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Old 02-16-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Edison, NJ
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325Ci
HID headlight problem, please help

I've had some issues with the driver side (only) aftermarket [Mcculloch] HID headlight, which has only surfaced because of a recent failed motor vehicle inspection.. someone please help, a quick fix would be much appreciated.

Normally, everytime I turn on the car, the driver side (only one side) headlight will flicker for about 20-30 seconds and then it turns up full like the passenger side.. (i've noticed that it takes maybe 30 seconds longer in the cold weather.) Now, when I went for my car inspection, they tested the headlights without the engine running and the driver side headlight would keep flickering while the passenger side headlight went on right away. Unfortunately that one side did not eventually light up and it failed..

I decided to check out the lights for myself, etc.. and I bought the car with the aftermarket Mcculloch HID's already installed and I already know very little mechanical/electric work on these cars.. Under the hood, I got access to the driver side bulb and checked all the connections and nothing is loose.. the bulb looks fine to me.. the silver box-like ballast or igniter? just has a clicking sound.. is that normal?

1) Is that clicking sound normal? Is that the ballast or ignitor in this mcculloch aftermarket system?

2) How do I know if it is the bulb or not? I couldn't get access to the passenger side bulb (too tight of a space) to switch and see if the flicker moves.. any way to tell if the problem is the bulb by just looking at it since theres no real filament?

3) No other lights are out on the car.. but I read about problems with the rear lights/wiring/bad ground that could cause front headlights to flicker.. would that be possible even though all of the wires going to the rear lights look normal and no lights are out in the rear??

4) Is there a quick fix to the above problem? .. and fairly inexpensive..?

5) If anyone reading this lives in new jersey and recommends a shop to take a look at this problem, please let me know!

Thank you so much in advance for your help!
parikhrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2009, 12:37 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 169
My Ride: 03 ///M3 Cab
Try swapping the bulb in question to the other side and see if it lights up fine right away. It sounds as if it's about to die. Aftermarket bulbs may look nice but their lifespan sucks. I've gone through a couple of burnt bulbs already from jlevisw and umnitza. They just don't last at all. Mine kept flickering for a day or two then completely died. It's very rare to be the ballast or ignitor's problem.
-2003 M3 CB/Cin Cab MT
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Edison, NJ
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325Ci

is it still probably just the bulb even if it has been flickering for >1 year??

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Old 02-21-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Edison, NJ
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325Ci
... so just switched the bulbs.. the "problem" bulb lights up right away and the problem "side" is flickering away.. seems like the ballast/igniter has a problem. I think the clicking sound from the ballast may be the culprit (which is not present on the normal side)..

.. how do i go about replacing the ballast? it is a mcculloch brand aftermarket hid. does it matter what brand the ballast is, etc??? where can i just get a ballast to replace it.

thanks for any advice
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flicker, headlight, hid, mcculloch, xenon

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