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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey there!

I am the proud owner of a 2007 Camry SE V6 in Titanium Metallic color that is barely broken in with 140,650 miles...(y):cool: In the last 3 to 4 years I have been struggling with the overall really dim lumen output of my low beam lights. Unbelievably the original Toyota OEM low beam light bulbs the car came with lasted literally forever like 11 of the 15 years of ownership as I purchased my Camry in July of 2006. Ever since this, like 4 years ago or so I have replaced my low beam light bulbs two times and most recently will be the third. Unfortunately, despite my procuring what I believe are rather decent aftermarket light bulbs from my local Autozone or Advanced auto parts stores, etc. It's almost like a deteriorating and diminishing output of light lumens from my low beams in which I have little to know choice but to increasing rely on my Fog lights which up to the past year or so have been rarely been used thru the 15 years of ownership.

Some details that are pertinent in attempting to trouble shoot this:
-Both my High beams and Fog lights work perfectly well.
-Despite being in South Florida with the constant year round UV sunlight, my car is garaged under cover 90% of the time either at home and/or work so that that the head lamp coverings are in pretty good shape in term of being clear but I went ahead and finally had them polished for the first time a few days ago
-In desperation I went for for some aftermarket LED light bulbs as replacement bulbs made by Sealight called Xenower recommended by a lifelong friend that is a mechanic. These while having a great blue white color are no stronger in output.
-My friend that is a lifelong mechanic, polished the coverings to both head lamp assemblies, checked the voltage, ran diagnostics and did not see any problem with the cars electrical system aside that he couldn't measure the negative electrical charge?? that was puzzling to him, he tried Halogen lights as opposed to the newly purchased LED lights, he also cleaned and polished off any electrical wiring to do with connections, grounding, etc, checked the fuses, looked at the alignment of the low beams.
-All the above to no avail in resolving the problem... my friend the mechanic thought perhaps changing out the Head lamp assembly for both sides might be what is needed to be done due to the possible diminished condition of the low beam bulb refractor or projector housing but in all honesty he was not entirely certain this would solve the problem
-Took the car to a mechanic that had worked for Toyota service for 25 years and he installed Toyota OEM Halogen light bulbs that he had as spares but that didn't make any sort of different in lumen output
-He reviewed the alignment of the low beam bulbs and made some minor adjustments to it
-He did not run any electrical tests nor computor diagnostics.
-The 2nd mechanic felt that perhaps the head lamp assemblies indeed needed to be replaced but did not overtly appear to me that he was confident that was indeed the solution.
-Lastly I went to my local Toyota service department who misunderstood me in describing the problem and thought I just wanted to instal Toyota OEM head light bulbs at $200 a pop thinking I had said that the bulbs were not working entirely meaning like in completely out.
-They informed me that they would have to see how the car would fare with new Toyota OEM low beam light bulbs installed
-If they saw that the new Toyota OEM lights installed were not producing sufficient lumens then they would start running diagnostic steps at $125 an hour, that it might be perhaps electrical wiring, etc

So here is the scenario where I am currently at... Do I go ahead and purchase and install Toyota OEM light bulbs myself for like $43 to then take the car to the Toyota Dealership Service department to see if they could determine for certain why the low beam lights were not producing sufficient light, whether it was electrical wiring, or something else

Or do I go ahead and instead of spending money and additional diagnostics that may not be conclusive to perhaps then tell me that the problem is in the refractor cones in which the low beam bulbs sits in that needs to be replaced with an entire new head lamp assembly as it is not projecting the light properly if compromised.

So you have an idea, the Head Lamp Assemblies for each side runs at $374 a pop in Toyota Parts store of the Dealership. Obviously there are different levels of aftermarket assembles from like $70 a side to $254 OEM refurbished, as well that I may be able to get discounted new Toyota OEM head lamp assemblies for 536 clams plus the proper installation of both at a very reasonable rate all done for a little over 6 bills.

Still, I am concerned on what if the problem of not having sufficient low beam light emit may not really have to do with the replacement of both Head Lamp Assemblies which lets be honest is pricey proposition any which way you look at it.

I have done my due diligence in searching the Toyota Nation forum for solutions and seen a handful of similar type posts in which it appears some of the above steps and/or all were taken to some sort of resolution but most just left the discussion thread once the problem was a resolved but without fully disclosing as to what was the final solution in their car's case.

In summary so that I am clear, my low beam lights actually turn on but they do not emit sufficient light to be able to see at night to drive.

Thank you in advance for any guidance and/or input of those that have actually gone through similar or same frustrating scenarios described themselves...
 

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06 Toyota Camry XLE, 16 Corolla S
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I would side with your mechanic friend and say the OEM housings have lost their luster in the reflective department.

How are you measuring the light output? Are you using a light meter or just going by what your eyes are telling you?

The haze or yellowing that occurs on plastic headlight assemblies has very little to do with the car being in the sun all the time and more to do with driving on the freeways and Interstates with all the dirt, sand, and other debris that removes the clear coat and then leads to the discoloration and yellowing. That is pretty much what they do when they clean them up. Sand all the old clear coat, yellowing, and then replay the clear coat back on.

I have replaced many a light housing and have never had any problems with anything for any vehicle made by TYC. I would replace both sides, go with whatever bulb you like except for anyone recommended LED replacements. Most are crap and direct light in all the wrong places.

TYC Headlight Pair- Rock Auto $127.99 Pair.

I don't think you will be disappointed and if so they are returnable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would side with your mechanic friend and say the OEM housings have lost their luster in the reflective department.

How are you measuring the light output? Are you using a light meter or just going by what your eyes are telling you?

The haze or yellowing that occurs on plastic headlight assemblies has very little to do with the car being in the sun all the time and more to do with driving on the freeways and Interstates with all the dirt, sand, and other debris that removes the clear coat and then leads to the discoloration and yellowing. That is pretty much what they do when they clean them up. Sand all the old clear coat, yellowing, and then replay the clear coat back on.

I have replaced many a light housing and have never had any problems with anything for any vehicle made by TYC. I would replace both sides, go with whatever bulb you like except for anyone recommended LED replacements. Most are crap and direct light in all the wrong places.

TYC Headlight Pair- Rock Auto $127.99 Pair.

I don't think you will be disappointed and if so they are returnable.
Thank you for your input as I have looked at the aftermarket Head Lamp Assemblies because the price point is a lot more reasonable in what looks like decent quality ones. My only concern is that the quality may not fare well and that in 3 or 4 years they will not hold up like Toyota OEM… similar to what I’ve been discovering with aftermarket light bulbs that supposedly are decry from say Sylvania that only lady like 2 years tops. As well, I’ve heard some aftermarket Head Lamp Assemblies may allow moisture and get fogged up from either rain and/or humidity… Living down here in South Florida with our sub tropic weather patterns especially during the summer with constant thunderstorm showers and our Hurricane season that caught my attention. Nevertheless, with your recommendation I am going to review more closely the TYC brand offerings. Thanks again!
 

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Do you use your low beams as daytime running lights? I haven't had this problem with my Toyota but on my Volvo that wore out the reflective lenses. I'd make some jumpers so I could verify proper voltage at light bulb harness with bulb connected. If correct, I'd buy projector retrofit for low beams.
 

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Do you use your low beams as daytime running lights? I haven't had this problem with my Toyota but on my Volvo that wore out the reflective lenses. I'd make some jumpers so I could verify proper voltage at light bulb harness with bulb connected. If correct, I'd buy projector retrofit for low beams.
High beams function as DRLs.
 

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07 Camry LE V6
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You may call Mike at
ClearCorners.Com
He replaced the insides with Zenon projectors.
He did my 500SL Mercedes, and also my Camry.
Now, I see the light.
Regards,
500sl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You may call Mike at
ClearCorners.Com
He replaced the insides with Zenon projectors.
He did my 500SL Mercedes, and also my Camry.
Now, I see the light.
Regards,
500sl.
Zenon projectors?… I didn’t know that was possible…. What year was your Camry?…
 

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Zenon projectors?… I didn’t know that was possible…. What year was your Camry?…
Gen 6 Camrys use projectors for the low beams and reflectors for the high beam. HIDs can be used in the proectors but it will not be perfect and I do not recommend anything but halogen in the reflectors. So if you want to spend hundreds if not over $1000 on doing a retrofit, pick other options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you use your low beams as daytime running lights? I haven't had this problem with my Toyota but on my Volvo that wore out the reflective lenses. I'd make some jumpers so I could verify proper voltage at light bulb harness with bulb connected. If correct, I'd buy projector retrofit for low beams.
No I do not run my low beams as daylight running lights… As well, I believe my year Camry uses a projector vs the reflective lenses concept so I am intrigued with this projector retrofit you mention for low beams. Not sure on what you meant on making some jumpers? to verify proper voltage at light bulb harness with bulb connected? Thank you for your thoughts and input…
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I didn't really know it until probably when I did my HIDs.
Thank you for clarifying on the DRL’s funny enough I had already somehow recently uncovered that for myself in the last couple of years of dealing with my dimming low beams. I came across your Vehicle threads in your response and it seems like you went on one heck of an interesting and involved journey with your 2008 Camry in installing HID’s… What prompted you to go this route? had you already owned your Camry for quite a few years and then decided to do this retrofit in recent years? Did you do it yourself or have a friend as a mechanic do this? I saw that you went with Morimoto Elite HID for the low beams… Apologies for the questions but I am intrigued… thanks again and in advance…
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Gen 6 Camrys use projectors for the low beams and reflectors for the high beam. HIDs can be used in the proectors but it will not be perfect and I do not recommend anything but halogen in the reflectors. So if you want to spend hundreds if not over $1000 on doing a retrofit, pick other options.
Wow, thank you as I was just sending you a separate message asking a few questions on this all from reading some of your 2008 Camry vehicle thread you have posted on this very same matter and in regards to an HID retrofit… I am still processing what you wrote and shared in that thread…
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Gen 6 Camrys use projectors for the low beams and reflectors for the high beam. HIDs can be used in the proectors but it will not be perfect and I do not recommend anything but halogen in the reflectors. So if you want to spend hundreds if not over $1000 on doing a retrofit, pick other options.
In trying to achieve a brighter light as I replaced my halogen bulbs fir my low beams I picked these LED’s up upon a recommendation by a friend mechanic and fortunately got them on a great sale as they tend to be twice as much. These unfortunately did not solve my problem and yet made me realize that this time around as compared to the past it was not just a simple matter of replacing a couple of bulbs. The challenge I have as I go through this rabbit hole is not truly knowing that the projector cone in what the low beam bulbs are housed is what is indeed compromised with 15 years of use… Further from what I am now starting to understand and from which you have alluded to even if I go ahead and get a new headlamp assemblies for both sides with new projectors and all, that these LED lights conversion kits are not necessarily going to work.


337699
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
For those that have been so kind to already provide input on this topic as well as others that may come across this thread. In doing my due diligence in researching other’s experiencing similar challenges with their Low Beams being dim in the Toyota Nation forum I came across the matter of the battery. Something to the effect that as one trouble shoots this through that to go ahead and check that one’s car battery is not in its last legs and that the connections to the car battery were in good shape. Any thoughts on this?… I for one do not believe my battery is a true factor in all this but I am somewhat looking for half an excuse to replace the Trustart battery I turned to at my local Toyota dealership and backed by them when I thought that Sears was going under a couple of years ago and taking their Die Hard brand batteries with them… Thankfully Advance Auto parts has now recently picked up the Die Hard brand of battery since last August that Sears divested off as a company seemingly facing bankruptcy on an ongoing basis. I’ve already have had the Truestart battery fail me once within the end of two years and received a free replacement as fortunately for me it was within the first two years of warranty but that is not really the point. I have always made use of Die Hard batteries for the majority of my 15 years of ownership of this 2007 Camry bought in ‘06 from literally the very beginning when the car was new until these last couple of years.
 

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Thank you for clarifying on the DRL’s funny enough I had already somehow recently uncovered that for myself in the last couple of years of dealing with my dimming low beams. I came across your Vehicle threads in your response and it seems like you went on one heck of an interesting and involved journey with your 2008 Camry in installing HID’s… What prompted you to go this route? had you already owned your Camry for quite a few years and then decided to do this retrofit in recent years? Did you do it yourself or have a friend as a mechanic do this? I saw that you went with Morimoto Elite HID for the low beams… Apologies for the questions but I am intrigued… thanks again and in advance…
I just installed them because it was just something relatively inexpensive that I could do at the time. Now that my car got hit and I lost one side I plan on making a new thread comparing them and the halogen when I am able to afford a new set (and LEDs). It should be noted, even if the headlights were brand new and clear that they really do suck. My mom's 2013 or 2011 Sienna with its halogen projectors compared to my HID projectors were far better. Despite this, even after probably 7 years of HID usage I didn't see a change in projector quality. Having a well known brand of lighting helps.

There were threads about the battery potentially causing light issues but from what I remembered those threads didn't have a solution.

Getting a retrofit is something I would like to do but it is extremely low on my priority list.
 

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I can't help but wonder if this is all a problem of perspective.

When I first bought my Camry new back in 2007, I thought that the headlights were great. They seemed much better than the headlights that were on the car that I traded in- a 1998 Camry... so I was satisfied.

Now- all of these years later- my wife drives the 2007 Camry and I drive a much newer Accord with full LED headlights- and these seem light years better than the lights on the 2007 Camry. Compared to the newer Accord, it seems like the Camry's lights aren't even turned on half the time.

In reality- the bulbs and headlights in the Camry really haven't changed much over the years- they still put out about the same amount of light. There isn't much evidence of sun damage/fading or the cloudiness problem that seems to plague older Toyotas (and other cars). When I asked my wife about it- she said that the headlights seem fine- but when I drive it, I don't even consider it safe considering how little light the headlights seem to produce... at least while driving in the city. She said that they are fine.

Headlights have gotten A LOT better in the past few years on newer cars. The LEDs used now are much, MUCH more effective than standard halogens that were the norm just a few years ago. Could it possibly be that this could be the cause of the supposed 'dim' low beams on your Camry? It could very well be that the OEM fixtures need replacing on your Camry- but I'd be skeptical of throwing down the $500 it would cost to replace them with new OEM fixtures. I also be hesitant to buy cheap Chinese-made knockoffs off of Ebay.

Do you know anyone else that has a 2007-2009 Camry that have headlights that are in good condition that you could use as a comparison? If so- ask to drive their car at night back-to-back with your Camry to see if your lights are actually as dim as you think they are.
 

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Clearcorners.com.
Opens up the light assembly, removes low beam, etc.
Then replaces the guts, and rebuilds, with Zenon projector, ballast etc.
He can do that, to any car, any year, any model.
He does Ferrari to Toyota, and everything in between.
It is expensive to have the best....

Like I said he did my Camry, and Mercedes.
If interested, visit his site....
Regards,
500SL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I can't help but wonder if this is all a problem of perspective.

When I first bought my Camry new back in 2007, I thought that the headlights were great. They seemed much better than the headlights that were on the car that I traded in- a 1998 Camry... so I was satisfied.

Now- all of these years later- my wife drives the 2007 Camry and I drive a much newer Accord with full LED headlights- and these seem light years better than the lights on the 2007 Camry. Compared to the newer Accord, it seems like the Camry's lights aren't even turned on half the time.

In reality- the bulbs and headlights in the Camry really haven't changed much over the years- they still put out about the same amount of light. There isn't much evidence of sun damage/fading or the cloudiness problem that seems to plague older Toyotas (and other cars). When I asked my wife about it- she said that the headlights seem fine- but when I drive it, I don't even consider it safe considering how little light the headlights seem to produce... at least while driving in the city. She said that they are fine.

Headlights have gotten A LOT better in the past few years on newer cars. The LEDs used now are much, MUCH more effective than standard halogens that were the norm just a few years ago. Could it possibly be that this could be the cause of the supposed 'dim' low beams on your Camry? It could very well be that the OEM fixtures need replacing on your Camry- but I'd be skeptical of throwing down the $500 it would cost to replace them with new OEM fixtures. I also be hesitant to buy cheap Chinese-made knockoffs off of Ebay.

Do you know anyone else that has a 2007-2009 Camry that have headlights that are in good condition that you could use as a comparison? If so- ask to drive their car at night back-to-back with your Camry to see if your lights are actually as dim as you think they are.
My fellow 2007 Camry brother, while your premise on perspective on how the lighting on cars have truly evolved in the last 15 years is spot on… Trust me when I share that unlike what your dear wife is conveying to you, my low beam lights are anything but “Fine”… If it wasn’t that I have Fog lights to switch on I would truly be in a bind. My car is generally garage kept and even at work it was typically under roof cover from the Florida sun so similar to your Camry there isn't much evidence of sun damage/fading from UV exposure or any cloudiness problem to the headlamp covers as well that I went ahead and had them polished for the first time recently as I troubleshooted the problem.
You are spot on that I am not keen on spending that sort of money on OEM replacements with a new headlamp assembly but I am also not convinced that going the route of the aftermarket headlamp assembly is the way to go. Thus my cry for Help in this forum is genuine… My worst fear is that I go ahead and spend the money in new OEM headlamp assemblies and it still doesn’t resolve the problem. That would truly suck… I just heard from a fellow 2007 Camry SE owner that went through the exact same scenario and came real close to replacing the headlamp assemblies but I need to further review and better process what his final resolution was… Thank you for your two cents worth… and here’s mine… the lights on your wife’s 2007 Camry aren’t really “Fine”… lol 😏
 

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Camry Freak
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Thank you for your two cents worth… and here’s mine… the lights on your wife’s Camry aren’t really Fine… lol 😏
I guess my point was- my wife has been driving our 2007 Camry since about 2010- and in her opinion, the output of the lights hasn't changed a bit over the past eleven years. Only I think that they are ineffective because I've been driving a car with much better headlights over the past few years.

With that said- if you are convinced that your lights aren't effective- I think the idea of trying to compare them to a different Camry SE from 2007-2009 might be a good first step. That will give you a solid answer over whether or not there is a problem with your specific car or if its something that's more widespread or just the way that they are.

Toyota used three different headlight fixtures in 2007-2009 Camrys- and while they are indeed different- you could probably drive any 2007-2009 Camry and for a decent comparison- as I think they only differed in outside appearance- not in the amount of light produced.

Base, LE, and XLE Camrys used traditional 'clear' headlight fixtures.
SE Camrys used fixtures that had some components that were blacked out for a more sporty appearance.
Hybrid Camrys used fixtures that had a slight blue tint to them.

While I'd try to compare your SE V6 to another SE, I think this type of comparison will provide a lot of context needed for your next steps.

I certainly wouldn't buy $43 Toyota bulbs from the dealer or have the dealer start investigating randomly at $125/hour.

If you do find that a different Camry from that year range has significantly better headlights (and the owner uses traditional halogen bulbs), I'd double check to ensure that there is the correct voltage at the headlights (I know that you said that your mechanic already did this- but I'd double check before spending a lot of money replacing things). If the voltage is correct, I'd check to see if the lights are properly aimed. If all of that stuff is fine- then it might indeed be time to get some new lenses. I'd only do that if everything else turned up as okay though- as they are really expensive and if I remember correctly- a pain to replace.

Good luck.
 
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