Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 112 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 that I purchased the end of 2010 the vehicle is 23 months old and I am on my 3rd set of Headlight bulbs. I have 53000k miles so long out of warranty. There is no resolution in site. I just filed a complaint with NHTSA. After some searching it does not appear this is an isolated instance if you are having the same problem get your vin number and file a
complaint with NHTSA maybe it will help.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,128 Posts
Just curious, do you use your headlights in the auto mode? This may have something to do with the constant on/off cycling the 10-12 is plagued with. If this is the case someone with a commute with a lot of overpasses could burn out their bulbs a lot faster than someone with less overpasses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Just a question. Who replaced the bulbs? Did they touch them with their fingers? The oil from fingertips can damage both the glass and metal, causing the bulb to blow out much sooner. These type bulbs should not be touched with bare fingers when installing them. You should always remove these bulbs from their packaging and install them with a paper towel or cloth to protect them from your direct touch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Couple of answers after the first set blew out we no longer use the Auto setting. As far as touching the bulbs during install I have a mechanic I have been using for years. High end shop very trusted I am sure he is not
touching the bulbs. The other annoyance is you have to remove the fender liner to access the bulb. You think they would have put and access door through the liner like I had on my ML320. I am very close to making
some kind of access door via the fender liner.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
13 months and almost 14,000 miles and no burned out bulbs yet, knock on wood (composite as that's closest). I use auto most of the time but my commute has 2 overpasses (round-trip).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
41,000 miles no burnt out bulbs yet. I did have a relay fail around 12,000 miles took the dealer about 10 minutes to replace it.

Do you drive on rough roads? When I was working on a ranch with a long rough driveway I went through all sorts of bulbs headlight bulbs - tail light bulbs etc the rough road was just beating the bulbs to death. HID's by the way hate rough roads even more than standard bulbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
If I remember correctly, I remember when I got my 2011 I noticed people posting that they were having issues with the headlights burning out and they were replacing them quite often. I don't recall anything be done about it though.

There was an issue with the 03-05 Kia Sorento's where the head lights and taillights would blow out quite often. This did become a safety issue, NHTSA got involved, and a recall was issued.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,441 Posts
I put a set of Osram off road bulbs in mine when I got it and have not used the auto off/on sensor. No problem with the bulbs blowing...34,000km
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I realize I'm quite late to this thread, but I have the same issue as JoeA. This will be the second replacement in less than a year. It's been the passenger side both times. At around 30K. I do not use auto, and the dealership replaces them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Just a question. Who replaced the bulbs? Did they touch them with their fingers? The oil from fingertips can damage both the glass and metal, causing the bulb to blow out much sooner. These type bulbs should not be touched with bare fingers when installing them. You should always remove these bulbs from their packaging and install them with a paper towel or cloth to protect them from your direct touch.
Fingerprints can cause a bulb to shatter, but if the bulb doesn't shatter, they would have no effect on bulb life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
2011 Outback Headlights issues

We purchased the vehicle new in Sept. 2010 and have 47K miles on it. We have replaced each of the low beam headlights two times and will replacing them for the fourth time tomorrow since they both went out today. Additionally, the amount of light from the standard bulb does not provide adequate light so we have had to go to a brighter bulb. The brighter bulb lasted about three mones. The bulbs were handled with a paper towel. We really like the vehicle except for the headlights. The need to change the headlights is compounded by the access to changing them is through the wheel well. If we had known the problem with the headlights, we likely would not have purchased the vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Long bulb life is but one reason we went and purchased an HID kit and installed it in our OB. I expect to never change the light bulbs if previous history is accurate.
The bulb changing effort for replacement is extremely poor compared to many other vehicles. Subaru did such a fine job on the OB except for some sore points like low beam bulb changing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
For whats its worth, maybe its time to go to HID. Not sure how many times you have had to replace the standard bulbs and I know I have to just acheive better 100% lighting in my 08 Outback with projector lenses making it legal.
I shopped around and the $280 for the install and light kit(5000K) made a huge difference vs the cheap standard bulbs no matter what brand, HID will outlast and out power that aftermarkets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Just FYI... Unless the laws have changed, projector housings still don't make drop-in HID's legal. They may produce a better pattern than drop-in HID's in a reflector housing, but it's still the incorrect light source/geometry for which the light was designed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I have a 2011 3.6 LTD that is on it's 4th set of bulbs. I have 47,000 miles; last set lasted two months.... I changed them myself using gloves to make sure no finger oils contacted glass.... Subaru has a problem, hopefully NTSB will force them to fix it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
My 08 has them and what happens with HID after replacing the halogen bulb many are to high after being raised to compensate for the halogens, all one has to do is have them lowered.
I replaced mine with HID after paying for halogen PIAA and Osram Night Busters from Germany with no improvement. The projector actaully lowers the light dispersion so HID will improve this. I have and known the ones at the shop I had mine installed at , one on his 350Z now for years and no problems and mine have been in for weeks now and both city pd and Washington State Patrol have not done anything or have had cars flash me, reason for the flashing in most cases are they are set high and need lowering.
Also big mistake many make are the Kelvin, 5000k is what should be used, if one goes to 6 or 8k you can tell as they become none stock in color also stay with 35w.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
I did the HID conversion in mine and the difference is night and day (pun intended :D ).
The low-beam reflectors/projectors are designed for higher output and project a clear defined line and more light. I did have to readjust the headlights to keep oncoming traffic from being blinded but after 40K miles I am glad I did the conversion.
The OEM adjustment on the headlights is wonky as it tries to make up for low light output. I wish Subaru would put HID's on all their cars as standard equipment or at least offer the option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Just thought I would update this thread. Back in June 2013 I replaced the passnger side Low Beam and earlier today I replaced the Driver side low beam. Still burning out bulbs.
Thinking of switching to an HID kit looking for a good quality any recommendations on a good kit to use
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I've only had one vehicle which kept blowing out headlamp bulbs. One day I started putting battery grease on the contact points when I replaced the bulb and never blew one out.
My 2011 OB has always had the light switch on "Auto" and I've blown one headlamp in 50K miles.
 
1 - 20 of 112 Posts
Top