmart Junior Member

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    i'm having the same problem! i replaced the oem with silverstar ultra. I'm curious to try the hid from amazon.
     
  6. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    I was really careful installing my Silverstars. They were 3 times more expensive than regular bulbs after all. I installed them inside my closed garage taking things slowly. I wore gloves and never touched the bulb. After the 1st bulb blew out in 6 months, I thought darn, I must've touched the bulb by accident. Luckily, I had my old bulbs in the glove box. I was at a parking lot at night with no gloves or light. I didn't want to risk getting a ticket and just felt my way around touching the old bulb everywhere to instal it. Whatever, I'll buy another Silverstar later. Well 3 months later the other Silverstar went out. I drove the car for another couple years with the old bulbs without issue. Those bulbs were the same ones when I bought the car so 4+ years old at least. Silverstars rock hard and die way too young.
     
  7. DRACO

    DRACO Member

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    +1, Hi-po bulbs will burn out faster but couple of months is kind of ridiculous. I use Osram Night Breakers Plus on wifey's 05 Benz, they will last about 14-18 months. Not for nothing but how does your connector look?

    My recent HID 35 watt upgrade on the Gen1, I noticed the connectors were pretty heat soaked and discolored maybe some arcing??? Lucky 35 watt will reduce the heat levels at the connector.

    One warning about the higher wattage bulbs, at least in the Porsche world, the connector will get heat soaked and may become more brittle or worse melt. I recommend ceramic connector upgrade if available.
     
  8. mrpinkie

    mrpinkie Junior Member

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    Draco has a point here. Check the connector if it has any discoloration that will be your culprit. I have had to replace the connectors on most of my previous vehicles due to heat damage. I like having bright bulbs and they also make more heat. Bulbs started to die quickly, check and replace heat damaged connectors and the bulbs last much longer.
     
  9. John Jordan

    John Jordan New Member

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    I just brought my 2011 Prius in for some other repairs today. Last night one of my low beam bulbs burnt out for the second time in three months. I think I've already replaced each bulb three times in the last year. I mentioned this to the service person and he said that the problem is the wire harness and that Toyota has extended the warranty on that piece for unlimited mileage but it must be turned in before October 31st of this year. I have an appointment on Tuesday of next week now to get this completely fixed for free.
     
  10. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    Might get better responses in the actual Prius thread. 2012 is the first year for the PC. I haven't heard of this issue, so may be a Prius issue only?
     
  11. tgpii

    tgpii Member

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    I own a 2012 Prius C. It seems to burn out headlights and marker lights frequent. Since 95,000 miles it seems headlights last only a month. Right now I have a headlight out but I don't want to replace it to I figure out why it is happening. Is it an electrical issue? Currently it has 100,222 miles. If there is a thread for this already please let me know. Thank you!
     
  12. frenzee

    frenzee Member

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    In my absolutely non-professional opinion, these factors can cause premature bulb failure:

    1. 12V system Over-voltage
    2. Excessive heat (check the state of the connector and bulb housing)
    3. Poor quality bulb - are you using OEM spec, name brand bulbs, e.g. GE or Sylvania?
    4. Old bulb age
    5. Higher wattage or special-purpose bulbs, like SilverStar

    Since you said it's not just your headlights, but also the marker lights going out prematurely, I would suspect over-voltage as the culprit. I would check the system static voltage at the headlight harness with a multi-meter. If you see significantly more than 13.4V, then your 12V inverter may be faulty. I would also try forcing the system to go into charge mode by leaving the headlights on for about 10 minutes with the ignition off, before turning the car on and checking the voltage again. Unfortunately, this test won't tell you if the system goes into momentary over-voltage state while you're driving, but it should give you a baseline for comparison.

    Also, I think it's worth mentioning that switching to LEDs will not fix the source of your problem, but it may solve the symptoms, since most LEDs can handle anything form 8-24V, don't produce much heat (in the bulb housing) and don't get old, if properly designed. A pair of good quality LEDs should last you the life of the car.

    My $0.02, FWIW.
     
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  13. tgpii

    tgpii Member

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  14. tgpii

    tgpii Member

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    Do they have or would using a plug in play LED bulb help at all? Thank you! Is there a recall for anything related and what is the best place/way to look up recalls? Thank you!
     
  15. tgpii

    tgpii Member

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    I seen similar recalls for the liftback and V. I not seen anything for the C! Thanks.
     
  16. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    NO!!!! Plug-and-play LED (or HID) conversions are not a good option! Please read this article. Installing LED or HID bulbs into halogen housing is a very bad idea. You will get scattered light patterns, blinding everyone around you and you will likely not get better performance as far as the light down the road. Please, PLEASE! do not install LED or HID bulbs into halogen housings!

    Instead you can probably find an appropriate kit to retrofit your car with a set of projectors designed for a specific bulb (HID or LED, they are very different as far as what kind of projector design they require!). Short of that stay with halogen bulbs in your halogen headlight housing.

    I retrofitted my 2007 gen 2 Prius with an HID projector kit and am very happy with it. It wasn't that expensive and the performance is very good (much better than long life halogen bulbs). The light pattern is properly focused on the road and there is a sharp cutoff line at the top of the pattern so as not blind people in front of me. After aiming the headlights properly they provide excellent illumination and so far in over 4 months of use not a single driver flashed me to complain about being dazzled by my lights. I chose 4300 degrees K color temperature, which is fairly warm and is a lot like the color of a high performance halogen bulb. I am very happy with this solution. When I first bought my car used, the previous owner had HID bulbs installed into the stock Prius halogen housings. It was horrible, light was absolutely everywhere, including the oncoming traffic. I took that stuff out almost immediately after taking delivery of the car. I fist installed PIAA high performance halogen bulbs and they were actually very good, but only lasted 11 months (and cost almost $60/pair). This is when I decided on the HID retrofit. I bought a kit that contained a wiring harness, projectors, ballasts and bulbs. It took some work opening up the headlights, installing the projectors and sealing them back up, but everything went well and now I am very happy with results.
     
  17. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    I've had HIDs/LEDs since I've owned the car (115k miles, 6 years), never once have I had a person flash their lights at me. The cutoffs prevent this.
    HIDs can still run into an overvoltage issue, which is why I went with LEDs. No issues since.
     
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