2008 Honda Element Headlight Low-Beam Part of Bulb Inoperative (4X replaced bulb in ~1 years time)

My driver’s side Headlight Bulb Low-Beam Part of Bulb is out again. Since about a years time every few months the low-beam part of the bulb goes out & I replace the bulb. I have replaced about “4” bulbs in about a years time. The high-beam part of the bulb always still works. At a glance all wiring appears good; connector seems fine & wires all down into engine bay still encased in plastic tubing. I always use grease on the connector-wire contacts as it states in instructions when replacing bulb. The bulb housing shows no signs of problems. I think if I take it to the dealer they will just find that it all checks good. But I think has to be something like a short or something wrong.

Your not touching the glass part of the bulb when you replace it are you? The oils in your skin will create hot spots and cause the bulb to fail quickly. Sounds like bs, but its true, you cant touch the glass in the least bit, and if you accidentally do you need to clean it with alcohol.

I was thinking and if you are not touching the glass part of the bulb, and your not getting grease on the bulb, try changing brands of bulbs. I bet your touching the glass part of the bulb, It don’t take much, even if your hands are clean.

We have the same trouble at work when guys replace spotlight bulbs on the trucks, or headligh bulbs for that matter.

I always figured the oil would burn off of the glass and there would be no problems but it overheats the bulb.

I also read that salt in your skin causes heat to be reflected back into the bulb, causing fast failure.

If you are using Sylvania replacement bulbs try switching to Phillips brand, even if you have order them through the net.

A short or break in the wiring won’t damage the bulb. It will keep it from working but not damage it. Excessive dc or ac voltage can damage the bulb.

If it’s not a contaminated bulb, it might be a loose headlight bucket which allows the bulb to vibrate and shake, greatly shortening its life…Be sure everything is firmly mounted…

Use a DVM to measure the low beam filament resistance of the bulb you remove (the one you think is bad) vs a new one. Almost the same? Then the problem is not the bulb burning out, it must be a connection problem somewhere or another. Does one terminal of the electrical connector the bulb plugs into look brown or black?

If the filament indeed has burned out (filament measures open, very high resistance), then you do have a bad bulb. So buy the next bulb from a completely different parts store. Your parts store may just have a bad batch of bulbs. I had this same thing happen w/my Corolla, for the dome light. I replaced it 4 times, and it burned out after 3 months each time. Finally I decided the parts store I was using (the dealership in this case) was giving me bad bulbs, so I purchased a new bulb from a different parts store, and it has never burned out in 15 years. If you are buying your bulb from a retail big box parts store, buy the next one from a dealership. Or visa-versa.

Also, maybe get a second opinion to make sure you are buying the correct replacement part for your make/model/year.

And as mentioned above, be sure to follow the directions as exactly as possible on the bulb package when installing it. I always put on clean cotten gloves before I even open the box.

Here’s a tip: A bad bulb still has uses for the frugal fix-it-upper as the other filament can be used as a low resistance load. used to load test household batteries (the 1.5 volt batteries, AA, AAA, C, D, etc). I made a metal box which has a bad bulb inside, and leads coming out from the good filament. I use it to test my household batteries under load, see if they are good or not. Turn you lemons into lemonaid.

Best of luck.