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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first post here and I feel like a n00b for having to ask. This is my first Mustang and it's only two weeks old. I picked up some Slyvania Silverstar Ultra 9008 H13 halogen bulbs. After coming back from a trip to Arizona, I wanted something a little brighter at night. Grabbed my users manual and it seemed straight forward.

Replacing headlamp bulbs
To remove the headlamp bulb:
1. Make sure headlamp switch is in the off position, then open the hood.
2. Disconnect the electrical
connector from the bulb by
depressing the retainer clip and
pulling rearward.
3. Remove the bulb by rotating it
counterclockwise and pulling it
straight out.

Problem is, there is no electrical connector on the halogen bulb, not in the style that I am used to seeing. There is one on the turn signal bulb which I originally removed because I wasn't paying attention.

Here is a picture of the unit. It has a plastic hex screw at the top but no visible clips or way to remove the bulb within. Spinning the hex screw counter clockwise just seems to rotate the bulb. I don't want to break anything so I figured I'd ask if I'm missing something really stupid.
 

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The headlight bulb is closer to the outside of the car (nearly jammed against the fender), you can just see the edge of the round gasket around the bulb in your picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
*Slams head on desk*

I shall leave in shame. Thanks. That's what I get for not paying attention and trying to rush.
 

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This is my first post here and I feel like a n00b for having to ask. This is my first Mustang and it's only two weeks old. I picked up some Slyvania Silverstar Ultra 9008 H13 halogen bulbs. After coming back from a trip to Arizona, I wanted something a little brighter at night. Grabbed my users manual and it seemed straight forward.

Replacing headlamp bulbs
To remove the headlamp bulb:
1. Make sure headlamp switch is in the off position, then open the hood.
2. Disconnect the electrical
connector from the bulb by
depressing the retainer clip and
pulling rearward.
3. Remove the bulb by rotating it
counterclockwise and pulling it
straight out.

Problem is, there is no electrical connector on the halogen bulb, not in the style that I am used to seeing. There is one on the turn signal bulb which I originally removed because I wasn't paying attention.

Here is a picture of the unit. It has a plastic hex screw at the top but no visible clips or way to remove the bulb within. Spinning the hex screw counter clockwise just seems to rotate the bulb. I don't want to break anything so I figured I'd ask if I'm missing something really stupid.
I complained in this site about poor halogen lighting output in my 2011 V6 Vert and got harshly told I was wrong by Mustang advocates. I pursued every avenue I could to repace a horrible headlamp design with something that wouldn't be incompatible in the long term. Took the car to different dealerships, shops that specialize in lighting, and talked with other dissatisfied Ford customers that have the same issues. Bottom line, I am still stuck with the worst lighting I've experienced in over 40 years of driving.

Yep, in my opinion Ford goes out of their way to utilize substandard parts in at least their Mustang's. Other exampes are cheap and weak plastics used in the exterior quarter panels and heated seats. Good luck in your pursuit.
 

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Bottom line, I am still stuck with the worst lighting I've experienced in over 40 years of driving.
Really? ever try driving a full size service van at night? now that is bordering on pitiful lighting.

Have you considered going HID/projector? I know not the cheapest route, but you could go aftermarket and buy the parts for $500-600.
 

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Really? ever try driving a full size service van at night? now that is bordering on pitiful lighting.

Have you considered going HID/projector? I know not the cheapest route, but you could go aftermarket and buy the parts for $500-600.
Despite multiple suggestions (in other threads) for how he could improve his lighting, he won't even pick up a wrench to adjust the headlight aiming or even try brighter halogen bulbs. The excuse is that he shouldn't have to do any of those things because the lighting should satisfy his needs the way it came. So instead of trying anything to actually fix the problem, he suffers (not in silence) with the lights as they are. There's no chance he would install HID or even halogen projectors - both have been suggested.
 

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Thank you OP for bringing this up. I too have similar doubts - self-confessed DIY-challenged noob here lol.

Did you have to remove the air intake assembly on the driver's side?

I have my 2012 V6 Coupe for about 2 weeks too and I'm also contemplating halogen bulb upgrade (looking at PIAAs actually).

The factory candlesticks really are subpar. My 1999 civic beater emits better light output.
 

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There is a section on headlight adjustment in your Manual also. If you have turned the blue hex head screw in your picture, around and around, you may want to check the adjustment as this is the way the bulb is adjusted up and down......I have found, even with the Silverstars a slight adjustment up really helps the night distance illumination......Plum
 

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I wonder if adjusting the headlights for some might be a big help.. mine are not locomotive bright but they seem fine, way better than my GM pick up which in some situations don't even look like they're on. but then again, it might be what each of us are comparing them to.
 

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Also, make sure that the gasket comes off when you remove the old ones. Mine were stuck to the housing, and I spent an hour trying to muscle the new bulbs in before I figured out what was happening.
 

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Totally not helping the OP here but I've been nothing but impressed with the halogens on my '12. Blows the headlamps on almost all my previous cars out of the water. Yeah, there is room for improvement but for base model headlights on a pony car they are VERY adequate.
 

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Despite multiple suggestions (in other threads) for how he could improve his lighting, he won'tx even pick up a wrench to adjust the headlight aiming or even try brighter halogen bulbs. The excuse is that he shouldn't have to do any of those things because the lighting should satisfy his needs the way it came. So instead of trying anything to actually fix the problem, he suffers (not in silence) with the lights as they are. There's no chance he would install HID or even halogen projectors - both have been suggested.
Look, you and I will never agree. You haven't experienced my halogens and you refused to listen to what I said. Also, the corrective action from multiple recommended technical sources I rate above yours. None of these people attempted to distort or take out of context what I said.

Read what you wrote above. Question: Why should any new Stang owner have to adjust or change out the factory halogens right out of the showroom? That alone says FMC didn't do their job and / or installed substandard headlamps. Never have I had the 1st issue with headlamps on any past auto that I newly purchased.

FYI, the second dealership adjusted the headlamps a 1/4 turn and the technicians all said that was the max without blinding oncoming drivers. It helped for dim ever so slightly, but the lighting is still awful. And the headlamps on "bright" still illuminate are all over the place which speaks for itself.
 

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Look, you and I will never agree. You haven't experienced my halogens and you refused to listen to what I said. Also, the corrective action from multiple recommended technical sources I rate above yours. None of these people attempted to distort or take out of context what I said.
I have not distorted what you said - you have taken it to multiple (mostly Ford) people and none has offered a solution that satisfies you. You have had multiple suggestions for improving your lights from a whole thread full of people here (not just me) but have refused to do any of them. Does that pretty much fit the facts?

I have experienced my own halogen headlights in the same year and model car. I would rate them as merely average for halogen lights. They were a disappointment compared to the BMW HIDs I came from but they were similar to the halogens in my wife's GM SUV. I would certainly not call them dangerous... just not the best. So I did something about it - I installed halogen projectors which have made an enormous difference.

Read what you wrote above. Question: Why should any new Stang owner have to adjust or change out the factory halogens right out of the showroom? That alone says FMC didn't do their job and / or installed substandard headlamps. Never have I had the 1st issue with headlamps on any past auto that I newly purchased.
Hey, I had to have my front end alignment adjusted on my brand new Mustang. The manufacturing process is not perfect and sometimes things need fixing or adjusting. Stubbornly refusing to do something just because you shouldn't have to on a new car is counterproductive.

FYI, the second dealership adjusted the headlamps a 1/4 turn and the technicians all said that was the max without blinding oncoming drivers. It helped for dim ever so slightly, but the lighting is still awful. And the headlamps on "bright" still illuminate are all over the place which speaks for itself.
If you have an area with 25 feet of level ground and a wall, you can check the aim yourself. There's more involved but basically you want to have the horizontal cutoff of the brightest part of the low beam drop 2 inches at 25 feet (this amount varies by make and model and even by state but two inches is a common standard).

Adjusting the aim by a quarter turn without measuring is just plain stupid and I'm surprised any technician would do that.
 

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I have not distorted what you said - you have taken it to multiple (mostly Ford) people and none has offered a solution that satisfies you. You have had multiple suggestions for improving your lights from a whole thread full of people here (not just me) but have refused to do any of them. Does that pretty much fit the facts?

I have experienced my own halogen headlights in the same year and model car. I would rate them as merely average for halogen lights. They were a disappointment compared to the BMW HIDs I came from but they were similar to the halogens in my wife's GM SUV. I would certainly not call them dangerous... just not the best. So I did something about it - I installed halogen projectors which have made an enormous difference.

Hey, I had to have my front end alignment adjusted on my brand new Mustang. The manufacturing process is not perfect and sometimes things need fixing or adjusting. Stubbornly refusing to do something just because you shouldn't have to on a new car is counterproductive.

If you have an area with 25 feet of level ground and a wall, you can check the aim yourself. There's more involved but basically you want to have the horizontal cutoff of the brightest part of the low beam drop 2 inches at 25 feet (this amount varies by make and model and even by state but two inches is a common standard).

Adjusting the aim by a quarter turn without measuring is just plain stupid and I'm surprised any technician would do that.
You and I can agree to disagree, but the quarter turn adjustment made by the FMC technician I don't believe was "stupid". He at least tried to help and understood my concerns. It appears if someone disagrees with you that you internalize then go on the attack. Hope I am wrong, but it makes me wonder if you aren't a know-it-all teenager who can't deal with criticism. What you think when it comes to my car doesn't matter so get over it. In my opinion, I still believe the halogens are a safety risk, but that don't mean spit to many Stang owners. They are entitled to their opinions, but that won't change my mind.

I do agree the production processes aren't perfect, but having to realign a new car tells me the quality standards are below sub-par. You may accept inferior workmanship and quality as the norm, but I don't - even for any +$37K domestic automobile. Quality Assurance was my profession and I don't profess to be any expert, but I know for decades that most auto foreign car standards specific to tighter specification tolerances exceeded US guidelines.

Since retirement, I was under the impression that changed, but based on my experiences with my purchased Mustang I will NEVER purchase another domestic automobile. Gave them a chance and they failed. Also, had FMC been bailed out like other GM & Chrysler I wouldn't have even given FMC a chance in the 1st place. Never in my life have I been called stubborn, but SORRY - I won't accept sub standard quality.

Like any reasonable consumer, I will return to what has worked for me in the past. In my opinion, "union made" leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so NEVER AGAIN. I'm done with FMC & write them off as a bad experience. Don't want or need their help in the future, but I'll keep my Mustang and tolerate them until the warranty expires. I admit, I learn my lesson. I'll say it again, it appears their service depts want to do the right thing, but a huge disconnect from a czar corporate from local service depts and consumers. That's just my humble opinion.
 

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I think his point is that you stubbornly contiune to use this 'dangerous' setup and complain about it instead of just buying some new bulbs and being done with it.

But hey, if you want to spend the next 2+ years unable to see while driving at night, thats your business. Hope your life insurance is in order.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I didn't have to take anything off to get to the halogen bulbs. It's a little tight but I was able to get my hand in there to remove them. I've got decent sized hands, so unless you have Andre The Giant hands you should be good to go.

B-Unit, thanks for mentioning that. With a decent amount of force I got one bulb in without realizing the gasket was still there. When I removed the second bulb the gasket popped off and I freaked out. After looking at the replacement bulbs I realized the gasket needed to come off and it was so much easier to get the new bulb in. Replacements had a new gasket.

I had indeed messed up the driver side vertical position of the headlamp. There's a big wall in my cul-de-sac which I used to bring the lamp back into alignment with the one I didn't mess with. I may raise them a tad when my Airaid CAI gets here.

I do see a noticeable difference with the new bulbs. They are brighter and more white than yellow. They will work for now, but down the road I will probably do a HID conversion.
 

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I think his point is that you stubbornly contiune to use this 'dangerous' setup and complain about it instead of just buying some new bulbs and being done with it.

But hey, if you want to spend the next 2+ years unable to see while driving at night, thats your business. Hope your life insurance is in order.
My point is we AS NEW OWNER'S SHOULD NOT HAVE TO REPLACE any FMC POOR DESIGN no sooner than a new Mustang is driven off the sales lot. Also, rather pathetic we even have to discuss making wrench adjustments or replacing production line halogens. Also, makes me (and others) wonder how many more cheap parts we have to replace because of FMC cutting corners. I can think of a few and all this is a first for me in over 45 yrs driving.

I surmise you are one of us that think the production line halogens are terrible. Look out, you will get insulted. LOL

Yes, I have good insurance but don't want to risk my safe driver discount. Therefore, I don't drive my Mustang at night. Instead, I drive my wife's (#1 car) or my car of choice (aka #2).
 

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It is not my intention to be insulting about your feeling that your headlights aren't good enough for you. That's a legitimate concern that should be addressed. My frustration comes from your appparent unwillingness to actually do anything about it. You're rright - we shouldn't have to update or fix a brand new car. But being practical, sometimes it's necessary. It is not unusual for owners to completely replace a stock audio system in a new car because it doesn't meet their requirements.

Adjusting headlights without measuring is akin to adjusting wheel alignment by just turning the tie rod sleeves a couple of turns without measuring - not a smart thing to do (hence "stupid").

And no, I'm not a teenager. I'm in my mid 50s and I worked for more than 20 years in the automotive business (I started at an American Motors dealer many many years ago).
 

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Has anyone tried a headlight relay harness yet? The wiring to the headlights is VERY thin. I know because I installed a flashtopass module and had to cut the wires to install it. I KNOW there has to be a voltage drop on those wires. I have seen the plug and play relay harness, I just want to know if it improves the situation.
 
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