Headlight melted

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Air0ne, May 17, 2013.

  1. Air0ne

    Air0ne Adventure reader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Montreal
    Hi there,

    It seems that my headlight has melted due to overheating. The problem is: I only used normal bulbs (No HID or anything else that strong)

    Could someone tell me if it's a common issue?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. jengel451

    jengel451 1 Cool MotherF#$cker

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,432
    Location:
    Kansas City
    You were using a 55W bulb? Seems odd
    #2
  3. Air0ne

    Air0ne Adventure reader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Montreal
    Yes... but not a BMW one, a Sylvania
    #3
  4. Motorfiets

    Motorfiets Long timer

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    Oct 1, 2007
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    3,000
    Location:
    Southern California
    huh :huh new one on me
    #4
  5. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,441
    Location:
    SFO Bay Area
    You are the first person to note something like this. To me it looks as though your bulb fused, and the damage is only to the bulb. So, I guess you got a lemon from Sylvania?
    #5
  6. jengel451

    jengel451 1 Cool MotherF#$cker

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,432
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    if you can look through the bug guts and the glare and gaurd, you can see that the reflector bubbled.
    #6
  7. Air0ne

    Air0ne Adventure reader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Montreal
    Really? Cause I already read on ADV that others had similar issues but I wasn't able to find that back...
    #7
  8. dpm

    dpm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    Newtownards N.I.

    My recently-purchased 658 has the silvering "eroded" above the bulb, and a couple of blobs in the underlying black plastic. I've put a 35W HID kit in since, to ensure it doesn't get any worse; I'll probably add a small piece of aluminium tape over the darkened area at some stage too, to take the bad look off it...
    #8
  9. Air0ne

    Air0ne Adventure reader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Montreal
    Thx to give us your feedback. I'm feeling better now as I'm not completely alone :lol3
    #9
  10. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Jul 5, 2008
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    AirOne ...
    naw you are not alone ... there is a thread or two here somwhere of others with same issue more common on the hi-beam since the enclosure is smaller. I've got the problem as well, but not to the same "extent" ... :huh

    At one point there was talk of reporting it to the vehicle safety folks see if a recall might be in order but I don't think it ever took off.

    BMW does not sell replacement reflectors, so unless you do a homebrew repair they will want to sell you a new HL assembly for some $400+ bucks.

    On getting oils on the bulb, what my dad told me was that if you got oil "fingerprints" on the bulb that caused uneven heating of the bulb its self which would shorten bulb life - he always handled them with gloves on or a paper towel then wiped down with alcohol.

    But even if you did this, I can't see how that would increase the amount of heat passed to the reflector by any significant amount ...
    I'd guess the issue is that once the reflector starts erroding it absorbs more heat and the problem feeds on its self...

    Disappointing to be sure :cry

    On repairing it, this is one comment I collected:

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> Headlight reflector repair

    [FONT=&quot]I used whatever kind of (chrome) paint was nearest or easiest to find at the store. I suppose bar b q or exhaust paint might hold up longer and perhaps plastic paint would stick better, never had a problem with any paint I used holding up but perhaps I just got lucky.

    P.S. you need to use a patch saturated with rubbing alcohol to get the carbon and oil off where you are going to paint. only use a little and only where the oe paint is gone.[/FONT]

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    #10
  11. gs_lad

    gs_lad Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Crete, Greece
    My front light also got a little burned, by using an ordinary bulb.

    The explanation from the dealer was that the bulb wasnt clicked into place completely (by me) and touched the surface of the reflector, thus burning it.

    You re definitely not alone, this is quite a common issue.
    #11
  12. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,257
    Location:
    Grand Valley, Colorado
    That said, I read a few weeks back that a vendor on fleabay now sells the housing, or at least the front part, way cheaper than the oem unit.
    #12
  13. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,631
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    #13
  14. Air0ne

    Air0ne Adventure reader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Montreal
    That means we have to remove the glass... is it easy to do?
    #14
  15. Air0ne

    Air0ne Adventure reader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Montreal
    #15
  16. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    I have not done it, but hear that it is not very easy ... the glass is apparently "glued" in to the frame ..........
    #16
  17. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,343
    Location:
    Old El Paso and Swamp Houston

    HID would've saved it. They run cooler than Halogens. Sorry about your loss, that's an expensive part, hence your rock guard. Almost a shame a rock didn't get it, but that it was an internal meltdown instead. I would thoroughly check your wiring after/during repair, if it got that hot there, who knows where else it was hot.

    I would say, like someone else mentioned, that the culprit is likely that the two arms that hold the filament apart, connected together somehow and turned your lightbulb into a heater. I'm not sure how this can happen, perhaps a manufacturing flaw combined with some sort of jolt from a pothole or offroading; somehow viberating them together and they fused.

    Any other bike probably would have probably popped a fuse first, it's odd that the CANBUS system didn't switch it off and save it. Like I said, a damn shame.
    #17
  18. madefrtv

    madefrtv Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    468
    Location:
    The Emerald City
    on an 05 12gs melt a headlight. The bulb was just slightly unseated
    #18
  19. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,232
    Location:
    Zona Sur Costa Rica
    Having worked at a Dealer for 3 yrs, I never seen any issues like that. I usually keep tabs on used parts from various sources and have only seen one on the Flea Market here and one on Kijiji but not recent. I have my broken glass original here I wanted to repair one day with this: http://stores.ebay.com/Dawn-Knights...38352519&_sid=681676359&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

    If you do get a new one, maybe I could buy your old one and do a repair on mine and post the results here. See if I can get the glass out by heat without breaking it. You're not too far from me. That's about the only consolation I can think of. :cry
    #19
  20. Tor

    Tor Imported Norwegian Viking

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,457
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I had the unit replaced under warranty on my 2010 F8GS a year or so back (high beam side). Sylvania 55W. It discolored the reflective surface black above the bulb. When I got the bike back, they had put a stock bulb back in :D.
    #20