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Q: Headlights always burning out

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I have 82,000 miles on my 2006 Mazda 3 and the only problem I am having is with the headlight bulbs. This car, for whatever reason, burns through them constantly. Haven’t seen this problem in a car before. Is there anything that causes it specifically? Bad socket maybe?

Hello, having to replace bulbs is becoming more of a regular maintenance item on all cars. With the advancements in electronics and the metal used in contacts, we are able to get more voltage to bulbs than ever before. Going back a couple decades ago, there would be a voltage drop in between the alternator and the bulb. The lower voltage going to the bulb resulted in the bulbs being dimmer but they had a longer lifespan. In current vehicles, there is very little voltage drop between the alternator and the bulb. With the increased voltage the headlamps are brighter, but the filament get hotter and is more fragile and can break easier. You might want to try using a bulb from Mazda. If it comes in box with a Mazda insignia on it then it might be of a higher quality. Some of the bulbs purchased at auto parts stores are not of the same quality and will have a shorter lifespan. You can always contact a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to replace your headlight bulb for you.

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