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Oem Vs Capa Vs Nsf Headlights

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by FinoCJ, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Sep 17, 2018
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,550
    What you guys think about the various certifications for headlights? I am looking to replace the assemblies on my Tacoma (cracked and fogged cover assemblies), and trying to decide if its worth the extra money for the different certifications. I understand NSF is supposedly a minimum standard for production quality, and CAPA is supposedly a higher standard for fitment of OEM replacement. But of course, many suggest its not much more than a sticker - especially when its the same brand.

    In my case, from Rock Auto, standard economy replacement is about $36, NSF is $45 and CAPA is about $80. Of course, parts store guys have warned me in the past that many of the aftermarket headlamp assemblies have issues with condensation, the lens fog over in a couple years and getting them aimed correctly can be troublesome. Not to mention I would probably replace the included bulbs with some higher output Sylvania. At the same time, dealership costs for these is $306 per assembly, so I can pay for these a few times over. I replaced one a few years ago with OEM from dealership - perfect until in got smacked again...hard to justify that much again.

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  2. Sep 18, 2018
    ojgrsoi

    ojgrsoi Retired. Sponsor

    Weatherford, TX
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,736
    Can't answer about the certifications but for me it was about how much longer I was going to keep the vehicle. I've had issues with aftermarket fitment. It's better than it used to be but...
     
  3. Sep 28, 2018
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,550
    Well, I went with the NSF certified ones from Rock Auto...the fit and finish is fine - the light out put is TBD. It takes some time to figure out how take the grill and most of the front bumper off...but I got the new ones switched in. I don't have a great place to check alignment - my driveway is steeply sloped - so I found a reasonable mall parking lot with a wall one night...The light seems plenty bright, but the spread is not even - it has some bright and dark spots that are a bit annoying. I may eventually put new Sylvania bulbs in...but I am guessing the bright and dark interference pattern has more to do with the reflector than the bulb. We'll see how long the covers stay clear and whether moisture builds up on the inside. At the price I paid compared to OEM - I am happy so far, even if they only last 2-3 years. I could have just polished the covers, but given the en-echelon cracks it seemed like it was time to replace. New from the dealer...all three lights would have cost close to $800 - from RA it was about $180 (shipped)....I can replace them in a few years for that cost....

    Before:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    While I was at it, I got a rear tail light replacement as well - this one was initially cracked when my wife dropped a MTB off the bed, and was finished off when a long bed ford truck tried squeezing into a tight parking space next to me. Since it was already cracked I told the driver not to worry about it.
    [​IMG]
     

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