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Headlights

I have to have headlights replaced too often. I usually don't make it between oil changes without having to have one replaced, always a low beam, either side. I have a well-certified shop that's excellent but there seem to be no service bulletins and there's not a problem with the charging system or other electrical devices. What could be the problem?
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Comments

  • edited June 2010
    Make sure, if your headlights have replaceable bulbs, that the repair person is not touching the quartz glass with their fingers. The bulbs can be safely handled with tissue paper or similar. If the quartz glass is touched with fingers, it can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol using tissue paper, paper towel or cotton.

    If touching the quartz is not the problem, you might want to double check your charging system voltage while driving to make sure that, at all times, the voltage does not exceed 14.5 volts dc.

    I sometimes wonder if bulbs that are less than perfect get into the parts supply system but I have no knowledge of manufacturers quality monitoring of lamp production. If all other measures fail, try another brand of bulb.
  • Thanks for your thoughts. My shop is well aware of the need to not touch the bulbs and how to clean them; I believe they use latex or similar gloves. They've checked the charging system and never found a problem. I bought Sylvania bulbs once, at a high price, and they burned out just as quickly. Funny, the stock bulbs lasted a long time,although I did have one replaced under the 4yr/50,000 mile warranty. This intermittent but persistent problem is about to drive me bonkers!
  • edited June 2010
    Also check for water leaks into the lamp area and vibration.
  • My shop did some checking with the local Mazda dealer and there IS a service bulletin about loose connectors or sockets. They've ordered them and we'll see over the next few weeks if it's successful. I'll post a reply and let you know how it goes. Thanks for your suggestions.
  • edited July 2010
    My old Accord would go through tail-lights in the same manner that you're describing.

    It turns out the cause was rain water accumulating inside the plastic covers and shorting them out.

    Perhaps this is afflicting your Mazda as well?
  • No evidence of water in the housing. Connectors and both bulbs replaced recently; both working OK today but the proof'll be if they're working in two months or so.
  • edited July 2010
    Frequent and repeated lamp failure is as often as not a mechanical problem. Slamming of doors and especially the hood will shorten headlamp life. Check to make sure rubber body mount bushings are intact and isolating the body from mechanical shock. Rough roads: potholes, speed bumps, etc. taken at speed will shorten headlamp life as well.
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