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I have a 2004 Sonata. I have never had any damage or changes to the light housing. I have changed the light bulbs a few times in the past. I feel that my lights are dull and do not shine out anymore. They point to the ground. I am having troubles seeing at night. Talking to a mechanic regarding correcting my lights he told me" you can not adjust the head lamps on these cars." Ok so I know he is incorrect due to google search. I don't feel that I need to adjust the housing. That has never changed. I am the only owner of this car. I have changes this light 3 times(right side) but never the left side.
I got a cleaning kit from Kregans and that did help get the dirt off of the lenses. I replaced the lamps with what the book told me to do. Low beans replaced with 55 Watt H7 bulb.
Is there a better bulb or name brand or type that I should use??? Am I doing something wrong when I change the bulb? It went in without much trouble.
Any advice would be great.
Thanks again,
WMM
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More information

Any advice would be great with this head lamp problem. It is unsafe to drive at night. Does any of this relate to my head lamps. A while back when I turn to the right my seat belt warning bings. The noise you get when your seat belt is not on. I also get the interior light that blinks when the seat belt is binging. Now my passenger back door does not unlock unless I use my hand to unlock it. At first it would not lock for a few weeks. I understand there must be a short someplace but.....I have no idea when to look. Can this short have anything to do with how dim my front lights are??? My front lights work and my high beams work great. Right now I just need to fix the head lamps to be safe at night.
Any advice would be great.
Thanks,
WMM
 

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Discussion Starter #3
More help please

I have read that I could use a different light. Still a H7 type. Has anyone used any of these types???
Sylvania Silver star 3 different types. Any advice on any of them??
GE Nighthawk Platinum
Philips x-Treme Power
Any advice really would be helpful to me.
Thanks
 

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I have had good luck with Sylvania family of bulbs in the past. They were great in one of my old cars. Brighter and longer light throw.

Of course I totaled that car three days after installation and the bulbs were gone before I could clean out the car at the body shop.....
 

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A few things I would check, are the lenses discolored yellow from the sun? I would also point my car at a wall about 20 to 30 feet away, at night and see if my lights focal point hit the wall or hit the ground. If they hit the ground, then the alignment must be askew. your operators manual may have some ideas as well. Try not to touch the bulb glass with your fingers, as the salt content will shorten the bulb life. I use vinyl gloves when I can. Good luck!
 

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Bulb help

After many tries I got the bulb in correctly. I ended up removing the battery and the light housing. I have cleaned the lens with a cleaner from the auto store. It can use more polishing but has improved.
I want to replace the standard bulb with a brighter bulb. I know nothing about better bulbs or HID. I drive many unlit roads at night. I need more light to feel safe. Any advice on what kind of bulb I should buy (company and how much power).
Thanks for the help,
 

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Hi wmm. In the future, if you want to clean your headlamps, use toothpaste. Cleaned up my daughter's headlamps really well and it's CHEAP. Just use a damp rag and apply on your headlamp using a circular motion and rub hard. Clean off with another damp rag. Repeat three times and you should be good to go. I also put a light coat of wax on the headlamp to help slow the oxidation/dullness problem. My daughter's Sonata had a headlamp problem on the driver's side. The light was aimed WAY down. Turns out the retaining clip was broke. I reseated the bulb and used a thick paperclip as the retaining clip. I then adjusted the headlamp, so that the beam was properly aimed. Here's a picture on where the adjustment screws are located:

2010-12-20_020849_capture.png
 

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Just my 2 cents:

1. cleaning: over the years the lamps accumulate dirt on all components inside. Optimal cleaning can be achieved with a total strip down of the lamp assy when you can clean all relevant components: reflector (carefully, some coatings are easily destroyed/scratched, others are surprisingly tough like the ones on my russian Lada, stay away from using acid chemicals such as oven cleaner spray unless you want to wash the coating literally down the drain ...), glass lens inside, outer polycarbonate lens (actually just a 'window', not an optically relevant lens). For the PC 'glass' there's special cleaners on the market with orange oil added but toothpaste usually works, too. When the glass is yellowed or covered with microcracks all over only replacement will help.

2. quality bulbs: Install them in the correct orientation. H7 is not as fail-safe as e.g. HB4. No force whatsoever is needed for correct installation. Stay away from anything other than the spec'd power of 55W. 100W e.g. will not be brighter since the voltage will drop due to the dimensioning of the wires. Just more heat will be generated that will quickly degrade the plastic materials used in modern headlights. It's no more all glass sealed beams as was in granddads Chevy ...
HID: Thermally no issue if you stick with the 35W units usally offered. Actually much less heat than the standard bulb. HID conversions may be illegal in your state/county. HID kits' quality greatly varies from 'lasts-longer-than-your-car' to 'broken-after-3days'.
Conversion must be very carefully done to match focal position of the HID arc to the bulb filament location. If not done properly a lot of light will still leave your lights but it will not illuminate the places it should.
If you install HIDs for the extra light on the road, not for posing, stay away from anything over 6000K. Go for 4300-6k. Anything higher will be more blue up to violet and visible light on the road will dramatically decrease. The human eye (geometrical aberration of the lens) is optimized for red and green spectral lines.

3. Aiming: There should be a spec sticker on the car that says how much the beam must be tilted down. Usually 1-1.5%. 1% means that the beam will be 10cm (4") lower than the reference point of the headlight at e.g. a wall, when the car is positioned 10m (33') away. As shawman mantioned, of course all adjustment hardware needs to be in working condition.
 

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It was a search and expired.
Try looking for "headlight lens restorer"
 

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Great information e3tom! I'm glad I became a member here! We "back yard" mechanics can never get enough good advice!!!
 

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Conversion must be very carefully done to match focal position of the HID arc to the bulb filament location. If not done properly a lot of light will still leave your lights but it will not illuminate the places it should.
Actually you cannot do that, that's why is illegal in all the states (federal law). The HID tube is bigger in size than the normal filament of an halogen bulb, so some of the light will go 'in wrong places' no matter what you do. That means glare and blinding others on road.
Only specific designed lenses and enclosures can properly work with HID's.
 

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Actually you cannot do that
I know. It's - as with many technical things - just a question of how close you get to the target. Under this aspect certain headlight types are harder to get to a tolerable glare level than others.
There's a couple of people in my area having these illegal conversions on their cars and with some you can tell just by the glare (that makes me turn on my high beams for 'revenge' ...) and some you can only say because you know that the car was never produced with factory HID (or there are legal retrofit kits on the market).

The HID tube is bigger in size than the normal filament of an halogen bulb
That may be but what matters is the arc length which is about 3mm on HID (35W) but the H7 bulb filament length is ~4-5mm. Shorter is generally better in terms of glare.
Sure it still stays illegal ...

B.t.w. the EF-B Sonata had factory HIDs in some markets e.g. the 'Executive' Trim level in Austria.
 

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They have probably different housings (cutoffs) and factory collimator lenses. In EU they need 'auto-leveling' and 'washing' systems to minimize glare (they have more un-divided roads there).
Cheap HID kits don't have that, they just jam the HID's in place of halogen bulbs.

More info.
United States Department of Transportation's statements :
http://dsl.torque.net/images/techdocs/NHTSA_Crackdown.jpg
http://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/deetz.ztv.html
http://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/Shih.3.html
http://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/kim.ztv.html
 

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They have probably different housings (cutoffs) and factory collimator lenses. In EU they need 'auto-leveling' and 'washing' systems to minimize glare (they have more un-divided roads there).
Cheap HID kits don't have that, they just jam the HID's in place of halogen bulbs.

More info.
United States Department of Transportation's statements :
http://dsl.torque.net/images/techdocs/NHTSA_Crackdown.jpg
Mr. Jeff Deetz, Sales Manager, Santeca Electronics, Inc., 7215 East 21<sup>st</sup> Street, Suite D, Indianapolis, IN 46219
Mr. Simon S. Shih, 4 Teal, Irvine, CA
Mr. Song M. Kim, C.M.O./Fanteks, Inc., 580 Sylvan Ave., Suite 1A, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
In other words, best not to do it, yes?

Speaking as someone who has to deal with headlight glare due to glasses and astigmatism, don't do it. It's blinding to others especially on unlit roads. I had to drive back from California by myself on almost entirely unlit highway except through the major cities like Albuquerque and once I got back to Denton and Dallas. What you think you gain from it is about on par with just using fog lights for a better angle. I used mine that way since my retaining clips were broken and I couldn't fix it. Better bulbs like what e3tom suggested would probably be your safest bet along with checking the alignment of the beams.
 

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I hate misinformation.

I have an '05 with a HID kit on the low beams and with the light shield/projectors on the factory Sonata headlights the light beam has no leakage. The top of the beam is a straight line and you can adjust it with no "bleed" into oncoming drivers eyes.
 
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