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Toyota Prius HID headlight repair costs

How could it cost $700 to $800 to repair one headlight, even though the light itself works “most of the time,” just not at night when you need it?

It deoends on how much troubleshooting was required to diagnose the problem and what teh problem was. You’ve given us zip to work with here

Yes those HID units are expensive. I am assuming that they are replacing the bulb, the ballast/starter unit, and (maybe) the housing. I read somewhere that the HID units should last the life of the car. Has that been the reality?

If the car was at a Toyota dealer for the repair I can believe the price. HID lights are very expensive, and you’re paying top price at the dealer.

I just did a google search for “HID headlight costs” and saw several discussions about Prius HID headlamp failure. Some are trying to take action with Toyota, while others have found the bulbs can be replaced for far less than the dealer will charge.

My Prius is less then three-years old, but out of warranty. When I went in to ask why my head lamps would blink on and off, the repair manager said, 'Don’t tell me, it’s the Right front headlight?" And he was right. He said he had seen the problem a lot. When I purchased the car, new, the sales guy warned me that they had been having problems, but I drive a lot at night and wanted the brightest lights possible. BIG MISTAKE! Toyota knows there is a problem but says it is not a safety issue, so no recall. Two dealers, same story, it’s a problem not with the light itself, but a computer module. They have to dismantle most of the front end to replace the computer AND the light itself is expensive. Some savings in a tight economy.

No trouble shooting required. The light works off and on, always when you turn them off and then back on. The Toyota dealer here in town (I trust them, I might add, knows about multiple cases, all the same. ALWAYS the right front HID light! Not a dealer problem. It is a Toyota manufacture prOblem that they have not recalled. I drive a lot IN Downeast Maine and I am afraid THEY LIGHT WILL GO OUT AT THE WRONG MOMENT.

You may be right. There’s no way just the bulb could get that much money.

I haven’t read that about the longevity of HID lamps, but I’d be reluctant to believe it. Past posts have told me that you know technically what high intesity discharge lamps are, and there has to be vaporization over time.

It appears, according to the two Toyota dealers I took the car to here in Massachusetts, that it is a common problem with Prius HID lights. Each light has its own separate computer module that is the problem. It has to be replaced. To do that, they told me that nearly the “entire” front end of the car has to be dismantled to get to it. Each light has its own and they are very expensive and labor intensive. If your considering a Prius, DON’T buy one with HID head lights. There not even that much better then the regular lights.

HID headlights are no “brighter” than other types. The maximum lumen’s are regulated by law. They are just an expensive gimmick as you are finding out… You would have been FAR better off had you just installed a set of aftermarket driving lights…

You are speaking over my head, I know nothing about vaporization, discharging, or how the car starts without a key, all I know is that Toyota Prius’ HID head lamps have a problem and it is always the front right light that blinks on and off.

How do I take action? I am one small person and Toyota is massive.

Is that possible?! I can replace these lights with after market lights for less? Where and how? Where’s Click and Clack when you need them?!

Basically the way the lights work is that a high voltage arc is created between two metal posts in an inert gas, a gas that does not cause oxidization.

With the extreme temperatures and electrical discharge going on, two things tend to happen. One is that the material from which the posts are made tends to change grain structure, and two is that vaporization occurs with one or more of the elemental components of the material.

This is somwhat different than the way incandescent lamps work, wherein a tungsten filament is heated with current flow until it glows. Quartz-halogen bulbs are just incandescent bullbs that use a special gas that allows higher temperatures and fused quartz bulbs to withstand the heat. The fused quartz also passes more light at the high frequency end of the visual spectrum than glass does, providing a “whiter” light.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with your problem, but my response was to Researcher’s comment that he’d read that they last the life of the car. I knew when I posted that he had a technical backround and would understand my skepticism of what he’d read.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to confuse anyone.

I always though that the laws regulated wattage and color temperature. Not lumens, I could be wrong about this though.

They regulate a whole plethora of stuff.

See here:

I wonder if the point of HID’s on Prius are to save power vs a normal everyday headlight bulb elongating the battery life and helping MPG overall?

I am very happy my car has the conventional type with the $5 bulbs at Walmart for replacement.

With your owners’ manual you received a booklet with “800” numbers to call to contest repair costs (and other problems). Follow the directions in that booklet.

If it’s beyond warranty with higher mileage, then unless you can find a TSB to support your case you have no possible recourse.

Your theory makes sense. I too am glad I have basic Quartz Halogen bulbs.

There are diagnostic tips on HID lights put out from Toyota from 2004 on. I cant find replacement instructions. I would not call the HID (High Intensity Discharge) module a “computer”.