Burned out high beam


#1

I just got this car a couple weeks ago. Tonight when I turned on the highbeams there was sort of a blue flash and then one of the highbeams blew out. Could someone give me a ballpark price to have it fixed (ie, parts and labor)? The regular headlight on that side works. Thanks!

2010 Honda Fit, 89K


#2

Your location is not known, where you plan to have it repaired is not known. As for giving you prices any guess would be close or not even in the ballpark.


#3

About $15 for the bulb.
http://www.bulbs.com/Automotive_Lighting/results.aspx?bf=2010+HONDA+FIT+Headlight+(Dual+beam)&lnd=0&Nr=OR(P_AutoXRef:9003CVS2,P_AutoXRef:9003NGS2,P_AutoXRef:9003VPS2,)

However the nature of your question and my experience with the IMHO atrocious designs that Honda uses in their bulb retention systems suggests that you may want to pay someone else to do it. Your regular mechanic should have no problem. If you buy it from him, he might charge a bit more for the bulb and even change it for free.


#4

You’re probably looking at $50 or so if you take it to a shop.


#5

Great, thanks everyone. I should be able to do it myself. I just remembered that I replaced the headlight bulb on my last car, a Subaru.

I found a video online that shows how to do it for the Honda Fit
http://www.carcarekiosk.com/video/2010_Honda_Fit_Sport_1.5L_4_Cyl./lights/headlight


#6

Try not to touch the bulb with your bare skin. On many high-temperature bulbs, the oil can cause the bulb to die early.


#7

Good video. In my daughter’s Civic, it took me seemingly forever to get that damned clip to unclip. The poor access made it almost impossible. I’m glad the Fit access is apparently better.


#8

Yeah, my Subaru was pretty tough too, but I think it might have been due to me not knowing how to unclip it. I was pushing it the wrong way. Feels like cheating to have a video LOL


#9

Sometimes if you catch the guys at Autozone when they are not at all busy, they will change a bulb or wipers for you. I’ve seen them do both for seemingly helpless ladies.


#10

LOL I thought so, too. When I had to change the headlight on my Subaru it was extremely hot and I am disabled. They were like, “Good luck with that.” Hahahaha Where’s the love?


#11

I just replaced a bulb in my son’s 2011 GMC pickup . Was hard to get to but bought the bulb at the local parts store for five dollars & change . Yep , said not to touch it with your fingers .


#12

I use rubber gloves just to make sure I don’t touch the bulbs.


#13

I used vinyl gloves and all went well. Good that I have small hands since there isn’t much working space on that little Honda Fit. I replaced the bulbs on both sides to keep balanced lighting.

I’m glad I checked online about the different classes of replacement bulbs. The bulbs that provide longer length/brighter light burn out quickly and are expensive. Most reviewers recommended sticking with the standard bulbs that last about 10 years. When I went to Autozone I asked for the standard bulbs specifically and the guy brought me a more expensive bulb. I told him what I know he knows-- that they burn out quickly and cost a lot more. He acted surprised (“acted” being the operative word). He came back with the same expensive bulbs again! All I can say is it was good he caught me on a nice day or I would have given him an earful about his disreputable behavior. I bet he wouldn’t have pulled that if I were a man. I won’t be giving them my business next time.

Thanks for the help, everyone. Nice to have great lighting again.


#14

"I replaced the bulbs on both sides to keep balanced lighting."
Excellent move. The operating hour life of automotive headlight bulbs is extremely consistent, and if one side burns out the other isn’t far behind.

Your are correct about the inverse relationship between the cost and the lifespan. “Standard” quartz-halogen headlight bulbs have an operating life of 1000 hours. As the price goes up, the output goes up, but this is accomplished by burning the filament hotter, and this shortens the operating life of the bulbs.

The “standard” bulbs for my car cost about $12 a pair with a life of 1000 hours. The ones I use, “Superstar Ultra” bulbs, cost $50 a pair, and the lifespan is rated at 250 operating hours. But they put out a lot more light. Sylvania sells five different levels of the “Superstar” bulbs, each “upgrade” putting out more light but at the expense of lifespan and added cost.

It’s entirely possible that the guy at AutoZone really didn’t know this. Most people don’t, and my experience with AZ counter people suggests that he may have actually been surprised… I’ve been very unimpressed with the level of knowledge of many of these people. If fairness to them, the qualifications for the job aren’t high and that’s reflected in the modest pay rate.

Oh, and I don’t think it’s gender bias. It’s simply lack of knowledge. I no longer stop at AZ stores, because of unsatisfactory experiences.


#15

+1 @“the same mountainbike” I agree with all your points. The only addition I have is that I buy my Sylvania Ultra bulbs at Amazon for $26 bucks a pair instead of $50.


#16

I really don’t drive enough at night to worry about headlight bulb life expectancy. The headlights on my daily driver generally get oxidized/cloudy after about 5 years. Fortunately the headlight lens assembles for my car are dirt cheap, I can get new ones for about $80 a pair. I just buy new pair every 5 or so years and put whatever the top Sylvania bulbs are at the time. I’ve never had headlight bulb go out on me. The bulbs the assembly come with are garbage. And it’s worth the extra $30-$40 to have better lighting to me.


#17

Thanks knfenimore. I’ll definitely have to check that out.
I always turn my lights on regardless of the time of day or weather. My car doesn’t have DRLs. To me it’s cheap insurance. The cost of the accident I might have prevented by making my car more visible would probably buy me bulbs for life… and then some.


#18

If you end up inadvertently touching the bulb, wipe the bulb with a lint-free cloth or paper towel saturated with isopropyl alcohol. This will remove the skin oils. (Let the bulb dry before turning on the bulb)