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  • Missing a head light

    Posted on MrJimPhelps Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Fun Stuff Missing a head light

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      • #1918390 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        It seems like almost every day that I see at least three or four cars with one of their headlights out. I’ve begun noticing this, because it wasn’t that long ago that one, then the other, of my headlights went out and I had to replace the bulbs.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1918899 Reply
        Myst
        AskWoody Plus

        Time to swap out those halogens for LED. A bit pricey though but the LEDs last longer.

        Win7 SP1 Home x64, MacOS / Chromebook

        • #1919075 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          “A bit pricey though but the LEDs last longer.”

          Are you sure? When LEDs recently came out for home use I was happy because I remember LEDs from the 1970’s and they never burned out. But not true today.

          When LEDs first came out (recent sales) they were to have a 100,000 hour life. People bought them and after a year or two failed. The industry said we meant a 50,000 hour life. OK, people bought LEDs ($18 home use) and they failed. Consumers screamed again. Industry said, we meant a 25,000 hour life. Hummm. We have some 25,000 hour life LED bulbs and we shall see.

          The people of California got so upset with LEDs that CEC passed Title 20 & 24 (JA8) to guarantee the bulbs are made to a “minimum level of quality and performance from LED lamps needed to avoid consumer dissatisfaction”.

          In the automotive world I have seen countless city buses have portions of their new LED lights fail. One third to one half of the lamps-units were out (i.e. half the bulb worked). Now remember LEDs don’t “burn out” so why are they failing? They are failing from the drivers, the module or the solder joints.

          I was told by a lighting sales contractor that the little electronic package that makes the “Light Emitting Diode” burn is what fails. Another reason is a bad solder joint.
          The problem is consumers are buying these LEDs on the assurance that they WILL last longer and it then justifies the added initial cost. Real world, long life has NOT been forthcoming.

          I have had 4 name brand LED home use bulbs fail within 3 months of use. On failed within 2 weeks!

          The standard incandescent bulbs of my automobiles last years, YEARS before burning out. Some are still original being decades old! Granted, if I were a Taxi service and ran all night long, these bulbs would not be lasting 40, 20 or 10 years, but neither would they be burning out in 2 weeks.

          I am VERY disappointed in the LED world. I bought some LED bulb from Home Depot and when I got home I looked at the packaging very closely. In small print it said the life expectancy of the bulb was 2000 hours. What! I have incandescent bulbs that last 3 and 5000 hours and these “wonderful environmentally pleasing” LEDs are 2000 hours? This is an insult to the consumer and the environment.

          MrJimPhelps, the reason you are seeing so many headlights out is because everyone since the 1990’s are using Halogen cycle headlight bulbs. While they give a very nice white light it is by burning the filament at a higher temperature and the Halogen gas helps re-deposit the tungsten back on the filament. This is to try and create a longer life bulb and get more and whiter light. The problem is vibration. As you drive your car and hit bumps, it “jolts” the headlight and stresses the filament. Eventually you hit a bump and the filament breaks.

          I had a friend back in the 1990’s that immediately jumped onto the Halogen bandwagon for his car. He was burning out bulbs fast. The standard bulbs were not doing that. When Halogen car headlights first came out they didn’t accommodate the vibration and jolts they would have to contend with. They failed. Higher class manufacturers corrected this by strengthening the filament or adding support holders. Problem solved. So why are they failing now? Cheap or cost cutting made overseas for a cheap price and they don’t last.

          You want to have a fun eye opener? Go examine a Harley Davidson replacement bulb. They look like you can beat them with a rubber mallet and not affect the filament! Why, because Harley’s vibrate.

          I hope this answers some question you may have had.

          Have a nice day.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #1919590 Reply
            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Very interesting, A.

            I wish we could go back to the rectangular glass headlights from the 1970s.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #1919385 Reply
        Just Lurking
        AskWoody Plus

        Certainly, how long the bulbs last is one factor.

        But, from personal experience, newer cars are being designed in such a way that there is no easy access to reach many of the bulbs. It takes a rocket science decree to figure out how to reach these buried bulb fixtures.

        I have a 2013 Chevy Silverado. The owner’s manual states that for some of the bulbs, you need to bring your car into the dealer to have them replaced if they burn out. Right! That’s $100 -$150 dealer fee to replace a $5.00 bulb! I think there’s a reason some folks are not replacing their burned out bulbs quickly.

        The front headlight assembly has bulbs that can not be reached from within the engine compartment. One has to remove the whole assembly to reach the running light, the parking light, the side marker light, and the blinker light. Thankfully, one can reach the actual headlight from the engine compartment.

        If you do not have a service manual that explains the procedure to remove that assembly, you would probably have a difficult time succeeding. Turns out you have to remove the front wheel well shroud to reach two mounting screws that are behind the light assembly (the service manual suggested removing the front wheel for access–I was able to reach things without doing that–barely). And then even if you have found those screws, the clearances are so tight (and not well engineered to actually *fit*), that I had to actually sacrifice (i.e.–break off) an alignment tab to finally coach the assembly out of its mounting hole in the front fender. The assembly did not slide out easily–it had to be twisted and turned to funny angles to actually succeed, and forcefully squeezed through a tight area once that necessary twist was achieved.

        And it’s not just *USA* car brands (assembled in Mexico!)–similar problem with a Japanese car, a 2003 Subaru Outback (assembled in the USA–go figure!)–the rear back light assembly does not allow easy replacement. Once again the User Manual says you need to take it into the dealer for bulb replacements (running light bulb, and brake/blinker bulb, and side maker bulb). Once again, two buried nuts behind the interior decorative panel which are in such a tight space that it would be best for the size of a child’s hand. And, after loosing the nuts–the most likely event, because you can hardly reach the nuts with a wrench, you will drop the nut into the area below where it then disappeared through a crack–and they can not be reached (yup–off to the hardware store for replacement nuts). After that event, I stuffed a towel into that interior space so the nuts could not fall very far! That actually worked–can’t tell you how many times those nuts fell onto that towel while trying to re-mount that assemble!

        So, yes–I can see why bulbs might not be replaced quickly!

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1919436 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          NightOwl, Excellent post! You have some great ideas and stories. Your other post helped bmeacham #1914933. Good ideas.

          I am shocked to read your stories. I guess I have been lucky with older cars and one could get to them from the engine compartment, trunk interior or exterior screws.

          I think people here (MrJimPhelps) are getting the idea of why people have burned out lights.

          One just mentioned to me “what about the safety issue? If people do not want to spend the money or time to replace a bulb what about lighting safety? Yep, good point.

          Thank you again for your excellent posts you do.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1919597 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Thankfully I was able to quickly change my two headlight bulbs with a tool I bought at the auto parts store – a very long pair of needle-nose pliers with a circular end – I was able to turn the bulb assembly with those pliers so as to remove it from the headlight assembly.

        I had no idea how difficult it was to change headlight bulbs on some cars.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #1919602 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        You’d be amazed how many DUIs are caught due to 1 headlight

      • #1919850 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        MrJimPhelps, it is OK. We can make it home on one headlight.

        https://www.youtube dot com/watch?v=Zzyfcys1aLM

        (dot com so it won’t autostart)

      • #1924978 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Time to swap out those halogens for LED

        You can’t easily swap out halogen for LED because the heat dissipation characteristics are completely different and the LED may not be able to dissipate the heat it produces.
        Also they may not produce light from the same position / direction as the halogen, causing the headlight to be misaligned and dazzle oncoming drivers.

        The front headlight assembly has bulbs that can not be reached from within the engine compartment. One has to remove the whole assembly

        This is becoming more common as light unit shapes change to match styling and space requirements. A quick youtube search usually give a nice demo.

        cheers, Paul

      • #1963252 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        Pics ??

        a very long pair of needle-nose pliers with a circular end

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • #1963414 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Special purpose surgical forceps? There are a variety of styles for specific uses. I’m curious too.

        • #1965821 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          I bought a single pair of pliers rather than a set of three pairs of pliers:

          Pliers

          You can get more info here:

          https://www.autozone.com/wrenches-pliers-and-cutters/pliers/great-neck-11-pcs-long-handle-pliers-set/94811_0_0

          With these, I was able to turn a headlight bulb and then remove it from the back of the headlight assembly. Not sure if I could have done it without these pliers. Needless to say, I carry these pliers around all the time in my car!

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          Attachments:
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1965854 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            Ha, looks like the southern end of a northbound earwig. I can see the benefit, and easily imagine I’ll want one at the worst time. When it ends up in my toolbox, I’ll probably always think of it as the Earwig. (sorry to inflict that image on the unwary)

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1965922 Reply
            wavy
            AskWoody Plus

            Interesting, who would have thought anyone would need earwig pliers. 😁

            🍻

            Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #1967196 Reply
              Charlie
              AskWoody Plus

              Indeed, especially to replace a headlight!  The car companies have to keep making things more and more difficult and/or complicated so they can make big bucks on “service”.

              Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

      • #1963498 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        One serious issue with LED headlamps (and also with even some LED braking lights) I think is worth bringing up for consideration at this point, is that, because, for the most part, they are very tightly focused, they are also way too strong for the incoming drivers caught in their beams, causing glare that makes it hard to see, at night (and to be annoying nuisances during the day), what is ahead on the road, including the blinding vehicle itself. This is compounded by the general ignorance of such basic courtesy of the road as dipping ones’ headlamps when approaching an incoming car and not driving with the high beam on (and often the fog lights as well!) when it is not essential to do so. (And nothing says J*** like driving with the fog lamps on when there is no fog to be found anywhere for a thousand miles)

        While LEDs are great for seeing better and farther than with the older filament lamps, their tendency to blind incoming drivers rather reduces that advantage when we add traffic safety as a consideration. And since, when their use causes an accident, it is the blinder as liable to suffer grave consequences because of this as is the blinded, not to mention others that might be also victims, as collateral damage, then that is exactly  the reason I really do not think much of this innovation at all.

        This is particularly a problem for older drivers, because our eyes become more sensitive to glare as we age.

        Back in the 50’s and 60’s, the French had a great idea and made it into a law requiring all cars in France to have their high beams limited to a certain candle power and for the headlamps of all cars to be a shade of yellow that was scientifically proven to reduce glare. Of course, it was too good and sensible an idea to be adopted elsewhere and to last for too long, even in France itself, if memory serves.

        Which brings me to my last gripe of the day (I hope): those cheap DIY blue-tinged LED lamps, that are the absolutely the worst offenders, as far as glare is concerned.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1963578 Reply
        Bill C.
        AskWoody Plus

        This thread has some very interesting observations and comments about automotive lighting (a passion of mine) and home lighting.

        On automotive lighting, I have been using halogen lights since 1977 (I am in the US). I purchased my first set of European E-Code (ECE) 7” round replacement headlamps made by Cibie. It was night and day literally, but they were not DOT approved for use in the US due to antiquated laws. I was never flashed by oncoming traffic due to the sharp cutoff of the beam pattern, but when seen from the front you could tell by the whiter light. It was interesting how these lights were largely confined to sports cars and European car owners. The US finally relented on halogen lights, but kept the poor beam pattern of the old sealed beams until composite aero headlights were permitted which adopted the sharp cutoff, but not the right curb kickup for roadside illumination of the ECE lights. I used various E-Code lights (Hella, Cibie, Bosch) in various cars up until I got my pickup with its plastic composite headlights in 1997. I never had any issues like condensation or short bulb life and never had any issues with annual inspections. When I bought a SAAB 9-3 Viggen in 2004, I obtained a set of Euro E-Code non-DOT lenses for the headlights and used them as long as I had it, with no problems. Euro E-Code lighting is rigidly regulated to specifically avoid glare and hot spots in the patterns. These headlamps alerted me to roadside deer and hazards more time than I can count.

        When I bought my Hyundai Santa Fe, it had projector halogen headlights. These are almost as good as the E-code, with the exception of the limited right side kickup. It has minimal glare. I have found QUALITY name brand halogen auto bulbs last long, especially if made in the EU or by a major OEM bulb maker. What has given rise to the claims of short life is the newer east Asian bulbs with the blue tinting that advertise more whiteness or brightness which they need to be as the blue coating blocks some of the visible spectrum (yellow), hence not as much light, however due to the whiter light, the eyes (and brain) are fooled. The higher output creates more heat and shorter bulb life. I tried them once and not only was the life much shorter, but both bulbs failed within 2 day of each other. Additionally, the cheap imports are not built to the vibration specs of good bulbs so they fail (and nothing says buy like a cheap price).

        For my vehicles changing the headlight bulbs is not that hard, but the foglights almost require a lift to get access. I hear you about the big bill for a $10 bulb.

        I personally have found the lights I most frequently find to present unacceptable glare are on Ford F-150 pickup trucks, and some of the luxury SUVs. They seem bad even when properly aimed.

        One poster commented on the blue tinted lights having glare. That is true at times, but in many cases it is also that older drivers are blue sensitive. I have found this to be the case. DOT rule makers have been hearing complaints for years. This is also part of the issue with LED auto lighting. However, I have seen some of the newer luxury cars with LEDs that are very good at preventing glare, but the per light assembly price would buy a new iPhone or MacBook. These lights are very carefully engineered and are designed from scratch for LED, use projection lenses and computer designed reflectors, and are not a drop in situation. In fact in the US, I am not aware of any legal drop-in HiD or LED conversions for originally incandescent or halogen headlights.

        I use LEDs for all the interior dome and map lights in my cars, but get the 4000K LED bulbs that are white, but not blue. I do this partly for longevity, but primarily for the low wattage so that if a light is accidently left on, it will not drain the car battery overnight.

        Our home is now all LED since our renovation in 2014. We have not replaced any yet, and the savings on the electric bill was very noticeable. Some of the lights are in primary living areas and on many hours. To me LEDs are a massive improvement of the toxic, dim, slow to start, horrible compact (curly) fluorescent bulbs, and LED prices have come way down. The only downside is for a dimmable LED to be truly dimmable; you need to ensure compatibility between bulb and dimmer switch, which both have to be compatible with an LED bulb.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1963592 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          I absolutely approve of the use of LED lights for the interior illumination both of cars and houses.

          Especially now that one can get them with a slightly red-shifted spectrum that feels both intimate and cozy, much as the incandescents did. One reason put forward as a likely explanation of why one feels that way with such kind of illumination, is the ancestral memory of dwellings lit by firelight, until very recently in deep-time terms, since humans became human and starting deliberately using fire for lighting, cooking and heating, some say tens of thousands, some say over two million, years ago.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #1963716 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Hello BillC, automotive lighting and lighting in general is a passion of mine too. Glad to meet you.

          I also used some HELLA headlights back in 1977 and was impressed with the whiteness and cutoff of the halogens. I eventually went back to the std DOT bulbs.

          I do like the way lighting has improved with light placement and “cutoff’ as you say. A brighter light can be used and stop (cutoff) at a specific point. I have not investigates LEDs. This is where I and others here diverge. I seem to see on a daily basis, LED lighting of buses and traffic lights that went to LEDs and many of the individual lamps are out. Bad circuit board, bad solder joints, I don’t know. I just see failures. So for now I will stick to my friend, the incandescent.

          I DO have an issue with the varied lamp colors the “kelvin range” that headlights now display. I with the DOT would reel-in the kelvin to a narrow range to stop the wildly varying colors of headlights (tail-lights too).

          BillC look at post-1874211. Microfix and I had a good conversation on LEDs. Microfix is another I admire and follow.

          Oscar, I do like the lower kelvin LEDs that mimic the warm incandescent

          Thank you BillC and OscarCP for your ideas.

      • #1963620 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        I can understand the use of LED headlights on a totally electric car – where every watt counts.  But does using LED’s really matter that much on gasoline or diesel powered vehicles?  It seems to me that the more reliable Halogen headlights are far more preferable and won’t affect the mileage a vehicle gets very much.  That especially applies to those cars with 400 to 700 horsepower engines!

        Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

      • #1963762 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Unlike others posting here, I have not seen more than a few cars with one LED light out where I live, a large metropolitan area of a major city. Most cars and other vehicles with LED lights around here are reasonably new, well-kept and all their LED lights work just fine, as far as been lit goes. But they are too bright for the comfort of incoming drivers and, as already pointed out, an innovation I’d rather never happened.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #1964095 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        While LEDs are great for seeing better and farther than with the older filament lamps

        How so?
        They are more efficient, more reliable and can be fitted in stranger shaped headlight assemblies, but better and farther?

        cheers, Paul

        • #1964116 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Paul T: Yes, better and farther, if properly designed and installed, because LED lamp beams can be more collimated and so get a greater amount of light further away than when the beam is less focused, as would be one created using a filament lamp. In a way, it’s something like what lasers do (although their operating principles are quite different), projecting a certain amount of their radiated power on smaller areas at a greater distance than otherwise. That way LED lamps illuminate distant areas more strongly, making it easier to see those areas farther away than with less focused beams. Now, if a part of the more distant area is that of the pupils of an incoming driver, well… And about those “strangely shaped headlight assemblies”: would those be the ones that look like evil-looking eyes? The ones that make me wish I could ask the designers of those angry and aggressive looking car “faces” that seem to be fashionable these days: What is wrong with you people?</p>

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by OscarCP.
      • #1965780 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        I too find that led headlamps seem overly bright at times, perhaps because as mentioned they are more focused so when they do ‘get in your eyes’ the concentrated light affects one more. I appreciate that the low cutoff is a safety measure but having a too low cutoff for high-beams is sort of defeating the purpose. My 2012 Accord has its high beams a bit too low, if I drove more at night I would have already adjusted them.

        My other peeve is safety vehicles (read cop cars and EMT vans) with those VERY bright flashing lamps (may be LEDs, don’t know). When there is an accident at night with a half dozen of those flashing it almost blinds me, not really safer for the first responder crews. If someone would not notice a bunch of the old red cherry tops the new flashing one probably wouldn’t get their attention either.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #1965785 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        An FYI here, LED Specifier Summit 2019 with almost 200 exhibitors. And I still can’t find an LED 150W equivalent lamp in A19 form factor 😂

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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