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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 01-02-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
VECTOR
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Question Headlight is out

How much of a pain is it to change/fix a headlight that is out on a 2004 330ci?

Is there a thread on the procedure?


EDIT - I have the Xenon adaptive headlights

Last edited by VECTOR; 04-20-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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The hard part is that you need small hands.

The driver side is pretty easy, the passenger side is the more-difficult side.

Reach in.
Turn the outer ring -- it has tabs that are easy to see.
Take the lamp socket out.
Take the lamp out.
Put the new lamp in -- DO NOT TOUCH THE GLASS, or get dirt/grease on the glass.
Put the socket in.
Turn the outer ring.

There are guides (keyways) on the socket that are wide and narrow, the socket seats into the back of the housing when the keyways are lined up properly, and the outer ring easily turns to lock the lamp socket into place. Clearance for your hands is the only hard part. No tools needed. Nothing else has to come out.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:18 PM   #3
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is it HID or halogen? Halogen is easy, as its just am H7 bulb located in a small compartment behind the headlight. uses a clip to hold it in
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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Question

It is HID, and on the passenger side. It looks as if the housing is up against the washer fluid reservoir.

Is there a how to thread with pictures or a schematic? Is the bulb replaced from the front or the rear?

Lastly, Autozone said it was a special order item costing $100.00, so since I will need to order it anyway (will arrive in one day), is there a better place to purchase the bulb?
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:51 AM   #5
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Yes. Do not buy a hid bulb from autozone. You can get a pair (aka 2) of them from ddm tuning for like $15, $25 with shipping. Go that route please and dont spend 100 dollars. That would be just dumb.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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They are probably quoting you on oem bulbs, which iirc, are Philips 85122 (not sure if it's the 85122+ or just 85122). http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pro...roducts_id=148
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Silver01 View Post
Yes. Do not buy a hid bulb from autozone. You can get a pair (aka 2) of them from ddm tuning for like $15, $25 with shipping. Go that route please and dont spend 100 dollars. That would be just dumb.
I would love to believe HID bulbs are only $15 for a pair, but that sounds low enough to be regular bulbs.
Are you sure about the prices?
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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Yes i bought my replacements from there. Its been a year and they have worked without a hitch
.
http://ddmtuning.com/Products/HID-Bu...lacements-Pair

Here you go. Now go buy a pair. If you want oem yellowish color get 4300k, if you want really white get the 5000k, or if you want really white with just a touch of blue get the 6000k.

Your welcome.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:48 PM   #9
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I'm using eBay 5000K bulbs. $15 shipped. My projector bowls have been burned since Day 1 of ownership of the car, but they're still bright. I plan to upgrade to FX-R's and Philips 6000K.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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You guys don't even tell him how to troubleshoot his lights and tell him to buy bulbs right away....

OP, first you have to take out your xenon bulbs and swap them from drivers to passenger side and vice versa. If the problem follows the bulbs then it's that. Now, if it's not you can swap ballasts and then lastly ignitors.

If the bulbs are the problem get new ones from www.theretrofitsource.com

I have the OEM Philips bulbs from them and they are a big step up from aftermarket crap.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
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I was told today by a local car accessory shop that since my ballasts are OEM, aftermarket bulbs will fit but not work properly with my stock ballasts.
I am not sure how accurate that is, but it makes it sound like cheap bulbs might not fit my stock set up.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:02 PM   #12
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Not true, they are still bulbs with the proper size. Like I said, swap your bulbs to make SURE it's the bulbs.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:19 AM   #13
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Question

UPDATE


I never had the time to fix it myself, so when I brought it in for a new fuel pump I asked my mechanic to replace it. He took the whole light assembly out and said he found frayed wires which he thought might have been factory defect or caused by excessive heat. He put in a new bulb but it did not work. So he is suggesting I get a whole new light assembly.

He suggested looking on ebay o save money, but I still have no idea why I'd need a whole assembly. Anyone else have a similar problem?
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VECTOR View Post
UPDATE


I never had the time to fix it myself, so when I brought it in for a new fuel pump I asked my mechanic to replace it. He took the whole light assembly out and said he found frayed wires which he thought might have been factory defect or caused by excessive heat. He put in a new bulb but it did not work. So he is suggesting I get a whole new light assembly.

He suggested looking on ebay o save money, but I still have no idea why I'd need a whole assembly. Anyone else have a similar problem?
It's impossible to say what the problem is with your car.

Frayed wires should happen because of vibration/movement, not heat. Melted wires and frayed wires are two distinctly different problems, and they look entirely different. If I was your mechanic, I would not use frayed and melted interchangably because the causes and corrections are entirely different. The level of concern is different too.

Since YOU are not doing this repair, then you are at the mercy of somebody that does not describe the problems correctly, and we have no clue what his diagnostic procedure is. Given his description of the problem, I'm guessing his diagnostics leave much to be desired.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:43 AM   #15
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I gotta say, I'm a little alarmed that you would drive around for 4 months without headlamps on your car. Having said that, the headlamps on my F150 are clouded over, and have been for many months (that's M-A-N-Y) and I noticed last night that it is difficult to tell that they are even on. (the point being, I am a poor person to call you out for crappy lights when mine work and are probably worse than yours.)
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:06 AM   #16
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I don't know if this makes any difference, but before I took the car to the mechanic, the dummy light was not on.
Now that he has reassembled he housing it without fixing it, the outline of the car is illuminated, and the right headlight is glowing bright red. Furthermore the green light is blinking on the left side where the light switch is turned to automatic. Additionally my fog lights come on automatically now and cannot be turned off when the lights are on. Lastly, when I put on the high beams the right one now stays off. Before it lit up even though the regular headlight was out.

What if anything does this all mean?
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:05 PM   #17
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Question

NEW UPDATE

Everywhere I turn I find more trouble without definitive answers as to what exactly caused the problem.

The wires, according to a BMW specialist repair shop, are melted together. They said it is a common malady with BMW hi intensity Xenon headlights. According to them the heat builds up and over time the wires can melt. In my case the wires cannot be repaired and go into the housing itself. According to them they said it would be very expensive to replace the housing $1K and above from BMW, and that does not include the igniter, bulbs, D2, control assembly, and whatever else is in there.
I find it hard to believe these adaptive headlights can wind up being so expensive with a know problem, yet so few people on this forum have heard about it. Considering the high cost involved, I can only imagine there are fixes/alternate choices since not to many people are going to lay out $1-2 k just to fix their stupid headlight. While Xenon adaptive headlights seems like a great feature, this flaw that causes them to melt is unacceptable for such an expensive and supposedly well engineered car.

What say you guys?

Last edited by VECTOR; 11-16-2012 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver01 View Post
Yes. Do not buy a hid bulb from autozone. You can get a pair (aka 2) of them from ddm tuning for like $15, $25 with shipping. Go that route please and dont spend 100 dollars. That would be just dumb.
Not sure about how I missed it but this would be one of the top 50 dumbest things I've ever read.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by VECTOR View Post
NEW UPDATE

Everywhere I turn I find more trouble without definitive answers as to what exactly caused the problem.

The wires, according to a BMW specialist repair shop, are melted together. They said it is a common malady with BMW hi intensity Xenon headlights. According to them the heat builds up and over time the wires can melt. In my case the wires cannot be repaired and go into the housing itself. According to them they said it would be very expensive to replace the housing $1K and above from BMW, and that does not include the igniter, bulbs, D2, control assembly, and whatever else is in there.
I find it hard to believe these adaptive headlights can wind up being so expensive with a know problem, yet so few people on this forum have heard about it. Considering the high cost involved, I can only imagine there are fixes/alternate choices since not to many people are going to lay out $1-2 k just to fix their stupid headlight. While Xenon adaptive headlights seems like a great feature, this flaw that causes them to melt is unacceptable for such an expensive and supposedly well engineered car.

What say you guys?
Fix the wiring. Not a big deal.

This is further reason (as if we didn't have enough already) to not use crappy cheap chinese DDM/generic/khoalty hid bulbs. They run HOT.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:09 PM   #20
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And BTW, if I had to pay $250 EACH BULB, I would GLADLY do it. We are LUCKY to have an OEM (Amazon) option at $50 a bulb. SUPER LUCKY. Take that deal and RUN.
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