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Old 01-05-2005, 09:46 PM   #1
SubaruImpreza_power
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Default 95L Headlights are so Dim

Some time at night it so bad feels like my headlights are not on...

i know the headlights are a little dirty but I made sure I cleaned them off, I'm running some Normal GE bulbs in the car.. anything to make it brighter?

Should I switch to the 00' lights?
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:49 PM   #2
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Have they always been this way or have they gotten worse? Not sure if the lenses on the 95 are glass or plastic, if plastic they may be discolored from the inside.
What shape is the wiring in, have you checked for corrosion and poor connections? Measure the voltage drop on both the positive and ground sides to see where the most loss is.
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:59 PM   #3
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They are Glass, The wiring looks ok, but it seems to have gotten worst over the last 2 years I've own the car.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:04 PM   #4
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the wiring might look ok, but there are undoutably parts you cant see, again, check the wiring with a multimeter.

Also, think about replacing the bulbs, just in case. if nothing else works, re-wire them with relays and that should solve most any wiring problem (short of a broken switch).
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:05 PM   #5
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Try different bulbs if you haven't already, then check things with a voltmeter.
Check the voltage at your battery with the engine running, and make sure the alternator is charging properly.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
Try different bulbs if you haven't already, then check things with a voltmeter.
Check the voltage at your battery with the engine running, and make sure the alternator is charging properly.
Yup I got a tester for the car and tested that & the battery, Because of an Issue I had when the headlights are off & with the stock 95 Radio (tape deck baby!) everytime I press the brakes the Display just about goes out on the readio, so they told me to check the Alt.. Well I did and it's fine..

I don't understand the Alt is putting out 14Volts.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:28 PM   #7
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Ok, so if the alternator is ok you can rule that out. Now you need to check the headlight wiring more carefully, test the voltage right at the bulbs with the lights on and compare it to the battery voltage, then probe along the positive and negative lines to see where the drop is happening.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:37 PM   #8
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Yeah, pressing the brakes and having the display go out is not a good sign. On that one i'd say low voltage.

Did you check the battery with the car off? Have you thought about the voltage regulator in the alternator?

Another possibility is a short somewhere in the tail lights, but again, checking for a voltage drop would find this. (and this problem would be more of an immediate "why wont my lights work" problem than a slow progression).
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:38 PM   #9
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have you replaced the bulbs? bulbs do degrade over time.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jejunum
have you replaced the bulbs? bulbs do degrade over time.

Did that 7 months ago
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
Ok, so if the alternator is ok you can rule that out. Now you need to check the headlight wiring more carefully, test the voltage right at the bulbs with the lights on and compare it to the battery voltage, then probe along the positive and negative lines to see where the drop is happening.

So I should be looking at around 12 Volts right at the bulb end & battery?
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:03 PM   #12
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Well the point is, that whatever your voltage is at the battery, you want to see as much of that as possible at the bulbs. Typically you'll lose a volt or so through all the wiring and switching, but not much more than that. The Subaru system is a switched ground (I assume this is still the case on the 95) so most of the drop will be on the ground side.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruImpreza_power
So I should be looking at around 12 Volts right at the bulb end & battery?
I could be wrong, but it should be a little over 12, upwards to about 13.8V.

The main thing that Mulder is probably saying is that the smaller the difference, the better the condition of the wiring is.
[Edit: Never mind. Posted this a bit late]

I owned an my1995 L before, and imho, the older parabolic reflector design with fluted lens are not as efficient (output wise) compared to the newer free form reflectors found in the my2000+. It may be worth looking into that. Of course, the grille and hood will not line up perfectly afaik.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satrya
I could be wrong, but it should be a little over 12, upwards to about 13.8V.

The main thing that Mulder is probably saying is that the smaller the difference, the better the condition of the wiring is.
[Edit: Never mind. Posted this a bit late]

I owned an my1995 L before, and imho, the older parabolic reflector design with fluted lens are not as efficient (output wise) compared to the newer free form reflectors found in the my2000+. It may be worth looking into that. Of course, the grille and hood will not line up perfectly afaik.

yea about the lights, I was studying them heh, the hood is going to have to come off sooner or later.. it's nicked up alot.

is it possible I can check the voltage from the radio as well? It's funny the display gets very dim but the loudness of the radio never changes..

Also putting on the brakes with the lights on, and you know how the radio dims with the lights on.. funny thing is if I put on the brakes with the lights on, the radio does not dim..

Odd..

if I can get a video small enough I will show you.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:33 PM   #15
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I can just make a general suggestion. On older cars it's typical to see them develop electrical problems of this type due to deteriorated wiring and connections. You should look at all the main connections in the car- battery terminals and clamps, main grounds to engine and chassis, main positive feed to fuse box and alternator, etc. The battery connections in particular may appear ok but there can be significant corrosion between the clamps and posts. Take them off and clean everything up. Pull off the ground connections and look for rust and corrosion underneath. If you do a full once-over of all these connections you may find that things improve tremendously.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruImpreza_power
Also putting on the brakes with the lights on, and you know how the radio dims with the lights on.. funny thing is if I put on the brakes with the lights on, the radio does not dim..
This makes me think again of the voltage regulator in the alternator. If you have the lights on, mabye the extra current needed pushes the regulator into a higher output and causes the radio not to dim?

I may still be off my rocker.

Or it could be that the radio already dimmed from turning the headlights on, and that due to it already being dim, there was no change from brakes on/off.

Listen to mulder before me, he knows more.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:07 PM   #17
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I dunnno it seems like that When it warms up (sleet tonight) I will check out the voltage and wiring.
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