Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Wednesday September 2, 2015
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Technical > Electrical & Lighting

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-22-2014, 05:13 PM   #1
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default 2007 wrx dim low beams

I've been searching around guys but still not understanding what's going on.
2007 wrx limited and the low beams are pretty pathetic. This is my daughter's car and I feel bad I have been letting her drive the car like this.
I have checked voltage at battery-14v+-
I have over 12 volts at the low beam lights while car is running.
The lights look bright white staring into them, but on the road they are not effective. The high beams seem like they are doing there job.

This car has some kind of HID fog lights, don't know if that's stock-2nd owner. They do seem to have a ballast under the front facia. One of those does not work. The low beams had regular H7 bulbs.

I am not familiar with HID's or even what a HID bulb looks like-can they be confused? I tried following the wires from the low beams, but they disappear under the facia. One of the running light bulbs is out also, they didn't have them at the store. The actual plastic lenses covering the lights look clean enough. There is a bit of moisture trapped on one side

Can someone point me in the right direction for troubleshooting this?
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Old 12-22-2014, 05:27 PM   #2
Minorthreat7171
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 288712
Join Date: Jul 2011
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Lancaster, PA
Vehicle:
2007 WRX IAP Stage2
WRB

Default

Try re-aiming them. When I first bought my 07 WRX the running joke was, "If my lights hit it at night, I'm hitting it too." After comparing the beam to another WRX, mine was right in between his fogs and low beams. Made a huge difference when I matched them to his level.
Minorthreat7171 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default

I didn't see right off how to adjust, and the manual doesn't cover it so I will search
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 09:17 PM   #4
frederik
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 64405
Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: St-Georges, QC, Canada
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Sedan
WRB - Cobb Stg 2

Default

I would start by getting rid of the HID fogs. Stock halogens should perform Ok but when you have a giant blob of HID fogs foreground it will kill your distance vision a lot. Unless you meant you drove with the fogs off all the time and still felt the low beams were poor, then there might be some other problem.

How is the aiming? Have you checked it is not way low or way high? Other than that maybe the plastic lenses are dull/scratched/pitted/dirty, try a good cleaning and polish, and if they are really pitted maybe sanding with fine grit paper before polishing them.

Projectors have a lot of light emitted from a small area compared to reflectors, so having a rough lense will have more impact than an equally rough lense on a projector. This might be why the high beam looks fine.


Sent from my iPhone using NASIOC
frederik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 09:47 PM   #5
frederik
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 64405
Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: St-Georges, QC, Canada
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Sedan
WRB - Cobb Stg 2

Default

Another possibility if they are really weak and you find no apparent cause, a previous owner might have put HID kit in the low beams also and damaged the projector's reflective coating. This can happen with poor quality or overpowered HID bulbs (quality of the bulbs in HID kits is questionable and varies greatly). Not sure how you can go about verifying this though. Can you post a good picture of the output of the low beams alone? A wall shot from at least 15 ft (25ft is better) and try to have relatively short exposure time (as to not have overblown white light beam). That should help see if there is anything not normal in the beam (misplaced or inexistent hotspot).


Sent from my iPhone using NASIOC
frederik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default

Thanks for all the responses folks, I really appreciate it. I need to do a focus check against a wall. The headlights seem dull more then out of alignment, but maybe it's fooling me. I have been working on cars all my life and have a restored 240z, so I know a little about cars, but always learning too. I know putting my Datsun headlights on relays and putting in Cibea's made a 'night and day' difference.

The lights seem dim without the HID fogs. If anything I wish both HID fogs worked for additional light.
The plastic lens seem clear enough and the high beams work well enough that I don't think that is the problem. The projector type lense for the lowbeams looks clean enough and clear enough, but I will check it again

As far as I know the front of the car has never been damaged, so I can't imagine why the headlights would be that far out of adjustment, but I did buy it used.

I will see about posting up some pics today.
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 11:57 AM   #7
Cougar4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 53443
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Anchorage, AK
Vehicle:
2001 LL Bean Outback
Winestone

Default

Check the voltage on the return side of the light to see if the there is some voltage drop on that side of the circuit, which will drop the power available to the lights. Use a known good ground point, like the negative battery post as your ground reference.
Cougar4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 07:35 PM   #8
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default

Okay-took the car out tonight and found a good wall to examine the head light beams. They were low for sure. I couldn't find my tape measure so I approximated everything for now. I was hoping to get my wifes car and park it next to this one and compare, but didn't get a chance.

As far as voltage readings. I measured at the bulb connector while running and one side showed almost full battery voltage-13 volts, and measuring the other wire it looked like almost a volt(minus ?). This was using the battery as a measuring ground.

Initial drive around says I did make this better, but lights still don't seem that bright white they should be, or still not strong. That is why I need to park another car right next to this one and compare
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 07:42 PM   #9
Minorthreat7171
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 288712
Join Date: Jul 2011
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Lancaster, PA
Vehicle:
2007 WRX IAP Stage2
WRB

Default

Have you tried new bulbs?
Minorthreat7171 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 07:50 PM   #10
Minorthreat7171
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 288712
Join Date: Jul 2011
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Lancaster, PA
Vehicle:
2007 WRX IAP Stage2
WRB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by frederik View Post
the plastic lenses are dull/scratched/pitted/dirty, try a good cleaning and polish, and if they are really pitted maybe sanding with fine grit paper before polishing them.
Try that as well, 3M makes a good kit. Take care of the moisture as well.
Minorthreat7171 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 08:37 AM   #11
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default

Yes, new bulbs was the first thing I tried.
The plastic lens look decent-really. If I knew how to attach a pic I would. Looks like this forum doesn't allow that.
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 09:09 AM   #12
frederik
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 64405
Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: St-Georges, QC, Canada
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Sedan
WRB - Cobb Stg 2

Default

I use photobucket for that (you have to create an account on their website). Upload the pic tonphotobucket, copy the ready made url and paste it here.


Sent from my iPhone using NASIOC
frederik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 09:29 AM   #13
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default

I will add that my vertical adjusters were a 8mm socket. Pretty easy to do with a 1/4" ratchet and socket. I have no idea how the adjustment is done on the horizontal. I can see it , but no idea how it adjusts.
I will load up some pics on photobucket.
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #14
Big-E
NASIOC Supporter
 
Member#: 123843
Join Date: Aug 2006
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Connecticut
Vehicle:
2006 WRX Sedan SGM
Let LED's light your way!

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by madkaw View Post
I will add that my vertical adjusters were a 8mm socket. Pretty easy to do with a 1/4" ratchet and socket. I have no idea how the adjustment is done on the horizontal. I can see it , but no idea how it adjusts.
I will load up some pics on photobucket.
I'll take some pictures later this afternoon of a set of headlamp assemblies I have.

From the factory, covers are placed over the horizontal adjusters. It is easier to remove these covers when the lamps are off of the vehicle.
Big-E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 12:26 PM   #15
Cougar4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 53443
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Anchorage, AK
Vehicle:
2001 LL Bean Outback
Winestone

Default

Your voltage test seems to indicate the grounding for the light is okay since you didn't have much of a voltage drop. If there was a more than .3 volts of drop then I would have suggested try cleaning the ground connections. Hopefully proper aiming will correct the issue. I'm not sure if there is any focusing is involved with the light.
Cougar4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 01:00 PM   #16
frederik
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 64405
Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: St-Georges, QC, Canada
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Sedan
WRB - Cobb Stg 2

Default

Regarding aiming, if you compare with another car's cutoff height on a wall, you have to consider the headlight height difference on the two cars. Proper aiming is a given drop at a given distance, and the drop is based on the headlight center at the car. You can also have a good idea of the aiming by looking at where your cutoff is when you drive among other cars. If your lights often hit side mirrors or rear view mirror it is definitely too high.

For a starting point, I usually aim for 1.5"/2"inch drop at 25ft. This means if your headlights projectors center are at say 24" from the ground, they should be 1.5"/2" lower (22") when they reach a wall that is 25ft away. This has to be measured on a level ground so you can back off from a wall and do measurements.

While at it, you can mark the centers on the wall so that once you back off 25' (in a straight line) you can see if either headlight shifted left or right (compared to the up-close marks) which would mean they are not properly aligned horizontally.



Sent from my iPhone using NASIOC
frederik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 03:22 PM   #17
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
Your voltage test seems to indicate the grounding for the light is okay since you didn't have much of a voltage drop. If there was a more than .3 volts of drop then I would have suggested try cleaning the ground connections. Hopefully proper aiming will correct the issue. I'm not sure if there is any focusing is involved with the light.
It read .9 volts, so maybe there is an issue. What grounds are we referring too?
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 03:23 PM   #18
madkaw
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 237515
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Vehicle:
1996 impreza
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-E View Post
I'll take some pictures later this afternoon of a set of headlamp assemblies I have.

From the factory, covers are placed over the horizontal adjusters. It is easier to remove these covers when the lamps are off of the vehicle.
I have seen other posts of these covers-not knowing they were covers. I thought maybe there was a special tool or something. Covers just pop off?
madkaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 05:11 PM   #19
Cougar4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 53443
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Anchorage, AK
Vehicle:
2001 LL Bean Outback
Winestone

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by madkaw View Post
It read .9 volts, so maybe there is an issue. What grounds are we referring too?
I was referring to the grounding for the lights. Try cleaning the chassis ground coming from the battery to see if that helps. There may some main grounds at the rear of the engine also. As a test you could manually ground the return side light to the negative post using a good jumper wire to see if it makes any significant improvement. You are loosing some power but the trouble you are having may not be totally due to the losses to ground. You might want to compare the reading on the high beams to lows. If there is less voltage drop on them that would make it seem the ground may be the issue as the highs have more power consumption. If my data is correct the highs are 65 watt and the lows are 55 watt.

Last edited by Cougar4; 12-24-2014 at 05:20 PM.
Cougar4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 07:04 PM   #20
Big-E
NASIOC Supporter
 
Member#: 123843
Join Date: Aug 2006
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Connecticut
Vehicle:
2006 WRX Sedan SGM
Let LED's light your way!

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by madkaw View Post
I have seen other posts of these covers-not knowing they were covers. I thought maybe there was a special tool or something. Covers just pop off?
Use a small pick or an awl to pull and walk the cover off of the adjuster screw.

RH (driver's side) headlamp



Big-E is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2015 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2015, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.