Headlamp Bulbs Keep Popping

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by bernardfeay, May 8, 2015.

  1. bernardfeay

    bernardfeay Read Only Funster

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    My headlamp bulbs last for about 2 months and I can't figure it out. I don't touch the glass with my fingers; I've tried expensive and cheap bulbs.

    Any clues or suggestions greatly appreciated.

    Base vehicle is Fiat Ducato 2.3 jtd
     
  2. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    If you have a meter check the battery voltage

    After a run, and before you turn off the van, get someone to hold the revs at approx 1500 to 2000 whilst you check the voltage across the battery

    In the last couple of years I have found three vehicles where the alternator control regulator was pushing the voltage up to well over 15v.
     
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  3. Zains Pops

    Zains Pops Funster

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    Many years ago I had a Hillman Minx, magic motor, paid all of £50.00 for it, complete with bench seat and all.
    However it had a habit of the headlamps getting brighter and brighter the faster the car went, probably to a maximum of 65mph, then they would both blow, very exciting, sudden blackness.
    Something to do with the Dynamo / voltage regulator, solved the problem......kept speed below 60mph!
     
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  4. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    My car does that normally as it has a 3phase/14volt alternator !:D
     
  5. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Yesss.. but not WELL over.. you def should not see higher than 15.2v across the battery !!
     
  6. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    That was my immediate thought! Many moons ago I had a peugeot 104, that at some point had a dodgy alternator fitted, it popped headlamps all the time. When I put in the correct alternator with the correct regulator all was fine.
     
  7. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    Had a VW Polo that did that a lot. Many happy memories of changing the bolt on regulator at the side of the road. Usually noticed it by the smell.
     
  8. steviebouy

    steviebouy Funster

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    Do all these lamps fail in the same way? I recall a lighting expert telling me that examination of the lamp may reveal the cause of its demise. I must say I hadn't ever given this much thought before but it made sense to me . We have all seen lamps where the glass envelope has become blackened or is coated with a black or silver substance.
    Unfortunately it was so long ago that I have forgotten the symptoms that produce the results but from memory I think the white substance is caused by the envelope leaking the gas out and silvering is caused by a poor earth.
    In all my years I have never heard this sort of information given by anyone else - perhaps it was all a deam?
    Steve
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    don't change the lamps.. change the van (y)
     
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  10. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    A poor earth .. that would cause the voltage supplied to the bulb to drop not increase.
    Apart from that, yes,, blackened glass means air has got in .. The xenon or argon gas is inert and as such has nothing to burn.
    When air gets in there is something to burn and that will cause the smoke that forms the black deposit.
    You often see this in an environment that has a vibratory component ..

    The silvering is caused by excess voltage usually.. The filament simply burns up using its own material.. The tungsten literally eats its self and then melts and goes splat !
     
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