ArmyTek        
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

  1. #1

    Default 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    So, I'm an industry guy with 35 years exp. but really only know the basics when it comes to front lighting and specifically...bulbs. I have a 2017 Dodge Charger 392 with factory HID bi-xenon projector style headlamp modules and factory LED fogs in the lower cover. This was a factory ordered car with 4 miles at time of purchase so I am the original owner and everything is factory as far as lighting.

    I test drive cars everyday and have for decades. I could test drive anything today from a 1931 to 2020 MY and many in-between. I find the headlights in my charger to be poor and poorer than most cars I drive. I have other cars at home and the one that's driven most is an 02 Camry and with silverstar ultras, they are awesome at night and esp. with the high beams on...very nice.

    The bulb for my charger is a D3S and I was wondering if anyone here can give me some bulb options that might improve my situation. I do not know what the OEM bulb is. Just doing some basic research, the Philips xtreme vision (I think that's what I kinda earmarked) was a good option. Any thoughts...??? Also, the body is all factory (no body work or header panel alignment issues or anything like that) and no electrical or mechanical issues with the lamp assys ...just crappy light output in my opinion...thanks a bunch
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 09-30-2020 at 02:09 PM. Reason: broke it up into paragraphs for easier reading

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    5,063

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question


    Quote Originally Posted by GoMango View Post
    So, I'm an industry guy with 35 years exp. but really only know the basics when it comes to front lighting and specifically...bulbs. I have a 2017 Dodge Charger 392 with factory HID bi-xenon projector style headlamp modules
    The IIHS rated the 2017 Charger's headlamps as poor, so you're not the only one experiencing this. What can help is getting the lamps aimed correctly-- cars often leave the factory and subsequently the dealer with poorly-aimed headlamps.

    I have other cars at home and the one that's driven most is an 02 Camry and with silverstar ultras, they are awesome at night and esp. with the high beams on...very nice.
    That Camry would do even better with non-toy bulbs; the SilverStar Ultras are blue-tinted junk bulbs and there are some upgrades there so long as the lenses are still in excellent condition. If not, you'll need to get OEM (GENUINE OEM, not "OEM-style" headlamps) and use an HIR2 in the low beams and an HIR1 in the high beams.

    The bulb for my charger is a D3S and I was wondering if anyone here can give me some bulb options that might improve my situation. I do not know what the OEM bulb is. Just doing some basic research, the Philips xtreme vision (I think that's what I kinda earmarked) was a good option. Any thoughts...??? Also, the body is all factory (no body work or header panel alignment issues or anything like that) and no electrical or mechanical issues with the lamp assys ...just crappy light output in my opinion...thanks a bunch
    The factory arc-discharge capsules are whatever was cheaply-obtained at the time. With the age of your car, there may be some degradation of them depending on how much you've used them. However, I would recommend the Osram Night Breaker Laser D3S, but beware there could be fakes out there so be sure to buy from reputable sources.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    Welcome to the board. Alaric is pretty much smack on target. Chrysler probably had good intentions, but they made some unfortunate decisions on those headlamps in your Charger. Also, lamp aim is the primary determinant of how well you get to see while driving at night, and it has to be checked and adjusted correctly, not just guessed at by looking at the lights on a wall.

    He's right again about the Silverstar scam; there's more info here.

    He's also right about your Camry, but all HIR2 and HIR1 bulbs are not alike, and there are other things to check on that car, too. You might send an email to Daniel Stern and find out what's the latest straight dope on the HIR bulbs.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    What can help is getting the lamps aimed correctly-- cars often leave the factory and subsequently the dealer with poorly-aimed headlamps.

    That Camry would do even better with non-toy bulbs; the SilverStar Ultras are blue-tinted junk bulbs and there are some upgrades there so long as the lenses are still in excellent condition.

    I would recommend the Osram Night Breaker Laser D3S, but beware there could be fakes out there so be sure to buy from reputable sources.
    Thank you so much for chiming in...the car has been garaged and never even driven in the rain and with 5600 miles, the lamps are in all but factory condition. We also have a headlamp aiming machine here at our shop and I have checked them. I originally considered the Osram bulb you suggested but thought the Philips bulb I mentioned in original post is more "white" and would match the DRL profile and factory LED fogs...??? There is a lot more to this obviously and I'm here to learn...

    I do know all about a/m lamps and the quality, or lack there of, as we have a collision shop here as well as hot rod shop/restoration shop...regarding the Camry that you kindly suggested help with...the Camry still has the original lamp assys but I do keep them wet sanded, buffed and polished ...except for some minor aging on the inside of the lenses, the outer faces are near perfect. I will look into the bulbs you suggested for the Camry, but the SS bulbs I have in there are very bright and esp with the brights on as there are separate bulbs for them

    what is the best way to pick out a vendor as I am aware that there are many fakes out there for HID bulbs and the likes...thanks again for your help...
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 10-01-2020 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Pared down quote

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    5,063

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    Quote Originally Posted by GoMango View Post
    Thank you so much for chiming in...the car has been garaged and never even driven in the rain and with 5600 miles, the lamps are in all but factory condition. We also have a headlamp aiming machine here at our shop and I have checked them.
    The lenses should be in good condition on that vehicle, and the capsules are probably fine as far as hours on them, but they won't be as good as genuine performance ones. Sadly, the glare these lamps can produce limits how aggressively high you can aim them to improve the distance at that critical speed where high beams are genuinely needed but traffic conditions don't permit high beams.

    I originally considered the Osram bulb you suggested but thought the Philips bulb I mentioned in original post is more "white" and would match the DRL profile and factory LED fogs...??? There is a lot more to this obviously and I'm here to learn...
    White bulbs produce white light; there's no need to match headlamp output to fog lamp output. The only time you should be using your fog lamps is in conditions that people are too busy driving extremely carefully and slowly and trying to stay in their lane and watch out for vehicles forward of them to care if your colors all match. Fog lamps are not for clear-weather driving; they generate glare for others and limit your ability to see to the distance. Leave them off except for REAL fog conditions. They can be useful in limited situations but none of those situations include "looking stylish".

    While the Philips X-Treme Vision wouldn't be a *bad* choice, the 4800K color temperature means it tends slightly more towards blue than the Osram Night Breaker Laser at 4400K, which makes it slightly more glaring for a given intensity. And, again, it doesn't need to match your fog lamps.

    Finally, as far as your fog lamps go, one thing I would do to give them a marginal improvement is add a 1mil layer of Kapton tape to the outer lens. This not only helps protect them from grit abrasion and smaller impacts, it will strip out a lot of the blue light making them a little more effective in the fog (not because it "penetrates" the fog, but that the backscatter is easier for the human optical system to deal with). Still, even with the tape: Leave them OFF except in the fog and fog speeds (25mph or slower). They're just to help you stay in your lane, not to magically see as if it were broad daylight.

    I do know all about [aftermarket] lamps and the quality, or lack there of, as we have a collision shop here as well as hot rod shop/restoration shop...regarding the Camry that you kindly suggested help with...the Camry still has the original lamp assys but I do keep them wet sanded, buffed and polished ...except for some minor aging on the inside of the lenses, the outer faces are near perfect. I will look into the bulbs you suggested for the Camry, but the SS bulbs I have in there are very bright and esp with the brights on as there are separate bulbs for them
    But they can be better without that blue tinting that strips out a substantial portion of light that you could be using to see by. More details are here. While the SilverStar Ultra don't fall in the illegal category, they're still bad.

    what is the best way to pick out a vendor as I am aware that there are many fakes out there for HID bulbs and the likes...thanks again for your help...
    Too-good-to-be-true pricing can be a giveaway

    I wonder if Daniel Stern's got them-- his website doesn't do the usual "shopping cart" thing and not all his stuff is listed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    except for a few early morning drives and twice at night, the low beams probably only have a few hours on them honestly...I just don't drive the car much but that's hear nor there...you mentioned capsules and "genuine performance" capsules...what am I missing here. Are you talking projectors??? I've never seen a/m projectors. Seems I have a lot to learn. Also, my bad on the Night Breaker Lasers as I thought for some reason they were 7000K...thanks for clearing that up...Thank you much

  7. #7
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    5,063

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    Quote Originally Posted by GoMango View Post
    except for a few early morning drives and twice at night, the low beams probably only have a few hours on them honestly...I just don't drive the car much but that's hear nor there...you mentioned capsules and "genuine performance" capsules...what am I missing here. Are you talking projectors??? I've never seen a/m projectors. Seems I have a lot to learn. Also, my bad on the Night Breaker Lasers as I thought for some reason they were 7000K...thanks for clearing that up...Thank you much
    I'm differentiating "genuine performance" arc-discharge capsules (Osram Night Breaker Laser/Philips X-Treme Power) from standard, or worse, long life, arc-discharge capsules, or even worse, those blue-tinted arc-discharge capsules promising 7000K or higher color temperatures, and are sloppily made resulting in poor focus. Arc-discharge capsules are the 'bulbs' that go into the headlamps. (The S or R denotes whether it's designed for a projector (S) or reflector (R) headlamp. Whether the lamp assembly itself is of the reflector or projector type is no guarantee it will perform better-- there are good and bad lamps of both kinds.)

  8. #8

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    I'm differentiating "genuine performance" arc-discharge capsules (Osram Night Breaker Laser/Philips X-Treme Power) from standard, or worse, long life, arc-discharge capsules, or even worse, those blue-tinted arc-discharge capsules promising 7000K or higher color temperatures, and are sloppily made resulting in poor focus. Arc-discharge capsules are the 'bulbs' that go into the headlamps. (The S or R denotes whether it's designed for a projector (S) or reflector (R) headlamp. Whether the lamp assembly itself is of the reflector or projector type is no guarantee it will perform better-- there are good and bad lamps of both kinds.)
    K...thanks. I kinda figured you were talking bulbs but wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something. Appreciate your time and attention. I decided to try the Osram bulb you suggested and reached out to the site you referred...will definitely share my feedback after the swap...

  9. #9
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    5,063

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    Quote Originally Posted by GoMango View Post
    I decided to try the Osram bulb you suggested and reached out to the site you referred...will definitely share my feedback after the swap...
    They'll make the lamps very slightly to somewhat slightly less bad depending on what came with the car. Sadly, the lamps just have some deficiencies that can't entirely be overcome with new 'bulbs', but if you got saddled with junk ones to begin with then at least you'll get some improvement.

    A carefully-selected auxiliary high beam (or pair of them) can at least make driving out on the open road absent other traffic a little safer.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2017 Dodge Charger 392 headlamp performance question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    They'll make the lamps very slightly to somewhat slightly less bad depending on what came with the car. Sadly, the lamps just have some deficiencies that can't entirely be overcome with new 'bulbs', but if you got saddled with junk ones to begin with then at least you'll get some improvement.
    I don't expect to see a night and day difference (good pun??? bad pun???) but I am hoping, as you suggested, to see some kind of difference and I will report back my findings.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 10-02-2020 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Pared down quote

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •