CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Toyota Prius 2006 headlights

The passenger sided head light goes on and off. Sometimes I will driving and I will notice that that headlight is off, I turn off all the lights(a dangerous thing to do) and then turn them on and the passenger headlight will come on. I have checked the lights when the car is parked with the engine on and the both headlights are on the driver’s side head light is on but dimmer and the passenger side light when on is brighter. The dealer suggests that replace the light for just over $ 300 and even thought I have a 7 year extended warranty lights are not covered by it. Could the problem be with something else and it will persist even after the light is replaced. If I can purchase the light from a secondary source on line at a lower price would I be able to do the replacement myself. I am good with my hands as I am a plastic surgeon but not of cars. Any suggestion that save me money or solve the problem without any expense will be appreciated.

These are HIDs right?
It could be the ballast, the light, or wiring. (roughly in that order)
If the dealer is going to do the repair, then insist that they correctly diagnose it, instead of guessing and throwing parts. When they do, get them to agree that you will pay to replace what they diagnose as being at fault. Should that fail to actually fix it, then they should pay to finish the job.

“Shot By Your Own Gun ?”

I got a good laugh with a surgeon’s remark, “Any suggestion that save me money or solve the problem without any expense will be appreciated.”

Just pay for the repair, whatever the cost, and “suck it up”. That’s what I am expected to do each and every time I need the services of a doctor. Any surgeon worth his/her weight in salt can easily afford such minor automotive surgery!

Agreed, I got a chuckle out of that as well. I’m not an authority on the subject, but from what I do know, HID’s are even more temperamental that the standard halogen bulbs, and many times more expensive to replace. Furthermore due to the voltages at play here (HID’s run at a much higher voltages than standard lights), and the fact that the OP has either no or limited experience dealing with cars. It would be prudent to have a mechanic handle the repair.

I would swap the left and right bulbs and see what happens.

You Could Try Transplanting A Donor Headlight Bulb From An Automotive Grave Yard Cadaver.

Judging from his name he/she might be a vet at the zoo.