Return to Level1Techs.com

I need new Headlights


#1

I have a 2006 Toyota Highlander Limited.

My headlights are very oxidized. I need new headlights. I have decided I might as well get LED while im at it.

I need recommendations for headlight assemblies with LED for my car.

Update
The Toyota dealership mechanics advised that I replace my headlights and put in either HID or LED. Nothing is illegal about upgrading your headlights to HID or LED.


#2

I think I heard retrofitting high intensity lights was illegal. Maybe look into that. Is there a higher trim level with hid or led lights?


#3

No. It is not illegal. What is though is what color they are. Besides, what makes you think that a 2006 Toyota Highlander would have a trim with LED lights?


#4

What Im looking for specifically is Recommendations for Aftermarket Headlight housings. As well as recommendations for LED kits.


#5

Putting HID in a housing that isn’t designed for them is actually not road legal, meaning if the housing came with halogen you shouldn’t put HIDs in them. I don’t think LEDs are legal either but their output is closer to halogen so you could probably get away with it.

The problem I have with LED is there’s tons of shit ones out there. They can be good but do your reasearch for sure.

HID and LED should be in a projector housing to maintain legal status. Aftermarket projectors can get expensive. Any reason you don’t want to just resurface? 1500-3000 grit sandpaper and meguiars plastx is cheap and can make them like new. If you want to go even further you could clear coat over that for a much longer lasting finish.


#6

The mechanics advised against resurfacing. They used to do it but had too many people come back complaining that it wasnt working any better. My headlight assemblies are from 2006 and are in VERY bad shape. It is essentially like I dont have low beams anymore. I have to use my fog lights.

I am interested in Projector housings as I have found that there are ones for ~$300 from a vendor called DNA but I dont know anything about them. I figured I would need projector housings but simply left that off the description as I figured anyone who would be recommending a product would already know about the DoT regulations.


#7

Get LEDs but you MUST get projector housings to match unless you want to blind everyone in on coming traffic. Its a 1 hour + 6 pack of beer job if you get the parts and do it yourself. Probably one of the easiest things you can do on a car.


#8

But can you recommend an LED brand and Projector Housing brand?


#9

Its not really to make the housing work better, its to make them look better. Thats why you want to do this right?

Get new bulbs. Halogen wear and get dimmer over time. There are some phillips bulbs I used in my jetta that were the brightest available. I’ll see if I can figure out which ones and edit.

This is a tech forum man, you’d be better off checking with a specific forum about your car. I can only give you anecdotal information about my cars that may or may not translate, but let me say this.

You have a car thats from 2006, its 12 years old now. Why do you want to spend $300 on housings plus another $100 for a decent set of LEDs just to put out the same amount of light a good halogen would?

Save your money. Its not going to improve anything more than a resurface and a good halogen would.


As far as LEDs go, I typically stick with genuine CREE stuff since its cheap as hell and works ok.

I cant give you any info about the DNA brand but google and youtube can answer most of the questions you have about LEDs and Housings.


EDIT: I believe these were what I used on my jetta. Big difference overall. When I got the car used the lights were lethargic at best and forced me to use high beams. The housings were also weathered and dull. After resurfacing and replacing the bulbs they work as expected.

Note: these might not be the correct fit, youll have to look up what you need but odds are they make it in your size.


#10

While I agree with everything @Adubs said I tend to hold my vehicles in a sentimental fashion. Doing all the work myself. Only driving stick. Religiously changing all the fluids and wear items. If its just a car that gets you from point A to point B then yeah just replace with halogens. If you love the car, why stop at headlights. Porque no forced induction?


#11

I dont need new halogens. I replaced them already. It made essentially no difference. Resurfacing would not make much difference. It is best to replace and upgrade. That is my goal.
I bought this car 2 years ago.
I have 120k miles on it. I still owe 4k on the note. So, no I will not buy a new car and Im upgrading to LED.


#12

I am certainly not suggesting you get a new car. Rather that there are alternatives to save you money.

On the topic of LEDs you likely won’t get much brighter than halogen is already capable of. Both HID and LED will have a separate box to drive them be it ballast or buck boost. It’s possible to have LEDs that don’t have such a box but those are typically not very good for a variety of reasons.

If you’re gonna go big might as well go HID. Tested and proven. They will be similarly priced.


#13

This… HID housings are different and are often self levelling.

Also, as per @Adubs you can just polish the lenses to fix that. This will make them clear again and then you can fit whatever regular halogen bulbs to get the proper performance.

Having legal HIDs is not as simple as just popping in some ballasts and the bulbs themselves.


#14

I’ve gone down the road of fixing up foggy headlights on a dozen or so cars now and it takes a ton of elbow grease if they are clouded up as bad as claimed here. You can’t just hit it with ultra fine sandpaper, I will use 180 grit until most of the yellow oxidized stuff is removed and then 400 to finish off the rest of the heavy oxidation which leaves it pretty rough. 800 to smooth that out, then less force going from 1000 to 2500 in 500 increments alternating patterns as I go, polish, then protectant. I used stuff out of a Rain-X kit given to me that worked well (polish + protectant) and my own sheets of sandpaper. Takes about 4 hours for me to do a pair of headlights.

When I ran out of the Rain-X protectant I tried to find some place that sold just that without having to buy a kit that mostly has stuff I didn’t need. I stupidly let the guy at the parts store con me into buying clear coat since I had heard and seen all the posts and videos online about it. I tried it and immediately sanded that crap off because it’s neigh on impossible to get ‘lens’ quality clarity with a single part clear coat in your driveway or garage.

After looking through tons of stuff that didn’t seem to do what I wanted, I found some stuff called 303 protectant that seemed to work, but I’ve only used it once so I haven’t made up my mind on it. You will have to clean and protect the lenses regularly in order to keep them from fogging up again. Maybe we can kick the government between the legs to go after home energy use and leave cars alone so we can have our glass lenses back.

If you have a newer car with fogging issues then you might be able to find one in a junkyard that isn’t messed up as a cheap replacement. A car 10+ years old will probably not have that luxury. Given the time + effort + buying sandpaper and whatnot, it is probably much easier to just buy new lenses on Rock Auto or similar. Then put some protectant on after every car wash. I don’t have any input about bulb types beyond keeping the wattage and color temperature within reasonable limits. Getting them aimed properly and going through a clear lens is probably more important than most other factors.


#15

I was not planning on doing the upgrade myself. I was going to head to a local car shop that does upgrades. I just dont want to get scammed.


#16

Be aware that parts existing, and shops willing to fit said parts does not necessarily mean that the upgrade is LEGAL.


#17

Lay of the Legality part for crying out loud! If I have to, I will pay the overpriced rate for the dealership to do it. So STFU about legality. I WILL NOT BE WASTING MY TIME SANDING 12 YEARS OF CRAP OFF THE PLASTIC HEADLIGHTS ONLY FOR IT TO OXIDIZE WITHIN A YEAR.

So, For the last time, I dont care about legality at this point. I ALREADY KNOW it is LEGAL in the state of Mississippi to have LED or HID headlights. Hell, around here, we have douches with Green and purple headlights and DOT dont give a care. Anything I get is going to be DOT approved anyway so for Christ’s sake, please lay off the legality issue. Im not in California or NY or Illinois.