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Old 08-01-2002, 11:03 AM
sbourg sbourg is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
A modified part listed as 'OEM replacement' is not using a government regulated term. You bulb might work fine in an Olds with a ceramic socket, but not in a Mercedes with a plastic one. The true oem replacement parts might have a silvered back coating, e.g., to keep the heat away from the socket, whereas a generic bulb that conforms to the spec for that bulb size might not. You might pay more for a bulb listed specifically as an exact oem replacement, but there might be a reason.

Even if you replace the socket, a bulb running hotter than spec might damage other plastic parts in proximity - and return a much higher repair bill next time. Another thought is that if the bulb produces that much heat in the same wattage, you likely are putting even LESS light on the road than with stock.

Finally, don't rule out socket contact resistance as the core issue, as others have mentioned. A socket that melts before any other signs of surrounding damage usually points here. A careful inspection of the damaged socket should point to the source of heat generation. A 'hot' bulb would melt the bulb contact points before the electrical.

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