ACURA LOW BEAM HEADLIGHT ISSUE
Acura's with daytime running light faults are draining their owners wallets. This feature, introduced in 1999, utilizes a low beam bulb containing an igniter/inverter circuit. The technology, although state of the art, has a serious flaw; Cost. Not just the cost of the bulb, but the tremendously inflated labor fee tacked on by dealers and repair shops.
There is a label on the back cover of the headlight assembly that warns of the presence of 24,000 volts which can kill you. This label is an attention getter. A safety statement; However it's a little over the top. The real message is clear; Take it to the dealer.
Others who experience loss of low beam lights, having not read the fright phrase, are shocked anyway when told; "This will cost you $600...it's the inverters". It's time to shine the high beams on the low beam issue.
The low beam bulb, roughly the same size as a regular bulb, has an electrode at it's base. Inside is a filament, igniter, and inverter circuit. This little bulb is what some mechanics refer to as "The Inverter". Some want to change the entire headlight assembly for $250 a side. In one reported instance, the customer was told they needed an entire front bumper and both headlight assemblies. Remarks like these boarder on the criminal. If you know it's only a bulb, why would you call it an inverter?
The price range of the low beam bulb is as wide as a canyon. Highs of $250 have been quoted. The bulb is manufactured by; Sylvania, Raytheon, and Heliolite, just to name a few. The best price I found is $61, although several were on E Bay for $45.
How do you change the bulb? I'll use a 2002 Acura TL as an example. The drivers side is the more difficult of the two.
Remove the positive battery cable...Remove the baffle that is in front of the air filter housing (2 plastic clips)...Pull the over flow container up and out...You will see a gray 2- wire connector under the light cover...Push down on the tab until it clicks...Pull back to release it...Now you can remove the cover over the bulb. It requires the use of a #20 Torx with a security tip. This tool is worth the $20 cost and can be purchased at major tool stores. You can find it quickly at; www.wihatools.com. Part #70142...When handling the new bulb it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to wear a pair of latex gloves...Skin oil transferred to the surface of the bulb will ruin it...Pull the old bulb and note the position of the electrode...Make sure the new one goes in straight; No twisting...Hold the bulb backing and install the locking clip.
If both bulbs work intermittently there is a wiring problem...Check for a solid ground (zero ohms on the X10 scale) on the black wire of the connector that was removed to replace the bulb; Measure with connector removed....Also, visually inspect the connector that plugs into the Daytime Running Lights Control Module located behind the left side of the dash; Pins have been known to back out of the connector housing.
The secret is out; It's only a bulb. Don't throw your hard earned cash into "The Money Pit".
on Jan 11, 2010 | Acura TL Cars & Trucks