Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Albany, NY
Drives: 08 Kia Spectra5 SX
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Things to help ensure long life:
1. Stay away from exotic colored bulbs. Even the best performing bulb out there, the Silverstar, have a reputation of short life in some cars. What I really mean is any specialty blue tinted bulbs are bad news.
2. Go with a name brand. Philips, Sylvania, and Wagner make good products. GE is marginal anymore, and do not buy any off branded parts from the gas station or the quick lube place unless you see the name brand. Places like NAPA and Carquest stock the same name brands, but have a vendor specific box. Look for the brand name.
3. Use Dielectric grease. This is a silicone grease that looks like vaseline. Spread a thin layer over the contacts of the bulb. Make sure the connector seal is not decayed or corroded.
4. Wear poly or latex gloves, or be very careful not to touch the bulb or allow the bulb to touch any part of the lens housing. Dirt and oil kill them, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
5. Get a voltage tester. Any cheap one will do. Test the voltage with the car running, AC and lights on. Do you get any spikes? They can help to kill a bulb.
6. Lastly, do you have a broken sela in the light? Do they fog up? If so, the moisture can collect on the bulb and do the same thing as grease or dirt. Replace if necessary.