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Old 07-29-2002, 11:37 PM
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Reason for Headlight problem found

Now what?

Those "cool looking" blue color bulbs caused the sockets to melt throught the ground and no light. Does anyone know the part number for those sockets, they obviously will have to be replaced and soldered in place as they are not "plug and play" types. A few other questions.........

1) Any thoughts on avoiding this problem again?

2) If the bulbs are OEM replacements why do they get that much hotter to melt the socket?

3) Which ones won't cause this to happen again?

4) Do they make special High Temp sockets to avoid this?

Any answers would be a huge help. Thanks to all you MB motorheads for the support and answering this stuff, the search I did gave an answer to look at the sockets for the same problem I had.

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Old 07-30-2002, 05:19 PM
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Can anyone answer the questions in the original post or at least provide some insight as to why "OEM" replacement parts melt OEM sockets when OEM parts don't? Is it simply a higher wattage issue? If OEM replacement parts (lights) are rated at a higher wattage wouldn't that preclude them from being Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) replacements?

Do they make high wattage sockets for replacement?


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Old 07-31-2002, 10:13 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 140
If the blue bulb consumes the same wattage as the OEM, blue bulb will always burn hotter than OEM. The color does affect the temperature. Light color reflects/transmitts heat better than dark color. If you wear black clothing in summer, you feel like in hell. That is why the "real cool" people wear white, not black.

There is an exhibit at Museum of Science Boston. There are two spot lights shining on two plane glasses. One is "clear" and the other is black, but it is still transparent. The object of the experiment is to have visitors put each hand on the each glass at the same time. The black is hotter than the clear. You can try this at home.

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99 E430 Sport
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Old 07-31-2002, 11:26 PM
Posts: n/a
ok, ok...........enough of the 2nd grade answers

I understand the properties related to the color spectrum, I work with LASER systems in the military, it is all about properties of light. I suppose what I'm asking is more of a marketing question for an MBA. How can you market a product as "OEM" when it IS NOT. OEM replacements should look, feel and REACT similar to OEM. More heat is NOT SIMILAR to OEM whether it be from wattage, color or both.

So on to the technical side...........are there Higher wattage rated sockets available for 9004 series Headlamps, if so.......where? I did a search on 4 different major search engines and only came up with one hit for some generic 9004 series sockets, no watt rating or any other tech info. I went to my local Kragen auto parts store and they had NONE available. Will try an import specific store and hope for better results.

Originally, I purchased the "Cool Blue" bulbs because they were actually cheaper than the OEM replacement "white" ones that were next to them not expecting any difference other than a minor color difference of projected light, definitely not melted sockets.

OK, enough ranting from me, please I just need some replacemet sockets. Thank you.

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Old 07-31-2002, 11:38 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 147
Hi Rick:

I burnt a plug by not checking for corrosion. My plug was major corroded. You local NAPA or Checker Auto/Kragen stores should have them. I actually burnt the Checker one and replaced it with the NAPA one. The NAPA one seems to work better. You will need to cut off the old plug and just match the wires, wire for wire on your pin out.

1987 260E Charcoal Grey 157,000 Miles
1987 260E Forest Green 120,000 Miles
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Old 08-01-2002, 01:32 AM
Posts: n/a

I will try Napa, had good luck in the past with them.

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Old 08-01-2002, 11:03 AM
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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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