I have a vehicle that is burning out bulbs every couple of months no matter what brand installed

Clinton Owner/Technician Concord, New Hampshire Posted   Latest  
Question
Electrical
2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5L (2AR-FE) 6-spd (U760E)—2T3RFREV9DW092080
Headlights Blow After Only A Couple Of Months

I have this Rav 4 that seems to eat bulbs. Customer says has been an ongoing issue since got car. When first came in I tested powers and grounds to lights as well as the battery and charging system. The only thing I saw slightly off was the grounds at the headlights were close to .3V DC with lights on. So accessed the grounds behind the fender liner and cleaned them up and got below .2V. Figured that would be OK for a highly loaded headlight circuit.

Came back a couple weeks later with lights out, so I rechecked power and ground and did a pin drag test on the pigtail. Seemed a little loose so changed out both pigtails and installed some high end bulbs.

Month and a half later back again with both Wagner bulbs blown. Installed OEM Sylvania bulbs from the dealer. Grounds were back over .2V this time so added an auxiliary ground to bulb circuit. Got ground to under .2V. Also rechecked power and ripple voltage, seems slightly high on scope. Battery charging system tester says 60 mV ripple while scope is around 94 mV or so.

Wondering if anyone else has seen this issue on Toyota's before, no TSB's or silver bullets listed in Identifix and hotline not much help other than suggesting OEM bulbs.

Thanks

0
Rio Technician
New Carlisle, Ohio
Rio Default
 

Toyota, yes. RAV4, no. Check out this story on a Prius. members​.​iatn​.​net/forums/read/ms…

+1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Todd Technical Support Specialist
Roseville, Minnesota
Todd Default
 

What type of failure? Discolored bulb, blistered tungston or broken tungsten near the base? Discolored (blackened) = finger print or low voltage. Blistered tungsten = over voltage. Broken tungsten at the base = vibration.

+4 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Maynard Technician
Elmira, Ontario
Maynard Default
 

Clinton, after you put in OEM, did they burn out again? We had one, been quite awhile ago, I think it was a RAV 4....? I think it was. We installed OEM bulbs finally, looked very much like others we were putting in. Havent seen it back yet and it must be close to 2 years now. Before that it was very consistently burning them out.

+1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Clinton Owner/Technician
Concord, New Hampshire
Clinton Default
 

Don't know yet, just put them in today. Bulbs made by sylvania if that helps.

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Maynard Technician
Elmira, Ontario
Maynard Default
 

Yes the ones we had been putting in were Sylvania too, then we got ones from the dealership, and they were also made by Sylvania, lol. But they seemed to last much longer

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Clinton Owner/Technician
Concord, New Hampshire
Clinton Default
 

If you look in photos, element broken in middle. No blistering or blackening.

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Clinton Owner/Technician
Concord, New Hampshire
Clinton Default
 

Although when I look closer at the photo it does look a bit melted at the mounting arm. But could also be vibration these are the funky bulbs mounted sideways in the headlight projector housing.

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff Default
 

Thanks for the reminder on that one Rio. I commented back when you wrote it, but still forgot all about it. And here I was thinking I remember EVERYthing. ;-)

+1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Robert Owner/Technician
Galt, California
Robert Default
 

I have seen this before and found that the body ground was compromised. Checking grounds and cleaning the body surface made the difference in burned out bulbs and relays.

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Nicholas Diagnostician
Brooklyn, New York
Nicholas Default
 

I think you have a intermittent Alternator/ charging system problem. If you do a full scan of the vehicle do you get any voltage related faults? I don't think the grounds are the problem, Also find out if the customer connects a trailer hitch with additional lighting or some other device that may be causing a problem that is never there when you check it.

-1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Clinton Owner/Technician
Concord, New Hampshire
Clinton Default
 

No trailer hitch, no codes for charging system faults. Although I have not re-scanned it since first time was in. Some of the pics I posted were of the charging system voltages on a long test drive. Did not see anything too unusual, Of course only drove about 20 to 30 minutes. This time did use bulbs from the dealer as others have stated they had issues as well that was cured by using OEM bulbs.

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded