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Headlight bulbs

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Is it just me or do headlight bulbs burn out faster than they used to?

My 2014 Outback is a major PITA to change them. I got 7 months out of the last ones.

SYLVANIA seems to be the only ones easily available. I bought the next step up from the basic ones last time. This time I bought the cheapest.

My Hyundai went through bulbs 3 times a year but they were a snap to change.

One reason is my wife drives with lights on in daytime for safety but 7 months??

My 07 Focus has the original lights!!

I swear it's such a pain on the outback I'd pay 4× the price if I could guarantee a couple of years out of them.

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7 hours ago, OLDNEWBIE said:

Is it just me or do headlight bulbs burn out faster than they used to?

My 2014 Outback is a major PITA to change them. I got 7 months out of the last ones.

SYLVANIA seems to be the only ones easily available. I bought the next step up from the basic ones last time. This time I bought the cheapest.

My Hyundai went through bulbs 3 times a year but they were a snap to change.

One reason is my wife drives with lights on in daytime for safety but 7 months??

My 07 Focus has the original lights!!

I swear it's such a pain on the outback I'd pay 4× the price if I could guarantee a couple of years out of them.

I had the same issue on the 04 Vibe we had. Seemed to burn out constantly in the last few years we had it. One side was ok to change. The other required a contortionist or disassembling the car. 

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Not sure how cheap you can make light bulbs but they figured it out. I see it everyday where newer model cars have random bulbs out. 

Changing out the headlight bulbs on my '06 Accord was awful. Eventually had to hit YouTube for some help. Not a day goes by that I don't kick myself for selling my 1993 Chevy S10 2.3 liter with a manual. Hopefully I will have something else before a projector beam goes out on my current SUV.

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You probably know this, but wear rubber gloves or do everything in your power to keep your skin's oil from fingerprints and such off of the bulb when you install it.  The minuscule amount of oils on your skin can actually cause bulbs to burn hot on the area where the oil is present, and consequently fail early.

 

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I recently found this out and tried doing that on this change out.

Time will tell if it helps.

 

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Try and find a car forum for your brand/model and see what they say about headlight bulbs.  Some work better than others (last longer, etc).  With the DRL's, the lights probably last as long in terms of hours but if you drive more during the day, the lights are on since you drive more during the day than at night.  JMO.

I've read where the DRL, or some of them run at a slightly lower voltage by design, and this may not be good for the bulbs.  Different situation I know, but I've got some recessed lights over the garage doors at the house, they have been on 24/7 for almost  14 yrs now and I've never replaced a bulb yet.  I do have a dimmer switch on these.  

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My Tacoma's headlights lasted for a few years (OEM Sylvania), but once the first one went, each replacement did not last a year and I bought all three levels of Sylvania lights. I used to leave my lights on as they go off automatically when I shut the engine off, but found out with my Toyota that can be an issue.  I researched and found a brand (Sylvania's suck) PIAA, that seems to be going good, almost two years now.  I don't know if it is the bulb or the fact that I now manually turn my lights on and off, but either way I'm glad that is over.

BTW these are the ones I got: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00067BVDC

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Get LED replacements. Friend of mine did that to his outback and the LED's have been in there for years.  It was pain to convert as I saw pictures of what looked like the whole front clip scattered around his garage, but it seems to have been worth it. 

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Finger prints on the bulb and use a dielectric grease on the connectors.

I have never had trouble on modern headlights.

Knock on wood!

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4 hours ago, peejman said:

Get LED replacements. Friend of mine did that to his outback and the LED's have been in there for years.  It was pain to convert as I saw pictures of what looked like the whole front clip scattered around his garage, but it seems to have been worth it. 

I’m all about the LED bulbs. The newer kits are usually pretty easy to convert as well. 

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How bright are LEDs?  With my Toyota's lenses already needing to be polished again, I need as bright a bulb as possible without blinding oncoming traffic.

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Let’s just say that they will require making sure your headlights are properly aimed very important. 

 

That reminds me folks, ensuring your headlights are properly aimed and adjusted is a regular maintanence item. If you find yourself getting flashed with brights a lot while you don’t have yours on, maybe it’s because you’ve got one cockeyed bulb blinding the hell out of everyone. At least once a year, take the time to ensure that your headlights haven’t come out adjustment. Just another friendly PSA from your local truck driver. 

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Agree with the points made - don't touch the bulb directly and check out some of the "drop-in" LED kits. There are multiple $40ish kits on Amazon with good reviews if you want to stay on the cheap side, and better kits that go up from there available elsewhere.

 

Additionally, brightness and to some degree longevity will depend on the bulb type. My car calls for 9006 bulbs which are terrible, but 9012 bulbs are much brighter while remaining safe - from a voltage and other driver perspective.

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1 hour ago, Chucktshoes said:

Let’s just say that they will require making sure your headlights are properly aimed very important. 

 

That reminds me folks, ensuring your headlights are properly aimed and adjusted is a regular maintanence item. If you find yourself getting flashed with brights a lot while you don’t have yours on, maybe it’s because you’ve got one cockeyed bulb blinding the hell out of everyone. At least once a year, take the time to ensure that your headlights haven’t come out adjustment. Just another friendly PSA from your local truck driver. 

This x1000. 

Some nitwit near me with an "I'm compensating for something" truck has LED headlights that are just plain hateful.  Last time he got behind me, I pulled off into a side street just to get him ahead of me. 

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I have not had a headlight burn out in years on Fords and Hondas. Can't remember when, but way over 10 years. I thought they were making them better but it sounds like I have just been lucky.

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On 1/7/2019 at 6:36 AM, TGO David said:

You probably know this, but wear rubber gloves or do everything in your power to keep your skin's oil from fingerprints and such off of the bulb when you install it.  The minuscule amount of oils on your skin can actually cause bulbs to burn hot on the area where the oil is present, and consequently fail early.

 

This. Most instructions that come with the bulbs, tell you to do this. A bit of contact cleaner isn't a bad idea either. Contacts can get corroded or dirty over time.

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