Advice on brighter car headlights?
February 25, 2015 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I just replaced my 1995 300zx turbo's burned-out headlights with some cheap factory 9006 bulbs and can barely see anything at night. I don't want to get HIDs but would like to find a headlight that actually illuminates the road and makes driving safer. I've narrowed it down to three options: Philips X-treme Vision, Philips HIR2 9012, or Sylvania SilverStar Ultra (which I may rule out, because apparently they burn out really quickly). Does anyone have any advice on these, or any other suggestions? I do plan to clean out the headlights as well, if there's anything to clean out.
posted by roxie110 to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had the same experience with the Sylvanias. The increase in brightness wasn't that great, the cost was high, and they didn't last long enough. I went back to conventional bulbs. If you find something that works well, an update would be great.
posted by in278s at 10:38 AM on February 25, 2015

In our last car, the biggest impact we got was from replacing the scratched up covers/lenses. It was remarkable.
posted by advicepig at 10:42 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

Not sure if the 300ZX is subject to it, but I've had trouble on old cars with headlight lenses fogging and yellowing badly, which dramatically cuts the amount of light that actually comes through your headlights. You can clean the lenses up with a cheap kit.
posted by cnc at 10:43 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

Polish/replace the headlight lenses so more light gets out. Polishing is pretty cheap & quick to do, but doesn't last as long as new lenses.

You could try regular silverstars, instead of the ultra, they are less bright so might last slightly longer. But really any of the higher wattage bulbs arent going to last as long as the lower powered normal versions.

Don't get aftermarket HIDs if your car wasn't built with them in the first place. They'll blind other drivers and most likely are not legal.
posted by TheAdamist at 11:48 AM on February 25, 2015

Somewhat off-topic but worth checking on: are your headlights properly adjusted? You may have knocked them out of alignment when replacing the bulbs last.. I have also had issues with the adjustment screws just straight up breaking, pointing the bulbs down at the ground about a foot in front of the car, which isn't very useful either.
posted by mrg at 12:50 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I bought a 24" grabber tool to try to clean my headlights and ordered the X-treme Vision in the end. We'll see if anything makes a difference!
posted by roxie110 at 1:24 PM on March 6, 2015

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