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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 08-10-2016, 01:16 PM   #1
Bryce.Kimura
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E46 Xenon Headlights flickering!

I recently bought a 2001 new 330i, and I quickly noticed that when you turn the headlights on they will cut out and back in every 10 or so seconds. I did have an aftermarket stereo in it, and when I turned the headlights on the lights on the stereo kind of dimmed. I then thought it had something to do with the aftermarket stereo or amp drawing too much power or something, got a factory stereo from a local junk yard, installed it. Headlights still flicker. So then I did some research and found a used factory amp on eBay, ordered and installed it, and it still flickers.

I don't know what else to try. Any help or input is greatly appreciated!

On another note the daylight running lights never flicker and the high beams don't flicker as well.

Could it be the person that owned this car before me wired the xenon lights wrong?
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:30 PM   #2
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Are they factory xenon headlights? Turn them on. Do they look like a high tech white/slight blue/purple? Or are they teenager-blue? If the latter, possible a teen could've messed it up with some $20 poor boy generic HID parts

If factory, probably just some old trash that needs replacing. Replace bulbs and ballasts. Bulbs are busted after 10 years. If you're handy, you can retrofit some Lexus hardware in there. If not, just get used ballasts on eBay. Though those may give out soon too.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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I don't think they're factory. They do look more blue than white and could it be that they just wired it wrong? And I could go in and fix the wiring? I don't really want to buy new headlights due to the price.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:37 PM   #4
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That's what my lights did when the ballast went bad. Flicker on and off and finally it would quit after a while and throw the headlight code.

Mine were factory xenons
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:38 PM   #5
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If they are original headlights it might be a problem with the alternators voltage regulator, the bulbs, the ballast(s) or ignitor(s)
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:40 PM   #6
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Which headlights do the ones you have look like?

https://c1552172.ssl.cf0.rackcdn.com/15689_x800.jpg

or

http://www.dbrtuning.com/WebRoot/Sto...10011-r_ml.jpg
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
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I suggest tracing down if it's one specific side causing this. unplug one side at a time and turn lights on. if it does the issue when one side is plugged in and not the other you've limited it to one side. often something like this is a connection issue. sometimes the bulbs don't seat and connect to the metal base well. this "could" be your issue.

or it could be a faulty ballast like mentioned above. it would be good to supply us info on if it's factory HID system or aftermarket. cheap aftermarket have shoddy ballasts, bulbs, ignitors and likely your source.
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:06 PM   #8
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If they are original to the car (you can find this out using a VIN decoder), it may simply be a grounding issue. If you search for Xenon and ground you should come up with some threads about this. If you cannot find it, I may have the threads saved in my home computer, but I'll be home late tonight (so I won't get to it), meaning tomorrow evening would be my first opportunity to help. But search first. It's a common problem.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:08 PM   #9
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Solidjake it is the first link from above. It turns out when I bought the car a couple days ago, that they haven't ever replaced the stock battery from 2001. I got that changed out because it was failing. I also got the charging system checked and everything is good. But the headlights still flicker. I'll look into unplugging one side to see if it makes a difference.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:37 PM   #10
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Also don't know if this would help or anything but on my dash it tells me that my rear left side has a bulb out. And when I turn on my left blinker it blinks 3 maybe 4 times rapidly then slows down to normal blinking.
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:06 PM   #11
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My passenger's side OEM xenon flickers from time to time. I haven't attributed a cause to it just yet. It seems to be over bumps, but I may be wrong. The connection looks fine, and the bulbs are less than two years old (OEM).

Before jumping into the expensive part replacing route, I'd check the connections, as others have suggested.
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce.Kimura View Post
Also don't know if this would help or anything but on my dash it tells me that my rear left side has a bulb out. And when I turn on my left blinker it blinks 3 maybe 4 times rapidly then slows down to normal blinking.
This is a very common issue...there are many DIY's here and its an easy fix. It usually starts with the tail light bulb out warning and then goes to the headlights flickering. It has to do with a bad ground in the taillight harness causing the LCM to keep resetting.

Post #5 in this thread shows exactly what you need to do:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=512469

Do both sides to be sure.
BTW, there is a recall for this for certain years so you may want to check that out also.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:27 PM   #13
Bryce.Kimura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post
This is a very common issue...there are many DIY's here and its an easy fix. It usually starts with the tail light bulb out warning and then goes to the headlights flickering. It has to do with a bad ground in the taillight harness causing the LCM to keep resetting.

Post #5 in this thread shows exactly what you need to do:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=512469

Do both sides to be sure.
BTW, there is a recall for this for certain years so you may want to check that out also.
My tail light doesn't look exactly the same as that guys, and due to that it doesn't have the same metal spot for the ground connection to connect to. Could I just solder it to the metal ground connection?
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce.Kimura View Post
My tail light doesn't look exactly the same as that guys, and due to that it doesn't have the same metal spot for the ground connection to connect to. Could I just solder it to the metal ground connection?
You have the same tail light I have.
I did kind of like shown in post 314 here but used a self tap screw instead of a rivet:


http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...348&highlight=
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:42 PM   #15
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If you do end up replacing the bulbs I highly recommend the Khoalty bulbs, you can't beat the price and I have the 6000K because I like the slight hint of blue light and it closely matches my AEs from afar, I haven't had a problem with them for the last year and my lighting all around the car is also fine. For $25 for a pair you really can't do much better. You can also check bimmer.work as vin decoder and see if your car came with option number 522 Xenon light, if it didn't it's likely that someone installed some Ebay crap instead of an OEM system.

As a side note someone put 3000K lights in my car originally (I don't remember if they had a BMW logo on them, I think they might have), so they may be 3000K and look like a halogen light.

Khoalty link: http://www.khoalty.com/bmw-e46-d2s-x...ment-bulb.html
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:20 AM   #16
Bryce.Kimura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverdogz View Post
If you do end up replacing the bulbs I highly recommend the Khoalty bulbs, you can't beat the price and I have the 6000K because I like the slight hint of blue light and it closely matches my AEs from afar, I haven't had a problem with them for the last year and my lighting all around the car is also fine. For $25 for a pair you really can't do much better. You can also check bimmer.work as vin decoder and see if your car came with option number 522 Xenon light, if it didn't it's likely that someone installed some Ebay crap instead of an OEM system.

As a side note someone put 3000K lights in my car originally (I don't remember if they had a BMW logo on them, I think they might have), so they may be 3000K and look like a halogen light.

Khoalty link: http://www.khoalty.com/bmw-e46-d2s-x...ment-bulb.html
Thanks, I'll look into those if I do need to replace them eventually!

Dan4081, that worked!! I split the ground wire and used a self drilling screw on that spot and it all works now!

Thank you everyone for your input it's much appreciated!
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:38 AM   #17
dan4081
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Originally Posted by Bryce.Kimura View Post
Thanks, I'll look into those if I do need to replace them eventually!

Dan4081, that worked!! I split the ground wire and used a self drilling screw on that spot and it all works now!

Thank you everyone for your input it's much appreciated!
Glad to hear it and thanks for updating the thread!!!
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