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2006 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last year or so I've been burning out about one of either the right or the left headlamp (H1) bulbs per month. This is a headlamp issue only, does not affect the high beams, the driving lights, or any other lights. I've tried replacing the bulbs with the stock Osram ones as well as with the Sylvania HID-look ones from your local parts store, to no avail. At one point I lost a headlamp fuse as well.

The dealer had addressed this issue under warranty a few months ago by replacing the headlamp switch control module, again to no avail. I lost 3 or 4 since then, and one again just today.

I noticed that after the car came back from the body shop a year ago, the plastic housings that attach to the back of the bulb were all cracked up, but neither the dealer or the body shop did not think this was a big deal. Could it be? Aside from these housings, the remainder of the wiring looks normal on gross inspection, and the headlamp assemblies are bolted down to the clam appropriately.

I intend to install HID's soon, and I think it's a good idea to have the issue resolved before the conversion. I'm having the car looked at again for this issue under warranty, but I'm also throwing this out to the panel, as they failed to fix it before... any ideas?

Thank you. :)

BTW, the word "osram" translates to " I will defecate onto... " in Polish. :shrug:
 

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Are you using normal wattage bulbs?

I used 80/100 watt bulbs on a 89 Ford Probe that I fitted with Hella headlamps about 10 years ago and they burnt out about once a year on average and then one of the lights stopped working completely even with a new bulb.

I looked and saw that the connection that the bulb plugged into was melted.

So I went to the auto parts store, got one of those HELP plugs, cut off the old one and spliced in the new one and never had any more problems. That was 10 years ago and my neighbor's mom bought the car from me and hasnt had any problems since then.

I had to replace both low beam lights within 3 months of having my Elise, and then had to replace them a year later. Since then I have been fine, but I rarely drive the car at night.
 

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Luke,

I have had the same issues. FIrst my headlamp assemblies were leaking (since I bought the car at HRM). Our dealer (I know you use the same one), got me two brand new headlamp lenses under warranty.

I was going to install the HID, but our dealer said, if I had the HID in there, they wouldn't have warrantied the headlight lenses at all.

After I got the new headlight lense/assembly brand new from them in about August last year (remember I have DRL on my car), my drivers side light burnt out in October. I took it back to same dealer as you, and they replaced it under warranty but said, "there are no warranty for bulbs, but we are doing it as a good will (I have a great relationship with my local dealer)."

Then in January, the same light (driver side headlight), burned out again, took it back, they fixed it again. I hope this is good, and it stays that way.

They have no explanation for why it is doing that. I have never had a car that the lights went out this quickly, even when DRL equipped. My car is under full warranty, and given the lens/light issue, I decided it just isn't worth going to HID at the moment any more.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Just wanted to share in the same experience. Further, similar to you, all my other lights are unaffected, and work perfectly.

Good luck

-Ryan (btw I am on the look out for the mail still).
 

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2006 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #4
Are you using normal wattage bulbs?

I used 80/100 watt bulbs on a 89 Ford Probe that I fitted with Hella headlamps about 10 years ago and they burnt out about once a year on average and then one of the lights stopped working completely even with a new bulb.

I looked and saw that the connection that the bulb plugged into was melted.

So I went to the auto parts store, got one of those HELP plugs, cut off the old one and spliced in the new one and never had any more problems. That was 10 years ago and my neighbor's mom bought the car from me and hasnt had any problems since then.

I had to replace both low beam lights within 3 months of having my Elise, and then had to replace them a year later. Since then I have been fine, but I rarely drive the car at night.
Yes, I am using stock wattage - the Osrams are 50, and the Sylvanias are 55 I think, but that's probably too small a difference...?

My car is an '06, and I have not disabled the DRL's yet (that's my next tinker project with the HID install).

For the solution you mentioned of replacing the connection plug, I was actually hoping that installing the HID's with their dedicated harnesses will solve the issue...

thank you for the comment.
 

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It appears that you have a slow overload on the circuit caused by a high resistance to ground somewhere. The wiring and components needs to be gone through.
 

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2006 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #6
Luke,

I have had the same issues. FIrst my headlamp assemblies were leaking (since I bought the car at HRM). Our dealer (I know you use the same one), got me two brand new headlamp lenses under warranty.

I was going to install the HID, but our dealer said, if I had the HID in there, they wouldn't have warrantied the headlight lenses at all.

After I got the new headlight lense/assembly brand new from them in about August last year (remember I have DRL on my car), my drivers side light burnt out in October. I took it back to same dealer as you, and they replaced it under warranty but said, "there are no warranty for bulbs, but we are doing it as a good will (I have a great relationship with my local dealer)."

Then in January, the same light (driver side headlight), burned out again, took it back, they fixed it again. I hope this is good, and it stays that way.

They have no explanation for why it is doing that. I have never had a car that the lights went out this quickly, even when DRL equipped. My car is under full warranty, and given the lens/light issue, I decided it just isn't worth going to HID at the moment any more.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Just wanted to share in the same experience. Further, similar to you, all my other lights are unaffected, and work perfectly.

Good luck

-Ryan (btw I am on the look out for the mail still).
Thanks Ryan,

I'm suspicious that it may be something as simple as a crimped wire somewhere along the line - my front clam and crash structure were replaced by SCC a year ago after my wife had her way with my girlfriend Liz :). Maybe upon remounting the clam, the wires got pinched somewhere along the line. Or, maybe it is the flimsy, half-rusty connector...

your DVD should hit your mailbox tomorrow, as our zip codes differ only by a value of 2 :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It appears that you have a slow overload on the circuit caused by a high resistance to ground somewhere. The wiring and components needs to be gone through.
I'm going to write this down and quote it to them tomorrow. :D:D:D

Thank you!
 

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It appears that you have a slow overload on the circuit caused by a high resistance to ground somewhere. The wiring and components needs to be gone through.
+1 That was my first thought too. The only other possibility that I can thing of is a poor connection somewhere that is making intermittent contact - causing the light to "flicker" on and off - that will burn out a bulb rather quickly.

It is obviously not a normal condition.
 

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The 4 way connectore below the lamp and behind the access panel in the wheel wells where the headlamp harness plucgs into the main harness is very susceptable to poor contact on the main beam bulb circuit. ive found plenty of these connectors burned fairly good inside when unplugged for inspection, several with wires that appear to have been heated very high and "hard" and wrinkled right where they join at the pin from this poor connction etc. a good visual inspection of this connector should tell you if something is going on. its also common for this connector poor contact to cause a lamp to just not work and squeezing the connector will momentarily on the bulb.. I would check there first. I think its a blue/yellow wire, but honestly i cant remember 100% and I dont have the diag handy. theres only 4 wires, so its not hard to find..
 

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i agree - or... it could be something as silly as the person who is putting the bulbs in is getting finger prints on the bulb itself - which will cause the bulb to out.....

one of mine burnt out in a few hour of brand new (i assume it was because of lotus finger prints) - i replaced it and since if so F#$%J hard to get it in there - i was sure to clean it with an alcohol swab after, i know i got my finger prints on it...
 

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i was sure to clean it with an alcohol swab after, i know i got my finger prints on it...
Now that you mention it, no matter how careful I am with handling the bulb, I always use one of those alcohol "towelettes" to clean the bulb - even if I am absolutely sure that I've never touched it.

But touching it should be resulting in a cracked glass bulb, no just it burning out (unless is allows a local hot spot that skews the heating in side the bulb or something). :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i agree - or... it could be something as silly as the person who is putting the bulbs in is getting finger prints on the bulb itself - which will cause the bulb to out.....

one of mine burnt out in a few hour of brand new (i assume it was because of lotus finger prints) - i replaced it and since if so F#$%J hard to get it in there - i was sure to clean it with an alcohol swab after, i know i got my finger prints on it...
Lately I've been the only one replacing them, and I actually adhere to the sterile technique used in my OR to handle the bulb - I use a surgical needle driver to pick it up out of a box and insert into the housing, and that's after the immediate area was draped of and sterilized... :D The needle driver actually makes the procedure easy.

To add, every time I replace one of these it is definitely burned out (filament is not continuous). But who knows how many times it was flickering before it actually died...

Thanks again for all the comments!!
 
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