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-   -   Xenon front headlight failure - intermittent, both lights (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=889934)

Mad328Luv 12-05-2011 01:46 PM

Xenon front headlight failure - intermittent, both lights
I have a 2000 328ci with 130k on it with OEM Xenon headlights. Over the last two years, I have been experiencing intermittent outages while driving. Sometimes the left side, sometimes the right. Never any flickering as I have seen in other threads. I can turn the lights off while driving and turn them back on seconds later and the light comes back on. Sometimes it will stay on for an hour and sometimes it will go out within a minute. The problem has been getting progressively worse over the last few months. The lights rarely have difficulty coming back on.

I noticed in another thread that the suggestion is to disassemble the light following the DIY video and check for corroded or damaged components. Once that has been done, then I can consider checking the Light Control Module for an issue. From the threads that I've read, it does not sound like the igniter is the issue since the lights come without issue.

Does this sound like the right way to proceed? Have I left anything out? Thanks as always.

nk_zhp 12-05-2011 01:57 PM

It is likely that your bulbs are aging. As they age, the voltage needing to keep them lit increases until it reaches the upper limit of the ballast. Check the connections for sure but the bulb would be my 2nd guess.

217Bimmer 12-05-2011 03:15 PM

i am having the same issue with my driver's side light. it gets progressively worse in cold weather. i swapped bulbs and the problem persists on the same side, so it is either the igniter or ballast. i've asked here whether someone can say which one it is more likely to be and have also searched through these threads, but cannot find a conclusive answer. i'd like to just replace the part without swapping igniters and ballasts.

Geo31 12-05-2011 05:06 PM

I've got that issue as well and it initially improved when I redid the ground on the taillight, but it's back. I've just been dealing with it because work has been absolutely crazy, leaving me with little time to chase it down.

HyeWarrior 12-05-2011 05:16 PM

Also interested in an answer. My headlights have gotten worse in the cold weather. 90% of the time, only one side fires up when I flip the switch, and it's a ridiculous process to get the other one to turn on. Either I have to flip the switch back and forth, or I just drive regularly for a few minutes and it'll turn on by itself. It alternates sides, so I know both have the same issue. Not sure if its the ballast or igniter

eneka 12-05-2011 05:25 PM

my passenger side xenon has a hard time firing up as well...some times when they do ignite together, it's about half a second slower that the driver's side, other times I just have to wait about a minute after starting the engine and it'll ignite.. I've changed the bulbs and the ballast so I'm pretty sure it's the ignitor on mine..

Mad328Luv 12-06-2011 11:27 AM

Wow. i had no idea this was such an issue. There are hardly any threads that i could find on this. I'll start digging in and see what i find.

naeem002000 12-06-2011 03:36 PM


Originally Posted by eneka (Post 13863711)
my passenger side xenon has a hard time firing up as well...some times when they do ignite together, it's about half a second slower that the driver's side, other times I just have to wait about a minute after starting the engine and it'll ignite.. I've changed the bulbs and the ballast so I'm pretty sure it's the ignitor on mine..

got the same thing here :banghead:

but it rarely happens -once in 2 weeks-

i like to think they are the bulbs because the right side is less bright then the left side :hmm:

MercForHire 12-06-2011 03:40 PM

I didn't know they had Xenons back in 1999.

venceslau 12-06-2011 05:27 PM

Mine does the same thing...I basically gave up...lol.

Mad328Luv 12-11-2011 09:49 PM

I found out that in 2003 they switched manufacturers. They went from Osram to Phillips. I found the Osram bulbs on Pelican parts for about $70 each. Oem part was ridiculously expensive. S I ordered two bulbs ans we'll see how it goes. My bulbs were original so after 12 years, I guess it's time to replace e hubs.

Yayo330 12-23-2011 06:14 AM

My drivers side went out and I got a bulb from pelican parts...didn't seem to work, idk if it was the bulb that was the problem:hmm:
Does anyone know what could be other things that cause this?

Mad328Luv 12-23-2011 08:59 AM

We'll see how the bulb holds up. This is the original OEM part. I just replaced the bulbs and they are a little brighter than the aging ones and I have had no more issues with the lights going out.

officer140 01-01-2012 02:52 AM

I've had this issue for a very long time now. I narrowed it down to a ground issue. I tried grounding the tail lights and it didn't solve my problem. I finally decided to check my LCM/LKM and noticed that there was a lot of corrosion on the circuit board. I had an old LCM/LKM laying around from when I did the upgrade for rear fogs. I popped that in and problem solved! Now I just have to go to the dealer and have it programmed to match my car. If not, the tamper dot is on along w/ the indicator that my rear & front lights are out. Dealer charges $140/hr. Indy shop said they would charge me $150. I'd rather pay the dealer.

jlaroc1990 01-01-2012 12:14 PM

my passenger side headlight is doing the same thing. It comes on fine sometimes and other times i have to switch it on then off a bunch or just drive for a bit and it will come on..... so subscribed hoping for a solution....i think its probably the ignitor but I'm hoping not

jlaroc1990 02-05-2012 08:12 PM

well i found my problem so if anyone has the same problem ^.....it is the ignitor.

Ineil 02-05-2012 08:24 PM

It's either the igniters or the ballasts, most likely the igniters. BMW sells them for $369.00 each:loco:. Be careful buying non OEM at the auto parts stores, the ones they says fit do not have the correct connectors, most have 3 pin rather then the 2 pin needed, at least that was for my 2001 M3.

Mad328Luv 02-06-2012 02:13 PM

Since i replaced the headlights about 6 weeks ago and I have not had one single issue.

jose325i 02-26-2012 10:40 PM

I had issues with my driver side headlight not working intermittently, but it slowly got worse until it stopped working altogether. First, I swapped bulbs, problem did not change sides. Then I replaced the ballast with known good one. It worked for a day, then stopped working again. Today I just finished swapping the igniter (huge PITA) and ballast. Works great except self-leveling is messed up now. I need to take it all apart again :banghead:

HyeWarrior 02-26-2012 10:50 PM

:( Sucks man

What was so hard about installing the new igniter? I ask because I'll be ordering replacements for mine soon

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