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Old 01-11-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
Runawayhacker
 
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Inconsistent Headlight Functionality

I'll skip the rant and just let you know there are no words to describe how irritating this has been for me.

PROBLEM: Headlight (single) works while on high beam, but not on low beam.

DESCRIPTION:This problem has made itself apparent across 3 different sets of bulbs. OEM > Aftermarket halogen > Aftermarket HID Kit. Because I suspect other issues with the HID Kit, I will leave it out of the troubleshooting scenario for now.

Right now I have some aftermarket halogen bulbs in. This morning I left for work and was looking at the reflection of my headlights in the car ahead of me. I flicked on the high beams and everything was good. Coming back down to low beams though, the passenger side will not illuminate.

This problem also happens randomly even without turning on the high beams. The good news (?) is that when it DOES happen, it isn't while driving. What I mean is... when I start the car, if the headlight comes on, it will stay on for the length of the drive. If it does not come on, it will stay off for the length of the drive. The only exception is when the high beams come on/off (as I JUST discovered)

I have not had time yet to do further troubleshooting like swapping the bulbs, but this behavior has been plaguing me for well over 6 months. The problem seems to mostly be on the passenger side. Does anyone have ANY idea what is happening? Obviously the bulb is receiving power, and it is not burned out because it will come back on at a later time.

The power plugs for these bulbs are slightly melted/singed, but still appear to be making good contact. If need be, I can replace them myself, I just would like to know the proper plug name/number.

Thanks guys!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runawayhacker View Post
I'll skip the rant and just let you know there are no words to describe how irritating this has been for me.

PROBLEM: Headlight (single) works while on high beam, but not on low beam.

DESCRIPTION:This problem has made itself apparent across 3 different sets of bulbs. OEM > Aftermarket halogen > Aftermarket HID Kit. Because I suspect other issues with the HID Kit, I will leave it out of the troubleshooting scenario for now.

Right now I have some aftermarket halogen bulbs in. This morning I left for work and was looking at the reflection of my headlights in the car ahead of me. I flicked on the high beams and everything was good. Coming back down to low beams though, the passenger side will not illuminate.

This problem also happens randomly even without turning on the high beams. The good news (?) is that when it DOES happen, it isn't while driving. What I mean is... when I start the car, if the headlight comes on, it will stay on for the length of the drive. If it does not come on, it will stay off for the length of the drive. The only exception is when the high beams come on/off (as I JUST discovered)

I have not had time yet to do further troubleshooting like swapping the bulbs, but this behavior has been plaguing me for well over 6 months. The problem seems to mostly be on the passenger side. Does anyone have ANY idea what is happening? Obviously the bulb is receiving power, and it is not burned out because it will come back on at a later time.

The power plugs for these bulbs are slightly melted/singed, but still appear to be making good contact. If need be, I can replace them myself, I just would like to know the proper plug name/number.

Thanks guys!
Have you looked at the fuses? It's either in the Drivers Side of the Dash or under the hood but there are fuses for the HID's. I'd take it to the dealer if it's not the fuses...

That's all I can suggest, or it's a wiring issue I'd imagine...

As for the Wiring Harness Connection you would have to ask the dealer to look that up, or PM 2SSRS (Ofer) he can really help you!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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I would start with replacing the headlight plugs. These aftermarket HID kits are not well engineered IMO. The burnt plug tells me the kit is drawing to much power or has a bad connection. Since you indicated it has occurred on both headlight plugs though, I'm leaning toward an excessive power draw. I looked at a wiring diagram and the low beam power comes from connector X4 at the BCM. Pin 2 of connector X4 should be a dark blue wire that will be a tan/white wire at the right headlight low beam. Check power at the connector when the problem occurs. Try this first and let us know what you find and we can dig deeper if need be.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:38 AM   #4
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If it's a problem that comes and goes but will stay that way I would look at all the wiring and check for any loose connections. It could be a loose plug-in or an actual wire might not be soldered correctly. Even the bulb could have a defect.

I once had an issue with the subs in my truck not working checked everything and looked at all the fuses and couldn't find the issue. Went and replaced the amp and had the same issue. Double checked the wiring from the battery and when I opened the AGU fuse holder to get a better look at it then through the clear window the fuse just separated. The fuse blew right where it attached to the metal end cap. It's usually something stupid. Just go over everything and I'm sure you'll be when you find it.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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My guess would be the hi beam /low beam dimmer switch in the steering column or it's connections.

Last edited by MLL67RSSS; 01-11-2013 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone! I'm glad to hear there are some potential theories to this insanity and not just the typical "replace the bulb" situation. I'll will let you know of the results when I have time.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #7
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If your plugs look melted, that means you don't have a good connection. A good connection will not generate any more heat than the wires themselves, and if any of your wiring is generating heat you are losing voltage to whatever your running,i.e., lights, amps.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:51 PM   #8
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OK. Stopped into an Advance Auto on the way home to pick up some parts for tomorrow when I tackle this thing. I decided to drop back to my OEM halogen bulbs (been using aftermarket Halogen while fixing HID). Lo and behold, they BOTH work properly. I should also add to SSMickey's comment above about "poorly engineered" aftermarket parts. While removing these AM bulbs, they FELL APART. There is the plastic housing, then there are the 3 prongs on the bottom. The entire 3 pronged piece just... fell out. The wiring harness that came with these bulbs turned out to also be loose. Anyways, until tomorrow when I can replace my burned plugs, I'll stick with the stock halogens.

I'm about to make some powerful enemies right now, but I want to warn others of what I bought so this doesn't happen to them. These are the aftermarket bulbs I bought:



http://www.automotivelightstore.com/H13HOD.aspx

Yes, these are the bulbs that burned my plugs and literally fall apart. As you can see, I bought them from AAC, but I understand they do not manufacture these bulbs. Perhaps this is a fluke, but after I purchased them, they arrived in packaging NOTHING like shown in the picture. In fact, they looked reused. There were no paper inserts or such, simply a square, acrylic case. I mentioned this to them before, but was told that "our products do not cause plugs to burn". I've bought twice from AAC because of the reputation they have here on Camaro 5, but I struggled with them before as well. Currently they are troubleshooting my HID kit and bulbs and have told me that the burned plugs should not be effecting the HID operation. I'm skeptical.

I don't mean to slander, I'm simply stating the facts. After I installed those aftermarket bulbs, my plugs were burned and things haven't always worked right since. I've still yet to check fuses, replace plugs, and do more troubleshooting, so let's hope for the best.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:16 PM   #9
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Yea. Those bulbs are junk. Your lucky they didn't catch on fire. They melt everyones wiring that tries them. Stick to your stock bulbs or do a retrofit for HID use. Don't just install a HID kit in your car. Not a good idea at all.
Oh and don't spend (waste) any more money at AAC. They sell garbage. They have a horrible reputation on every forum they try and peddle their crap on.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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I have used "Silver Star Ultra" bulbs and have had no problems. I good lighting upgrade IMO. The best bang for the buck has got to be a retrofit with TRS stuff. Inexpensive and quality stuff with a good lighting performance. If you have the coin, RS lights and a harness from gen5diy is the way to go IMO. You can't go wrong with any of the above options, just don't throw a HID kit in and stay away from those damn AAC bulbs.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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Yea. Those bulbs are junk. Your lucky they didn't catch on fire. They melt everyones wiring that tries them. Stick to your stock bulbs or do a retrofit for HID use. Don't just install a HID kit in your car. Not a good idea at all.
Oh and don't spend (waste) any more money at AAC. They sell garbage. They have a horrible reputation on every forum they try and peddle their crap on.
After all this mess, once I get my HIDs back (or money back), I was looking at just either doing a OEM RS headlight conversion or doing a retrofit like this guy here. He even describes buying the same HID kit from AAC like I did!

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120440
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #12
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Just get your money back and get a full retro kit from TRS. You will have many issues with AAC stuff. Plus your blinding other drivers and look like a ricer with a glare kit.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:52 PM   #13
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Just get your money back and get a full retro kit from TRS. You will have many issues with AAC stuff. Plus your blinding other drivers and look like a ricer with a glare kit.
Would like to have money back, but I doubt they'll budge after 6 months of use. That is partially my fault for waiting this long to get angry about it. What to do...
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #14
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Just chalk it up as a lesson learned and get the stuff to do it right. We've all ended up throwing money away on this hobby we call cars.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:14 AM   #15
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Changed my headlight plugs this morning and everything is working wonderfully. Hate to keep re-hashing, but here are some pics of the plug I replaced and the bulb that caused the damage. I haven't even done the driver's side yet.



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Old 01-12-2013, 05:46 PM   #16
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Damn! Glad you got everything fixed. Just for the heck of it, I would send those pics to AAC and throw a fit. You might get some of your money back.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:51 PM   #17
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Damn! Glad you got everything fixed. Just for the heck of it, I would send those pics to AAC and throw a fit. You might get some of your money back.
Unfortunately, they don't buy it. I've sent them these pics before and they simply claim that their product would not do that. They hinted that I probably didn't install it properly. But seriously, how can anyone mess that up? It only fits one way... I would LOVE to have a refund at this point, but it is highly unlikely.
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