Headlight obsolescence?

A headlight burned out in my '04 Camry. No sweat – I keep a HI beam and a LO beam spare in the glovebox. Changed it in a shopping center parking lot. Clean hands! Then I went to the national-chain auto parts store across the lot to get a new spare bulb.

There was a display for LED lamps that looked pretty well stocked, but the display for incandescent bulbs was almost empty. I did find the type I wanted (9006), but not the specific variety.

Is the paucity of available bulbs an instance of the “supply chain problem”, or are the stores drawing down on incandescent bulbs as the newer cars change over to LEDs?

(Is my car going to become obsolete because I can’t get replacement headlights??? Am I going to have to change to “equivalent” (Hah!) LEDs, and suffer the problems we see here from that change???)

There is still a massive market for halogen headlight bulbs that won’t be going away anytime soon. Original equipment LED headlights are not going to be found at an auto parts store, last a very long time, and cost a small fortune. Totally different markets.

Have you checked auto parts web sites and Amazon?

Supply chain problems, not obsolescence, IMHO.


Bunch on RockAuto, bet other places have them.

Yeah probably, or depending on the store, they may not be interested in a full variety. On the other hand, maybe just switch to LEDs if they will fit. I even put them on my lawn mower so I could see better at night.

Daylight saving time ended last month, people are driving home from work in the dark and have discovered they had a burned-out bulb, temporary increase in sales.


Depending on how far north you live, you could be going to and coming from in the dark
Local sunrise today 8:01 am
Local sunset today 4:14 pm

Just over 8 hours of daylight

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Appears to depend on the location, Autozone’s site shows availability for all the 9006 Bulbs they carry at the nearest store. Another is out of stock on one of the cheaper ones.

We’re about 4:34 right now I guess. Wife wanted to know why the Christmas lights were off so soon. 6 hour timer, dark at 4:30, do the math. Bought an 8 hour timer.

In many cases probably yes. I’ve gotten to where I assume that anytime anything’s out of stock, it’s probably supply chain-related.

I have a whitish headlight and bluish headlight. I won’t even drive it at night in case someone sees me. It’s my daytime only car.

I went to a well known big box store this morning. Out of curiosity checked the automotive bulb section. Complete assortment of bulbs.
Now just to get around to pulling the assemblies (3 bolts, 4 plastic connectors per side) and replace the bulbs.

I don’t have any problems finding sealed beam headlights for my 70’s truck. It can be a little more difficult to find the 9001 stock bulb that my 90’s Corolla takes at auto parts stores. When I first purchased the Corolla in the early 1990’s my local Target stocked replacement bulbs for both my vehicles, but around 2000 they’ve discontinued headlights. As I recall Target even stocked ignition points kits for my truck in the 1980’s.

It won’t be long before it will hard to find spark plug wires too. Modern cars are “coil on plug” or just straight up electric. How sad it will be when we can no longer choose between black, red, and blue spark plug wires. Sigh…

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