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I'm confused. I bought replacement bulbs from Amazon that it assured me were correct for my car. After they arrived I realized they were the wrong socket type. I researched socket types and determined that my '06 Forester has an H1 socket for low-beam headlights, and a 9006 (I guess?) for high-beam. Anyway, I looked on some other sites including TireRack, and several merchants seem to be of the impression that the Forester uses the L-shaped 9006 bulb for its low-beam headlights. So why would my car, which we bought new, have a different kind of socket?

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2 Answers

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As to why, who knows what drives the manufacturers decisions. In this case, I would guess it is down to whatever the most convenient/cheapest bulb type is in each region.

But yes, this is normal - my 06 Forester headlights are different again. My dipped beam bulbs are these:

enter image description here

But my main beam are 10k HID units that can only be sourced from Japan!

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So basically even within the same model year Subaru chose to use at least three different socket types for the same make, and nobody knows why? –  kojiro Oct 11 '13 at 15:14
    
There are some obvious answers which could be true, including: they used whatever was most convenient/cheapest in each region –  Rory Alsop Oct 11 '13 at 15:23
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Aftermarket part application databases are not always correct. Some vehicles had production changes during a model year. I've worked on such a vehicle, the bulb books at the parts stores were incorrect. Well, they were correct, but only for vehicles on the other side of the production change. The database the dealer parts departments use will have the correct information tied to the date of manufacture.

Rory could be right, too. It could vary by production region instead of manufacture date. Aftermarket databases are not always set up to model these kinds of corner cases properly.

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