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Old 02-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
rbculton
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Headlamp Life

I have an '06 RTL and once I replaced the OE headlamps, the aftermarket lamps burn out in less than a year. I have tried Sylvania which maybe lasted 6 months and most recently the NAPA brand which got me about a year. Anyone else with this issue or have a solution? My headlamp housings are secure and dry and the mounting clips and sockets for the bulbs seem to function just fine. I have never had a vehicle go through head lamps so frequently.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: Headlamp Life

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Originally Posted by rbculton View Post
I have an '06 RTL and once I replaced the OE headlamps, the aftermarket lamps burn out in less than a year. I have tried Sylvania which maybe lasted 6 months and most recently the NAPA brand which got me about a year. Anyone else with this issue or have a solution? My headlamp housings are secure and dry and the mounting clips and sockets for the bulbs seem to function just fine. I have never had a vehicle go through head lamps so frequently.
Solution? Pay a little more for the OEM bulbs from a Honda dealer or be sure to buy the exact bulb specified by Honda. Stay away from "bright" or "blue" versions - they don't last. Staying with a brand name like Sylvania, Philips, or GE is good as long as you don't buy the "trick" versions mentioned above. Get the "long life" models which is what most manufacturers use these days.

Why did you replace the OE bulbs? How many miles are on the vehicle?
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Headlamp Life

Did you go back to OEM bulbs? I'm still on my original 2006 Pilot headlights and 2008 RL lights.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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Re: Headlamp Life

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Did you go back to OEM bulbs? I'm still on my original 2006 Pilot headlights and 2008 RL lights.
Doesn't surprise me. I still had the original bulbs in my '99 Regal after 10 years and 100,000 miles. Roughly half those miles were with the headlamps on. It came with Sylvania 9005LL and 9006LL bulbs (the LL at the end stands for long life).
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #5
rbculton
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Re: Headlamp Life

It has about 91k on it. I am considering going back to the OE bulbs since it seems the Sylvania and NAPA (Osram) bulbs don't seem to last. The Sylvania were just the extra life bulbs and the first one was out within six months. The NAPA bulbs are the silver edition which I think said they were 35% brighter than OE. Still in all the vehicles I have owned it is usually years before I have ever had to change one. Maybe there's something to be said for the OE bulbs even if they cost a bit more.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Re: Headlamp Life

The Ridgeline's manual simply specifies an HB2 (also known as H4 or 9003) bulb - it doesn't specify whether or not it is of the "long life" variety and certainly doesn't specify a brand name. The brand may very well change from time to time anyway depending on who Honda buys bulbs from at the time. It is increasingly difficult to find a "plain old" bulb since most auto parts stores push higher-profit trick bulbs advertised to be brighter or simulate the look of HID bulbs - these garbage. I don't remember ever having to replace an OEM headlamp bulb.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: Headlamp Life

The OEM bulb: 33115-SJC-A01 is about $8 at our usual online sources.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
rbculton
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Re: Headlamp Life

Thanks for all the feedback!
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:13 PM   #9
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Re: Headlamp Life

101k on my 06 still have original headlamps and fog lights. Amazing.

My wife had a Saab once and the bulb burnt out at 38k..then 43k...then 46k. A friend of mine told me to slap some dielectric grease around the connection and it lasted until we sold it at 85k.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:20 PM   #10
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Re: Headlamp Life

One more thing regarding halogen bulbs... NEVER touch the glass (actually, quartz) part. The slightest trace of oil from a fingerprint or other source of contamination (even if you can't see it) can create a "hot spot" and cause premature bulb failure. It isn't a bad idea to clean the bulb with rubbing alcohol before installation.
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