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Old 08-18-2005, 07:36 PM   #1
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Headlight question?

I have a qustion on headlights on our new-to-us 2001 Boxster S ...and I'm feeling pretty silly. Has there been an issue with headlight illumination? Any technical service bulletins?

It's a Canadian car with daytime running lights. While headlights are on, they're not very bright. We do have high beams and they're incredible.

No, the car does not have xenons. Our previous Boxster did.
I checked fuses, and both fuses for "dipped" headlights are just fine.

Any suggestions?

Dave L

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Old 08-18-2005, 10:20 PM   #2
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First, I don't mean to sound stupid, but are you turning them on all the way? The parking lights come on with the first twist/click include parking lights and "1/2" bright headlights, basically really dim headlights. One more twist/click will turn on your headlights. Pull the headlight lever 1 click and on come the fog lights. Pull 1 more click and 1 more rear light comes on.

If you are sure they are coming on, my next suggestion is replacing the halogens. Halogens lose brightness over time, and if they have never been replaced, it might help to replace them - even if they are not burned out.

One other thing, if a previous owner put in crappy xenon look headlights that look bluish - many of those put out a lot less light than regular more yellow looking halogens. I've compared my box to a guy that had cheap bluish bulbs, my halogens provided much, much more light.

good luck,
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:22 AM   #3
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I replaced our bulbs with the Silver Star bulbs. They are bright white, not the funky blue color, and much better distance.
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you. The hint at how to turn on the headlights is appreciated. It's my wife's car. Should be...she drives better than I!

I'll check.

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Old 08-20-2005, 05:38 AM   #5
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My wife dropped in at the Porsche Dealer in Toronto Canada.

They determined that the lamps were burnt out. Changed both for free, and were very friendly too. Good place! Good first impression.

In Ontario used cars are required to pass a thorough safety inspection at time of sale. Guess where we won't be going for service!

Do the lamps have more than one filament? The headlights appeared to be on, but very dim and limited range.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 08-20-2005, 08:17 AM   #6
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Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but the bulb (size H7) only has one filament.

Your headlight beam adjustment may be too high (or possibly too low). To adjust that requires a tool (hex wrench) the Boxster typically comes with (but seeing as how yours is used, it may not). Do you have an owner's manual? There's a section in the manual describing the headlight adjustment process (it's one of my favorite chapters). If not, perhaps try taking it back up to the good folks at the dealership. Adjusting the headlights is easy to do, but not easy to do right.

Try this test if you get a chance:
At night, pull up a few feet (meters, eh?) from a wall or garage door. Turn your headlights on (as far clockwise as you can [2 clicks]). Then turn on your brights. Does the light brightness/intensity* change, or just where the lights are aiming? The light's pattern will look different, but the brightness/intensity* shouldn't brightness/intensity is different, maybe something is odd (unless you have mix-matched bulbs in there).

* I'm not sure if I'm using the right words for this. Basically, imagine 2 flashlights shining on a wall, one with fresh batteries, one with practically dead batteries. That would display different brightness/intesity -appearing as a different color.
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Old 08-20-2005, 08:23 PM   #7
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Each headlight actually has 2 bulbs:
the H7
and right below it:
the 5W
Porsche Part number: 999 631 032 90

There are also the turn signal and fog light bulbs.

The H7 is of course the standard headlight.

The 5W bulb is the dim/limited range look that comes on with the parking lights. They are also known as wedge bulbs. I have been thinking about upgrading mine to LED's.

I think they are more a be seen type of light rather than an illumination/see where i am going at night bulb.

Glad to hear the dealer took care of things and replaced the bulbs.

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Old 08-21-2005, 05:38 AM   #8
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Thanks Jeff and Lorez. We'll check the aim.

By the way, my wife's car is grey on grey on grey. And we're looking for a hardtop.

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Old 09-09-2005, 06:08 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

I couldn't believe how easy it was to change a bulb. My passenger side low beam was out yesterday morning when I turned my lights on. I stopped at Advance Auto Parts on the way home from work and picked up a bulb, $13.88, and changed it right there in their parking lot. Real easy once I found the headlight removal tool!
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:35 AM   #10
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I guess when the light is burned out , it is still dimly lit..not sure the mechanics, but this was the case with mine as well...

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Old 01-22-2006, 06:51 PM   #11
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I'm wondering if the car is designed so that if a headlight goes out, the "city" light comes on? Perhaps that is what dlynch was seeing?

I don't know...just a guess on my part.

The LED replacement of the city bulb sounds kind of neat. Can you get this bulb in different colours?
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:42 PM   #12
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Is it possible that the DRL are only 70%? I can't remember if I have seen this in Canadian regs or not. An '04 Passat I had was designed that way.
Just a thought....

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Last edited by Uncle Bob; 02-01-2006 at 02:46 AM.
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