How do I identify what type of headlight bulbs my 2009 Prius Touring model uses?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by FreddieVee, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. FreddieVee

    FreddieVee Junior Member

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    I am having intermittent headlight outage problems, and the problem is gradually getting worse. Either bulb might be out or both, and it doesn't matter when I switch from low beam to high beam or vice versa, but sometimes cycling the lights off and back on fixes the problem. Sometimes it takes multiple cycles to off and on. I'm not sure which type of lights my car uses: HID or Halogen? How do I identify what type of headlight bulbs my 2009 Prius Touring model uses?
     
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  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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  3. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Active Member

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    According to Prius 2009 sales brochure (see: http://www.auto-brochures.com/makes/Toyota/Prius/Toyota_US%20Prius_2009.pdf), the Prius had two sets of packages for 2009. Namely, the first set of packages are titled "Prius Packages" on page 8 of the brochure. While the second set of packages is entitled "Touring Packages" set forth on pages 8-9 of the brochure.

    All 2009 Prius WITH Touring Package* have High Intensity Discharge ("HID") headlamps.

    All 2009 Prius WITHOUT Touring Package** which have package#4, package#5 or package #6 have HID headlamps.

    None of the 2009 Prius WITHOUT Touring Package** which have package#1, package#2 or package #3 have HID headlamps (by default these headlamps should be halogen). 2009 Prius WITHOUT Touring Package** which have package#1, package#2 or package #3 do NOT have HID headlamps.



    *- 2009 Prius Touring Packages number from two ("2") to six ("6"). All 2009 Prius Touring Packages have HID headlamps.

    **- 2009 Prius WITHOUT Touring Package are described in the brochure as "Prius Package."
     
    #3 ydpplqbd, Dec 9, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  4. FreddieVee

    FreddieVee Junior Member

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    Thank you. You were very helpful and I have HID headlights.
     
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  5. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    Yep. Nearly all intermittent headlight problems on Gen 2s were HID problems. You might search around here for some fixes. Seems like there might have been a TSB.
     
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  6. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Wow..this got over complicated as ****.

    If your car came with OEM fog lights, you have HID.

    Pretty easy.
     
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  8. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Active Member

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  9. FreddieVee

    FreddieVee Junior Member

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    I'm not sure if I should start a new tread or just ask other questions in this one. Can I switch to LED headlights and if yes, are the ballasts taken out of the system? I have heard that there are LED kits to replace the troublesome HID lights.
     
  10. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    HID lights are only troublesome because owners don't understand the failure mode. And then they replace it with the cheapest possible bulb they can find. Then they wonder why it smokes again a month later. And then they try to blame everyone else.

    But...yes. LED conversions are available. Once again, many people try to go cheap and end up with a kit that blinds the heck out of everyone in front of them. Several kits should be available, but please don't be that guy that makes me want to take a hammer to his car.
     
  11. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Active Member

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    The fact that there was a class action lawsuit and settlement regarding 2006-2009 Prius HID bulbs negates your assertion ( namely, HID lights are only troublesome because owners don't understand the failure mode). I am sure an occasional owner of a Prius with HID purchased a cheap replacement bulb. Your narrative appears to be very similar to Toyota's position on this HID issue. However, premature HID burn-outs were occurring even when the bulb was replaced at the dealer with genuine Toyota parts. See excerpt from amended class action complaint set forth below.

    Excerpt from HID Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of 2006-2009 HID Prius Owners (https://www.classlawgroup.com/docs/cases/97_PriusFirstAmendedComplaint.pdf):

    2. Toyota has long known that Prius vehicles equipped with its optional HID
    Headlight System suffer from intermittent headlight failures, but rather than alerting Prius
    owners to this safety hazard, Toyota has concealed the problem from its customers. Indeed, to avoid the legal implications of the HID Headlight System defect, Toyota has attempted to characterize class members’ problems as isolated issues of prematurely burned-out bulbs and argued that it has no legal obligation to disclose that light bulbs can burn out.

    3. The truth is that the symptoms experienced and reported by thousands of Prius
    drivers—where headlights suddenly shut off while the vehicle is on the road, then appear to be working fine for a while, only to shut off again at repeated and unexpected intervals in the future—is far different from the routine case of a burned-out bulb. Plaintiffs and class members’ problem is not a burned-out bulb, but instead an inherent defect in the HID Headlight System, stemming from the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and related circuitry, which do not properly control and interface with the bulbs to produce consistent headlight illumination [emphasis added].

    4. Because Toyota will not tell Prius owners that the HID Headlight Systems in their
    vehicles are defective, Plaintiffs and class members are subjected to a dangerous condition that, unlike a burned-out bulb, cannot be reliably detected or prevented through routine inspections and maintenance. And because Toyota’s practice is to address class member concerns by replacing the HID Headlight System with equally defective parts [emphasis added], Toyota continues to profit while Plaintiffs and class members are continually subjected to dangerous driving conditions and further repair expenses.
     
    #11 ydpplqbd, Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  12. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Class action suit simply means lawyers saw money.
     
  13. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Active Member

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    Why did the lawyers see money with regards to the 2006-2009 HID headlamps?

    IMHO, genesis of the 2006-2009 HID headlamp class-action lawsuit was the fact that the HID headlamps were not as reliable as consumer's expectations and Toyota implying that the consumers were at fault. Whether the expectations of Prius buyers (AKA consumers) are reasonable is a separate discussion.

    Absent, lack of 2006 -2009 HID durability and Toyota blaming consumers, I doubt that the class action would have arisen.
     
  14. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    How many of those do you think were really due to one bulb burning out and the owner not noticing? Then some night while driving down the road, the other one burns out and now the oblivious owner is rolling down the road at 1 am with no lights and crashes. Then they contact a lawyer. Then word spreads to all the other idjits who are just like the first guy. Then it becomes a publicity nightmare because, just like a thousand other things in America, it gets blown out of proportion. And the lawyers roll in the $$.

    Your post description of the lawsuit excerpts pretty much describes the failure mode of an HID light. They rarely ever just burn out.

    Here's a good place to start if you like to read about HID lights....by our own @2k1Toaster

    Not all HID Bulbs are created equal | PriusChat

    I stand by my post, and I'd guess so will most people with real experience.
     
    #14 TMR-JWAP, Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  15. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Active Member

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    Q: So why is it that the Toyota Prius HID class action is limited to 2006 through 2009?
    .
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    A: Only 2006 through 2009 had the HID "defect" problem.

    Using your random idjit analysis, the class action should be for 2004-2019 (AFAIK, all years that Prius had an option for HID headlamps). Clearly, this is not the case. Thus, disproving your idjit theory.

    Is it possible for you to consider that Toyota may have been resistant to repair/remedy of a recurring problem (AKA a defect) related to the HID headlamps?

    PS I get it you don't like lawyers.

    PPS The way I heard the idjit joke was as follows:

    Q: What caused the automobile wreck?

    A: A loose nut . . . . . behind the wheel.
     
  16. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Using your random idjit analysis, the class action should be for 2004-2019 (AFAIK, all years that Prius had an option for HID headlamps). Clearly, this is not the case. Thus, disproving your idjit theory

    Exactly as you said...AFAIK... You're assuming too much. Toyota decided there's too many idiots in America. I challenge someone to show me a 2010 or newer that has OEM HID lights. Toyota made them halogen (which all the idjits are used to) or LED. At least the Gen 3s, I'm not 100% sure about Gen 4.

    Once again, it all has to do with the normal failure mode of the HID bulbs. Just because a lawyer or the media repeat something a million times doesn't mean I'm going to believe them, but there's plenty of people who will. It's proven every single day. I think it's called "marketing".
     
    #16 TMR-JWAP, Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  17. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    I think there was a bad run of HID bulbs that made it into 2006 vehicles. Toyota originally charged $300 per bulb, plus about 4 hours labor to install them. Plus Toyota frequently blamed the ballast, for another few hundred dollars. Some people thought $1000 to replace two headlight bulbs in a less than year old car was out of line. The legal settlement reduced the bulb cost to $150 each with refunds for work done at a dealership. The Luscious Garage video shows the work taking 3 minutes per bulb, with their cost about $100 per bulb.

    Current run Philips brand bulbs last many years. My originals were a couple years, and the second set 10 years to date.

    The current problem is bulb quality - non-Philips bulbs generally suck, and there are counterfeit Philips bulbs with similar poor quality. $55 per bulb is a really good price, $70 with retail packaging. Anything less is asking for short life, or even not working with the original ballast.

    Comment on high vs low beam HID: The difference is the position of a shield that blocks some of the field. There is a single bulb used for both high and low beams. If only high or low beams go out, it's not HID.
     
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