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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 05-23-2014, 06:10 PM   #81
sillieidiot
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BTW, i just checked my car, it says the fuse for the reverse lights is 27.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:34 PM   #82
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Ok cool I'm going to check when I get the chance. Do I just pull the rubber thing out?
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #83
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for the trunk? yeah pretty much. then check the wires for damage.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:04 PM   #84
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Well you really only did the first step to isolate the problem. Since it's not the bulb, why don't you proceed to the next step which is to swap the ballast? It'll tell you which you need at that point.

The other side is probably dying because you are turning it on/off so many times in quick succession. That's very bad for the xenon components and I would advise against continuing to do so.

Normally the tail light ground would just cause constant flickering and you would see this in both of the headlights. But you shouldn't have a ground problem since you have an 04 with LED tail lights.

I don't think it's the LCM, you would notice a lot of other random lighting errors.

Have you ever replaced the stock bulb at all? If not, I would replace those while you're at it.
Thanks for the reply.

The D2S bulbs are new, and I do not have other lighting errors which I'm able to identify at the moment. The car is a full respray/rebuild, including the wiring harness, so (although unlikely) it is possible some of the wiring was not redone correctly.

Are there any particular terminals I can check resistance on, to determine if I have a bad ground? Would measuring voltage output at the terminals be of any significance?

I took apart my driver ballast and it looks like new. There is no corrosion, and the internal components did not have any white residue or moisture. Thing is, if the xenons come on immediately with the switch, would that not mean the igniter is functioning correctly?

I will swap ballasts today and update.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:08 AM   #85
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Exclamation

I've swapped ballasts. The lights go out at random on each side and does not follow the ballast.
Also opened up both ballasts and they look like new, with a tight seal on them, and no corrosion.

Cleaned them with electronics cleaner anyway, issue persists.

I think I've identified this issue though, and it's electrical.
Out of curiosity I fired up my multimeter and took some measurements:

Voltage at ballast connector (Car off): 12.1v
Voltage at ballast connector (Car on -idle): 14.3v

Now here is where it gets upsetting. And bare with me, since my multiplier may be off (20k, 200k, etc.)

Resistance at ballast connector (Car off): 6.1 Ohms
After cleaning the 2 wiring harness grounds behind headlights: 5.7 Ohms
After grounding the negative terminal to engine block: 5.8 Ohms

Measurements are consistent at both passenger and driver side connections.
By comparison, I measured resistance at the terminals of my 325i ballast plug, and sure enough its showing a big fat 0.00 Ohms, like its supposed to.

Now the question is, where in the world do I start looking?
Looks to me like there is an issue with the positive wiring, otherwise the grounding experiment I tried above, would've reduced my resistance.

Recently I was also getting the PA Soft code "Battery: Open Voltage", and my alarm would not stop going off.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:10 PM   #86
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Anyone?

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Old 06-08-2014, 06:13 AM   #87
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Hmm electrical makes this even harder to pin point. With the PA Soft code, Have you checked the battery at all to make sure the connections are good/tight?

when you did your ground experiment, did you add your own wire? sorry it wasn't clear.

also, did you try cleaning the connectors themselves? you only stated that you cleaned the ground terminals.

your alarm thing might be it's own separate issue too.

other than that, i could only see it as a wiring problem based on the high resistance. usually it's either a partially cut/open wire that is chaffed somewhere, or there's corroision on the connections. could be that the wire itself came into contact with water or something too.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:47 AM   #88
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The battery itself, and the wires to the terminals are new. They're tight and secure.
Strong voltage reading at the positive lead in the engine bay.

When I did my grounding experiment, yes, I added my own wire but it didn't help.

Next will be a voltage drop test on the positive circuit of the headlights.
I would love to find something pinched at the LCM because that's a simple fix.

The alarm issue happened when I spliced the ignition (ACC +12v) connection from the GM5.
I needed to tap that signal for my deck, since the car's OE audio harness was completely removed.

My guess is that the "Battery: Open Voltage" code has a threshold of activation, and that was enough to trigger it.

Ugh.. this car is causing me to wear many new hats.
Would you happen know the main grounding locations of the body harness? I know there are several.
Just when installing the audio system, I located 1 ground under the driver seat that wasn't connected at all
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Old 06-14-2014, 05:33 PM   #89
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Did a voltage drop test.

Positive terminal of battery, and positive terminal going to ballast.

Result: Immediately after igniting 0.5v, decreasing and stabilizing to 0.23V

thoughts?
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:28 AM   #90
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Did a voltage drop test.

Positive terminal of battery, and positive terminal going to ballast.

Result: Immediately after igniting 0.5v, decreasing and stabilizing to 0.23V

thoughts?
hmm that is within acceptable levels although it's on the upper limit. have you tried the ground side?
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:23 AM   #91
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Very useful troubleshooting tips, Sillie-Thank you.

I have a question that is partially covered in your guide: is ballast failure common in OE bi-xenon setups such as my 2004 330xi? The reason I ask is that prior to my purchase of the car, someone added aftermarket ballasts that do not control the flap to operate the high beams. I took everything apart yesterday and put the headlights back to stock and NO xenons at all. I also switched the OEM ballasts to the alternate sides and still nothing. So, I think I have bad ballasts and will need to order new and replace. Just curious if it is common for both to fail. BTW, the car has 52,000 miles.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:15 PM   #92
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Very useful troubleshooting tips, Sillie-Thank you.

I have a question that is partially covered in your guide: is ballast failure common in OE bi-xenon setups such as my 2004 330xi? The reason I ask is that prior to my purchase of the car, someone added aftermarket ballasts that do not control the flap to operate the high beams. I took everything apart yesterday and put the headlights back to stock and NO xenons at all. I also switched the OEM ballasts to the alternate sides and still nothing. So, I think I have bad ballasts and will need to order new and replace. Just curious if it is common for both to fail. BTW, the car has 52,000 miles.
any part of the xenon system is a common failure point. it doesn't matter which car (even non-BMWs).

But it is uncommon to have both fail that the same time. However, because you got it second hand. What could have happened was one died, then awhile later the other died, then they replaced both with aftermarkets.
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