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Old 10-19-2005, 11:14 AM   #1
Jric
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Default blowing headlights

My '05 Outback has gone through 2 left and 1 right headlights in the last 12 months (34,000 miles). Now I'm told it's because I keep the tire pressure at 40 psi (max tire pressure rated at 44 psi), rather than the recomended 30 psi and the increased "jolting" from the highway is causing the premature failure. Any other thoughts on the cause for this? If I reduce the tire pressure by the 25% recommeded, it will surely hurt my mileage. Are there some tougher after market bulbs such as used in racing that might fix this issue?
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:00 PM   #2
Yotsuya
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They're FOS; the tire is well within its inflation limits and shold not be the problem. You can try some different brand bulbs, but having three go is not a good sign unless they all came from the same maker and stock number. Then *maybe* you have a bad batch of bulbs.

Going through multiple bulbs that fast probably means there's some kind of electrical problem. There may be a flaw in the electrical line that's causing a surge or spike that's overloading the bulbs. You could have had a run of three bad bulbs, but that's not as likely as one flaw in the electrics. The dealer sounds unable/unwilling to test the current, and even if they do may not be able to recreate what may be your problem, as a surge could be the result of a particular jounce or other.

If the dealer won't do anything and you don't have any equipment at home, you may want to try disconnecting the daytime running lights (though I can't remember if Outbacks have them) which will reduce the amount of time the bulb is on. It's not an ideal fix, or even an acceptable one depending on your temperment, but it may be what you need to keep from replacing bulbs too often.
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:03 PM   #3
ATX25RS
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tires are not the problem....they are FOS.....i cant believe a dealer would tell someone that. thats like telling a cop i was not speeding it was because the mirrors are aimed at the wrong angle so it "seemed" like i was speeding i have had stints with a bad batch of bulbs for a while i went through 4 sets in the span of about 2 weeks...then i got a set of yellowstars and havent changed them in about a year.
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:23 PM   #4
bushflyr
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^^What they said. Also, are you being EXTREMELY careful not to touch the bulb or let it touch the housing when you install it? Fingerprints or a bit of dirt will cause them to pop very rapidly. You may also check inside you housings and make sure there's no condensation.
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:23 PM   #5
Mulder
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Since it's an 05 the dealer should be replacing those bulbs under warranty. I don't see how they can get away with blaming your tire pressure, although 40 psi is a bit high IMO.
You should not have to do any checking on the car yourself at this stage, however if you're so inclined try measuring the system voltage at the battery with a multimeter. If it's on the high side (15V or higher) that could explain the bulb failures.
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Old 10-19-2005, 03:20 PM   #6
ATX25RS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
Since it's an 05 the dealer should be replacing those bulbs under warranty. I don't see how they can get away with blaming your tire pressure, although 40 psi is a bit high IMO.
You should not have to do any checking on the car yourself at this stage, however if you're so inclined try measuring the system voltage at the battery with a multimeter. If it's on the high side (15V or higher) that could explain the bulb failures.
ditto on the tire pressure.....i would only go that high if i was autoxing or something....and even then....

H1's are very fragile bulbs, but they are not that fragile.....do you always drive on the highway or something? i live in a city that does not know what "street repair" means so i drive on a lot rougher surface than the highway, but would never imagine that is why bulbs would go out.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:11 PM   #7
Jric
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Thanks for the replies so far. All 34k+ miles are well maintained highway miles. Under warranty the dealer has been replacing the bulbs but my warranty is almost up (3/36). It's kind of a hassle to go blow an hour and a half to go out of my way to have these replaced. Under the law however isn't the dealer obliged to continue to address this after warranty. They say they will cover an individual bulb for upto 12 months of replacement. Sounds like some of you think the electrical system should be checked?
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:16 PM   #8
Mulder
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Frequent bulb failures with no other apparent reason can be the result of a faulty voltage regulator which allows the electrical system to operate above the safe voltage range of 13.5-14.5 V. This is certainly something the dealer should be looking at as a warranty item rather than just blaming your tire pressures. Should the regulator turn out to be NG, the alternator will have to be replaced since the regulator is an integral component.
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