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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited CVT
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys, hope you all are good.
My family's 2011 Outback came with HID low-beam headlights from the factory and they're way too dim, to the point that our new LED DRL's allow better visibility at night than the HID low-beams.
My father and I were wondering about the possibility of doing an LED conversion since the HID bulbs' lifespan is pretty short, and the impressive performance that these small DRL's have. I wanted to get some feedback from someone who has already tried an LED conversion on a 4th gen Outback with factory HIDs, and in case that it isn't a good idea, to get advice on a good HID bulb.
Thanks in advance.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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2,837 Posts
Nobody makes an LED you can slap into a HID housing (thank god) - they're simply not compatible (hids run off a high voltage ballast and utilize special receptacles and housings). Just as for LEDs replacing halogens, despite all the "I never get flashed" claims, IMO the only safe option is replacing the projector with one designed for LEDs. Oh, and slapping LEDs into halogen high beams that double as DRLs (assuming that's what you're doing) is also unsafe, IMO, and super obnoxious. I'm not aware of any LED bulb replacements that can actually provide a reduced output for a safe DRL mode - they have just one output mode (maximum) - you're just driving around with your high beams on during the day. I see it occasionally and it's nuts.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #3
Nobody makes an LED you can slap into a HID housing (thank god) - they're simply not compatible (hids run off a high voltage ballast and utilize special receptacles and housings). Just as for LEDs replacing halogens, despite all the "I never get flashed" claims, IMO the only safe option is replacing the projector with one designed for LEDs. Oh, and slapping LEDs into halogen high beams that double as DRLs (assuming that's what you're doing) is also unsafe, IMO, and super obnoxious. I'm not aware of any LED bulb replacements that can actually provide a reduced output for a safe DRL mode - they have just one output mode (maximum) - you're just driving around with your high beams on during the day. I see it occasionally and it's nuts.
I'm aware of the high voltage ballast but some other people that have done conversions on other cars claim that the ballast can be bypassed, but we wouldn't mess with the car's electrics so LED conversion is discarded.
Our car has those small W5W bulbs specifically for DRLs, so not the annoying high-beams case, I forgot to mention that the car isn't USDM-spec since I'm from Chile, perhaps the W5W DRLs are market-specific but I haven't investigated on that.
High-beams are halogen and will stay that way, those are good. We're just having trouble with the HID low-beams, and the cheapest D2S HID bulbs we could find were $60K CLP ($75USD) each, and they were not Subaru OEM bulbs or from any known name brand, so we're looking to buy some good, inexpensive ones from eBay or somewhere else.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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938 Posts
HID way too dim? I am willing to bet that you will need new reflector bowls for your headlights
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #5
HID way too dim? I am willing to bet that you will need new reflector bowls for your headlights
That might be a possibility, but since we aren't the first owners of the car (it's a MY2011 and we've had it since August 2017) there's also the chance that the HIDs' lifespan passed before we got the car, and we've never changed the HIDs, also we don't have much details of the car's past life (it's in pretty good shape overall, only some paint scratches from an idiot driver), apart from the fact that it received dealership maintenance until 60k Km (a bit under 40k miles), and we got it with 110k Km (68k miles), probably the first/previous owner never changed the HIDs in 6+ years.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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That might be a possibility, but since we aren't the first owners of the car (it's a MY2011 and we've had it since August 2017) there's also the chance that the HIDs' lifespan passed before we got the car, and we've never changed the HIDs, also we don't have much details of the car's past life (it's in pretty good shape overall, only some paint scratches from an idiot driver), apart from the fact that it received dealership maintenance until 60k Km (a bit under 40k miles), and we got it with 110k Km (68k miles), probably the first/previous owner never changed the HIDs in 6+ years.
It's possible, I had HID in my 2002 Acura CL-S and they were still going strong when I sold the car 16 years later and 148K on the clock
 
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