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RX350 Headlight Poor Output

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Old 11-23-14, 09:12 PM   #1
slabman
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Default RX350 Headlight Poor Output

Just picked up a used 2009 and noticed the low beam light output is terrible. Very difficult to see, especially when turning corners. Also have a bit of fogging of the headlight assembly covers which I assume can be cleaned up. I see lots of commentary on this forum about changing out lights...is this because this is a known problem? What is the easiest way to increase light output?
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Old 11-23-14, 11:15 PM   #2
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I have the same problem on my used RX330 I picked up. The HIDs are weak on this car compared to my LS430. Even the wife's Scion has more output.
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Old 11-24-14, 12:00 PM   #3
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First, look for a headlight restoration kit to get rid of the fogged headlamp lens. It may increase visibilty.
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Old 11-25-14, 04:12 AM   #4
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Does the vehicle have halogen or HID bulbs?


If halogen, replacing the bulbs can help. I like the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs as they are very white in color. However, they do not last as long as the more yellow color bulbs and it states this on the packaging. They normally retail for around $50 per set but I recently found them for $30.


Having doll sized hands will make bulb replacement easier, but it is not that bad. More difficult than the Honda/Acura's that we have owned, but easier than one that requires wheel & inner fender removal.


Cleaning up the lens can definitely help as well - just depends how bad they are to start. I typically clean up the headlight lens housings on all of our vehicles each summer.
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Old 11-25-14, 01:21 PM   #5
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I finally got a copy of the V-spec sheet and it has the std. halogen bulbs. Looks like the plastic housing has not yet discolored or is otherwise impaired. So....is the Sylvania H11 bulb the best way to go? Any thoughts on the Phillips or other versions or are they essentially the same....same high output, short life?
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Old 11-25-14, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slabman View Post
I finally got a copy of the V-spec sheet and it has the std. halogen bulbs. Looks like the plastic housing has not yet discolored or is otherwise impaired. So....is the Sylvania H11 bulb the best way to go? Any thoughts on the Phillips or other versions or are they essentially the same....same high output, short life?
I have not tried the Philips ones, but I have installed the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra's in three vehicles. I had one bulb fail within 5 months of installation, but the others have lasted at least 18 months if not longer.


Scratches and dings on the housing can also decrease the light output, but you have stated that the housing is not impaired.
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Old 11-25-14, 04:48 PM   #7
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I assume mine are HID as the lights are white. I did polish the lens but they were badly oxidized apnd it's still a little bit hazy, not completely clear. How can I tell if they are standard bulbs vs HID without pulling the bulb?
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Old 11-25-14, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSBen View Post
I assume mine are HID as the lights are white. I did polish the lens but they were badly oxidized apnd it's still a little bit hazy, not completely clear. How can I tell if they are standard bulbs vs HID without pulling the bulb?
The housings should be different. HID housing with green cloth background and halogen housing showing both assemblies.
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Old 11-25-14, 05:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for the pics. I do have the HIDs then, must be the hazy lens that's making the light output dull. Do HID bulbs go dimmer over time like halogens?
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Old 11-25-14, 07:51 PM   #10
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LSBen,
HIDs dim over time just like halogens. With a RX330, those bulbs are most likely original and have been used anywhere from 9 to 11 years (depending on model year). The recommended interval for replacement on HID bulbs is from 5-7 years, depending on use of course. However, most people make the mistake of not replacing them every 5 to 7 years, because they still work. However, the older the bulb, the dimmer the light output.The original HID bulbs I pulled from my 04 RX330 still worked when I replaced them last year, but the difference in light output is night and day. I highly recommend replacing the bulbs. Stick to a good trusted brand (Phillips or Osram) and buy them from a trusted retailer (I personally reccomend theretrofitsource.com), and you will be in good shape. Beware of ebay Phillips HID bulbs, as a lot of them are counterfeits.

For the 2nd gen RX, the HID bulb is a D2S.

See this thread for more info about HID bulbs and a (semi) DIY (I haven't gotten around to writing a DIY for it yet).

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...-low-beam.html
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Old 11-25-14, 10:30 PM   #11
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My 04 RX330 that I just got, now with 191K miles is probably due for a bulb change if it hadn't already had one. Thanks for the link. I'll order a set of Phillips 85122+ and hopefully will see better with these bulbs at night.
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Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM   #12
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Was there a recall put on these headlights? the haziness is present on a lot of RX vehicles.
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Old Yesterday, 12:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSBen View Post
My 04 RX330 that I just got, now with 191K miles is probably due for a bulb change if it hadn't already had one. Thanks for the link. I'll order a set of Phillips 85122+ and hopefully will see better with these bulbs at night.
I would order one of these bulbs instead of the 85122s. They are $100 dollars more but totally worth the price. I have the Phillips and I LOVE them!

http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VHYvTotV6iU

http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VHYvUotV6iU
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Old Yesterday, 01:07 PM   #14
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I have no input on the Halogen headlights since I have never even seen an RX that didn't have HIDs...But the RX is actually one of the best headlights out there. The D2S HID bulbs are pretty standard in most cars with factory HIDs and the projector in the RX is known to be one of the best...but one complaint about the HID output is actually the aiming. They come from the factory pointed much lower than most people prefer. Try adjusting the aim. There is one screw you have to turn if you don't have AFS and there are two screws to turn if you do have AFS. The directions are in the owners manual.

To get the best aim without blinding oncoming drivers.
1. Park the car on a level surface 25 feet back from a wall.
2. Mark a line on the wall level with the center of the projector lens.
3. Adjust the aim so that the lower side of the beam falls below the line and the higher side of the beam is above the line.
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Old Yesterday, 03:04 PM   #15
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How do I tell if I have AFS? I think I have auto level as I see the lights go up and down.

I already ordered a pair of 85122+. If this doesn't give me more light output, I'm thinking about buying some aftermarket Headlamps I saw on Ebay for $161, Eagle Brand. Even after I polished the stock lens, its sill hazy, not clear. I suspect this may be the reason why I'm not getting as much light. But I'm going to try the new bulb first.
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Old Yesterday, 03:04 PM
 
 
 
 
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