My HID bulb replacement on my 06 prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by windstrings, May 26, 2008.

  1. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Yes, I had the intermittent turning off with a mind of its own that so many have reported... both of my cars have close to 60K on them.
    The right bulb on both cars are the problem at the moment and they tend to turn off within 5 - 10 minutes of first being turned on.
    Turning the lights off and then back on revives them for now.
    The HID bulbs are so bright, its difficult to tell you have one off until the police officer pulls you over to remind you as he did with both me and my wife.

    I suspect the bulb is failing as it takes more and more juice to keep things vaporized in the failing bulb.

    After replacing the bulb, things appear to be perfect so far.

    Well although I'm very glad I did the exchange by replacing them myself so that now I have that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing I know how to change out my HID bulbs and not be under the mans thumb, it wasn't near as easy as I had hoped.

    The main problem for me was adjusting the wire keeper that holds the bulb in place.

    I think the mistake I made that got me in trouble was connecting the electrical base back on the bulb "before" I adjusted the wire keeper in place... that only bent the wire enough to make it harder by the time I figured out my mistake.

    My two prius's are 2006 and I think the setup is a tad different than some of the other instructions that have been posted.

    Although It would have been nice to remove the bumper so as to have perfect visual access to the back of the lamp assembly.. that’s just not practical and not necessary at all once your figure out what your doing.
    I’m sure there are some unscrupulous dealers out there who in order to make their job easier, would rather take off the whole bumper, replace the lens housing and charge you for parts and labor so they don’t have to figure out how to do what we are discussing here as I imagine its not in the service manual. Sorry… am I skeptical or just real?

    I bought both of my bulbs off of eBay for 69.00 for "both" of them!!! D4R is the type for the 06 prius. EDIT---- NOW 44.99 for both on sale!
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-4300K-HID-Xenon-Kit-Bulbs-2-Bulbs-OEM-D4R-D4S-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem518af0e884QQitemZ350223394948QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
    Stan has impeccable feedback and so far the product seems superb.

    Before you start a small LED flashlight or similar may make the job easier.

    Here are some tips to remove the HID bulbs:
    Don't turn on the bulbs just before this operation.. it will only charge the ballast and make the job a bit more hazardous.

    First, we will remove the passenger side bulb, and then the drivers.

    1. The black plastic shield across the front of the car under the hood comes off with gentle turns of the 6 screws counterclockwise about 1/4 turn and then they will pop right out. “I used a Phillips screwdriver”

    2. Take a flat head screwdriver and lift up the top half of the plug that holds the passenger side vent down and it pops off very easy.

    3. If you want to remove the window washer fluid container.. it will make life easier. The extra five minutes taken may save you much more by giving your hand better access.
    It has a pop-out screw on the left and one threaded screw towards the firewall on top with a bolt/washer combo that holds it down.
    Also, there will be a electrical wire that pops free from the right side. Take off the two electrical connectors "on bottom" by squeezing them and pulling.
    If you want, you can leave the two electrical connections connected and just prop the reservoir out of the way.
    Easiest done by first lifting the tab up over and off the long bolt on top of the firewall.
    Now the rubicks cube... "I mean the container", will come out with a little manipulation.. the front plastic tab "top of firewall" that goes to that threaded screw hold down will need to be bent just a tad to release from under the front lip and the whole thing will come out.

    You can either let the container rest right there lifted up and out of the way, or to make plenty of room for your hand to get back there, you can do as I did and remove the “slide off” rubber hose connectors "on bottom" that will allow you to completely remove it and sit it on the ground. Now if your head is not too fat "LOL!".. you can actually look completely behind the assembly to see what your doing “if you can now stand on your head”, when you install the bulb and wire keeper by sticking your head where the wiper container "WAS".
    Believe me, its a blessing being able to see how the keeper is setup so you aren't flying blind... because of this.. I recommend doing the passenger side first to get a birds eye visual because you aren't afforded this luxury on the drivers side.
    If your head is too fat.. thats ok.... I'm a pinhead so I was able to get my head in the hole. I took a small LED flashlight that I could hold with my right hand and actually was able to manipulate the keeper with my fingers while holding the light while looking at it upside down with my head stuck in that hole where the wiper container was. I had to put some cheap reading glasses on too, to be able to see clearly that close “8 – 10 inches or so”.

    Some may prefer to use a mirror on the end of a rod you can pick up at the autoparts store to check things out…. “now why didn’t I think of that?”

    If you honestly can't get a view, you may be able to cheat by taking a picture of it with your cell phone and its flash.... anything to get one good look will say a thousand words when understanding how to remove the wire keeper and place it back on.

    4. Now that we've hashed out the wiper fluid container, we need to remove the back of the light assembly to gain access to the bulb.
    Its about 4 inches across with little fins to give you traction when attempting to turn... don't hit them with a screwdriver nor should you use pliers or tools.. you "will" break them off if you do!!!.. The best thing I found was to put on some garden gloves and grab and turn counterclock wise. If it resists... wiggle it a bit to loosen the large O ring underneath and try again.
    "Constant" tension seems to be the key... if you look very close you will see it turning very slowly. It takes about an eighth of a turn before it stops and you can wiggle it free. Once you've done this once, it’s much easier should you need to do it again.

    5. Now unplug the electrical connector off that plastic lens backing you just removed so you can turn or flip it out of the way to make more room for your hand.

    6. Now that you can look inside, you will see everything "except" what looks like a bulb…. Lol!... but the chrome electrical connector that goes to the back of the bulb will be visible. Its above the wire windings you will see below.
    Turn that chrome piece counter clockwise about 1/8th of a turn to hear "a click" and it will pull off.
    It may be a good idea "not" to put your finger into it, and a better idea not to put your tongue in it while your head is stuck in that hole as it comes from the ballast with high voltage... It would be an embarrassing picture for your family in the newspaper headlines!
    I took mine and put it near metal to discharge it... with one of the 4 I did, I actually heard a pop from the arc!

    7. Now if you put your head behind where the washer fluid container was, you can see how the wire keeper is set "before" you remove it. They pull in, and back "towards the front of the car" and then out to release to let it fall forward "towards the engine" to release the bulb.
    The bulb pulls right out.... Note the solid wire on the bottom of the bulb “don’t know what that’s called” itself goes to the bottom when positioned properly in the lens!... replace it the same way, or you will have a nasty shadow on the ground as it shines.

    8. Take the new bulb and be careful not to touch the glass in any way unless you wipe it back off with acetone or similar.
    Take your little flashlight and peer though the front lens to see that you are placing the bulb in squarely and correctly. * **remember the heavy straight wire on the bulb goes down!... if you mount it up.. not only will it not fit well, you will have a shadow on the ground instead of up into space where no one can see it.
    Note, there are 3 little bumps so you can see if its placed in the hole perfectly, now while holding that bulb in place, look behind "if your Head isn't too fat" otherwise go by feel and while holding the bulb in place with the tip on one finger, gently place the wire keeper around the bulb and push far back "evenly while doing so" and hook one side and then the other.
    If the wire pops off from its holder at the base in all the confusion.. just place it back in its groove that holds it at its base and start over.
    It was almost easier to get both sides of the wire keeper close and then click one side into place, then the other, then go back and reposition both again to set firmly.
    This is one of those jobs that’s easy once you’ve done it once but can be a pain if your careless and bend the wire as it won’t hold properly if bent too far, you would have to take out and bend it back for a secure fit.

    9. If you have the keeper in correctly, the bulb will be firm not able to wiggle with normal manipulation "don't go crazy".
    Now remember how you had to turn the chrome electrical base 1/8 turn counterclockwise to remove it?... so now before you touch the back of the bulb, take that base and give it the 1/8 turn grace and place over the back of the bulb and push on gently and now turn it clockwise to lock in place. It goes on very gracefully and easy.

    10. Hook the electrical wire connector back on the back of the plastic lamp cover and place back on the back of the lens cover and turn clockwise to lock into place.

    11. Now you should be done!.... now on the the drivers side!

    -----------------------------------

    12. Pop off the fuse box cover by pulling on the top part up and it comes right off.

    13. Now remove the lower green and blue relay's so you have more room for your hand. "yes its ok to turn the car on with them out, but you will get brake and traction light warnings" on the dash lights if you do.

    14. Again, take the plastic back of the lamp off with counterclockwise motion... "constant tension" is the biggest key to getting this off! The rubber o ring is large and its a tight fit, but it "will" come with a constant reasonable torque... don't use tools.. only your hand with a rag or gloves. The fins give your hands traction but it cannot take tools without breaking. If you can manage one of your fingers from the other hand for extra power that helps. I also used the part that stuck out near the bottom where the electrical wire hooks up as a good lever for my hand to anchor against while turning.

    15. Now you will not be able to get your head in behind this one to see the back of the bulb because the fuse box is in the way no matter how much of a pin head you are!.... so please don't try!... LOL! But a mirror or camera may do the trick.... usually if you have already accomplished the other side and got a view, this side will go ok just with feel.

    16. Take the chrome connector off with a counterclockwise "click" and remove "or rather unclip" the wire keeper.
    To unclip the wire keeper, push inward towards the bulb, then while still holding, allow to push back towards the front of the car, allow to relax "will widen" and fall forward towards the engine.
    The rest will be done by feel.... for some reason, I was able to do the drivers side easier by feel than the passenger side.

    17. Just note how the wire keeper comes off... maybe take one side of and put it back on a few times to teach yourself how it goes, then do the other side.....Once your convinced its a piece of cake, remove the bulb and replace the bulb as per passenger side instructions.


    Yippi, you just saved yourself hundreds and hundreds of dollars and you know how to do it again over the life of your car….. nice!!!

    I’m ashamed to say how long this took me so I won’t, but hopefully I can help someone else to streamline this simple operation that I made so complicated.
    Sorry for the terminology and I don’t know the real name for all the parts mentioned.

    Feel free to email me if you get stumped for suggestions:
    Windstrings at gmail.com
     
    15 people like this.
  2. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Well its been a couple of days now.... I don't have "any" leveling problems as some suppose from not having "genuine" OEM bulbs .... a bulb is a bulb... I saw no auto leveling features in the old bulbs.

    I swear these look brighter than the other ones too... unless the Kelvin is ever so slightly higher... the white lines on the road almost hurt my eyes now.

    So far so good... very pleased.
     
  3. bestroofer

    bestroofer New Member

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    thanks for the useful info.
    i hope that things get " ironed" out before my next replacement.
    2 things)
    a) my local dealer replaced both front and both rear lights @ no cost to me even though i had 36705 miles,... they wrote it up as 35750 miles
    b) does the extended waranty cover future failure
     
  4. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I guess the big trick is to get them to admit its a "failure" and a "defect" rather than a normal wear item thats not covered.

    Any bulb that cost 330.00 should last a stinkin lot longer than 36K miles!

    HID bulbs are supposed to last 10 times longer than Halogen... ???
    Does that mean its normal to lose a Halogen at 3600 miles?
     
  5. bestroofer

    bestroofer New Member

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    can't say ws but any car,....new,...@ 27000.00 dollars u.s. should last longer!! geeesh! thats why i bought a toyaota
    best roofer
     
  6. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Well my hats still off to toyota.... I always expected if I used my warranty it would be on something extremely sophisticated and complex... not a bulb.

    I guess "genuine phillips" dropped the ball on this on and toyota has dropped the ball for not forcing them to make good for a lousy bulb.
     
  7. bestroofer

    bestroofer New Member

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    ws,
    wondering,.....does extended warranty cover future failure??
    br
     
  8. DGH

    DGH Thread Terminator

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    Instructions printed and filed, bulbs purchased------Thank You!
     
  9. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I only called two of my local dealers who gave me the run a round as bulbs being a "wear" item thats not covered...... even though they "wore" far too prematurely......

    I didn't contact toyota... I figured it was easier to do it myself and at least I would know how to do it again in the future and not have that little task hanging over my head later.
     
  10. 200Volts

    200Volts Member

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    No, the HID bulbs are not covered under the extended warranty. Mine started going out at 96k after 2 years on my 2006. Dealer said $550 +tax to replace one bulb. I opened a complaint with the Western Region Toyota office and they said tuff luck.
    FYI, a HID dealer told me the D4C bulbs are cheap, because they are made in China and don't have the ceramic band of paint that D4R bulbs have. $230/pair seems to be the going rate for factory OEM bulbs NOT from Toyota.
     
  11. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    IMO.. HID's are only practicle if you don't mind using the cheap ebay bulbs..... IMO I think they are just as good.... I bought 4 of them and did have problems with one after about 10K miles but the other 3 are still kickin after about 30K.... they only cost 69.00 bucks for two..... I can live with that.
     
  12. magruder

    magruder Average Member

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    I bought mine on ebay for 29.99 for two from xhidoutlet. I've only had them a week, so I don't know how long they'll last. They appear to be of reasonable quality though. I don't see the d4r that the 2006+ Prius requires from xhidoutlet. However, they claim to be able to cover 99.9% of applications. They say to contact them if you don't see the bulb you need.
     
  13. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Wow!.. you'll have to provide a link.. I couldn't find them for that cheap... at least not HID's... they are now nearly the price of Halogen!
     
  14. magruder

    magruder Average Member

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    If you do an advanced search in ebay and specify to only include items from seller xhidoutlet, then you'll see their bulbs.
     
  15. cgates30

    cgates30 Junior Member

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    I had this problem in Jan '08, the dealer replaced both bulbs for free, and now 14 months later I'm having the same problem on the passenger side. I called the dealer and they said I'd have to pay a minimum shop charge for them to look at it. I figure I'll use your instructions, move the good bulb to the passenger side (verify its the bulb), and then order the bulbs on eBay.

    Can anybody vouch for the $30 hid bulbs on ebay from seller xhidoutlet[​IMG]?

    Thanks
     
  16. magruder

    magruder Average Member

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    Mine are still working great after a couple of weeks, and I use the lights every morning going to work. I will post more info if they give me any problems.

    Dave
     
  17. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    At worst, you may be a bad bulb out of 10... but considering the alternatives...........

    I'm good about 6 months or so now of 4 bulbs.. one went bad right off... I replaced it with one of the old bulbs that never went bad and it still works to this day.... slightly different colors though...

    The stock one is a bit greener than the new ebay bulbs that tend to have just a tiny bit of blue hue "4500K".

    I think stock is about "4300K"
     
  18. cgates30

    cgates30 Junior Member

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    I just switched bulbs from one side to the other and they are now both working. I don't know if maybe one had a bad connection or not. I could definitely hear the hum/buz of the inverter (or whatever) before hand and then it would go silent when the light went out. Now just a constant hum/buz. Maybe after a couple of days I'll get the same behavior. I might go ahead and buy the replacement lamps as a backup...
     
  19. cgates30

    cgates30 Junior Member

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    I guess that's the risk you take. At that price it doesn't make bad sense to buy 4 and have a couple of spares.

    A couple of tabs on one of the plastic covers that encloses the lamp in the light assembly broke off. It was on really tight and as I was trying to twist it off, some of the tabs broke. I should probably get a new cover, but I might just monitor the cover to see if it loosens up over time of if it's okay the way it is.

    I've had the car for 3 years and in general I've been happy with it, but the issues I've had with the lights has been very irritating. In addition to the headlights, the parking lights and one of the tail lights has come lose and led to me getting pulled over. It seems like Toyota would have a better quality system than what I'm seeing with this car.
     
  20. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    They were only 69.00 for two.. but I have two cars so need 4 as the symptom was occurring on both 2006 cars.

    The tabs don't matter, other than it may be harder to get it off next time since there is little grip.. but now that you know how to do it, maybe not. Seems the rubber seal has a bit a grease and the friction between the two takes time to free. Seems slow and steady torque does the trick and it moves the same way "very slow".

    Thats the test they like you to do to rule out whether its really a bulb or an inverter issue, but chances are you will see the symptom on the opposite side now.
    Whatever the original problem was, didn't magically go away just because the bulbs are reversed unless like you say it was connection issues.

    If the problem was other than the bulb, the problem should stay with that side, if it was the bulb, it should move to the other.. so thats what I expect it to do.. it may take a few days.

    But we are dealing with very good connections here and very high voltages.... true the voltage drops after initial fireup but as discussed in the previous posts, turning off the lights and then back on doesn't make a physical connection get better.

    The only time that happens is when we are dealing with a resistance point problems where the resistance raises higher and higher with heat until its finally blocked enough amperage so that current is blocked and the bulb fails.
    Whether this is occurring outside the bulb or inside is unclear, but my bet is that its on the inside.
    Especially based on how mine have worked.... replacing the bulbs is all I needed to do to fix the problem on both of my rigs.
     
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