2009 F650GS Headlight Burns Out Immediately

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by dgore2, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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    My wife was riding her 09' 650GS over this past weekend. She told me over the intercoms that a yellow warning light popped on her dash. We stopped to take a look and saw the Service Headlight message. I looked and saw that her low beam was not on. Got home and removed the bulb (it appeared to be the original BMW bulb). It was burnt out. I picked up a new H7 bulb at O'Reilly Auto Parts and replaced it tonight. I plugged it in and put the bulb back in position and replaced the wire bale hold-down. As soon as I turned on the key the bulb lit up and immediately burned out. I removed the bulb and saw that the filament was toast. I really don't want to risk spending $25 on another bulb just to have the same thing happen again.

    Any thoughts on what might have triggered this would be appreciated. Also...would there be a good place to start troubleshooting the potential problem? Anyone know what the voltage should be at the plug for the bulb? The bike has never caused us any issues. It has about 17,000 miles on it and doesn't appear to have any other issues.

    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. casf

    casf Adventurer

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    #2
  3. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    As soon as you turned the key or started the bike?
    If you had the bike running it could be a bad voltage regulator having a higher than normal voltage without the engine running is almost impossible because you are just using battery voltage.
    Start by checking voltage at the battery with engine off/key off then engine off/key on then with the engine running.
    #3
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  4. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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    After I replaced the bulb I turned the key to the on position, but did not start the bike. The bulb burned out within a second. My experience with this type of reaction has typically been a short somewhere. I find it odd that it occurred randomly while she was riding down a smooth paved roadway in the middle of the afternoon. The high beam still works fine.
    #4
  5. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I had a problem with my 2013 F800GS that I traced down to the connection to the main harness from the headlamp sub harness. I could reach in and wiggle the plug and the light would go on/off. I tightened the pin connector/socket and all was well.
    If it was a ground connection the High Beam would have issue also.
    I don't understand where the higher voltage can come from with the engine off... the battery can only put out so much voltage.
    Does it have a Li battery by chance?
    #5
  6. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I would say you have a good possibility of a defective bulb. Those things get dropped and mishandled during shipping all the time. The filament may have been broken and just making contact enough to allow it to flash on.
    Also you are not supposed to touch the glass with your fingers because it can cause premature burn out but I have never seen one blow that quick from fingerprints.
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  7. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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  8. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    Kinda mysterious since the headlight isn't powered until the bike is started and the OP says he only turned the key on.
    #8
  9. cujof16

    cujof16 Cujo

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    I go thru an Oreilly H7 about every 3K miles. Just the way it is on the ole 650. burning out right away? never seen it, but gonna watch out for it.
    #9
  10. Zoef zoef

    Zoef zoef Long timer

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    Should be about 12V you measure at the lamp.
    #10
  11. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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    No Li battery, just a standard lead/acid battery.
    #11
  12. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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    I used a new pair of latex gloves to install it to avoid touching it and contaminating the glass.
    #12
  13. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I wouldn't expect an issue with fingerprint/oil contamination at first light off... Supposedly leaving oily residue from your fingers shortens bulb life but I really don't buy into that story.
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  14. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I was just looking for a (far fetched) way that the battery could maintain more voltage than it was designed for... I thought possibly a Li battery could hold more voltage than design by over charging. I am grasping at straws here.... I keep coming back to defective bulb.
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  15. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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  16. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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    I haven't had time to check it with my multi-meter but I'm assuming that if I touch the probes to the two sides of the plug and turn on the key I should see 12v on the meter unless there's a short/ground fault somewhere. Thoughts?
    #16
  17. The Maz

    The Maz Clueless and lost

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    The low beam does not come on until the bike is started, so you will not see 12 volts with just the key turned on .
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  18. morfic

    morfic Been here awhile

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    Putting them side by side, there is something not matching up. I know on mine you are correct about it only turning on if engine is running and system is at 14.xV

    Was that the case in 2009 on the F650? If they are acting the same as new bikes then the bulb must have been bad out of the box.
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  19. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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    That is interesting. I didn't start the bike for sure. When I turned on the key the light came on brightly for a split second. Then it was gone. I immediately took it out and the filament was burnt in half. I'm going to check voltage tonight.
    #19
  20. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Long timer

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    The battery isn't able to increase its voltage output with the charging system off. If it did, then, well..... I learned something new today.

    Most likely scenario is a faulty bulb with a small air leak that fried itself in the presence of oxygen which found its way inside through the small leak.
    #20
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