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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Lighting Forum

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 05-16-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
pistonhead76
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My Xenons suck. Why?

Just got an 05 330i. It has Xenon headlights. The outer bulbs have the domes and the inner bulbs are standard bulbs, looks maybe an H4 or something. When my lowbeams are on its like the road is barely illuminated. When I push my highbeam selector forward it gets a little better. It seems the Xenons just adjust upwards a little bit, they dont get any brighter. If I REALLY want to see anything I pull my high beam lever rearward and hold it. Thats when the H4 style bulbs kick on and then wherever my car is pointed it pretty much becomes daylight. Any insight to this would be appreciated. Also, shouldnt the H4's come on when I push the high beam selector forward too? That would make more sense to me. Thanks fellas.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:58 AM   #2
DonaldE
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You have bi xenon headlights and likely ZKW from the sound of the poor lighting (or you could have bad bulbs). Odds are your housings are burnt and not allowing the light to reflect off of them. In regards to your inner headlamps, no, they will not come on when the "brights" are turned on because they are only a daytime running light/flash to pass utility. And they are H7's. When you push the stalk forward, the bi xenons drop a little "cutoff" creater and allow the full bulb to be reflected.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
Solidjake
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Post pictures of your headlights please
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldE View Post
You have bi xenon headlights and likely ZKW from the sound of the poor lighting (or you could have bad bulbs). Odds are your housings are burnt and not allowing the light to reflect off of them. In regards to your inner headlamps, no, they will not come on when the "brights" are turned on because they are only a daytime running light/flash to pass utility. And they are H7's. When you push the stalk forward, the bi xenons drop a little "cutoff" creater and allow the full bulb to be reflected.
Arent ZKW on a lifetime warren-tee from burning up?
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:00 AM   #5
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Mine do that too, Factory Bi-Xenons with shutters in them. Your housing is most likely burnt.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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As others states more than likely you have the ZKW xenons. Best option is to do a retrofit from TRS as it will greatly improve your lighting situation. Don't ask me how I know
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:17 AM   #7
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sounds like the "burnt bowls" issue. either that or you don't have xenons but just projectors.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:00 PM   #8
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When i got my car only one of the bulbs had ever been replaced. The other was really quite dim and visibility towards that side of the road was not ideal. I replaced the bulb and they are now bright and I feel confident driving. An 8 or 9 old gas filled bulb is just not going to operate as efficiently as a new bulb. I would start with new bulbs.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:15 PM   #9
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First step is to read up and then check if your car has ZKW or AL branded headlights. The logo should be stamped in various spots like the front lens cover, I don't remember where else.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:03 PM   #10
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Burnt bowls or broken auto leveling.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:14 PM   #11
pistonhead76
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Thanks for all tye replys. Im pretty sure they are xenons because Ive seen the auto level sensors when i did my brakes. I will post pics and look for the brand marked on the housings. Will new bulbs fix this issue or if the bowls are burnt it just wont matter? I saw replacement bulbs on ebay for 26.00 a set. Are those junk?
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:25 PM   #12
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Thanks for all tye replys. Im pretty sure they are xenons because Ive seen the auto level sensors when i did my brakes. I will post pics and look for the brand marked on the housings. Will new bulbs fix this issue or if the bowls are burnt it just wont matter? I saw replacement bulbs on ebay for 26.00 a set. Are those junk?
If bowls are burnt….search the archives. Cheap HID bulbs, while not the brightest, will still be significantly brighter than worn out expensive ones.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by pistonhead76 View Post
Thanks for all tye replys. Im pretty sure they are xenons because Ive seen the auto level sensors when i did my brakes. I will post pics and look for the brand marked on the housings. Will new bulbs fix this issue or if the bowls are burnt it just wont matter? I saw replacement bulbs on ebay for 26.00 a set. Are those junk?
With burnt bowls, even the best of bulbs will perform very poorly
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