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Thread: Are these lights ready for the trash?

  1. #1

    Default Are these lights ready for the trash?

    2010 Corolla. I tried polishing the lens and fiddling with the aim screw but couldn't achieve much of a decent beam pattern. Is this characteristic of the 2010 Corolla lights, or can it do better?

    http://imgur.com/gallery/8l5dasq

    Also, there seems to be something wrong with the lens on the inside. What's that texture? I can't polish it out, so I'm assuming it's on the inside. Is it another sign these lights are ready for the trash?
    Last edited by Ls400; 10-13-2018 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?


  3. #3

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Stick a fork in those lights, they're done. The '10 Corolla lamps are rather good...if they're genuine original-equipment Toyota lamps in good condition, with good bulbs (all the aftermarket lamps are junk). The lenses on yours have crazed; there is no hope or help for them -- replace them. Also, the aim screws are not for "fiddling with". There is one correct aim setting.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Stick a fork in those lights, they're done. The '10 Corolla lamps are rather good...if they're genuine original-equipment Toyota lamps in good condition, with good bulbs (all the aftermarket lamps are junk). The lenses on yours have crazed; there is no hope or help for them -- replace them. Also, the aim screws are not for "fiddling with". There is one correct aim setting.
    Good to know! I had the displeasure of driving it 1000 miles over the past few days, and things were dire. I purchased 30 dollars worth of headlight polishing kits from Wal-Mart and a 50 dollar pair of 9006 SilverStar Ultras so I could drive more at night and shorten the trip. Neither helped too much. Are you aware of any Corollas with perhaps factory HIDs in other markets that I could swap in? Maybe somewhere in Europe or Japan there's Corollas with HIDs?
    Last edited by Ls400; 10-13-2018 at 11:30 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    Are you aware of any Corollas with perhaps factory HIDs in other markets that I could swap in?
    No such items.

    Maybe somewhere in Europe
    Not the same Corolla

    or Japan
    Headlamps for the wrong side of the road.

    I'll speak up a little louder this time: The (US-spec, regular) '10 Corolla lamps are rather good...if they're genuine original-equipment Toyota lamps in good condition, with good bulbs. The problem is that your lamps are past dead.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    I understand, but the OEM lights are expensive. Granted, hitting a pedestrian is probably more expensive, but...from what I understand, aux low beams are allowed in my area. What if I just put 2 of these on? I could still use my crazed lights as DRLs and for the turn signals. Perhaps I would disconnect the low beams so the crazing wouldn't cause excessive glare at night and just run with the aux low beams?

    These would probably be even better than the OEM low beams, would they not? I recall you mentioning that the 2014+ Corollas with the factory LEDs were head and shoulders above the earlier Corollas...the exact phrase was "not even close." And from what I read, Hella is held in high esteem around here. So clearly, there's room to do better with regard to my 2010 Corolla, and I'd want to do as best as I can while not spending too much $.

    https://www.amazon.com/HELLA-9985700...ella+projector
    Last edited by Ls400; 10-14-2018 at 12:31 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    I understand, but the OEM lights are expensive.
    Yes, maintaining an automobile costs money. Hitting a deer is more expensive than a new set of headlamps. Hitting a person is even more expensive than hitting the deer.

    but...from what I understand, aux low beams are allowed in my area. What if I just put 2 of these on?
    You'll still have headlamps in lousy condition. Fix the car correctly.

    Perhaps I would disconnect the low beams so the crazing wouldn't cause excessive glare at night and just run with the aux low beams?
    This idea keeps getting worse the more you develop it. :-(

    These would probably be even better than the OEM low beams, would they not?
    Probably not, given the severe compromises that would have to be made in mounting and lamp selection.

    I recall you mentioning that the 2014+ Corollas with the factory LEDs were head and shoulders above the earlier Corollas...the exact phrase was "not even close."
    That would be a good argument for getting a '14+ Corolla, but what does it have to do with your '10?

    from what I read, Hella is held in high esteem around here.
    Hella makes some very good lamps...and some mediocre ones...and some poor ones.

    So clearly, there's room to do better with regard to my 2010 Corolla
    How did you get there? I think you are jumping to conclusions not supported by reality. The Hella projector you linked is intended for light-duty, low-demand use on motor tricycles and ATVs. It does not come close to equalling the performance of a stock Corolla headlamp in good condition with a stock bulb, let alone a stock Corolla headlamp in good condition with an appropriately chosen upgrade bulb. And how and where were you planning to mount these Hella projectors, anyway?
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 10-14-2018 at 06:01 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    I understand, but the OEM lights are expensive. Granted, hitting a pedestrian is probably more expensive
    Even relatively minor damage to your car can cost hundreds to repair, but property damage would be the least of your worries.

    A few years ago I was doing something embarrassingly stupid and hit my nose. I went to the hospital because there was a gash on the bridge of my nose that wouldn't stop bleeding. An X-ray showed a hairline fracture that didn't require realignment. They gave me three stitches and a prescription for pain killers. It cost my insurance company $900. This is already double what it would cost to replace both of the OEM headlamps on your Corolla.

    A friend of mine was riding his motorcycle at about 45mph when a car turned left in front of him at an intersection with no time for him to react. He struck the side of the car and was catapulted up and over and hit the pavement a significant distance away. Despite sustaining several massive life threatening injuries, he survived. The doctors and nurses all told him afterwards that they did not expect him to live. All told, his medical costs came out to around $800,000.

    So if you hit a pedestrian at night because you couldn't see him due to your headlamps being in poor condition, what do you reckon it's going to cost you? Even assuming your insurance policy covers the entirety of the medical costs (and it may not - check your coverage limits!), insurance companies tend to dislike having to write 5 or 6 figure checks and they'll express their displeasure by jacking up your premium. And let's not even get into lawsuits...

    Also, your car is eight years old. If you put off replacing the headlamps now, in a couple of years you may find new OEM headlamps harder to come by and would cost you more because of it. The OEM's don't keep manufacturing spare parts forever.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    I've found genuine Toyota headlamp assemblies to be pretty cheap, when sourced from dealers who sell online. Units for both my '05 Scion xB and my '08 Prius were around $120/ea.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggsalad View Post
    I've found genuine Toyota headlamp assemblies to be pretty cheap, when sourced from dealers who sell online. Units for both my '05 Scion xB and my '08 Prius were around $120/ea.
    That is also often true. Let's take a look...yep, it looks to be true in this case, too; bout $150/side. Super reasonable for OE lights:
    Left
    Right

    (those are the ones with the all-chrome trim inside. The ones with black trim cost about $45 more apiece, and there's no advantage, so since cost is a sensitive issue...)

  11. #11
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    I understand, but the OEM lights are expensive.
    Yes, because you're getting OEM quality. You're getting the lamps that Toyota certified as compliant with FMVSS108. With aftermarket, you're getting whatever cheap plastics and whatever terrible optics that they can get away with before they dissolve and reassemble the company under a new name.

    Perhaps I would disconnect the low beams so the crazing wouldn't cause excessive glare at night and just run with the aux low beams?
    Auxiliary low beams are auxiliary. No, don't do that.

    These would probably be even better than the OEM low beams, would they not? I recall you mentioning that the 2014+ Corollas with the factory LEDs were head and shoulders above the earlier Corollas...the exact phrase was "not even close."
    Get a 2014, then. The 2014 lamps alone don't help your 2010.

    Please, just fix your car the right way instead of trying to kludge something together that will make things worse for you, both in seeing and in legal liability. ("Your Honor, the defendant disabled his factory headlamps and relied solely on aftermarket *auxiliary* headlamps, and therefore was negligent when he struck my client's car on the highway.")

  12. #12

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I found some new old stock OEM lamps for 100 each. Now, if I still find the new OEM lamps wanting in performance, what are some good suggestions for aux low beams? Are those Hella 60mms fine, or should I look for something else?

    Also, is there a coating I could perhaps put on the lights to delay the onset of crazing? I've had many cars and I've never had any with crazed lights. Not even 20-year-old cars with their original plastic lens!
    Last edited by Ls400; 10-15-2018 at 10:51 PM.

  13. #13
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    Are those Hella 60mms fine, or should I look for something else?
    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    The Hella projector you linked is intended for light-duty, low-demand use on motor tricycles and ATVs. It does not come close to equalling the performance of a stock Corolla headlamp in good condition with a stock bulb, let alone a stock Corolla headlamp in good condition with an appropriately chosen upgrade bulb.
    Look for something else.

    Also, is there a coating I could perhaps put on the lights to delay the onset of crazing?
    I think you pressed way, way too hard when polishing the lenses and put those fine cracks in it yourself.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    I think you pressed way, way too hard when polishing the lenses and put those fine cracks in it yourself.
    The weird "texture" which I learned to be crazing was present before I started polishing. I thought they were simply dirty and in need of a scrubbing before I started. Regardless, I did learn from my research that crazing means there's a network of fine cracks in the plastic, so I'll keep in mind not to press super hard while polishing in the future as to not overly stress and crack the plastic.

    There's a spray by Meguiars which promises 1 year of headlight protection and it's tested per ASTM G154-12a. Does that mean anything worthwhile?
    Last edited by Ls400; 10-16-2018 at 10:16 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I found some new old stock OEM lamps for 100 each.
    There is no such thing as "new old stock" for a 2010 Corolla. Those lamps are still in production and readily available.

    Now, if I still find the new OEM lamps wanting in performance, what are some good suggestions for aux low beams?
    Dude: drop the idea of auxiliary low beams. It's not going to work out. Upgrade the new headlamps with this bulb in the low beam and this one in the high beam, trimmed as per this guide.

    Whichever bulbs you have, standard or these high-output ones, you will need to have the lamps aimed carefully and correctly, as per this page.

    Are those Hella 60mms fine, or should I look for something else?
    See post #7. Asking the same question multiple times because you don't like the answer and are hoping for a different one is not a mature tack to take; please stop doing that.

    Also, is there a coating I could perhaps put on the lights to delay the onset of crazing?
    No. Crazing cannot be prevented by a coating. The lamps are already hardcoated; there is nothing you should add. Crazing happens when the lenses get overheated (for example: over-aggressive polishing) and/or exposed to harsh chemical agents (for example: acetone).

  16. #16

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    ive been following this since day one and im seriously concerned. There is no way you can see crap with your headlights so damaged. I know not everyone has a ton of money lying around but go to the parts shop and get you some new headlight assemblies. literally on rock auto right now for anywhere from 49-190 dollars for your vehicle depending on what all you need. Dont hurt yourself or anyone else.
    hunter, fisherman, flashlight enthusiast

  17. #17

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Did you edit post 7 and add the part about the 60mms bring suitable only for extremely small vehicles? I don't believe I saw it the first time. Sorry for asking about aux low beams often. I don't think your vigorous condemnation of the aux lights were there the first time. The reason I'm interested in further improvements to OEM lights is that even with properly aimed lights on a 13 rav4, I still find it hard to see at night. There was a pedestrian the other day which I didn't see until he was just a few feet away from the edge of my bumper. He was just standing on the side of the highway off ramp for some reason. If he had been more centered in the off ramp then things might have been different. Perhaps my subjective impression of the situation is flawed, or perhaps I shouldn't be driving at night, or perhaps I need more lighting than other because of my astigmatism, or whatever. I don't know.

  18. #18
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    Did you edit post 7 and add the part about the 60mms bring suitable only for extremely small vehicles? I don't believe I saw it the first time.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 10-14-2018 at 07:01 PM. I can't tell what was edited, though. Still, it was before post #12.

    Have you brought up your night vision concerns with your optometrist? Is the exterior glass clean inside and out? Are your dashboard lights (and the "infotainment display" stuff if you have it) dimmed down, or are they excessively bright?
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 10-16-2018 at 01:18 PM. Reason: added the italics

  19. #19
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigburly912 View Post
    literally on rock auto right now for anywhere from 49-190 dollars for your vehicle depending on what all you need.
    Genuine OEM, and OEM only. Not these $49.00 lamp-shaped toys.

    Dont hurt yourself or anyone else.
    But, yes, it's time to get the headlighting system back up to factory-new and then go from there if further changes are needed.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    Did you edit post 7 and add the part about the 60mms bring suitable only for extremely small vehicles?
    No, I edited post 7 to fix a spelling error.

    The reason I'm interested in further improvements to OEM lights is that even with properly aimed lights on a 13 rav4, I still find it hard to see at night.
    Good idea to have a thorough eye exam if it's been awhile. Even under the best of circumstances, people with very good vision can't see everything they need to at night. We kill way too many pedestrians with cars, and it's a miracle we don't kill more than we do.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    No, I edited post 7 to fix a spelling error.



    Good idea to have a thorough eye exam if it's been awhile. Even under the best of circumstances, people with very good vision can't see everything they need to at night. We kill way too many pedestrians with cars, and it's a miracle we don't kill more than we do.
    I recently saw on DVN that if all cars in Germany had HID headlights it would lead 2.5x decrease in nighttime fatalities. If only there were a way to extract HID performance from a set of halogens! Forgive me for dreaming .

  22. #22

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    If only there were a way to extract HID performance from a set of halogens!
    Do not make the error of thinking all HID headlamps are necessarily better than all halogen headlamps. With the recommended bulbs in your new headlamps, correctly aimed, you will have low beam performance within the range covered by HID headlamps.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    I couldn't agree more. It's not what generates the light, it's the beam pattern and where you put the light. As it turns out, the StarrHID headlights on my Crown Vic are starting to show their age. But the very fresh FACTORY TOYOTA headlights on both of our 2007 Corollas, using 9012 and 9011 bulbs, are really quite good.

    Anyone who feels inclined to whine about the cost of factory Corolla headlights should seek factory lights for other vehicles. I believe I can still get factory lights for our 1999 Grand Cherokee (1999-2004 is the WJ series, and they use the right angled version of 9006 and 9005), but it looks like if I want both sides I'll have to buy the ones for the Overland/Limited, can't find both sides for the Laredo. The are NOT as cheap as the excellent Corolla lights.
    Last edited by Hamilton Felix; 10-18-2018 at 11:52 AM.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    So I got one of the headlamp housings swapped out. The driver's side came today. I did that and turned the lights on for a preliminary assessment. So I have one Sylvania silver Star ultra 9006 and one generic 9006. I put the ultra in the new lamp on the left and the generic in the old lamp on the right. What's up with the beam patterns?? Why is the ultra creating such a different and more diffuse pattern? I swapped the bulbs and the same thing happened--the ultras created a rather diffuse looking beam pattern.

    What's up with this?

    Is this a good or bad thing?

    http://imgur.com/gallery/B67MR6w

  25. #25

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Faulty bulb or bulb installed improperly. It's a very bad thing.

    Note that the Sylvania bulbs are not a good choice in any event ,and you should not be using them if you're trying to see well.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* LeanBurn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    To me that looks to be more than just bulb problems.

    What about keeping the original headlamp housings, safely heating the entire assembly, removing the front clear cover and putting the aftermarket front in its place? You retain the OEM beam pattern, bulb positioning etc, but the protective clear cover is renewed.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeanBurn View Post
    To me that looks to be more than just bulb problems.
    Dude said the problem followed the bulb when he swapped it from the new headlamp on one side of the car to the old headlamp on the other side. Unless that's not what he meant, that means it's a bulb problem.

    What about keeping the original headlamp housings, safely heating the entire assembly, removing the front clear cover and putting the aftermarket front in its place?
    This is a really bad idea. For one thing, there is no such thing as "safely heating" a headlamp -- it's going to be damaged by the attempt. Also, these lamps are not made to have the lenses removed or replaced, and it is just about impossible to get an adequate seal once the lens is removed. Furthermore, it's not just the lens that deteriorates over years of service, so does the reflector!

  28. #28

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    I swapped the bulbs and the same thing happened--the ultras created a rather diffuse looking beam pattern.
    Do you mean you swapped one Ultra with the other Ultra (in the new headlamp), or do you mean you swapped the Ultra from the new headlamp to the old one?

    Put the generic into the new headlamp - if it looks as it should (like the passenger side lamp in the photo), then the problem is with the Ultra bulbs. If the beam still looks bad, it's a problem with the new headlamp assembly.



    Is this a good or bad thing?

    http://imgur.com/gallery/B67MR6w
    It's horrendous, but this is a good example of when a photo of beam patterns shining against a wall is useful - that is what it looks like when something is very wrong!
    Last edited by jaycee88; 10-19-2018 at 12:28 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycee88 View Post
    Do you mean you swapped one Ultra with the other Ultra (in the new headlamp), or do you mean you swapped the Ultra from the new headlamp to the old one?

    Put the generic into the new headlamp - if it looks as it should (like the passenger side lamp in the photo), then the problem is with the Ultra bulbs. If the beam still looks bad, it's a problem with the new headlamp assembly.
    The generic produces the same rather focused beam pattern with the flat cutoff in both the new and old housings.

    The Ultra produces the diffuse pattern in both the new and old housings.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Are these lights ready for the trash?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Faulty bulb or bulb installed improperly. It's a very bad thing.

    Note that the Sylvania bulbs are not a good choice in any event ,and you should not be using them if you're trying to see well.
    Thanks for the advice. I do have 9012s and 9011s on the way.

    The only reason I have the Silver Stars in the interim is that they appeared to be the best option at Wal-Mart.

    From what you stated here:

    It doesn't matter if there's a ring of blue near the tip of the bulb; that's not an area of the glass where light that's part of the beam pattern goes through, so blue light in that location doesn't absorb light that would otherwise contribute to the beam pattern. What it does is strategically block some of the light that would otherwise get counted in the integrating sphere (tool to measure the lumen output of a bulb). With the blue ring, a bulb that would otherwise fail because of lumen output greater than allowed for its type can pass.
    It appears that the Silver Stars would be a better performer than the other options at Wal-Mart, which are the non-tinted Sylvania Xtravisions and Basics. The Silver Stars do indeed have a band of blue around the tip and a band of blue around the base, and a gap between the blue bands about where the filament is. Would the selective blue-tinting enable Sylvania to make the Silver Stars a better performer than the Xtravisions, which are completely clear?

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