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Doug C.
Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 6382
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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2004 Mitsubishi headlight assembly replacement?

Resolved Question:

2004 Mitsubishi headlight assembly replacement?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug C. replied 3 years ago.

Doug C :

Hi,

Doug C :

Do you need help with how to get the headlight out of the car, or just bulb replacement ?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

Hi

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

I just failed a state inspection because the casing around the bulbs are melted...

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

tried for awhile to find replacement parts on internet...not very successful

Doug C :

I am going to go out on a limb here and say you have the mid-year facelift model, with the large 'swooping' headlights and not the early 2004 with the flat horizontal lights?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

yes

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

Sportronic Headlight

Doug C :

Do you have your VIN available?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

hold on

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

6mmap67p54t005047

Doug C :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX just a few minutes

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

k

Doug C :

This isn't a VR-X model is it? It will have VR-X stitched into the seatbacks if it is

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

no

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ls

Doug C :

Great

Doug C :

Well I am guessing you have priced out new lamps for this already and are aware of the expense there.... this headlight was only used for about 8 months of production on a very limited production car to begin with

Doug C :

I am checking a few places right now to see if there are any reasonable priced ones available used.... do you need both sides or just one?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

no...i am not sure what to even call it headlight lens, assembly, ? does the outer part seperate like a cover or is all connected

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

i need both

Doug C :

On this model it is only available as a housing which is all inclusive... from the lens in front tot he bulb in the back, it is a drop in replacement.... again this is due to the very low production numbers, they opted not to make service parts available for them.

To replace the headlamps with new you are looking at about $850... each side. I can tell you that you can order from Mentor Mitsubishi online and save a small bundle, as they sell for 25% off retail price (equaling out to $625 per lamp). There are only a handful of these available in the country as well.... just something to keep in mind if you are on the fence about buying new or not, they won't be available for a long time

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok...that hurts!

Doug C :

I have found a few used units available... can't find two from the same place though. The prices on used ones range from $250 to over $800 (the lamps were originally $1400 new, apparently no one told this seller that the price went down)

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

does it sound right that they should have melted

Doug C :

Not really.....

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

if i take it to a dealer, could they likely see this as a manufacturer issue?

Doug C :

At ~8 years old.... no.
There are two things we typically see when there is an issue with the lamp housing melting near the bulb... 1st is a specialty bulb... "high wattage" replacement bulbs or HID conversion bulbs. 2nd is improperly installed bulbs, which on this model lamp is easy to have happen.

Doug C :

The bulb retention system in this style headlamp is very easy to get bumbled up and end up with a bulb that is tweaked at an slight angle, which will result in melting of the housing due to the high heat the bulb generates... it isn't supposed to be any closer to the housing than it is when installed correctly

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

k

Doug C :

If the ~$1250 is a lot to swallow, and I'm sure it is, I would suggest checking out a few of the used ones available

Doug C :

If you go to car-part.com you will find several salvage yards with this lamp in stock... you will need to call them and have them verify the condition at the back as well as that they are the triangle/swooping lamps and not the early 04 horizontal lights prior to ordering though....

Doug C :

the last thing you want is to invest in the wrong style or ones that won't pass your safety either

Doug C :

Obviously the ideal solution is to replace with new lamps, but the price really is pretty hard to handle for a pair

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

true

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

too pricey

Doug C :

Additionally I do see there is one used lamp on ebay right now for $450... which only half helps you of course.... but personally at that price I would go the extra $175 and have a new one

Doug C :

Just to back track a little bit here....

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

true...i appreciate the help

Doug C :

you said that the housing around the bulb is melted.... can you elaborate on that a bit

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

the top around the largest bulb is melted

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

like it got too hot

Doug C :

The clear lens area or inside?

Doug C :

or the back of the housing?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

I will look into the wattage

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

the inside

Doug C :

Okay, I just wanted to make sure I was interpreting that correctly

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

yea, i think you were

Doug C :

That's a pretty tough safety check if they are examining the inner structure of the lamps there.... which i guess is good

Doug C :

We have no safety check where I live and there are some serious safety concerns with a lot of cars here

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

i'm going to take it back to the inspector tommorrow ...just spoke with manager...if they don't help me i might try DMV to get there opinion

Doug C :

Do you ahve any problems with the light output?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

not dangerous in my opinion

Doug C :

obstruction, etc?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

not at 1250$

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

no light problems at all

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

I have one other simple issue

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

They said emergency brake not engaging

Doug C :

Haha, right. I wonder if they are just being a bit hard headed on this one for one reason or another... Typically its issues with light output or clarity of the lens etc

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

I need back break pads replaced...

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

is this related

Doug C :

Not particularly.... do you need pads based on the level of wear on them or based on noise?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

no noise yet, had front replaced a month or two ago...

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

they said it was bad in rear too...lots of brake dust...probally need rotors too

Doug C :

It likely isn't related then. The rear service brake pads (used when stopping) are separate from the parking brake setup... the parking brake is a drum brake that sits inside the 'hat' of the rotor... the parking brake doesn't actually use the rotor face or the disc pads at all

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok, good i guess

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

so it could be cable or pad for just that break?

Doug C :

The parking brake can usually be adjusted if it is just slipping a bit and not require actual service.... unless you forget and drive around with it on, or have heavy rust issues (resulting in a seized cable etc), you shouldn't need to replace the parking brake... pretty much ever. They should last the life of the car if the vehicle is not driven with the brake on or with a seized cable

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

he said it wasn't engaging?

Doug C :

Right... this can be a parking brake that hasn't been adjusted in a long while, or one with one or both cables frozen/seized.

Doug C :

It is possible the parking brake shoes are just worn out... but again this only happens if the vehicle is driven with the brake on, either by setting it or by a sticking cable

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

is this something i can do?

Doug C :

Most likely yes..... first off though, does the handle pull freely, pull with a lot of resistance, or pull with normal resistance?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

pulls normal, making the typical sound they all make

Doug C :

Great

Doug C :

If you open up your center console and empty it out, you will see the 'floor' of the console box can be removed by sticking a screwdriver or pick in a small slot and lifting it up and out

Doug C :

Under neath you will see three cables joining together in a 'field goal' shape. This is the front coming from the handle, a horizontal adapter, then the two rear cables joining it

Doug C :

At the middle of the adapter where the center cable (well, more like a stud) protrudes, there will be one or two 10mm nuts. You will use these nuts to tighten the tension on the rear cables when the handle is in the rest position

Doug C :

Tighten it up so that you get significant resistance by the 4th click, then check your holding power

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok, i see this now

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

great this is amazing help

Doug C :

If it does not hold with strong resistance on 4-5 clicks, you could have a frozen cable, or just worn out shoes.... it will probably hold it though

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

going to check this now

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

can you stay on here or need to go?

Doug C :

If it feels like light resistance even after tightening it... no improvement of handle feel.... you again could have a frozen cable, you could just be so far out of adjustment they need adjusting on the shoes themselves... which brings this out of the range of most do it yourselfers

Doug C :

I will be here for a short bit yet, go ahead

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

i see the cables pulling but the first few clicks are pretty low resistance

Doug C :

if you have 10mm wrenches, loosen the set nut and then tighten down the adjuster nut.... umm, lets say 10 spins of the wrench (like 4 full turns of the nut) then check your resistance at click 4... between click 4 and 5 you should have strong resistance

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

i see only one adjuster nut?

Doug C :

That is fine... like I mentioned before you may have one or two... the second is a set nut to prevent the adjuster nut from backing off... not all cars have this (in fact on some they do and they vibrate off entirely... we had a recall on that :)

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok..much tighter

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

i could go backwards at all, but it kind of skidded forward

Doug C :

Put the car in neutral and see ifyou can push it easily

Doug C :

making sure the brake isn't dragging

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

actually only skids forward

Doug C :

skids meaning the tire is dragging flat on the ground?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

nope cant budge it

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

yes, only if i really press the gas though

Doug C :

Can't budge it in neutral with the parking brake on or off?

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

on

Doug C :

take the brake off and make sure you can roll the car, that it isn't dragging the brake

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

in ohter words it seems like tis working to me

Doug C :

Sounds like it, I just want to be sure it isn't over adjusted

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

yea, rolls freely

Doug C :

Great. You should be good then if it is skidding the tire on gassing it.... unless they test on a sharp incline (unlikely), in which case you could probably go a bit tighter (about half of the last adjustment) before I would get worried about over adjusting

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

i think this adjustment fixed it...suspect the pads might be old 130,000 miles old but i think this should pass inspection now

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

he had car on flat

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

jiffy lube

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok, tis has been so worth 18$

Doug C :

As long as they didn't remove the rotors to inspect the shoes and they are worn, you should be good... if they did that, well you're out of luck then as they look worn even brand new. I doubt they pulled it though, that s a bit of work

Doug C :

haha, I'm glad I can help

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

no, they don't go that far

Doug C :

again check car-part.com for some lamp pricing phone numbers to call

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

ok, does this email me our convo?

Doug C :

Sort of....if/when you choose to click Accept and credit my time, the chat will be converted to a normal webpage format that you can bookmark or print out as needed. It will stay in place forever... you can come back in a year and check it out if you wish. Additionally I can convert the chat to this regular page at your request now, it will end our chat but we will still be able to communicate here in a post to post style format

JACUSTOMER-mjg0l463- :

no thanks, XXXXX XXXXX copied and pasted...thanks for the help...I have other questions but will get back on here later...peace

Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 6382
Experience: Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
Doug C. and 3 other Mitsubishi Specialists are ready to help you

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