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HID Conversion

I currently own a 2001 Toyota Camry Solara SLE V6. I would like to convert the head lights to an HID system. I have been told, by a friend, that this car was not designed for HID and that installing them might hurt the electrical system. Any comments?

Before getting into the technical end, check the hurt on your wallet,for both inital installation and purchase and what it will cost if something breaks,a technical explaniation may not be required.

The only way this could be viable is to remove the HID system from a used car, and install it yourself. Otherwise…what oldschool said.

Just make sure you find a true HID conversion kit, and not some silly blue halogen bulbs.

In addition to the above comments. ask yourself this. When those HID lamps first came out in new cars everyone wanted them. A couple of years later, fewer cars featured them, fewer people wanted them. They are not the great winners people thought.

Cost is high. The light is bright and with the real systems has good aim, but with the cheap systems without proper leveling technology, they tend to blind oncoming drivers (not a good thing) drivers tend to veer towards bright lights. At least the early ones suffered from a high failure rates.

On factor many people seem to miss is the quality of the color of the light.  Because they produce a bright line spectrum they don't provide natural colors and actually will not light some colors at all.  

As for your install question, proper installation will not cause problems, but it must be done properly. That should not be a problem if you use an qualified mechanic.

Thanks guys. I’ll just go with a pair of Sylvania Silverstars and call it a day.

I find HID headlights incredibly annoying in oncoming traffic. It’s like staring into an arc welder! There’s no need for these things – you just have to slow down at night to avoid overdriving your headlights. And don’t get me started on those twits who install “bright blue lights” because they want to look like they have fancy HIDs. Even it they are true HIDs, the headlight lenses are not designed to properly focus the beams, resulting in a lot of stray light irritating and blinding oncoming drivers. Don’t even think of converting a regular headlight system to HID unless you can replace not only the bulbs and holders, but also the reflectors and lenses (covers).

I have HID lamps in my Pacifica, and I love them. They are the best headlights I’ve ever owned. The beam pattern is even and with a clean cutoff. With a self-leveling rear suspension, I don’t have to worry about blinding oncoming drivers. They use a projector-beam lens system, as do all factory HID lamps, AFAIK.

Your love will fade when a HID unit fails and you get the repair bill…

The bulbs are about $200 each. But they are supposed to last several times longer than halogens. We’ll see…

NYBo–Welcome back! Where have you been for the past few months?

It sounds like you have already decided to buy Sylvania Silverstars which should be OK.

I’d like to add that we have HID headlights on our new car. After using them, I wouldn’t mind at all if we had regular incandescent headlamps as I can’t detect any substantial difference regarding night driving visibility.

The best headlights that I recall of all of the cars that I have owned or driven extensively were those on a 1958 Pontiac. It had four round headlights about 5 inches in diameter. The outer two were for dim and the outers plus the inners were for high beams. I believe that the outers had dual filaments; one for dim and the other for high beam. The high beam setting lit up the road very well. Replacements were inexpensive.

Many over-the-road-trucks still use those sealed beams today, 4001H and 4002H bulbs. The even older 6014 bulbs still out-perform most of today’s stylized plastic buckets and they never turn yellow and cloud up nor did they cost $250 each to replace…

Thanks! I would post a link, but it would be deleted. But there’s no wrench like an old wrench…

Yep, they’ve definitely gone for form over function.