frequent headlight bulb replacements

My friend's 2002 RSX has had quite a few burnt out bulbs in the past year. First, the right blub died after about 3-4 years. Next, the left bulb died after a couple months afterwards. Then the right bulb died
again after less than 1 year (I think it was a generic non-Acura bulb).
Does 3-4 years seem kind of short for a factory bulb lifetime? I definitely know that 1 year is way too short for any bulb. How long should typical bulbs last? My friend is in northern California, so the weather shouldn't be the cause. Could their be some other causes besides bad luck?
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Four main causes: 1) Overvoltage condition due to alternator defect; 2) Headlights being used all the time as though they were DRLs when they are not; 3) Vibration due to incorrect installation; 4) Aftermarket bulbs, especially "ultra-bright" or "blue" bulbs.
Check the failed bulbs. Do the ends of the filaments look melted or just broken?

Yes, unless your friend is one of those people that drives around with his headlights on all the time, in which case it's normal for bulbs that were't designed for that.

Some aftermarket units last less than that.

Well, I replaced my original OEM Stanley bulbs in my '91 Integra last year. I'd say 14 years is pretty good, wouldn't you?
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Thanks for the tips. I'll relay them onto my friend. I know that she does not use headlights like DRL, and the replacements bulbs were not the ultrabright/blue ones. So maybe overvoltage or vibration.

I'll tell her to check it. What would each case indicate?
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Melted: Overvoltage Broken: Vibration or crappy bulb.
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Also replacing/handling the halogen bulbs without using gloves or other means to keep skin oils off the quartz envelope will shorten their life.
"wiping" them off after installation does not work,you need to use alcohol.
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