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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 10-30-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
TheNOs330i
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HELP! My Bi-Xenons won't turn on!

I bought OEM bi-xenons off ebay and have had them on my car for about a year. The passenger side's light never had a problem, but the driver's side would always flicker(even after I had the ECU programmed for the xenons). I decided that it was time to buy new D2Ss anyway so that would also solve my driver side flicker problem. Sure enough, nothing was solved. A few days ago my driver side light went out and I am convinced it is a bad ballast. Well, it's either a bad ballast or a loose connection somewhere.

Does anyone know a few things to look for when I pull my light out? Is there something that I have not considered that could be a problem? Might anyone have the bentley service manual for the lights?? Also, I called Circle to get a few prices and he told me he didn't even know what the ballast was. He said the 2 parts he knew, an ignitor(<--prob same as ballast) and the control unit both range at 300$!

Lastly, I work in electrical industry and know how dangerous a ballast is.

Thanks guys.
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:58 PM   #2
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swap the bulbs/ballast and see if the problem occurs at the other side. Should be fairly simple to troubleshoot
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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I just did that earlier today with a coworker, light was still out. Now I am just hoping it's a loose wire somewhere.
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:57 PM   #4
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I just did that earlier today with a coworker, light was still out. Now I am just hoping it's a loose wire somewhere.
did what? switched the bulbs? so you're saying when you switched, the same bulb was out on both sides right? did the other bulb work fine when you switched them (meaning no flickering)

also how the heck did you drive around for a year with a flickering bulb!?? musta driven you crazy
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Old 10-30-2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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maybe it's the ignitor? it's #16 in the diagram

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Old 10-30-2006, 03:31 PM   #6
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hopefully its not an intese wirirng issue
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Old 10-30-2006, 03:34 PM   #7
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Check all your connections. and your wires going into your connections
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Old 10-30-2006, 03:35 PM   #8
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Check all your connections. and your wires going into your connections
i think we can assume it's not a connection problem since he's had them in for a year since a poor connection would probably not last a few days even
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Old 10-30-2006, 03:59 PM   #9
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i think we can assume it's not a connection problem since he's had them in for a year since a poor connection would probably not last a few days even
Im talking about where the wire runs into the connectors
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:00 PM   #10
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The flickering would happen everytime I turned on the lights, and then only at brief intervals. My driver side's light(bad side) was never as bright as the passenger's side.

CCali- Sorry for the confusion, when I switched the bulbs, passenger's side to driver side and vice versa, the driver's side light still remained off and the passenger's side light worked perfectly. So it looks light the lights work fine.

In addition, Robin325ci posted a picture and thought it to be #16. I thought the problem to be the ballast, #15, but she might easliy be right. How do I tell, can I check voltages coming from the ballast (i.e. upwards of 20KV?).
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:07 PM   #11
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sounds like the ballast

When you first bought the headlights did you put them on before having the computer flashed?
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:15 PM   #12
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There is a TSB on the e46 bi-xenon lights. Contact BMW NA to let them know of your OEM problem so they have the chance to cover this defect. I bought mine with my 04 vert and they just replaced both control modules because one was flickering. Thats how I found out about the service bulletin.
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:24 PM   #13
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ya if BMWNA is replacing Bi-xenons under a recall go for it it will save you some cash money. It is probably a ballast though i'd say if you want to continue solving this issue swap them from passenger to driver side and vice versa.
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:41 PM   #14
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In addition, Robin325ci posted a picture and thought it to be #16. I thought the problem to be the ballast, #15, but she might easliy be right.
i'm a guy, bro

i remember one of the guys from our local bmw car club had a problem with his bi-xenons. one side wouldn't light up. turned out to be the igniter. your next move would be to swap your ballasts, if the same side still doesn't light up, then it's probably the igniter or a blown fuse. did you check the fuse?

does anyone have any info on the tsb? might be able to use if my bi-xenons start to flicker
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:58 PM   #15
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Update on HID problems

Just updating you guys on the Xenon problem:

I've been driving at night using both my fogs and DDEs. Coincidently the DDEs mask not having my projectors on as I have not been pulled over yet, and new orlean's cops are really anal about car's defects as of late.

Anyway, I saw a great deal on ebay(please no lecturing) for a $30 ignitor, which regularly retails at $100. Recieved the package last night and decided to do the switch. After finally pulling off the chrome mask, which contains both lights, I was able to unscrew the ignitor and replace it with the new one. **Note to whoever needs to do something similiar: It is a ***** to pull the cover off and worse to get it back on. It feels like you're about to break the mask in half.**

So, I shake my friend's hand and send him on his merry way, and guess what freakin happens! You guessed it, the light doesn't come on and the error appears on my dash. Curse Curse, hold down hold, curse curse. I take off the control unit(ballast) which is easily done by removing the three screws and turn in for the night.

This morning I opened the ballast, and to my surprise didn't see a huge transformer with a whole bunch off wires and windings, but found a very neat little pcb(printed circuit board) with a small burnt chip. Not only did the amber oilish color give it away, but next to it is a relay which towers over it that had a smoke stain on it. I'll post a pic when I get home.

Lastly, Went on ebay and found a ballast for $65! Woohoo, cheap! Hopefully this'll resolve my problem.
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:13 PM   #16
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Pics of my Control Unit

Alright, Promised pics.
The third shows the burnt area. You can see the smoke stain of the relay.
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:15 PM   #17
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Sounds like a headache man... before buying the new ballast though you coulda just tried switching the good one from the other side to see if it worked

hope this solves it though
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Old 11-10-2006, 08:52 AM   #18
TheNOs330i
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Because of time constraints, i.e. getting off at 8PM at night for the past 2 weeks, I thought this would be the best solution because the ignitor was only 30. Now it seems the ballast was the problem all along so I guess I did get lazy on this project. Only three things can go wrong at the light: Ballast--->Ignitor--->Bulb. This is the last thing to check and if this doesn't work I'll cry because then that will mean the LCM is bad.

I'll keep yall posted.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:42 AM   #19
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get the multimeter and measure output voltage coming out of ballast.
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:19 PM   #20
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lol.. do you know how much volt there is coming out of a ballast? You don't need a ballast just for the looks...
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