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Has anyone else been having problems with the low beam headlights lasting 1 to 3 months? I have a 2011 Silverado and believe is the same bulbs for 2007 to 2013. I don't know if its my truck or am I just having bad luck bulbs. I was using Sylvania silverstars but those would last me about a month and then burn out. I contacted the company and of course wouldn't do anything blamed it on a problem with my truck... I then switched to PIAA cheap bulbs and they lasted me about 3 months. I had HIDs in there at one point and was having problems with the ballast box in there going out. I don't really want to use those again. Am I better off just switching to LED and if so which ones are the best option to choose from?

Also another thing that I have noticed is my headlights dim down a little when coming to a stop or turning. When I initially apply the brakes they dim and then go right back to normal. I have had the charging system and battery tested and everything comes back good. Just one of those annoying little quirks.
 

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I have basic Philips bulbs in mine (after whatever came in the truck when I bought it burned out). So far so good. They're nothing special.

I've had nothing but trouble with Sylvania bulbs, which is sad given how much they cost.

El cheapo HID kits tend to be failures too.

Eventually I'll finish my retrofit and have projectors with good HIDs in there. Should really try to wrap this up soon, I haven't worked on it in months.
 

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with multiple bulbs lasting that short of time.... you dont have a bulb problem, you have something else going on.

your charging system isnt working right somewhere if that all is happening.
id like to bet its the alt, regardless if they plugged up to it and its charging fine.
 

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dRewville said:
with multiple bulbs lasting that short of time.... you dont have a bulb problem, you have something else going on.

your charging system isnt working right somewhere if that all is happening.
id like to bet its the alt, regardless if they plugged up to it and its charging fine.
^^ I also think there is some voltage spike or voltage regulation to blow bulbs check with a OBD2 tool if you have one and look @ alternator output or something like this?
 

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Sylvania bulbs are well known to not live long. But they should still live longer than a month or 3. My 2011 still has the factory bulbs at 63K miles.

How far are you driving in 3 months?
I had a friend that used his truck for trucking and he drove it almost 15K miles per month. He replaced a lot of things often compared to most people. Like oil changes every other week, sounds like a lot but not really compared to use.

I would rig up a digital volt meter that you can see while driving. You may have an intermittent issue in the charging system that is throwing voltage spikes, it may have been behaving when it was tested.
Although, if it was voltage spikes I would think that other bulbs would be going out too.

Is it both bulbs going out or does one side seem to go out more often than the other?

Try a different brand of bulb at the next burn out. Stay far away from Silverstar.
I would not try any kind of an expensive bulb till you are sure that the truck does not have an electrical issue.
 

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I've had issues with silverstar and phillips headlights not lasting very well in my 09 sierra. I switched to a morimoto H11 HID setup and haven't had any such issues.

-Dom
 

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I had a problem with a truck at work like this, after my techs replaced multiple bulbs I took a look at it and found the chrome plastic refractor piece in front of the bulb in the lamp housing very close to the bulb, close enough it would rub when the truck went down the road when hitting potholes/rough roads. Had tech use a long screwdriver to nudge refractor over for more clearance and lights have been good for a year now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the advise. My truck is going in to have them look at a transmission issue next week I may tell them that I think I have an electrical issue too. My truck only has 60500 miles on it and the factory bulbs lasted me to 53000 miles. I have the GM certified manufacture extended warranty on it so I might as well have them look at everything they can and replace whatever they want. Just irritating that my bulbs keep blowing out and its never the same one as the last time, but I replace both at the same time anyways. I know my dads 05 was having problems with sylvanias and he switch to some cheap brand and hasn't had issue for over a year.
 

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Another thing that I worried about for a while after I got my 2011, was that when you first start the truck the charging system is putting out 15+V That is a bit high and may be affecting the bulbs life. So far it has not for me but it is a possibility. On the other hand once the battery is charged the alternator drops to 12.6V which is lower than the 13.8 that older trucks put out all the time.
Is your voltage dropping like it is supposed to?
Do you do a lot of short trips and it is never running long enough for the voltage to drop off?
Just thinking out loud here.
 

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Flyinfool said:
Another thing that I worried about for a while after I got my 2011, was that when you first start the truck the charging system is putting out 15+V That is a bit high and may be affecting the bulbs life. So far it has not for me but it is a possibility. On the other hand once the battery is charged the alternator drops to 12.6V which is lower than the 13.8 that older trucks put out all the time.
Is your voltage dropping like it is supposed to?
Do you do a lot of short trips and it is never running long enough for the voltage to drop off?
Just thinking out loud here.
That voltage flux is normal
 

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judsonlimited said:
Flyinfool said:
Another thing that I worried about for a while after I got my 2011, was that when you first start the truck the charging system is putting out 15+V That is a bit high and may be affecting the bulbs life. So far it has not for me but it is a possibility. On the other hand once the battery is charged the alternator drops to 12.6V which is lower than the 13.8 that older trucks put out all the time.
Is your voltage dropping like it is supposed to?
Do you do a lot of short trips and it is never running long enough for the voltage to drop off?
Just thinking out loud here.
That voltage flux is normal
I know it is normal and designed to work that way, I still wonder if the initial 15+ volts are stressing the bulbs by running them at above the voltage they were designed for. Most auto bulbs were designed to be run at a nominal 13.8V.
But then once the battery is fully charged, the voltage drops down to 12.6V which is below the nominal bulb voltage so that part will help bulb life.
Now that I have read what I wrote, I wonder if people that do a lot of short trip driving so the alternator never drops to the lower voltage maintenance level, if they have shorter bulb life??? On the wife's Chevy Trax that we have had for 15 months and it still has less than 1,000 miles. Almost all very short trips, I have had to replace one tail light bulb already. I just wrote it off as infant mortality. But now I wonder?????????????
 

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Look on the package when you buy the H11s. The life is a tenth of the old style 2005 I think bulbs and the silverstars are even worse. I try to turn mine off also but I'm switching to LED's next time or before.
The H11 is just junk. Sylvania anyway.
 

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I personally think its the auto head light stuff causing issues. With all the on and off they do when they dont need to come on. My old manually controlled headlights on a 94 truck i had never needed headlight bulbs in the 20 years i owned it.
 

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Its the bulb type as well as the damn DRL. I turn off the DRL every chance I get, it wastes bulb life. FWIW the silverstars are nice, but the xtravision sylvanias last longer and are ever so slightly less white. Id guess the silverstars are about 5500-6000k, the xtravisions Id guess are about 5000
 

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I have the silverstar zxe just as yellow as anything else. But since im not willing to put projectors in im not doing hid.i have yet to see any halogen bulb that can do over about 4000k without some sort of tint. and still wont compare to an hid. I had 4300 hids on a car and they were very white.
 
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