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Super Newbie ? About How To Replace HID Bulbs...

7074 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  bazingax3
So yes, I did search the forums but they all talk about brands and how to upgrade to HID or install an HID kit from everything I've read. My questions are very, very newbie questions, from someone who knows little about modern cars.

So here goes...

I have a 2008 Solara Convertible. My passenger low light headlight has been flickering on and off for months now and it has now reached the point of just staying off most of the time.

So I went to a auto parts store and the guy said the bulbs were special and I needed to take them to a mechanic. So I did and that guy told me that I can't change my own headlight bulbs because they're HID?? And if I try, I'll electrocute myself. Is this true? It sounds like just an "oh she's a girl" kind of statement to me. So I went to my dealer and they want to charge me $700 to change both bulbs, but told me that there's not a lot involved with changing out the HID bulbs and that the other guy lied about me being electrocuted. But the price is outrageous so I want to do it myself like I always did with my old cars but maybe something has changed so much that I can't do it anymore? Not sure who to trust? So is it true? Can I not change the bulbs myself

Also, if this isn't true, how can I found out how to change the bulb and what brand/part is in there so I can buy them online? Does the instructions in the basic owner's manual work for HID bulbs (unscrew, pull out, replace)??

Thanks everyone!

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Lol, no its not true. And yes you can and should change the bulbs yourself. Just be careful not to touch the new bulb, and if you do..wipe it with an alcohol based substance to remove any sweat or anything you've put onto the bulb.
The flickering most likely is a bad ballast, so replacing just the bulb would do no good for a HID kit. You won't electrocute yourself unless you were grounded onto the battery, but thats hardly the case. Buy a kit, plug all the prewired cables together, remove the old bulb, plug in the new bulb, then tape the ballast onto something so it doesn't flop around. Shouldn't take no more than 10 minutes and will only cost you as much as the kit (between 100 and 150 for good quality).
lol, ok, so now that the electrocution part is out of the way hehe :)... what's the best way for me to learn how to take the headlight apart to replace the bulb/kit?

Oh and forgot to mention 2 things. One, the dealer said the issue is only with the bulb, not the ballast, which is why my warranty doesn't cover it (again, not sure if I trust them as far as I can throw them). And two, one mechanic also told me that I had to remove the bumper in order to replace the bulb?? (yes a completely different mechanic... been taking it around trying to get a consistent response from someone lol).

Thanks everyone!!!!!
Have you thought about looking in the owners manual to see if anything is mentioned about this??
I can help you out! I'm located in Sanford/Lake Mary if you can meet me I can change out the bulb for you. Let me know!
I never seen what the engine bay looks like under a solara hood, but i highly doubt the bumper blocks the passage to get behind the headlights. Most likely you won't need to remove your bumper.

The bulb has two options; turn on or off. The current source can run to the ballast freely, but the current must flow through the ballast to the bulb. So from my analogy (lol) you gotta replace the ballast. Unless you remove your lightbulb and test to see if its still working, then nvm what i said.
How many tn'ers dose it take to change a light bulb :lol:. Idk exactly what bulb type a solara has i think a ds4 but don't quote me on that. You can go buy a set of aftermarket cheap bulbs for like 60 USD from ddm tuning or maybe some of the vendors on this forum unless you want orignal phillips or w/e came equipped on your car you'd have to buy from the dealer. As stated before look in your owners manual it should tell you how to change the light bulb.

Good Luck!
i believe the 08+ solara comes with OEM xenon hids. so don't buy a hid kit. lol
Yes, you can change them yourself. You can't get to the driver side bulb without removing the battery anyway... So take key out of ignition, turn lights off and remove battery. I am trying to replace both of mine and I got the passenger side replaced but am still fighting the drivers side. Someone said to remove the two screws from the fuse box that is in the way. I did that and separated the two pieces but because of the wiring, I cannot move it enough to get it out of my way, So this is my third attempt to change the driver side bulb and I am ready to throw in the towel and see if a male friend can come over and do it. It's cold outside and my hands are getting bruised up!!
Yes they are the D4S I bought two original Phillips d4S's for $99.+ shipping, I believe i Googled d4s and picked the Phillip's website. I figured the better the bulbs the less chance of having to go through the challenge of changing them suckers for a long, long time. If you are a do it yourself-er like me, be prepared, give yourself plenty of time and be patient.
My experience is plus what my Toyota mechanic said, is that it was just the bulb and I am finding that he is right. Being the type of bulb that it is and that it has a gas of some type that glows when the 20,000 volts discharge into it, it makes sense that it would flicker or like mine, go off and I turn my lights off and on, and it is back on, You cannot touch the glass on the light bulb because the oils in your skin can cause the bulb to explode.
Update- Yeah!! I got both bulbs installed yesterday and they work perfectly... And I hope I never have to do it again. My hands are sore from the limited space to available to install them and yes,the battery was heavy when I put it back in and my BACK is sore from leaning over the car (now I appreciate mechanics more and I won't gripe about their hourly wage either).
But for a little gal, I must say I patted myself on the back because I DID IT!
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