[EXTERIOR] Lights, Bulbs - How Long Should They Last?

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How long should my factory or aftermarket automotive Light Bulbs last?

Several things can have an effect on the lifespan of a bulb. The life of a filament is voltage sensitive. A stable electrical system in your vehicle will help to increase the lifespan of your halogen bulbs as well as the condition of the headlight units themselves. When installing your bulbs please remember to take care not to touch the glass portions of the bulbs. Other things that may shorten the lifespan of performance bulbs are:

* Touching the light bulb's glass during their installation. The oils on your fingers or dirt build-up that occurs in your engine bay can shorten the life of the bulb to only a few seconds or for a much shorter lifespan than if you had not touched the bulbs.

* If a mechanic is pounding on your car to remove your suspension or do bodywork, this may cause the filament in your lights to break (this is a common reason why neons often fail to work after major bodywork had been performed). This also includes If the vehicle is rear-ended (or any other sort of accident that may violently jerk your bulbs during operation).

* If you often drive poor quality roads or have replaced your suspension for much stiffer high Performance suspension such as Hotchkis or others commonly found on lowered vehicles, the light bulb's lifespan has several opportunities to go bad quicker than someone's who drives over paved roads or remained using their original equipment factory suspension setup.

* If you start your car or turn off your car while your lights are on, the surge of electricity may damage the bulbs.

* If you have an electrical short on the same circuit that your lighting is installed to, and the fuse does not break as it should, this may cause your light bulb (or light bulbs) to also need replacement.

There are many other causes for why headlights go bad before their maximum lifespan - these examples are only a few situations that would shorten that.

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Previously I was using PIA for fogs and drove with them ON at all times, DAY and NIGHT. They have lasted since December 2000, over 46,000 miles of Los Angeles stop-go traffic and +100degree temperatures without an issue. Then finally I replaced them in February 2003 by MTEC - Not because the PIA stopped working - but because I became sponsored by an MTEC brand company and was required to use & promote them for that sponsorship.

Showoff Lighting had been installed to my head lights - and never any problems for 2 years... I then upgraded to MTEC in the LOW-BEAMs (H7) and HIGH-BEAMs (9005) and still no problems since February 2003 and still going.

I've heard stories from owners of many different bulb brands, their bulbs eventually went out either by age, miss-installation or harsh driving conditions. When buying bulbs, search around for quality from a manufacture name that you know and with the attributes that you are looking for. Just remember, your bulbs will eventually burn out no matter what brand you purchase.

PIA bulbs price range is about $45 to $80 per bulb set (two). I paid almost $60 just for a single set of PIA H3 Fog light bulbs.

If you cannot afford the costly price of high quality PIA, I highly recommend MTEC all-the-way-around. I've had these installed to my setup for the past year and a half, 24,000 miles - not a single problem and I continue to drive with them ON at all times.

More information on MTEC can be found at...

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