Hi, I have a first gen Mazda 3 hatchback. I’m trying to find a reliable set of led headlights because my current bulbs are shit. I’m not very educated with led headlights so I’m just looking on some insight on what ones to look for or if they are even compatible with my car.
Hey there. Just to let you know, I joined this forum for the specific purpose of discussing this issue. I also have a 2008 Mazda 3 hatchback, and just recently the driver's side headlight went out. I have a HID setup, but after doing some research, I found out the LED lights were better, so I ordered a pair on Amazon.
I don't know if you have an Amazon Prime account (it really comes in handy, especially these days), but you have to do a lot
of research for items like these to make sure they fit on your car. Even if it says it does, you still have to make sure you're getting the right item. For example, I ordered these because they got good reviews and Amazon's "car fit" survey said it would fit my car:
What I didn't realize was that these were H11 bulbs, and my Mazda takes H7 ones. H11s have a mounting system where you screw the bulb in clockwise to lock it in. H7s have a different mounting system with a wire locking clip/retainer that snaps into place to hold the bulb in. You need to check your car to see which one you have.
So, luckily Amazon has a hassle-free return policy, so I'm sending those back. After doing further research, I found these bulbs, which are H7s and got good reviews:
Problem solved? Heh. Not quite. After looking at a few YouTube videos on LED headlight installation, I found out that you would likely have to get these plastic adapters to allow the retaining clip to properly secure the new LED lights in:
But wait. There's more.
After receiving both the new H7s and the adapters, I went out to install them. it turns out that the H7 plug is incompatible with my car's receiving end, which apparently is an H11 plug, so I had to order a pair of H7 to H11 adapters, which I should be receiving soon:
In the meantime, I tried test-fitting the new bulbs into their sockets. It's not an easy task. Even with the plastic adapters, it was hard to get the retaining clip over/under the fan housing of the LED bulbs, and even when I got it into place, the bulb collar doesn't sit flush against the mount. Perhaps if I go back in and mess around with it a little more, it might. But it took me over an hour to try to get it where it is now.
Add to that, the rubber boot that seals/protects the headlight from water won't fit around that LED fan housing either, so I'm going to have to trim it to make it fit. I'm not going to do that until I get the adapters in and make sure that the headlight even works. I'll let you know when that happens. I'll even post pics to give you a clear idea of what I'm talking about.
Geez. In all my years of owning cars, this has been by far the most complicated experience I've ever had just for changing a simple headlight bulb. So many people swear by these LED headlights, and I really hope they work.
If anyone else out there has any input on these, I'd really love to hear it. Thanks.