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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 06-09-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
FightingSioux
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: GA, USA
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My Ride: 2005 330Ci
Exclamation 05 330ci headlight out

My recently purchased 05 330ci has stock HID xenon with autolevel and the lights turn when I turn (whatever that is called). Driver side low and high went out with error light on the dash and fog lights came on automatically. Took to dealer and they swapped xenon lamp control modules (ballast?) between driver and passenger side. Now passenger side was out but driver side was working, confirming xenon Control module (ballast) problem. They wanted $1,000 for new module and labor. Found posts on here to DIY, ordered used part and have done the following:

Driver side was working and passenger side was out when I left the dealer and started the below process.

Put new Control part on passenger side. It works fine and error on dash is gone but immediately the driver side is now out and has the error on dash. I didn't touch the driver side at all and it was working up to the point I put the part on the passenger side.

Swapped current Modules between driver and passenger side but driver side still out and passenger works. Both Modules work on passenger, neither on driver.

Swapped igniters and both work on passenger, neither on driver.

Installed new bulbs, passenger works, driver still out.

Every component seems to work on passenger side, but nothing on driver side.

Checked fuse 9 and 32, both seem fine.

Is there an error code or setting that needs to be reset in the electronics? If so why did the passenger side work after I replaced the original bad Module?

Sorry for the long post, but wanted to give as much info as possible.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by FightingSioux; 06-09-2012 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Changed part terminology
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
FightingSioux
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Sorry if this was supposed to be in the Lighting thread rather than DIY.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
FightingSioux
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I have now tried the entire passenger light assembly on driver side and no light. Driver assembly on passenger side light works. So it can't be any of the modules or light assembly.

Ampmeter on the grey plug at the headlight assembly shows voltage on the passenger side but not on the driver side plug. Wires and pins that are visible seem to be ok.

Traced wires from there to another box under the hood on driver side that has several 35 amp fuses. All fuses are tested good but I don't know what fuse goes to what to test the circuit, ie.. Which ones should have power with the light on and which ones wouldnt.

The strange thing is that the driver side was working from the dealer to home. Parked the car for a couple days waiting for the new control unit. Replaced it on passenger side and turned the lights on. that light now worked but the driver side didn't come on and tripped the error on the dash.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
Martine46
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Did you ever find a solution? Because I'm having the exact same problem right now. :'(
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:36 PM   #5
FightingSioux
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I had to take it to the dealer. It was the Light Control Module in the dash. It had a short and you could see where there was melted plastic. This cost me a little over $900. I found several modules online and thought about replacing it cheaper, but I read a lot of posts and confirmed with the dealer that this module also stores a backup of the odometer. A BMW dealer has to register it to your car or it will trip a warning that the odometer was tampered with and cause serious problems if you ever want to trade or sell it. I didn't want to take that chance so just spent the $ and let them do it.

Last edited by FightingSioux; 10-28-2012 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
Martine46
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*sigh* I guess that's what I needed to hear.... :/ I'll be going to the dealer after work tomorrow I guess, thank you for the info.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
FightingSioux
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Sorry for the bad news, but I feel your pain. A lot of $ for a headlight out.
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