Car is a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire. OEM headlight bulbs were #9007's 65/55W.
Can I replace these bulbs with a higher wattage bulb, 100/80W, without
damaging or melting the clear plastic headlight lens or the socket for
The wiring is marginal - you would need to wire in relays and connect
the lights to the battery through the relays or risk burning out the
wiring and/or switches. The plastic headlights will NOT stand the
extra heat - even glass optics often shatter from the heat if splashed
with cold water - which is why high end replacement headlamps use lead
crystal leanses and silvered steel or aluminum reflectors.
I've run 100 watt headlamps - on the rallye car and on several of my
street cars in the past - ALL with lead crystal lens aftermarket
headlampsafter the first ill-fated try.
Technically you *can* do it. At least for a while. I did it on my 92
Explorer. Within a year the socket had melted from the extra
load/heat. Aside from that the other thing I believe you would find,
based on my experience, is that adding watts to the low beam is of
zero value since the low beam is not power limited so much as aim
limited, it's not intended to let you see a long way, just needs to
illuminate the near and intermediate area and 55 watts is plenty for
that. As to the high beams, again IMHO, adding watts will produce
very limited benefits since you will still be using the same old
optics and its the optics that need help, not the power rating of the
bulb. When I had the 100W high beams in my Explorer they really
seemed very little different from the OEM wattage bulbs. The whole
experiment convinced me that I'll never bother with high powered bulbs
in the original optics again. I think my explorer actually had glass
housings so there was not a problem with the housing melting, just the
socket plug and part of the insulation on the wires.
Bottom line - don't waste your time and money.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.