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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Headlight Connector Go Poof!


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Olnick

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 01:36 PM

Driver's side headlight on my '95 Legacy L wagon was cutting out every once in awhile. Wiggling the wiring/connector made it work okay, so I knew the lamp was good.

Tried to remove the rubber boot and it tore apart--the middle part had been cooked to the back of the plastic connector! When I finally got the connector out, one of the plugs (the top one where the yellow/blue wire terminates) was totally destroyed--burnt out and melted away.

Must have been a spectacular flash . . . the black plastic looked like a lava field, a'a on the surface and pahoehoe below!

Anyone ever experience this? Why would there be a short in such a protected area?

#2 gbhrps

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 05:51 PM

Olnick,

I've seen similar results on automotive electrical circuits over the years. You may have had a bad connection from the start, that finally corroded enough to create enough resistance and heat to toast the connector. Find another in a junk yard and graft it onto your headlight wiring. I did the same thing with a wiring connector to the rectifier on my garden tractor earlier this summer. Its not a big deal to replace. Good luck!

#3 Olnick

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 06:14 PM

Thanks, gbhrps. I think you're probably right--puts my mind at ease hearing someone else say it though! Will try the salvage route, but they're notoriously light on Subie parts here. Guess that's a good sign!

Aloha.

#4 frag

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 06:19 PM

Maybe you could also check that someone did'nt install higher wattage lamps in you car. I remember stories about those lamp producing lens and connection meltdowns. Just a tought.

#5 Olnick

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 07:06 PM

Good suggestion, frag, thanks. But I've had the car 5 years and no sexy mods. In fact, other than 15" alloys and racing quality blinker fluid, she's so stock she's a bit boring!

#6 georgeinmd

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 08:09 PM

You should be able to find a replacement socket at most random parts stores; I got one to fit my Forester at AutoZone. They may allegedly be for sealed beam headlamps, but they work on halogen bulbs, too. Cheaper, easier, and probably more reliable. -- George

#7 hklaine

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:29 PM

And if you have (or install) higher wattage headlights you may want to go with some heavy-duty connectors. The factory Subaru ones are fair at best ;-)

-Heikki

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#8 Olnick

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:36 PM

Thanks George, that's encouraging. My first thought is always to avoid dealerships! Went to a nearby NAPA and the kid couldn't find the part. Called a different NAPA and they couldn't find that specific part in their catalog.

So maybe I'll just take the burned out piece tomorrow and see if anyone is willing to look beyond the catalog!

Aloha. Thanks again.

#9 Olnick

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:52 PM

Posted Image



Wow! Now that's heavy duty wiring, Heikki. Is that connector aftermarket or did you fab it yourself? Does it bother you that it's not enclosed in a rubber boot like the OEM part (not that that helped me!)?

Anyway, thanks much for the input--and great picture.

#10 hklaine

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 05:20 AM

Wow! Now that's heavy duty wiring, Heikki. Is that connector aftermarket or did you fab it yourself? Does it bother you that it's not enclosed in a rubber boot like the OEM part (not that that helped me!)?

Anyway, thanks much for the input--and great picture.


At first I was a bit worried, but after about 18 months and two winters my high-wattage bulbs are still burning bright. The connector is aftermarket. I purchased it, along with bulbs and relays, from http://www.danielsternlighting.com/. Excellent vendor with top-notch products.

I took the photo before taping up the stock wiring. You can see it there below the headlight for comparison. Yes, I stepped up the wire gauge just a bit. ;)

-Heikki

#11 Olnick

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 01:39 AM

Update: Subaru solved the problem for me. Called a dealership this morning (mainly to see how much they'd ask for a simple little plastic connector!), guy took the information, called me back after awhile to tell me that Subaru doesn't sell the connector separately. It is considered part of the wiring harness! The guy seemed as shocked as I was.

What . . . I'm gonna' rewire my whole car for one crummy little connector?!!

Anyway, he aimed me at a parts store where the people are capable of a little more than just riffling through catalogs. Found a generic with pigtails and a stronger build than the original--for $3.40! Shoot, the package of heat-shrink tubing cost me more than that.

So now I can't wait for a day off to grab my soldering iron and go play.

Thanks everyone for your help and guidance. Aloha.

#12 Commuter

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 12:20 PM

Gotta love "parts". :rolleyes:

I've been running high wattage bulbs in my 97 OB for a number of years. The connector gradually succumbed to the heat. I should have changed them last year, but I didn't get to it. Last winter, I had to pop the hood and wiggle the connectors about every 2 days to re-establish connection so that my lights would work. :lol:

I finally got around to changing them in the spring. After a bit of seaching, I found the right connector (it was not labeled as H4, but it fits) at Canadian Tire. Spliced the wiring and it's been good ever since.

Commuter

#13 Spazz698

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 04:00 PM

I had this prob with my legacy, the pass side headlight liked to flicker a lot, come to find out the plug was on the verge of a total meltdown (literally...) the plastic around the low beam and the ground wires were almost nonexistant. Then I realized it was caused by 2 things: 1) bad xenon bulb producing way more heat than it was supposed to and 2) my lights being on all the time. replaced the plug, then the bulb a few weeks later (as it started to do the same thing to this plug but it was still useable) and havent had a problem since.

#14 phastings

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:41 PM

Can someone point me in the direction where to get the plug?

#15 Olnick

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:34 AM

I emailed this information to phastings but thought I'd post it here for what it's worth.

What I got is called a "Socket/Pigtail Assembly"--found it at Carquest, part # "S-526." Most parts stores probably have something similar, essentially a generic socket to fit a halogen lamp. Y' just gotta' get the counterguy's nose out of the vehicle specific catalogs so he can go and actually look for it!!!




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