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02 tacoma dim headlights

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by tfasbind, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. Jun 19, 2021 at 9:15 AM
    #1
    tfasbind

    tfasbind [OP] Member

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    My headlights suck!!!! Can't see much at night.
    I read some of the other posts about people using the Sylvania Silverstar ultras and liking the light, but I'm seeing a lot of reviews saying that they don't last very long.

    I don't want to be changing these out every few months.....but I can't see, and I don't want to use HID's.

    Opinions?
     
  2. Jun 19, 2021 at 9:27 AM
    #2
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    Philips Racing Vision +200. If you're headlights are yellowing or dirty inside from dust than you may need to clean or replace.
     
  3. Jun 19, 2021 at 9:28 AM
    #3
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    On a Tacoma that's nearly twenty years old, there's almost no chance that your headlight assemblies are in good condition. The lenses degrade over time due to exposure to heat, ultraviolet rays and physical road grit and the reflectors themselves lose their reflective efficiency over time - and your bulbs themselves gradually get dimmer over time as well.

    The first thing you need to do is replace the assemblies with brand new OEM units, then add a high performance H4 (I'm assuming those are H4's) halogen and then have them properly aimed. You also should take voltage readings at the bulb with the bulb on to see if you need to add heavier gauge wiring and/or a relay to maintain full voltage to the bulbs. It's amazing how much difference that alone makes.

    As far as bulb life is concerned, there is always a trade-off there. Toyota always puts long-life (LL) bulbs in at the factory because people don't like changing bulbs, but those LL bulbs, while they do last, are not very efficient and are quite dim in comparison to the best bulbs available. That, unfortunately, is just the way things are. You can't have it all in one bulb.

    The last factor that very few people talk about is that for most people, night vision drastically diminishes as you get older, so, depending in your age and the condition of your eyes, that could be a compounding factor in your overall ability to see effectively at night.
     
    turbodb likes this.
  4. Jun 19, 2021 at 12:41 PM
    #4
    tfasbind

    tfasbind [OP] Member

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    This makes sense. I just ordered new headlight assemblies. Will also check the voltage and possibly replace bulbs with Silverstar ultras or Phillips Racing Vision +200.
    And yes, my night vision has definitely decreased over the years, but this vehicle is much worse than other vehicles that I have driven at night!
     
  5. Jun 19, 2021 at 1:36 PM
    #5
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    After nearly twenty years maybe it's time to think about upgrading the whole truck. Yeah, I know it's a lot of money but the new LED lighting options on the current models really are lightyears ahead of what you have now. The differences are stark and the Tacoma LEDs are some of the best on the market - just about the same as the ones in my wife's Forester. And of course, you never have to replace those bulbs at all. Well, hopefully not. And you get all the stuff you never thought you needed but now can't live without - the backup cameras, the blind spot monitoring and the bluetooth connectivity. Even though I loved my '93 when I got rid of it three years ago with 25 years and 300K, I can hardly remember it today. My '18 TRD OR really is the best vehicle I've ever owned.
     
  6. Jun 19, 2021 at 6:01 PM
    #6
    hogeyphenogey

    hogeyphenogey Back in a Tacoma

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    Lifted, aftermarket stereo, ditch and rear bumper LED pods, USB ports, 2016 Tacoma rims, clutch spring delete, LEDs everywhere
    Trust me. Get these. Everyone at my dealership has been installing these. I did the upgraded headlight harness and 100w bulbs in my new headlights- still sucked. These are nice, bright, and the have focused beams with cutoffs. I also got new headlights from Rockauto.com- look for CAPA certified.

    Hikari Ultra H4(9003) LED Bulbs... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077B3SNJR?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
     
  7. Jun 19, 2021 at 6:58 PM
    #7
    Wsidr1

    Wsidr1 Well-Known Member

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  8. Jun 22, 2021 at 4:36 PM
    #8
    tfasbind

    tfasbind [OP] Member

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    From what I can tell, the Hikari Ultra LED bulbs would not be road legal in California
     
  9. Jun 22, 2021 at 5:17 PM
    #9
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    It's also not advised in a reflector housing. You can get away with them in a projector but it's otherwise just an expensive downgrade.
     

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