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Old 12-01-2001, 09:27 PM   #1
mikey_wrx
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Member#: 12885
Join Date: Dec 2001
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Sedan
Silver

Unhappy Anyone Else Think The WRX Headlights Stink??

Greetings. I have about 3200 miles on my '02 WRX. I have to comment on the headlights, both highbeam and lowbeam. I find them barely adequate. The lowbeams don't shine nearly far enough. Ditto for the highbeams. I'm not sure if it's due to the height above the ground, lens design, or bulb wattage, but they're pretty bad. They are bright but seem to illuminate the road right in front of the car. Further up the road is as dark as the night sky.

Does anyone else feel this way and if so, have you come up with anything to remedy the problem. I want to stay legal so putting in off-road 85W bulbs is not an option I want to go with. I also would prefer not to have to add aftermarket driving lights. Is there a happy medium in there somewhere? This seems sort of odd for a car that has WRC roots.

My motorcycle has better lights fer cris sakes.

Happy motoring.
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Old 12-01-2001, 11:51 PM   #2
A-REX
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Black

Default I hear ya!

I have to agree - the headlights on the WRX are terrible. I came close to smacking a deer the other night. It was late, I was driving the speed limit (amazingly) and the road was perfectly straight. The deer was standing right in my lane. The speed limit was 35 mph...if I was going say 50 or 55 (which isn't to difficult on a rural road at night)...I might have hit the deer.

My previous car, 92 SE-R, had some seriously bright stock headlights (low and high beam). I would have been expecting the same quality in the WRX.

Oh well, guess that is one more mod to add to my list!
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Old 12-02-2001, 01:48 AM   #3
Fubaru
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I think the illumination is ok, if barely. Not much complaint here, but not much to write home about the wrx lights either.

Anyway I did notice something weird about the headlights the other day though. Try rolling up both front windows with the headlights on, and just keep holding the electric switches after the windows are rolled up. The headlights will dim a little bit, just enough to notice.
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Old 12-02-2001, 05:52 AM   #4
Evaider
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Fubaru -

I think the dimming headlights when holding window switches is pretty normal for most small cars. It does this because holding those switches when the window cant go anywhere causes a drain. Have you ever had a remote control car? You'll notice that if you hold the wheels in place and try and make it drive the battery will completly drain in about 5 minutes.
If it really bothers you you can put in an aftermarket alternator that puts out more power and that probably wont happen.
Its also not good for the motors in the window it can cause them to overheat and burn out overtime.

As far as the headlights being a little weak I agree that the high beams could be a little brighter also I noticed that they take the light off the road and put it more up into the air. Could be bad if your driving and a large pot hole sneaks up on you
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Old 12-02-2001, 11:11 AM   #5
Alan
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I consider my WRX lights to be wonderful. Of course, I replaced the stock bulbs with Hella Optilux 80/100 bulbs, and re-aimed the headlights and fog lights for best coverage.

One word of caution - some folks have gotten melted headlight bulb sockets from over wattage bulbs. If there's ANY resistance, corrosion or problem in the socket/bulb connection you can generate heat that will melt the stock plastic bulb socket. The best way to prevent that is to be SURE of a good connection. Clean, and maybe some Cramoline or DeOxit products to enhance the connection are a good idea.
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Old 12-02-2001, 11:37 AM   #6
YaZahX
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i think the highs just suck, the lows suck unless you have the fogs on aswell...
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Old 12-02-2001, 08:09 PM   #7
Mulder
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I replaced the stock bulbs with PIAA Superwhites, same wattage as stock but whiter and brighter. With these I find the headlights adequate for normal city/highway driving and I don't think I'll be doing anything else with them. If I did rallying or drove regularly in really dark areas that would be another story.
A few days ago I did get stuck in some very dense fog on Long Island in an unlit area and the visibility with the low beams and fogs was decent enough to be safe as long as I didn't go too fast.
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Old 12-02-2001, 11:31 PM   #8
SilverSubi
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I have been pretty satisfied with the stock low and high beams. In fact, I constantly get "flashed" by people who mistake me for having my high beams on when I actually have only the lows on (the foggers are off too). Although I'm beginning to believe that my headlights might just be misaligned...
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Old 12-03-2001, 03:10 AM   #9
PaulRex
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I get flashed by people too.. i think the highbeams are good and on my car they cam aimed just were i like em'.. however the regular lights(not foglights) are not as bright as i would like, but if you aim your fog lights right i find its really not that bad..
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Old 12-03-2001, 10:22 AM   #10
Ginseng
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2011 Sky Blue Forester Pr

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Well, I think the headlights are certainly not a strong point of the WRX. I've tried re-adjusting the aim and am presently running Hella Optilux 80/100 in the main beams and Hella Optilux 100 in the fogs. The fogs are damn bright, but the uprated bulbs only give a marginal improvement in the main beams. I think the reflector design is just not that good considering the same 80/100 in my wife's Forester throw light like crazy.

Wilkey
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Old 12-03-2001, 01:47 PM   #11
criscross79
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I think the lights are okay, but I was also driving an '89 Ford Taurus SHO for a couple years.
also I passed a WRX on the highway the other night and looked back and his lights were the brightest around.
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Old 12-04-2001, 02:00 AM   #12
Ken Levin
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Not as good as my old '96 Impreza Outback.

Please be sure your lights aren't aimed too high. This can be dangerous as you know.

Ginsing: are the Optilux 100 bulbs a replacement for bulbs only in the OEM fogs? And do they now function as driving lamps? Or are they simp[ly brighter fogs now? Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2001, 03:08 AM   #13
Evaider
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Hey, heres an interesting idea not sure if anyone has thought of it but might may HighBeams a little better.

I noticed this evening when I was driving home that when you turn your Highs on the fog lights go off. Anyone know of a way to by pass this auto off? If you could you could aim your fogs up a little and maybe it would make the Highs come out a little better.

Just a thought.
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Old 12-04-2001, 10:03 AM   #14
Ginseng
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Ken Levin,

The Hella Optilux 100W H3 is a direct replacement for the stock fog bulb. They are damn bright and the spread is pretty wide so I've left them aimed down low. There is little doubt that if one were to aim the fog assemblies a little higher they would augment the main driving lights quite nicely. By themselves, they don't function well as driving lights primarily because of the diffuse foglamp reflector.

Wilkey
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Old 12-04-2001, 10:49 PM   #15
tnbd
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These lights are sooo much better then the ones I had on my previous car. I have been pretty happy with them so far... (except for the styling)

Guess I am easily pleased.
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Old 12-05-2001, 12:31 AM   #16
Ken Levin
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Thumbs up

Thanks Wilkey.
Happy Motoring!
Ken
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Old 12-05-2001, 11:23 PM   #17
Evaider
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Ok.. Where do you get these optilux lights? I looked in 3 autopart stores and all they carried was friggen sylvania lights..
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Old 12-06-2001, 10:28 AM   #18
Ginseng
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2011 Sky Blue Forester Pr

Default

I've never seen Hella Optilux at any retail outlet. I've bought them from the following two places. I recommend them both. Expect to spend $35-40 for a set of two.

Performance Unlimited Motoring Accessories

HMS Motorsport

I also get my Royal Purple brake fluid from HMS.

Cheers.

Wilkey
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