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Headlights

I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. The heads lights have always been lousey. I noticed the other day that the bulbs are turning black. What cause this and what is the fix. Is there a brighter aftermarket bulb made for this car?

Check your owner’s manual and make sure you have the right bulbs in there. Also, check the back of the headlight case for a U-shaped rubber thing that goes over the air vent hole. Make sure it’s not clogged, and make sure it’s there. The U-shape helps to keep out dirt and such while still letting air in. Make sure the hole isn’t clogged either. They might be overheating if it’s clogged. Just a guess.

Which part is turning black, the bulb or the housing? If it’s the bulb, I think Syvania makes brighter replacements, called ‘Siverstar’.

But just going brighter is fixing a symptom and not the cause.

Agreed, lots of cars have poorly designed headlights, but what else can he do?

Halogen bulbs degrade over time… The quartz envelope darkens as the filament boils away and is deposited on the glass…The plastic lens covers can be cleaned up with Plast-X. And yes, it’s a pleasure to drive an older car with sealed beam glass headlights. Nothing works better than a 6014-H bulb. That’s why most large trucks still use them…I’m amazed the DOT lets the manufacturers get away with those cheezy plastic buckets…

All standard design auto headlights dim over time and are often operating at 50% or less shortly before they burn out. Yours are close to burning out. That black stuff you see is tungsten that has burned off the filament and now the filament is about to go. Replacing the bulbs should help.

Another big issue with many cars today are the plastic covers over the headlamps. They get pitted by rocks and sand and turn yellow from exposure to sun. They are expensive to replace, but the autoparts store will have a kit to polish them and make them almost like new again. You can DIY, it mainly takes time.

I don’t recommend replacing the lamps with brighter ones. It is illegal in many areas and it can cause oncoming drivers problems and reduce your and their safety.

It does not seem to be your problem, but it is also possible a poor connection may reduce the light output. This is usually a poor ground wire or a bad connector.

One last point. As we all grow older, we loose some of our night vision. We need to be aware of it and make whatever adjustments that are necessary to keep safe.

One last point. As we all grow older, we loose some of our night
vision. We need to be aware of it and make whatever adjustments
that are necessary to keep safe.

That’s the truth!