Is it worth replacing?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Codemonkey757, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Codemonkey757

    Codemonkey757 New Member

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    I have a situation that I need your opinion on. One of the previous owners of my Prius replaced the halogen headlight bulbs with LED lights, but still has the Halogen headlight settings. Well, about 2 weeks ago, my passenger-side headlight started flickering before going out while driving. It still lights up, but is only half as bright as the driver-side.

    I took it to Advanced Auto for a lightbulb, and they don't sell them, which is understandable. I took it to a hybrid specialist, and they said that it might not be the bulb itself, but something between the bulb and the power source (I forgot the words he used for each part). He suggested that I should replace the whole headlight assembly and that it will cost $942 to replace, which I can only afford because my car is still under dealer warranty.

    My question is this, is it worth the replacement? Has anyone encountered such a situation and had an assembly-replacement be the only viable cheap solution? Or is this mechanic just trying to get business and it truly is just the bulb?
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Halogen bulbs only cost $12 each and are available at every department store and every auto parts store and once your fingers get the practice you can replace a bulb in less than 5 minutes in a parking lot with no tools (at least on Gen2 Prius). HID or LED bulbs often require "something between the bulb and the power source" to make it work. We can get into details depending on where you want to go with this. But first, have you tried finding a matching bulb on Ebay Or Craigs list? Also have you tried swapping the LED bulbs to cofirm it's a bad bulb or something in the circuit for the bulb?
     
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  3. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Ok, I just replaced my low-beam OEM halogen lightbulbs with Sealight S1 LEDs, so I will try to help, assuming that the headlight housing is not melted or damaged so that you can just replace the bulbs. If the housing is really damaged, then it might need to be replaced, but if that is ok you should be able to just replace the bulbs. If so:

    First off, if you are working on the passenger side, you should unbolt the 2 10mm bolts holding the coolant tank in place and then very gently swing the coolant tank up, over, and onto the engine so that you have room to work behind the headlight housing.
    The LED lights have a very small “ballast” box which converts the wiring harness current to exactly what the LED bulb needs. For the Sealight S1, that box is a small plastic rectangle which you should find attached by an electrical cabe to the back of your bulb on the one side, and plugged into the original plug on your wiring harness, on the other side. To convert back to OEM halogens, you must remove the LED bulb from the back of the headlight housing (by twisting it 90 degrees counter-clockwise—from the 6 pm position leftwards to the 3 pm position and pull gently out), then disconnect the ballast from the original plug on the wiring harness and remove the LED bulb and ballast.
    Installing a new halogen you must take a careful look at the three metal prongs in the picture below:
    205C48D1-0C59-42DD-A42A-3373166D471D.jpeg
    Those prongs are what holds the bulb in the housing. Using nitrile gloves on your hands, you must carefully insert the bulb at the 3-o’clock Position so that all 3 prongs are flat inside the housing, and then gently rotate the base clockwise (downward) until it is in the 6 o’clock position. Then get the plug from the wiring harness, make sure it is oriented correctly, and then insert the plug onto the base until it clicks into connection. (That may be a bit difficult as there is almost no extra slack in the wiring harness.)
    You might consider doing the driver side replacement first as that side can be directly and immediately accessed for bulb replacement. If you can find a PC member who has done bulb replacement in the Va Beach area, he/she would be a godsend in guiding you through this. Another thread on bulbs had a posted video about changing to HiD bulbs that helped me also. Good luck!
     
  4. Codemonkey757

    Codemonkey757 New Member

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    No, I haven't tried replacing the LED bulb since I haven't found one yet. The auto store didn't have it.
     
  5. Codemonkey757

    Codemonkey757 New Member

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    This is the bulb, btw. 20191007_143706.jpg
     
  6. spiralhelix

    spiralhelix Member

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    It’s a great idea to swap drivers with passengers led to verify it’s the bulb vs wiring. I have a hard time thinking the wiring got fried. I got my LEDs from superbrightleds.com, but that doesn’t look like one they had. Possible just an amazon purchase.

    It’s also a great idea just to keep a spare set of halogen (probably the least expensive) in the trunk in case something ever goes wrong with the LEDs and you can continue driving with headlights

    Like they said above, unless the housing has melted/been destroyed definitely no reason to replace it.


    -Spiral
     
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  7. spiralhelix

    spiralhelix Member

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    VoRock8 R2 COB H11 H8 H9 H16 8000 Lumens Led Headlight Conversion Kit, Low Beam Headlamp, Fog Driving Light, Halogen Head Light Replacement, 6500K Xenon White, 1 Pair


    These /look/ like the ones.


    -Spiral
     
  8. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Ok, I checked that Amazon listing from spiralhelix, and if that is Codemonkey’s bulb, it is an LED with a fan in the base to help cool the circuitry. One source of failure would be that fan with consequent overheating of the electronics in the circuit board. In any case, the basic choice is to replace with LED , in which case the identical LED bulb would be the surest option, or with the OEM halogen. Good luck!

    (The Sealight S1 LED I installed has a passive heat sink but no fan as some reviewers of the fan-cooled versions remarked on the fan noise. But I have only had them in for a couple weeks and thus have no long-term data on their durability.)
     
  9. spiralhelix

    spiralhelix Member

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    sealight

    superbrightled

    thought i would link those that have been used. Robert's sealight & my superbright. I kept blowing headlamps like every 3-4 months (drive a lot at night) and got tired of it. I was getting the $50 halogens too. So for a few bucks more I got the fanless ones from SBLeds (though, considerably less lumens). Over on the Lexus forum, they were telling me it was a bad move and should have gone a completely different route. But I've had them installed for 2+ years and no signs of overheating or reduced visibility. Looks like the sealights are pretty comparable to mine. Either way, they come in pairs, so getting what's already there isn't any more beneficial than getting something else. So, I'd definitely go with sealights as a replacement imo.

    **Just because my above link didn't work when used on my phone, here is a direct link to what I would guess to be OPs.
     
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