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Old 02-18-2010, 02:13 PM   #1
SwedenGuy
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OEM Xenon Intermittent Problem '00

Hi all,

I've searched the threads, but have not found anyone else with this exact problem... I am hoping that someone might have an idea.

I have a 2000 e46 with OEM Xenons. I am experiencing the following problems:
  • Slight to Moderate color shift on the passenger side
  • Intermittent failure of both lights, but never at the same time. Simply turning off the lights for a few seconds and turning them back on will solve the problem. This usually happens in the first 10 minutes of driving, if it happens. When it does happen, during one trip, it is always the same light.
  • Driver side light is doing a brief flicker on startup.

I can go for days, even weeks without any lamp out problems, then have a constant problems for a day or two, then no problems again. The lights can go out while moving, or while standing still. The only possible thing that I can think of is the weather - the problems seem to be a bit worse the colder it gets (especially when the temperature drops well below freezing), but this is just my opinion, I haven't taken measurements

I have no idea how old the lights are. Given that both lights are having problem, swapping components doesn't seem to be the way to diagnose this.

Any ideas?

Many thanks!

Josh
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:32 PM   #2
sillieidiot
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hmm. first of all, if the bulbs having been changed yet. it's long overdue for replacement. they are only supposed to be on the car for 5 years (though they last longer). you'll need new bulbs for sure i'll tell you that. by doing that, it might fix all the symptoms that you've been having as the bulbs show those symptoms when they go bad as well.

another problem could be the ballast. which the symptoms overlap bulb failure as well.

i would get new bulbs (cheapest option) then go from there.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:23 AM   #3
SwedenGuy
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I ordered a pair of Philips today. I'll update next week with results.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:39 AM   #4
SwedenGuy
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I installed a pair of Philips D2S bulbs. All of my problems seem to have gone away. Appears that one of the bulbs had been changed a few years back, the other unknown.

So, a fairly cheap fix - only about EUR 100 for the pair of bulbs. Could have been a lot worse.

Josh
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:56 AM   #5
E36graduate
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Do they both seem the same color now? I believe one of my problem bulbs is a yellowish light instead of a blueish light on the other side. Funny thing is the yellower light is the problem light that now and then needs to be turned off and then on again to get to work, especially when cold or not being used for a while.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:59 AM   #6
SwedenGuy
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yep. Both are the same color and the flicker on startup is gone. I haven't done a lot of driving yet, but I haven't had either of the turn off yet.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #7
sillieidiot
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glad it was a cheap fix.

e36, you should stop turn it off/on in quick succession as it will damage your ballast/ignitor too.
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