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Now that it gets dark earlier I am again reminded of how bad these headlights are. The low beams cut off too soon and the highs are just poor. Coming from a car with HID autoleveling lights, the Volt lights are yellowish and far inferior.

Having searched the forum, I know there are numerous posts regarding HID and LED conversions, and as many posts arguing about how well that did or didn't work out. I would like to find some improvement without the hassles involved in these conversions.

Has anyone found any improvement by replacing the OEM bulbs with high-end halogen bulbs? Silverstars or Crystal Vision, etc.?? Or other suggestions?

And is there any way to adjust the shutter to give more low beam illumination?
 

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You're not going to find much improvement with different halogens. They will still be halogens and have the same inherent limitations.

I know you said you don't want to fiddle with conversions but I have the Morimoto retrofit kit and it only took 30 minutes to install and is a world of difference. It's pricey at $150 but in return you get a quality kit.

I wouldn't use LEDs is they may appear brighter but won't give you good vision down the road. Plus the cooler color temps of LEDs and the fact that they are only brighter up close will actually cause your pupils to contract more and worsen your night vision.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
 

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No data to give just an opinion. I switched to SYLVANIA 9012 SilverStar zXe Halogen Headlight Bulb. It seems to be a bit better than the stock ones.
I'm not sure why that would be the case. They're the same wattage. They do have an "HID Attitude" (from Sylvania's website) which basically means they have a blue coating on the glass.

I had bad luck with Silverstars. I'm not convinced it was completely the fault of the bulbs, but when I used them on my Subaru, both bulb connectors melted. They were fine with the stock bulbs.
 

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Inexpensive HID's worked great on my Volt, but be sure to get the ones that mention CAN Bus ready or buy the inline capacitors to make any of them play nice. (Do not go down the relay rabbit hole...one more thing to fail and 'lights out')

You may have to fiddle/cut the rubber cover to allow the wires to exit and and return to the headlight housing. The ballasts have to be mounted outside the housing.
It's all quickly reversible. Carry the original bulbs in the car somewhere.
 

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I'm not sure why that would be the case. They're the same wattage. They do have an "HID Attitude" (from Sylvania's website) which basically means they have a blue coating on the glass.

I had bad luck with Silverstars. I'm not convinced it was completely the fault of the bulbs, but when I used them on my Subaru, both bulb connectors melted. They were fine with the stock bulbs.
So you are saying that every 55w halogen bulb performs exactly the same? All the reviews on halogen headlight bulbs that rank them in order as they see it is just fake as they are all identical? Maybe my stock bulbs lost some brightness and getting new ones is why they seem better.
 

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I've read a while back that yellow light gives the best view (what our eyes actually see) at night according to scientific testing. White(blue) light is close to daylight so the brain may equate this with "better" light than it really is (all other things being equal). Blue painted lights give less light (as the light has to shine through another layer) and the blue light gives less definition and they should be used for cosmetic use only (I personally don't use cosmetics).

I haven't checked this but I thought the owners manual said something about the "shutter" on low beam being adjustable (2013) to compensate for different load levels. Is this right?
 

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I've read a while back that yellow light gives the best view (what our eyes actually see) at night according to scientific testing. White(blue) light is close to daylight so the brain may equate this with "better" light than it really is (all other things being equal). Blue painted lights give less light (as the light has to shine through another layer) and the blue light gives less definition and they should be used for cosmetic use only (I personally don't use cosmetics).

I haven't checked this but I thought the owners manual said something about the "shutter" on low beam being adjustable (2013) to compensate for different load levels. Is this right?
That's right there is an adjusting screw. As far as the light color is concerned my eyes see detail and distance exponentially better with 6000 HIDs. The yellowish tint makes a wet road almost disappear.
 

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get the latest led's,simple easy install and work just great.
 

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So you are saying that every 55w halogen bulb performs exactly the same? All the reviews on halogen headlight bulbs that rank them in order as they see it is just fake as they are all identical? Maybe my stock bulbs lost some brightness and getting new ones is why they seem better.
OK, you're right about that. I checked an independent site, and the zXe bulbs put out 10% more light than the stock halogens. Still, 10% over the stock Volt bulbs isn't something I can get excited about. For me, the problem with the stock lighting has to do with the pattern. There's very little light to the sides, close to the vehicle so I have trouble seeing where the curb is on corners. Brighter halogens won't solve that. When I installed LEDs, I got a better view of those areas.
 

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You want HID, you want to use a relay harness. ...
If you get a 'CAN Ready' HID system there is no reason to add the complexity and a new potential failure point (= 'Lights Out').
Watts is Watts. 35 or 55 watt HID's do not use more power.

The only reason some people use the 'Relay Method' is to get rid of problems stemming from the pulsed DC that goes to the headlight bulbs.
Using Can Bus Ready ballasts or the Inline Capacitors allows HID systems to play nice with this power source.
 

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If you get a 'CAN Ready' HID system there is no reason to add the complexity and a new potential failure point (= 'Lights Out').
Watts is Watts. 35 or 55 watt HID's do not use more power.

The only reason some people use the 'Relay Method' is to get rid of problems stemming from the pulsed DC that goes to the headlight bulbs.
Using Can Bus Ready ballasts or the Inline Capacitors allows HID systems to play nice with this power source.
Incorrect. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, why comment?

Relays give full battery voltage/amperage to the ballasts. Using the headlight bulb plugs don’t do that. And complexity? Seriously? What’s complex about plugging a connector in? And if relays are so scary and failure prone, why do OEMs use them to control everything? *

Use a relay harness. It’s not hard or complicated. There are no downsides to using a relay with good advantage. Using the crap you suggest does. Unless you come from a special place where capacitors never fail..
 

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Incorrect. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, why comment?...
Do so. Never was. So there.:p

I work on 'wires' for a living.
(And, on some of the highest tech vehicles out there with Automated Functions that I can't mention, yet...
And I'm not talking about lowly AP's on a Teslas.)


I put Can Bus-Ready Hid's on my Volt. Easy Peasy! Very noticeable improvement!
The stock incandescents drew 55 watt. The 35 watt HID system I installed drew less current from the stock connectors.

Again,,, watts is watts.

The Volt has a sort of pulsed DC to let the system know if a bulb is burned out.

A hoopty ty-rapped in relay system is not necessary,,
and IS an additional failure point, especially if it runs both HID's through just 1 el'cheepo relay....

The stock system has a seperate fuse for each headlight. If you really think you want a relay, you need 2 to be safe.
 

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Do so. Never was. So there.:p

I work on 'wires' for a living.
(And, on some of the highest tech vehicles out there with Automated Functions that I can't mention, yet...
And I'm not talking about lowly AP's on a Teslas.)


I put Can Bus-Ready Hid's on my Volt. Easy Peasy! Very noticeable improvement!
The stock incandescents drew 55 watt. The 35 watt HID system I installed drew less current from the stock connectors.

Again,,, watts is watts.

The Volt has a sort of pulsed DC to let the system know if a bulb is burned out.

A hoopty ty-rapped in relay system is not necessary,,
and IS an additional failure point, especially if it runs both HID's through just 1 el'cheepo relay....

The stock system has a seperate fuse for each headlight. If you really think you want a relay, you need 2 to be safe.
Even on this site, people have had problems using what you say you can and had problems, tell them to use relays and it’s fixed. And it’s what’s fixed many other vehicles with problems. The OE wires sometimes don’t carry enough current to start OEM or high quality ballasts. Cheap ballasts yea, maybe.

And, can’t mention? Lol. You sound like a 17yr old on a civic forum talking about some secret, obviously fake turbo setup on their stock D series.
 

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Have you had the car since new? If not pull a bulb and see what is in there. I bought my volt used and it had no name LEDs and they were terrible. Also consider checking the aim is ft you think the cut off isn't at the right height.

My fix was based on experience from other volt owners I bought from DDM Tuning:
DDM35W.9006.5000K
DDM HID Kit, 35W, 9006, 5000K

No "CAN bus" and no relay extras needed. No error codes (not even when checking with GDS2) This is with a 2011 volt. Not sure where all the miss information starts.
 

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No "CAN bus" and no relay extras needed. No error codes (not even when checking with GDS2) This is with a 2011 volt. Not sure where all the miss information starts.
from mr. turbo himself.
 

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....And, can’t mention? Lol. You sound like a 17yr old on a civic forum talking about some secret, obviously fake turbo setup on their stock D series.
Wouldn't know about civics. I stick to the High Tech stuff,, like the Volt!

And yes, I can't mention the High Tech crap I work on. Some jobs are like that. I don't drive a truck for a living.... Zzzinga!! :rolleyes:

JK, buddy! You probably make more than I do,, so,,, you win !!;)
 
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