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Thread: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    Hello all,

    I have a 2008 Chevy Colorado that has relatively new OEM headlamp enclosures (about two years old from the dealer), and they are not cloudy or hazy. The owner’s manual lists a 9006 for the low beam and a 9005 for the high beam.

    From my looking around the forum, it seems that the top opinions for the best replacement bulbs of these types in general would include the Philips 9006XVB2 X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb (available from Amazon for about $30 for two bulbs) and the Philips 9011 HIR Standard Halogen Replacement Headlight Bulb (available from Amazon for about $34 for two bulbs).

    What I would like to know is if there are any better (read brighter and whiter) bulbs that would be better for my specific application in the Colorado, or are these my best choices while remaining legal? If it makes any difference, I have made my parking lights/turn signals function as my DRLs instead of my low beams. Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    Welcome to this board.

    The best-performing 9006 bulb for your low beam is going to be this one or this one. The best for your high beam is this one, which you will have to trim slightly as per this diagram so it will fit. Do not get suckered by claims of "whiter" light -- that way lies wasted money and reduced visibility at night; read up on the subject here. And whichever bulbs you install, it is crucially important that you make sure the headlamps are aimed correctly using an optical aiming machine and with a normal load distribution in the vheicle, as per this procedure.

    One important thing: you say you have made your "parking lights/turn signals function as your DRLs". Turn signals can serve as effective, legal, safe DRLs. Parking lamps cannot. What exactly did you do?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    Thanks for your welcome and your answer Virgil,

    I guess that I am too “old school”! Way back when, we called the yellow bulbs in the front of the vehicle “parking lights” (whether we were right or not)! Anyway, there are two yellow bulbs in an enclosure directly above each headlight enclosure, with each bulb basically being directly over one of the headlight bulbs. The outer bulb of each of the two yellow bulbs functions as the turn signal - I haven’t changed that at all.

    I have it set up so that all four of the yellow bulbs function as DRLs instead of my two low beam headlight bulbs. The first edition Colorado (and GMC Canyon) was manufactured from 2004 to 2012 and for the first several years in the US and Canada, I understand that this is how the DRLs worked – I believe in 2007 or 2008, it was changed in the US so that the low beam bulb also functioned as a DRL.

    ps: I was looking through my owner’s manual to see what the enclosure above the headlamp enclosure was called and I found the following - On page 3-15 of my owner’s manual, it states “Your vehicle will have either the parking lamps or reduced intensity low beams used as the DRL” and on page 5-53, it lists “Front Turn Signal, Parking and Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)” as being the bulbs that can be replaced in that enclosure. But I didn’t find in the owner’s manual what they called the enclosure above the headlamp enclosure.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    You're tripping over informal terminology. It's unfortunate that the owner's manual makes the water muddier instead of clearing it up. This matters in terms of safety and legality of your lighting setup, so let's untie the knots. There are two functions (parking lamp, turn signal) that are often provided by the same light bulbs. That does not mean those two functions are alike -- they aren't. The parking lamps are dim, and the turn signals are bright. The first click-stop of the headlamp switch turns on the parking lamps: dim amber lights facing front. The turn signal function is provided by those same lamps, but much brighter. If you turn on the parking lamps, with or without the headlamps, and put on the turn signal, the park/turn lamps will alternate between dim amber (the parking light function) and bright amber (the turn signal function).

    The turn signals (bright amber) operated in a steady-burning manner (no on/off or bright/dim), are legal as DRLs. Some versions of your truck have these turn signal DRLs.

    The parking lamps (dim amber) are not legal or adequate as DRLs.

    So: what exactly did you do on your truck? Which function (dim amber parking lamps or bright amber turn signals) did you rig up to operate steadily as DRLs, and how did you do it? You may be just fine, or you may have made a mistake that needs to be fixed.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by macgyver915 View Post
    The outer bulb of each of the two yellow bulbs functions as the turn signal - I haven’t changed that at all.

    I have it set up so that all four of the yellow bulbs function as DRLs instead of my two low beam headlight bulbs.
    Sounds like you are using the parking (dim) function of the lamps, which isn't right.

    ps: I was looking through my owner’s manual to see what the enclosure above the headlamp enclosure was called and I found the following - On page 3-15 of my owner’s manual, it states “Your vehicle will have either the parking lamps or reduced intensity low beams used as the DRL” and on page 5-53, it lists “Front Turn Signal, Parking and Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)” as being the bulbs that can be replaced in that enclosure.
    The manual is quite wrong; they should have said "turn signals" because parking lamps are too dim for that function.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    Virgil, I think that I’m okay understanding what a parking light and a turn signal are and what the differences are between them. But you did get me to check out Virginia’s code for vehicle inspections relating to DRLs, and boy, was I surprised at what is legally required! According to 19VAC30-70-160, an inspector in Virginia is supposed to “inspect for and reject if:

    a. Any lamp, except headlamps, used as DRLs if not an approved type (SAE-Y2) and is not marked "DRL";
    (My enclosures with the parking lamps and turn signal lamps are not marked SAE-Y2 or “DRL”, therefore I should be rejected.)
    b. Fog lamps or parking lamps are used as DRLs;
    (I am using the inner parking lamps on each side as DRLs, therefore I should be rejected.)
    c. More than one pair of lamps is used and/or designated as DRLs;
    (I am using four lamps (two parking lamps and two turn signal lamps), therefore I should be rejected.)
    d. A DRL is mounted higher than 34 inches measured to the center of the lamp;
    (The distance from the ground to the center of the bulbs I am using as DRLs is 34 ½ inches, therefore I should be rejected.)
    e. The color is other than white to amber;
    (All the bulbs are amber/yellow, so in this respect I’m okay.)
    f. DRLs do not deactivate when the headlamps are in any "on" position.”
    They do not deactivate when the headlamps are on, therefor I should be rejected.

    All that said, I would be amazed if an inspector in Virginia actually rejected me for any of the above items that I should be rejected for, and even though I like the way the truck looks using the four amber lights above the headlamp enclosures as the DRLs that does not mean that I am going to leave it like that! So Virgil, thank you for bringing this to my attention!

  7. #7
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by macgyver915 View Post
    Virgil, I think that I’m okay understanding what a parking light and a turn signal are and what the differences are between them. But you did get me to check out Virginia’s code for vehicle inspections relating to DRLs, and boy, was I surprised at what is legally required! According to 19VAC30-70-160, an inspector in Virginia is supposed to “inspect for and reject if:
    That code is a throwback (with some modernizations) to when it was a "free-for-all" with States deciding what was good and what wasn't, and States making up some sort of "approval" system. For vehicles made on or after January 1, 1968, that's all very nice and quaint and out the window; States must defer to FMVSS 108 regarding mandated and regulated motor vehicle equipment.

    a. Any lamp, except headlamps, used as DRLs if not an approved type (SAE-Y2) and is not marked "DRL";
    (My enclosures with the parking lamps and turn signal lamps are not marked SAE-Y2 or “DRL”, therefore I should be rejected.)
    Per FMVSS 108, DRLs may be on the turn signals; turn signals used as DRLs are not marked SAE Y2 because the lamps' primary functions are still as turn signals (SAE I) or incorporated parking lamps and turn signals (SAE P & I). Separate DRLs not incorporated with headlamps must be marked DRL in 3mm high letters and may only emit white light.

    (BTW: Of *required* vehicle lamps, only headlamps need to have the apposite SAE markings.)

    FMVSS 108 (2004)
    S5.5.11(a) Any pair of lamps on the front of a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, or bus, whether or not required by this standard, other than parking lamps or fog lamps, may be wired to be automatically activated, as determined by the manufacturer of the vehicle, in a steady burning state as daytime running lamps (DRLs) and to be automatically deactivated when the headlamp control is in any “on” position, and as otherwise determined by the manufacturer of the vehicle, provided that each such lamp:
    (1) Has a luminous intensity not less than 500 candela at test point H-V, nor more than 3,000 candela at any location in the beam, when tested in accordance with Section S11 of this standard, unless it is:
    (i) A lower beam headlamp intended to operate as a DRL at full voltage, or at a voltage lower than used to operate it as a lower beam headlamp; or
    (ii) An upper beam headlamp intended to operate as a DRL, whose luminous intensity at test point H-V is not more than 7,000 candela, and which is mounted not higher than 864 mm above the road surface as measured from the center of the lamp with the vehicle at curb weight;
    (2) Is permanently marked “DRL” on its lens in letters not less than 3 mm high, unless it is optically combined with a headlamp;
    (3) Is designed to provide the same color as the other lamp in the pair, and that is one of the following colors as defined in SAE Standard J578 MAY88: White, white to yellow, white to selective yellow, selective yellow, or yellow;
    (4) If not optically combined with a turn signal lamp, is located so that the distance from its lighted edge to the optical center of the nearest turn signal lamp is not less than 100 mm, unless:
    (i) The luminous intensity of the DRL is not more than 2,600 candela at any location in the beam and the turn signal meets the requirements of S5.3.1.7; or
    (ii) (For a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, or bus that is manufactured before October 1, 1995, and which uses an upper beam headlamp as a DRL as specified in paragraph S5.5.11(a)(1)(ii)) the luminous intensity of the DRL is greater than 2,600 candela at any location in the beam and the turn signal lamp meets the requirements of S5.3.1.7; or
    (iii) The DRL is optically combined with a lower beam headlamp and the turn signal lamp meets the requirements of S5.3.1.7; or
    (iv) The DRL is deactivated when the turn signal or hazard warning signal lamp is activated.
    (5) If optically combined with a turn signal lamp, is automatically deactivated as a DRL when the turn signal lamp or hazard warning lamp is activated, and automatically reactivated as a DRL when the turn signal lamp or hazard warning lamp is deactivated.
    (b) Any pair of lamps that are not required by this standard and are not optically combined with any lamps that are required by this standard, and which are used as DRLs to fulfill the specifications of S5.5.11(a), shall be mounted at the same height, which shall be not more than 1.067 m above the road surface measured from the center of the lamp on the vehicle at curb weight, and shall be symmetrically disposed about the vertical centerline of the vehicle.
    b. Fog lamps or parking lamps are used as DRLs;
    (I am using the inner parking lamps on each side as DRLs, therefore I should be rejected.)
    Virginny is right on this: Fog lamps and parking lamps do not have the photemetry of a DRL and should be rejected as DRLs.

    c. More than one pair of lamps is used and/or designated as DRLs;
    (I am using four lamps (two parking lamps and two turn signal lamps), therefore I should be rejected.)
    Use only one pair of turn signal lamps. Do not use parking lamps as DRLs at all.

    d. A DRL is mounted higher than 34 inches measured to the center of the lamp;
    (The distance from the ground to the center of the bulbs I am using as DRLs is 34 ½ inches, therefore I should be rejected.)
    FMVSS 108 states that DRLs may be mounted "Not more than 1.067 meters above the road surface if not a pair of lamps required by this standard or if not optically combined with a pair of lamps required by this standard". 1.067 meters is 42", besides: You're moving them to turn signals, which ARE required. In either case, Virginia's height restriction is superceded.

    f. DRLs do not deactivate when the headlamps are in any "on" position.”
    They do not deactivate when the headlamps are on, therefor I should be rejected.
    Which means you're doing it wrong. You should use something like the DRL-1 module (details here) is a neat, clean, safe, effective, and legal way to migrate your DRL function from the headlamps (whether high or low beam) to the turn signals. Again, NOT parking lamps. Turn signals.

    All that said, I would be amazed if an inspector in Virginia actually rejected me for any of the above items that I should be rejected for, and even though I like the way the truck looks using the four amber lights above the headlamp enclosures as the DRLs that does not mean that I am going to leave it like that! So Virgil, thank you for bringing this to my attention!
    Just do the outermost of the turn signals, not all four lamps. Done that way, it would scarcely raise any notice from an inspector unless they're so familiar with the Colorado that they know it's not a factory setup. But by complying with FMVSS 108 (except for the DRL lens marking requirement since it's not optically combined with a headlamp), it should easily get a pass.

    Also remember that DRLs are not required under FMVSS 108, merely permitted and regulated. Essentially, you're allowed to have them if they meet the photometric requirements and don't operate when the headlamps are on. If your vehicle is equipped with them, you may disable them if you wish, or even hire a regulated party (dealership, importer, auto mechanic) to disable them for you. The State of Virginia can't require DRLs because Federal Law permits new vehicles to be made or imported that are not already equipped with DRLs. The main thing is that if you *move* the DRL function to another set of lamps, you have to do it the right way to be safe about it.

    Note: I used the 2004 version of FMVSS 108 as it was very readily available. There is a more recent version (as recent as 2017) but the differences aren't great enough
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 03-13-2018 at 11:07 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado headlight bulb replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by macgyver915 View Post
    Virgil, I think that I’m okay understanding what a parking light and a turn signal are
    Maybe. It didn't look that way, from your descriptions and use of terms. Is there some reason why you brought it up, but won't just tell us flat-out what you did/how you did it and which lights burn steadily on your truck for DRLs? Which is it, the parking lights (dim) or the turn signals (bright)?

    you did get me to check out Virginia’s code for vehicle inspections relating to DRLs, and boy, was I surprised at what is legally required!
    As Alaric has correctly pointed out, much of the antiquated and sloppily-written VA code is superseded by the Federal standard. States (including Virginia) can put whatever they want in their lawbooks, but any aspect of a vehicle standard is legally null and void to whatever degree it is not identical to the Federal standard. That means if the Federal standard says a particular DRL setup is OK, Virginia cannot ban it.

    b. Fog lamps or parking lamps are used as DRLs;
    (I am using the inner parking lamps on each side as DRLs, therefore I should be rejected.)
    Ah. That sounds like it might be an answer. You should fix this. Parking lamps are not capable of producing an effective, safe, or legal DRL function.

    (I am using four lamps (two parking lamps and two turn signal lamps)
    Darnit, back to a non-answer again. Which filament do you have hooked up as your DRLs in what you are calling your turn signal lamps? The bright filament or the dim filament?

    All that said, I would be amazed if an inspector in Virginia actually rejected me
    The important question is whether the setup is safe, not whether you can get away with it. Fix it correctly -- Alaric is right (again) that this is an easy, inexpensive way to make the lights you like do the job you want them to do, in an effective and safe and legal manner.

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