HID Headlight Failure - Your Solution

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Jemba Prius, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Melinde44

    Melinde44 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
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    Location:
    Bedford NH
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
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    N/A
    We have kept our 2005 Toyota Prius through four police stops and warnings for having the right front headlight OR the left front headlight out, as well as three bulb replacements on our own. Thank you so much for having this chat. I will give the data you asked for after I tell this terrifying story of what happened after 174,000 miles.

    Saturday this weekend I was returning from Pittsfield, Mass., on the Mass Turnpike at about midnight. I kept a car about 10 lengths ahead of me and was about 20 miles along when BOTH MY HEADLIGHTS WENT OUT AT ONCE. I did not go over a bump, was not executing a turn, nothing, just no lights. The fog lights were still on. I was in disbelief and also in a well-lit stretch of road, so after a full mile I finally tried my high beams, with no effect. I then shut the lights off and turned them on normal beam and they came on.

    I went about 15 more miles with all lights on, and it happened again, but this time in a dark stretch of road. I immediately turned the lights off and then on again and they came on. I then turned off the cruise control, which had been on during both instances.

    Had this happened under slightly different circumstances I could be dead, dead, dead.

    Sunday this weekend I was caught out late and had to turn on the headlights. They worked fine for about five miles and then the right one went out. I turned it off and on and it stayed on for the remainder of my trip – about 30 miles. I was not using the cruise control.

    Over the years my mechanic has told me repeatedly that the lights are not defective, don’t need to be replaced, but he believes me that they go out singly and has done simple replacements and given me the old bulbs as proof. I am headed now to the Toyota dealership where I bought the car. I will not drive it again until they identify and fix this problem. If there is a problem in the steering column, who knows what will go next?

    At what mileage did my lights fail – 7 times that I know of, all after 30,000 miles, most recently after 174,000 miles

    Intermittant or did it just shut off? Just shut off. Two times both shut off simultaneously!

    Did dealer replace it? I am going to the Toyota dealership in Manchester, NH, now.

    Did you replace the entire headlamp assembly? In the past I’ve replaced only the bulb.

    How much did it cost? Fair market cost

    Did you have to remove your bumper? No

    How long did it take to replace? A minute or two.
     
  2. flowergirl004

    flowergirl004 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
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    Location:
    Michigan (thumb area)
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    When (mileage) did your HID fail? driver side started flickering at 70,000 miles. At 70,500 I was driving home at night and both headlights just went out suddenly. Scary. They came back on when I turned the switch off then on again.

    Did dealer replace it? If so, dealer name, city, state please. Dealer wants $450 to replace both hid lamps. Spartan Toyota, Lansing MI

    Did you replace the entire headlamp assembly (including brain), just headlamp assembly, or just the HID bulb? Looking into buying on ebay and trying to replace myself. Guess I won't be driving at night until I do.

    How much did it cost? (each or pair?) Current est $420 for pair

    Did you have to remove your bumper? Don't know yet

    How long did it take to replace? Dont know yet

    How long ago did you replace it? Any failures? Replacement pending. There was a complete failure.

    Anything else?[/quote] Scary to have both headlights go at once!
     
  3. sgrig

    sgrig New Member

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    Sep 10, 2010
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    Location:
    Long Island
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    A month ago I bought a 2007 Prius, and just last week both headlights went out as I was driving on a dark street! I had 58400 miles. I experimented a bit, and the driver-side light was going out about a minute after switching on, but the passenger-side took about 10 min to go out.

    I took the car to a Toyota dealer, and they confirmed that the bulbs needed replacement. I opted to replace just one of them, and it set me back $275 - $150 bulb, $104 labor plus taxes.

    Now at least I was able to drive short distances at night. For the second bulb I bought replacements online - $70 for two bulbs, including express delivery. Took the car to an independent mechanic, and even though it took him 40 min to actually replace the bulb, he only charged $20. As a result, this second bulb cost $55 - exactly 5 times less than the dealership replacement!
     
  4. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
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    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
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    FYI: HID headlights do not have filaments. They are high-pressure gas inside a quartz envelope with 2 electrodes. The HID ballast is a complicated power supply that must "strike" the Arc inside the bulb using very high voltage (sometimes many thousands of volts) and then once lit, regulate the current and boost the voltage to keep the bulb lit.

    The bulbs are significantly more efficient than an normal halogen, and typically are only 35w to produce the equivalent of 100w of halogen light, plus the color spectrum can be tailored more widely and the optical characteristics are more accurate. (makes for accurate beam dispersion)

    When the bulb nears the end of it's life, the electrodes wear out and the bulb requires more current and voltage to sustain the arc. The electronic control inside the ballast detects this and shuts the system off to protect from explosive bulb failure. When the bulb cools off, the ballast will allow restrike with a power cycle, but each time the run time will get shorter. Once you have one go out while driving, you should order a new bulb right away. No need to bother with spares until this happens.

    The bulb is under very high pressure and can explode dangerously if mishandled which is why the manual has a CYA asking you to go to the dealer. As long as you are careful and do not touch the glass, you can install your own. I *highly* recommend safety glasses when handling the bulbs. They really are no more difficult to change than any other bulb in the car, but some are more difficult than others.

    There are many cheapo Chinese bulbs out there, I recommend a name brand like Phillips or Osram, etc. If you buy cheap, they can have poor color and/or optical alignment, and usually don't last very long. The D2R is is what is used in the Prius, and they are typically rated at 3000 hours life. You can use any 35W D2R bulb, but I recommend a color temp of 4300k (stock). The higher ones are more blueish, but have less overall light output and less contrast.
     
  5. ace

    ace A mini-tank with snow tires

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
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    Location:
    Ames, Iowa 50010
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    2008 Prius package #6

    When (mileage) did your HID fail? 58,000 Intermittent. Passenger side.

    Did dealer replace it? If so, dealer name, city, state please. No Dealer, too expensive. I will replace my self. I wish it was covered under recent class action but I am over by 8,000 miles so will do this myself. I have done a lot of research and should be able to, just takes time.

    Did you replace the entire headlamp assembly (including brain), just headlamp assembly, or just the HID bulb? Just HID bulbs. Looking into buying on Amazon and trying to replace myself. I am not driving at night right now. Taking the high mpg car instead. considering a pair of MAXLUX 4300K HID D4R from Amazon.com:http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B003NAQTZO?tag=priuschatcom-20 I am pretty sure my 2008 Prius takes D4R HID and early model Prius take D2R HID. 4300K is factory color, but some people are choosing 6000K which is blue/purple tint (and my not be street legal).

    How much did it cost? (each or pair?) $55 for a pair

    Did you have to remove your bumper? Don't know yet, I hope not.

    How long did it take to replace? Estimate 1 hour if no bumper removed, and 2 hours if bumper removed. If I remove the bumper I will replace both bulbs.

    How long ago did you replace it? Any failures? N/A

    Anything else?[/quote] First thing that has gone wrong on my 2008 Prius with 60,000 miles except for replacing 4 tires. I love my Prius. :rolleyes:
     
  6. OwnUtah

    OwnUtah New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
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    Location:
    North Ogden, Utah
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I have a 2007 TE Prius, my issues with the lamp started at 22,000 miles.
    As a Real Estate professional the Prius is the perfect car for me! I travel around town nearly all day long on short trips showing property to prospective buyers.
    The headlamp issue has really started to become an issue with me. Today I will be taking my Prius in again for its 3rd round of bulb replacements. The dealer is now saying that is my problem and asked that I bring the car in when it is having the flickering problem or when the lights are out. I have become so accustomed to power cycling the lights to fix the problem sometimes I don't notice they are out until I am pulled over.
    This has been incredible and inconvenient to say the least.
    My 12 year old Daughter is a fast pitch softball pitcher. We were coming back from a high school that is out in the country last night. It was a rainy night and the road was hard to see with the lamps on. My driver side left lamp when out on a corner and we nearly got in an accident since I could not see the center line. I corrected and ended up off the road on the right side to avoid a car coming the opposite direction.
    This was the last straw for me on this issue. I bought the 75K warrant plan (platinum) with the car. I am at 47k miles now on the car.
    Does anyone know if there as been any legal action on this subject? Has anyone seen any class action? How can we encourage Toyota to own this problem and fix it responsibly?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  7. Iko ikoko

    Iko ikoko New Member

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    Jun 10, 2013
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    Location:
    Takhmau, Kandāl, Cambodia
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Can I change my 4300 D2R bulbs to 10000k bulbs?
     
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