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headlights burn out continually

headlights

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14 replies to this topic

#1 lsabol

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:03 PM

I've had an 04 Impreza TS since 2007. During that time I've replaced both passenger and driver's side headlights at least 5 times each. In my almost 40 years of driving I've never had to replace a headlight. Are Subarus excessively delicate this way? What am I doing wrong? Recommendations on longer-lasting headlight bulbs would be much appreciated. Thanks!

 

Laurie Sabol

Ayer MA



#2 MR_Loyale

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:46 PM

I had this happen to me. There was a small hole in the lense assembly due to rock chip and when it was wet outside rain water built up inside the headlight assembly. If that water splashes on the hot bulb it instantly goes out. Feel carefully with your fingers all over the lense assembly for any holes. Repair with silicon sealant or replace as you desire.


Edited by MR_Loyale, 01 October 2013 - 08:47 PM.


#3 later_Peter

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 09:47 PM

I had water seepage wreck bulbs, too...



#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 10:24 PM

What kind of bulbs are you using?
I know Sylvania Silverstar bulbs are prone to burning out.

I've never had trouble with any of the standard bulbs. (GE, Sylvania, etc)

Does the glass break or is it just the filament that's burning out?
Water in the headlamp housing will cause the glass to shatter. So will touching the glass with your fingers.

If the filaments are just burning out that could mean you have a charging system or voltage issue.

#5 heartless

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:05 AM

this is not a typical behavior - of any car.

 

with both sides going out frequently, I would be looking into electrical issues - most likely suspect: a bad ground related to the headlight circuit.

 

What condition are the connectors in? (the part the bulb plugs in to) do they show any corrosion, darkening (burning) or anything unusual? (note: there should be some dielectric grease in there - factory grease is kind of creamy in color)

 

When installing new bulbs - never, ever touch the actual bulb! oily residue from your hands will cause them to burn out faster.

 

Make sure the bulb is fully plugged in to the connector - partial connections can also cause early failure.

 

I know Sylvania Silverstar bulbs are prone to burning out.

 

I have had Sylvania Silverstars in my car for almost 5 years now & have yet to have one burn out, and I run my headlights nearly all the time (now watch, now that I have said that, one will go...darn Murphy)



#6 bratman18

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:51 AM

I would say the connectors. Sometimes heat builds up and causes a bad connection. Then more heat builds up and it gets worse over time.

I also had very bad luck with sylvania silverstarts. I went through 2 sets in a few months.

#7 MilesFox

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:09 AM

Have you tried wiggling the sockets. I ahd a ford truck that you had to wiggle the socket every time you turn the lights on. although it would stay on til turning off again.

 

Handling the replacement bulb with your fingers will cause them to burn out, as the oil from your finger creates a hot spot on the bulb.



#8 jp98

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:05 AM

Bad grounds will also cause a bulb to burn out prematuraly.  Look for a loose or coroded connection.  I'll also say, don't touch the bulb itself and if you do happen to touch it clean it with alcohol to get the oils off of it.



#9 Olnick

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:56 PM

Have you checked the condition of your headlight sockets?  Here's a problem I had many years ago:

 

http://www.ultimates...f/?hl=headlight

 

Good luck!



#10 Rooster2

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 02:45 PM

What most people don't know, is that the glass envelope of the bulb should not be touched with your fingers. Any amount of dirt, or tiny amount of oily residue from your fingers will cause the bulb to over heat, and burn out the bulb in a short amount of tim.

 

If you do touch the bulb, clean by wipeing off with rubbing alcohol.



#11 MR_Loyale

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:21 PM

What kind of bulbs are you using?
I know Sylvania Silverstar bulbs are prone to burning out.

I've never had trouble with any of the standard bulbs. (GE, Sylvania, etc)

Does the glass break or is it just the filament that's burning out?
Water in the headlamp housing will cause the glass to shatter. So will touching the glass with your fingers.

If the filaments are just burning out that could mean you have a charging system or voltage issue.

 

Just to clarify, when he says that touching the glass will cause it to shatter, he is referring to the actual glass on the bulb, not the outside of the  assembly. You are not supposed to touch the glass of the bulb because the oil on your fingers will cause it to shatter when it gets hot.


Edited by MR_Loyale, 02 October 2013 - 05:26 PM.


#12 MilesFox

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:31 PM

.....or the hot spot will melt the glass and let the vacuum escape and the filament burns out. If the bulb is milky looking, this is the case. It is normal for a working bulb to have a silvery tone after it has been operational.



#13 efseiler

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:05 PM

I used to have a Geo Metro years ago that would constantly have alternators burn out on me.

 

 

Maybe it's just a bad run at the factory and your supplier got the lot of them.  Impurities in the tungsten...some residual oxygen within the bulb.

 

 

Maybe something within the electrical system of your car suppling excessive voltage.

 

 

 

--Damien

 

 



#14 ivans imports

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:29 AM

Have been having same type problems when pia bulbs installed and any higher end bulbs dont seem to hold up But the stock plane jane bulbs seem to last forever. Have also noticed that the headlight bulbs nowdays are super cheaply made and most china produced i think the elements they use is substandard and dosent last. Have had 40 or more subarus with burning out headlights problem. Worse on 99 and up cars



#15 MilesFox

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:36 AM

Speaking of newer cars i have always noticed chevy silverado or gmc truck 2000's model always seem to have a burnt out daytime runing light. This global economy of assembled in mexico from parts made in china.







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