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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 11-29-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
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My Ride: 328i & 911T
Xenon Lighting Troubleshooting

I've got a typical xenon headlight issue. Driver's side goes dark after a few minutes of driving. I cycle the headlight switch to off and on again and the light comes back on.

My car is not set up for DRLs so I figure I've got at most 1,200 hours on the bulbs. They don't flicker and the color is blue white as normal. Bulb life I hear is around 2,000 hours and I'm not there yet.

The most likely culprit would be the ballast located under the gray plastic cover behind the headlight. I've read that the unit can be disassembled on the bench and cleaned. Some threads here suggest that bad grounds or corrosion can cause the headlights to cycle on and off. I can check for corrosion in the front turn signal connectors and a ground for the tail-lights in the trunk (where is it in the trunk?).

My approach is to first check the connections, then to swap the ballast side to side and see if the problem moves to the passenger side. If it does, then I'll remove and open the ballast and clean it. If the problem still persists I'll replace the ballast.

Do I need to remove the headlights to take out the ballast? Can I leave them in and take out the airbox and / or washer fluid reservoir? What's the typical procedure for removal of the ballast?

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Old 11-29-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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you need to remove the headlights to get to it. then it's held on by 3 torx screws. i would still swap the bulbs anyways. bulbs can prematurely fail as well. i wouldn't rule anything out based on assumptions.
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts

Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
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