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drmull

Melted Headlight Connector?

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Hello - Had a low beam bulb go out so I replaced both. The driver's side bulb went out again, so I jiggled the connector & the light came back on. It went out again a few days later. When I pulled the bulb off, the inside of the plastic connector was melted and one of the aluminum leads inside the connector (the one at the end of the white wire) was charred. I bought a new connector from Lexus & tried again with a new bulb. Same result - see pic. The red wire and connector look normal. Any ideas why this is happening? Thanks for any help. I really don't want to replace the entire wiring harness...is there a short somewhere? The other bulbs (hi & lo beam) are fine.

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BTW - The bulbs are the HiPros off Ebay - 9006 5900k.

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It's the new bulbs. Cheap aftermarket bulbs can produce excessive heat, enough to melt the harnesses. This is even more true with tinted/coated bulbs, as the light energy produced by the filament cannot escape through the glass and is reflected back onto the filament, creating even more heat, which travels down the leads and melts the connectors.

The reverse voltage can also damage the cars computer that regulates what needs to be sent to each bulb.

Stick with the OEM bulbs, or make sure your replacements are rated at the correct wattage. Hopefully the cars computer systems are OK... :(

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Thanks for the info. I wonder why just that location had the problem twice?? Oh, well. The dealer has the connector but not the little aluminum clip that inserts into the connector and holds the wire. I guess I'll be searching junkyards...unless it's something generic I can get at an auto parts store?? Could be a bit of a pain to fix. Any ideas about that piece?? Thanks again.

BTW - Who manufactures the OEM bulb for Lexus?? Could I use a Toyota bulb for the Highlander? I have a friend at a Toyota dealer.

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The wiring harnesses for 9006 bulbs are all the same... just splice the wires and solder them together. <_<

You can use any 9006 bulb that came factory on a car. I believe the OEM bulbs for the Rx's are Sylvania's, and it should be the same for the Highlander.

There "are" aftermarket bulbs that will also work safely, there's just a select few. If you're going for more "blue" you can try GP Thunder bulbs, or if you're going for just a "tad" bit of blue with better brightness, you can try PIAA Plasma Blue or Intense White.

Anything by PIAA, Philips or Sylvania will be your best bet as their quality is best.

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Thanks for the info. I wonder why just that location had the problem twice?? Oh, well. The dealer has the connector but not the little aluminum clip that inserts into the connector and holds the wire. I guess I'll be searching junkyards...unless it's something generic I can get at an auto parts store?? Could be a bit of a pain to fix. Any ideas about that piece?? Thanks again.

BTW - Who manufactures the OEM bulb for Lexus?? Could I use a Toyota bulb for the Highlander? I have a friend at a Toyota dealer.

The connector that is damaged is easily obtainable from a parts house. It is a standard connector that has been used for MANY years on MOST cars. You can probably buy it for a fraction of what Lexus sold it to you for. if you lived close enough to me I'd give you one. Should be in the "Help" section of the parts store. (where they have all the spare parts that are often hard to get even at the dealer) You can also get the bulbs easily even at stores like Wal-Mart. Sylvania is a very common bulb that you can find just about anywhere. I'd also be glad to give you a couple of those if you were anywhere within driving distance.

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Thanks for the responses! So make sure I have this right...

Get a couple of 9006 harnesses (presumably the ones available are to allow for higher wattage bulbs - not that I'm going to use them), cut off the end opposite the connector and splice the wires to what I have left, correct?

Also, should I do the same for the 9005 hi-beams I have installed? No problems with them, but I'm guessing you shouldn't mix different types of bulbs on the same system?

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Yeah, just buy another female 9006 plug with at least 4" of wiring attached. Then cut off the melted plug. So now you have 2 wires coming from the car and 2 wires from the new plug. Just match up the positive and negative ones, and solder them together, and wrap the solder joints with electrical tape (to avoid arcing).

As long as you use the correct bulbs, any plug should work. You should be able to get new plugs from Lexus.

And you don't have to touch your high beam connectors unless you replaced those bulbs. The high beam lights and lows are on separate circuits, so they won't affect each other...

I think the melting issue will go away as soon as you put better bulbs in there. No harm done =)

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cduluk - Thanks again. The high beams are HiPro bulbs. I'll just replace all of them with "white" Sylvanias or Hellas.

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Well, you might be able to keep those bulbs for the high beams as they're not used very often and not for long periods of time. And in DRL mode, they're only given half voltage which wont cause them to overheat.

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Thanks for the responses! So make sure I have this right...

Get a couple of 9006 harnesses (presumably the ones available are to allow for higher wattage bulbs - not that I'm going to use them), cut off the end opposite the connector and splice the wires to what I have left, correct?

Also, should I do the same for the 9005 hi-beams I have installed? No problems with them, but I'm guessing you shouldn't mix different types of bulbs on the same system?

No, I don't think they'll have heavier wires. They will most likely have the same size wires as your original connectors have, no matter where you get 'em. Cduluk is correct, your high and low are on 2 different circuits. Almost all cars have the high beams on 1 circuit and the low beams on 2 different circuits with a fuse for each headlight. The plug and wiring doesn't know what bulbs you put in 'em, they only know if you've overloaded 'em.... and then they look like the plug that you posted the pic of. :lol:

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