Happy Fathers Day all! And like many fathers (parents around the world), the main priority remains making sure the kids are healthy and happy, so I just spend way more brain cells than necessary figuring out to make the relative now, dim 55/60W headlights on our 2013 Honda Fit enter the new age of LED lighting. Why do we want to do this, well, LEDs are expensive, but 5-7x more efficient so a 55W LED headlight bulb is going to be *really* nice and bright compared to the Halogens in cars of that era. Here’s a guide for those folks with the same issue:

Figure out what bulbs you actually have (Autozone)

OK, this actually turned out to be the hardest part, it’s not easy to stare at all those assemblies and figure it out. My first hint was a quick search that led me to Autozone which has a list of all replacement bulbs that they sell. (As an aside, man that site is sure strange, for one thing, if you have a VPN on, it will block you from seeing it at all and you get a very friendly response

Autozone.com if you enter from a VPN

But, the site was useful in at leasing given a list of parts, but I don’t remember fog lights on the things so here was the list I got:

  1. Headlight
  2. Brake Light
  3. Turn Signal
  4. Fog Light. (What fog light I don’t remember this)
  5. Tail Light
  6. License Plate Light
  7. Parking Light
  8. Back-Up Light
  9. Daytime Running Light (I didn’t know this had this)
  10. Side Marker Light (I have no idea what this is exactly)

So what does a Honda Fit actually have hard to tell

Well, it’s actually pretty complicated to figure out since back then there were quite a few models, but looking at Cars.com, I am dimly reminded that there were two models Base and Sport (which is actually pretty funny when you realize we are talking about basically a utility econo-box here (but a good one!) with a tiny 117 horsepower engine (go 1.5L!), so that helps, but there is no list of features.

Paydirt! The Honda Fit manual is online.

I think everyone should probably just download all the manuals for their cars now and again a search (OK it is with Duckduckgo and not Google really, but that’s hard to say I DuckDucked it) gets me to a Honda forum with links to manuals and then I’m on the official Honda site with official Honda Fit manual.

And then some reading on those Daytime Running Lights. It turns out Honda has them since 2006 apparently, but these are not done as separate bulbs, instead they just send lower voltage to the high beams. Good to know!

But finally, have a list of bulbs and how to install them on page 212:

  1. High/Low bean headlight: 60/55W HB2. This is a halogen bulb and installation looks pretty easy
  2. Front Turn Signal: 21W Amber
  3. Parking/Side Marker Light 3.8W Amber. So there is no difference here, the Autozone site just has different labels for the same thing
  4. Fog Light Bulbs. Turns out there are optional assemblies, so no need to worry about them.
  5. Brake/Taillight 21/5W
  6. Back-Up Light 16W
  7. Rear Turn Signal Light 21W (Amber). All three of these above live in a single assembly where you pry off a cover in the car and you just push and pull the bulbs in.
  8. High-Mount Brake Light. this is an LED and you can’t replace it.
  9. Rear License Plate bulb 5W


Installing a Light Bulb

Long and short this does look like something that an ordinary mortal can do. And as usual someone YouTube has walked folks through it

YouTube player
These are Halogens, but basically its remove a plug, rubber grommet, push and open retainer clip, pull the bulb

So what to get?

Well, the basics are that is $34 to get a pair of Halogen bulbs (Sylvania 9003 which is a plug compatible replacement to the HB2 in the manual) (remember, you should not touch the glass with your fingers, the oil will shorten the bulb life). But much of the world is moving to LED, we can just replace it with something bigger and safer.

For example, we have two problem, the side marker lights for parking don’t work, but the turn signals do, so on Autozone, you can only get an LED replacement for $22 which is their model 194 (fit 168/2825 as well).

But there are some dedicated specialist sites for this like Carid.com where you can type in your car model and get specific LED assemblies:

  1. Headlight bulbs. They seem to have two, the Lumen K1 and Lumen G7S which all the reviews, so looking at this $135 set, it says it is 6500K (so really blueish compared with the 2700K that a Halogen normally gives), but it is 4000-lumen set) so really bright. And it has a five-year warranty with 50,000 hours of life and it says it replaces the HB2 or Sylvania 9003. Oh, and if you want to be really cool, there are little inserts you can put to get a yellow or blue color. Finally, this probably doesn’t affect the Honda, but it has enough resistance built-in, so that the CANbus can determine if the bulb is on (that’s how you get the headlight broken message).
  2. Parking Light (194/T10) Bulbs. Oh, I had not realized these were just standard T10 bulbs that I have a bunch of, but they are pushed and turn bulbs. And the LED versions are cheap at $2.24.

And the final aside, if you want to descend into the market that is the crazy world of Amazon third-party sellers, you can look at the 2013 Honda Fit (you can now set your vehicle with Amazon and navigate to there but make sure to use Fakespot as there are a lot of sketchy reviews. So as usual, do a search, ignore what’s sponsored and what comes up recommended, most of these end up being scams and only look at things with a bunch of at least 100 reviews:

  1. SEALIGHT H4/9003/HB2 LED 6000K Xenon. Wow this thing is an incredible $46, but Fakespot shows that there are lots of fake reviews and it is really 3.5/5 starts and Honey shows that it has dropped as low as $38! The thing as big heat fins behind it for cooling which seems like a good idea, these LEDs do not like to be hot (the ones I have in sealed cases do inevitably die). One issue though is that it says it draws 80W, so I wonder if the Honda can handle that.
  2. Techmark H4 Direct Winding. This is just $35 and uses Cree bulbs and has B-rating on Fakespot. It says it is a 50W system, so within the 55/60W that is the HB2 on the Honda. Plus, with Prime day starting, you get 50% fi you use Chase rewards points (1 point will do). You need to get up to $15 off if you order $30 worht of stuff, so it’s just about perfect. This model doesn’t have a fan on the back so it’s a bit quiter which is nice.

Then for the 5W side marker/parking lights that need to amber, the main concern is not to be too bright, these are 5W bulbs, so we want basically a 1W equivalent.

Using your Amazon Day and other promotions

OK, besides clicking like crazy for the many coupons, two things to check are that tomorrow June 21, if you were smart enough to buy from a small business, you will have $10 off on anything sold by Amazon.com. And Chase currently has 50% off on any item up to $30 running. This is also only for Amazon.com goods.

Neither of the above is but have something that qualifies for both and you can fill your cart with Amazon goods up to $40 and pay $15! Make sure to check your credit card offer for Prime Day as Amex has this, look in Amex Offers like getting extra points for buying from Amazon

I’m Rich & Co.

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